Earlier this year the Resource Initiative and Society for Education (RISE) launched the RISE Institute, an educational entity that offers several learning opportunities for health care professionals. In this article, we talk to Executive Director Kevin Mowll about the RISE Institute and how members can take advantage of the training options.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Looking to expand your education but your budget doesn’t always allow you to travel to conferences and summits? Consider the programs offered by the RISE Institute, the educational arm of RISE that was created as an answer to member requests for more flexible educational opportunities.

RISE Institute’s programs expand on the RISE Events portfolio of more than 40 live events, including the popular RISE Nashville and RISE West.

"Anyone looking to improve their skills, stay up-to-date, and excel in risk adjustment, quality improvement and financial compliance will find the RISE Institute a valuable resource," says Kevin Mowll, executive director of RISE.

RISE Institute offers a variety of programs, including online courses, webinars, in-house training for entire departments, certification, and user groups.

In-person workshops

The RISE Institute currently offers two workshops that address risk adjustment and HCC coding and documentation.  CMS & HHS Risk Adjustment 101 and HCC Coding Accuracy is a two-day workshop that is meant to be an introduction or refresher for those working with Medicare Advantage or commercial health insurance exchange lines of business. Day one focuses on risk adjustment, and day two provides a deeper understanding of HCC coding. You have the option to attend either day or both days. The entire program has CEU approval from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)* and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)**.

Mowll notes that the workshop is a great educational opportunity for those new to risk adjustment, but seasoned professionals can also benefit because the class fills in areas and gaps that they may not be exposed to during their day-to-day job functions.

Leading & Implementing HCC Coding and Documentation Program Workshop takes place over two-and-a-half days and lays out best practices for an end-to-end method of aligning chart documentation, HCC code capture and audit-readiness at both the provider and health plan levels. Mowll says this course focuses on the leadership required to design and implement programs, whether at the health plan level or at the provider level. It assumes the participants have already completed the preparation work involved as individual HCC coders or auditors.  The workshop is highly interactive and uses small group methods to bring home the learning and to leverage the knowledge already present among the participants coming from a wide range of organizations. 

Like the risk adjustment workshop, the Leading & Implementing HCC Coding and Documentation Program Workshop also has CEU approval from AAPC* and AHIMA**.

The workshops are held many times throughout the year and across the country and are led by a national faculty of subject matter experts. Mowll says the workshops can also be customized for larger groups and can be brought on-site for those organizations that want to educate a group of professionals or entire departments. RISE has been brought on-site when it has been more economical to bring the faculty to the audience and avoid the travel expense and the time away to attend one of the public workshops.  The training also provides an opportunity to bring everyone at the company on to the same page, he says.

Online courses

For those who can’t attend the workshops in person, RISE Institute offers shortened versions of those programs via online courses. The e-learning courses are available 24/7 and are designed using the latest instructional models, including gamification and multi-media to improve retention and make learning convenient. Each course prepares users to apply the learnings to “real-life” case studies within the curriculum.

The current courses include the Advanced HCC Auditor, a six-hour online course that requires an ICD-10 coding credential for the certification exam, although it is not required just to take the course. The course covers the entire HCC Coding landscape, including an overview of risk adjustment, documentation and coding, medical record requirements for mock surveys, concurrent workflows to prevent risk, and case study examples to determine missed conditions and RADV risks.

The Risk Adjustment Practitioner course provides learners with a complete understanding of risk adjustment, the similarities and differences of Health and Human Services and Medicare Advantage models and strategies to manage SWEEPS deadlines.

Both online programs are approved for 6 continuing education units for use in fulfilling the continuing education requirements of AHIMA.**


For those who have attended the online courses and/or workshops, RISE Institute also offers a certification program to become an Advanced HCC Auditor (AHCCA) or Risk Adjustment Practitioner (RAP).

The certifications provide industry recognition for training and competence in the field, says Mowll. Once they earn certification, they can attend conferences, webinars and user group meetings to obtain the necessary CEUs to maintain their certification.

The certification tells an employer or potential employer that the person is well prepared, and has gone through a training and education process that has been developed by subject matter experts in the industry.

Mowll says the certifications help to elevate the profession and potential employers will recognize that those who hold the credentials are qualified to hold these positions. “It shows a mastery of a body of knowledge,” he says. This is particularly true of the AHCCA certification due to the requirement that students possess credentials from AAPC or AHIMA in order to sit for the exam.

User groups

RISE Association members may join the RISE Institute’s quarterly online user groups for free. The faculty-led user groups meet to discuss issues concerned with HCC coding, provider education, and Medicare sales. The groups aim to share challenges, opportunities, and best practices.


The 60- to 90-minute webinars are also free to RISE Association members. Webinars are scheduled throughout the year and are a great way to stay current with the latest regulations, tactics, and changes in the industry.  Upcoming webinar topics include how to engage providers for complete, accurate diagnosis coding, STAR ratings, and Natural Language Processing. In addition, for the Medicare marketplace, webinars address topics relevant to Medicare Advantage product management, marketing, sales, and member retention. 

* Granting of prior approval in no way constitutes endorsement by AAPC of the program content or the program sponsor.

** Granting prior approval from AHIMA does not constitute endorsement of the program content or its program sponsor.

Editor’s note: For more information about the RISE Institute and program offerings, click here.