Rabu, 28 Maret 2012

What Is the GRE and Who Cares

Now that you have finished your undergraduate degree, its time for grad school. There is a good chance that the school you will apply to will require that you take the GRE. This test will have a lot to do with your chances for admission and how you score on it will be part of what determines your future. Short for Graduate Record Examination, the GRE measures your various cognitive abilities including reasoning, critical thinking, and your ability to write effectively.
The GRE is not of course the only thing that is considered for admittance, but it is an important factor. Schools also consider your gpa, undergraduate degree, and so forth, but depending on the situation, they may care about different parts of your GRE more than others. For instance, if you are applying for a graduate program in writing, schools will likely put more weight on your writing scores rather than math. Nonetheless, other parts are important too, such as considering applicants for a program in mathematics. Since many students will naturally score very high on the math section of the GRE, the school may look more critically at other non math portions of the test.
The verbal section you will be tested on your reading comprehension and analogy skills. The quantitative portion tests you on your math skills, but only at a high school level. In the analytical writing portion, you will write a total of two essays on various subjects. Part of the test includes experimental questions too. You are not told where these are, but they will just be part of the test in one of the sections.
The final section is a specialized section that may be in Chemistry, Biochemisty, Biology, English Literature, Computer Science, Molecular Biology, Psychology, or Physics. Of course this section will be specifically related to the graduate program that you are applying for.
A very unique portion of the GRE is found in a few multiple choice sections that are taken on a computer using a Computer Adaptive Testing mode (CAT). The system analyzes your answers and adjusts according to your skill level. This increases the level of difficulty as you successfully answer questions.
When you apply to take the GRE you will be sent some software to help you including two practice tests, but this is not enough if you wish to excel. There are many different options available for taking practice tests, many of which are online for free, but practice makes perfect, and practice is the name of the game. Knowing what is the GRE going to do for you is only half the battle. You must also prepare and practice, practice, practice, so you can get the best score possible and make your higher education dreams come true.

Rabu, 14 Maret 2012

How Do I Get Certified As a Certified Coding Specialist

A Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-Based or CCS-P describes a medical coding practitioner certified by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These individuals are specialized in physician-based settings such as offices, practices, clinics, or specialized medical settings. They are responsible for reviewing patient's records and also assigning numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. Coding practitioners have an in-depth knowledge of the CPT coding system and are experts in health information, documentation, integrity, and quality. Since the coded data from patient's is submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement, coding specialists play a critical role in the healthcare field. There are many certifications available such as the AAPC CPC, but many coding specialists are also CCS-P certified.

By becoming certified, the employment for these coding specialists is highly favorable. Health professionals who perform coding in a healthcare setting should consider obtaining this certification in order to testify to their abilities. This certification exam assesses a mastery-level proficiency rather than an entry-level skill.

There are several eligibility requirements that must be passed in order to take the exam. Any candidate for the exam must have a high school diploma from a school in the United States or have achieved an equivocal education. There is also a list of requirements and candidates must meet one of the eligibility requirements on the list in order to take the exam. They must have completed a coding training program, have had two years of experience, are credentialed, or be credentialed and have one year of coding experience. These are the basic requirements and it is unlikely that a candidate who is not eligible to take the exam would be unable to pass it.

While these are not requirements, there are some training and recommendations for exam candidates. They are recommended to have six months of coding experience where they have directly applied codes. It is also recommended that individuals have completed an AHIMA approved coding program or that the individual has completed another coding training program that covered similar material.

The AHIMA CCS-P exam is a fairly basic test. For members of AHIMA, it costs $299, and for non-members, the cost is $399. The test has a multiple choice section with 88 single response items. It also contains a multiple select section of 8 questions. This is followed by a fill in the blank section of 13 medical record cases. This section of the test requires examinees to perform diagnostic and procedural coding. The time limit for the test is four hours without any breaks.

After testing, immediate scoring is available if enough candidates have taken the exam. The passing score will vary slightly and the Angoff procedure is used to set the minimum passing score. The passing scores are published after enough candidates have taken the exam.

After completing the application materials, all candidates will receive a document saying that they are authorized to test, or ATT. After receiving the letter, the candidate has four months to take the exam and will have to reapply if they do not complete the testing within that window. If the candidate does not pass the exam, they must wait 91 days before being eligible to take the exam again. These are the basic requirements and specifications for the CCP-S exam.