The Recertification “Money Grab”
When programs change, one of the primary concerns people have is “What will it cost me?” Similar concerns have been postulated with the transforming CPC Program. It is important to understand the costs related to our licensure, recertification, and education as informed consumers. After the recent release from the NBCRNA regarding the high stakes examination, one of the concerns expressed in many conversations is the cost of the entire program. As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to look at the direct and indirect costs as a professional consumer.
Because the CPC modules provide Class A credit, indirectly a CRNA would save the cost of attending an in-person meeting per 4 year cycle, average cost $2,500 to $3,500 per 4 year cycle (registration, travel, hotel, etc). Conservatively, the indirect savings amount to $5,000 to $7,000 over the entire 8 years.
Total Savings (Direct and Indirect)
Per 4 Years
Total: $2,950 per 4 years (Average)
Per 8 Years
Total: $5,900 per 8 years (Average)
Money in Your Pocket
Overall, the annual savings under the CPC Program is approximately $740 per year. What’s the catch? If you opt to collect all 100 Class A credits, then the program could be more costly than the legacy recertification program. However, by fully leveraging the 40 Class B credits, a CRNA stands to capture substantial savings up to or exceeding $740 per year. Moreover, the NBCRNA has formally implemented a comprehensive workgroup called ERAC (Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee). The ERAC is charged with formally identifying alternatives to the CPC-A assessment. More importantly, we (AANA) are placing you (AANA members) on some of those committees and sub-committees. While their work has started, they are in the process of establishing subgroups to officially assess reliability and validity of specific alternatives, such as simulation.
While there is tremendous historical debate around the recertification process, looking forward into the future remains promising. Why? You stand to have a lot of latitude and choice on how you attain recertification. More importantly, you are being given more control over your recertification process, such as choosing which type of continuing education credit you want to attain, ability to gain Class B credits within your work environment (e.g. hospital committee work, teaching, etc.), opportunity to complete continuing education on line from home (especially those of you in busy independent practices), ability to minimize the cost of out-of-pocket expenses from attending live meetings, and eventually the potential for alternative pathways to a closed book test.
It is important to understand these calculations are conservative averages and may vary a little, but factoring in both direct and indirect costs there is a substantial savings with the new program.
On another note, I want to take a moment to recognize Dr. Juan Quintana who has been tirelessly travelling to multiple states providing testimony on behalf of CRNAs. Over the past two months he has provided testimony in four states and continues to advocate before legislators on your behalf. Thank you, Juan!