AAPC CPC Certification- A Stepping Stone for Medical Coders
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is a renowned organization that provides certifications for professionals in the healthcare industry. Among the various certifications they offer, the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification is one of the most sought-after credentials for medical coders. Obtaining a CPC certification from AAPC can significantly enhance the career prospects of medical coders. In this article, we will explore the format and topics of the AAPC CPC exam and why this certification is valuable for professionals in the medical coding field.
CPC Certification Exam Format
The AAPC CPC exam is a five-hour and 40 minutes long test that is conducted in a proctored setting. The exam comprises of 150 multiple-choice questions that are divided into two main sections. The first section includes 60 questions, and the second section includes 90 questions.
The first section, known as the “Medical Concepts” section, includes questions on anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and other topics related to the healthcare industry. This section is designed to test the candidate’s understanding of the medical world’s basic concepts and terminologies. The second section, known as the “Coding Concepts” section, includes questions on CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level II codes. This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of the coding guidelines and principles required for medical coding.
The AAPC CPC exam is an open-book exam, which means that the candidate is allowed to bring in their coding manuals, including the CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level II codebooks. However, it is essential to note that the candidate is not allowed to bring in any electronic devices or notes.
The AAPC CPC exam covers a wide range of topics related to medical coding. Here are some of the topics that are included in the exam:
- Medical Terminology: This topic tests the candidate’s understanding of medical terms and abbreviations used in the healthcare industry.
- Anatomy and Physiology: This topic tests the candidate’s knowledge of the human body’s structure and functions.
- ICD-10-CM Coding: This topic covers the guidelines and principles required for assigning diagnosis codes.
- CPT Coding: This topic covers the guidelines and principles required for assigning procedural codes.
- HCPCS Level II Coding: This topic covers the guidelines and principles required for assigning supply and service codes.
- Compliance and Regulations: This topic covers the legal and ethical aspects of medical coding, including HIPAA regulations, fraud and abuse, and the OIG work plan.
Why is CPC Certification Valuable?
The AAPC CPC certification is valuable for medical coders for several reasons. First, it is a nationally recognized certification that indicates that the candidate has the skills and knowledge required for medical coding. Second, it demonstrates the candidate’s commitment to their profession and their willingness to stay up-to-date with the latest coding guidelines and principles. Third, it can lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries for medical coders.