In the summer of 2015, Janet Wood CPC, CRC, and Kat Mulligan CPC, CRC, saw the need for starting a local chapter of the American Academy of Professional Coders, an organization that provides certifications, training and continuing education for medical coders.
But even with access to several local chapters in Dallas and Fort Worth, the commute times to meetings became too much of a hassle.
“Every month we would get an email about coming to a local chapter meeting, and every month it was just another meeting that I couldn’t make because it was at 5 p.m. and all the way across town,” Wood said.
After approaching CenseoHealth management about using the company’s facilities for meetings and surveying CenseoHealth coders, Wood and Mulligan began the process to apply for permission to start their own AAPC chapter.
“The survey was really telling,” Mulligan said. “We had 62 respondents and only two were going to meetings. We had many (people) who were willing to volunteer, and 30 people willing to serve as officers—a compelling amount of people willing to be active.”
After an initial denial by AAPC to start the chapter, Wood and Mulligan followed up with a new application and submitted it with a map showing the void of chapter meeting locations in the area around Famers Branch, Texas. By October 2016, AAPC reversed their decision, and the Famers Branch chapter launched November 1.
“We have a lot of medical facilities in close proximity to our location,” Mulligan said. “We are so convenient right off 635—it doesn’t get any easier than that!”
The chapter plans to offer morning meeting times and is also looking to offer a wide range of topics for continuing education.
“We are definitely looking to do some topics on risk adjustment since no one really does that in their chapter meetings,” Mulligan said. “Most people find it intimidating and don’t really understand it.”
The AAPC Farmers Branch chapter held its first meeting on December 6, 2016, with 39 people in attendance. So far, they have proctored their first exams and offered a continuing education course on Diabetes worth 1 CEU for maintaining credentials with AAPC.
For more information about the AAPC Farmers Branch chapter, visit the AAPC website.
AAPC Famers Branch Officers:
President: Kat Mulligan CPC, CRC
Vice President: Janet Wood, CPC, CRC
Secretary: Elba Peralta-Cole, CCA
Treasurer: Sally Kreimborg, COC, CPC
Education Officer: Stacey Amick RN, BSN, CPC, CRC
Co-Member Development Officer: Pam Trisler LVN, CPC, CRC
Co-Member Development Officer: Adina Heller COC, CPC, CRC