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There are many professional codes throughout healthcare: Physician Therapist,...

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There are many professional codes throughout healthcare: Physician Therapist, Administrators, Medical Assistants, Physicians, Occupational Therapists, Registered Nurses, Professional Coders and Counselors to name a handful. Just because these professionals have a code of ethics, does that mean they have to abide by it? Do you think it's fair for those who do not abide by the code to still be classified in that profession? 

Here's an example: Professional Coders. You have to pass your coding exam to become a professional coder. In order to take the test, you must be a member of AAPC. In order to maintain the membership, you must have 18 CEUs per year. They also have their own Code of Ethics for AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders).You can pass the test, and be a coder, but not maintain current credentials. You can still hold a coding position. What should the variances be between one who is a member vs. one who isn't? Should both adhere to the code? Why or why not?

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These codes of ethics are enforced by a professional association.  For example, a licensed physical therapist will belong to the American Association of Physical Therapists.  A licensed professional must abide by the codes of ethics of their profession.  If a licensed professional violates these codes of ethics, then  they may be suspended or lose their licence to practice.  Therefore, a licensed professional must abide by these codes of ethics.  It is not fair for those who do not abide by the code to be classified as in that profession because they are exposing their patients to potential harm.  In addition, codes of ethics are put in place to standardize care in that profession.  If an individual chooses to classify themselves by that profession but does not follow the codes of ethics, they may discredit the profession as a whole.

There should not be any variances between the coders in the example, and the coder without credentials should still follow codes of ethics.  If this individual does not, then this made lead employers to question whether a hired coder will maintain proper confidentiality, for example.  If all coders follow the codes of ethics, then the profession is successfully standardized to ensure all coders are following the same guidelines.

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