How to Clear ICD and CPT coding certification exams

How to get ICD-9 and CPT coding certification

When we talk about Medical codes the words, come in our mind is ICD-9 and CPT codes. These two codes comprise majorly medical codes used in Medical coding field. Now, to have ICD-9 and CPT coding certification we should know in and out about these codes.  When we are a good knowledge about ICD-9 and CPT codes, we can easily appear for ICD-9 and CPT coding certification exams. Many professional have decided to take medical coding as a career and regularly preparing for the ICD-9 and CPT coding certification exams. Now, as I say about the coding certification exams there are two major organization or academy who organizes exams for coders, which are AAPC and AHIMA. This two American Organization every year organizes exams in different countries to help professional to appear for ICD-9 and CPT coding certification exams and get certified. These tips are really important for Certification exams like CPC, you can go through sample CPC questions here which is surely help in clearing CPC exam.

Exams for ICD-9 and CPT coding certification

The major and first basic exam for medical coders is CPC (Certified Professional Coder) exam. This exam is very common and little too easy compared to other ICD-9 and CPT coding certification exams. CPC certified coder typically earn 20% more compared to non-certified coders in market. The CPC certified coder can sustained in market for longer time and can easily get a job. A CPC certified coder should have a healthy experience about reading a medical chart and assigning a correct diagnosis (ICD-9), procedure (CPT) and supply (HCPCS level II) codes for clinical cases and services. A CPC certified should be expert in wide range of services including Evaluation and management, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology and medicine. The CPC certified coder should have good knowledge about the ICD-9 and CPT coding guidelines. In addition, the CPC coder should have a sound knowledge about the anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, which are important to assign a correct code.

CPC Practice Exam - Medical Coding Study Guide Please Click Here!


Overview of ICD-9 and CPT coding certification CPC exam

The CPC Exam consist of
•    150 multiple choice questions
•    5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
•    One free retake
The actual amount to pay for exam is $325 ($260 AAPC Students). In addition, you have the freedom to use open codebook (manuals) while writing the exams. So, the thin line is if you know you manual or book properly, you have more chance of clearing ICD-9 and CPT coding certification CPC exam. The CPC exam has questions on how to apply CPT codes, ICD-9, HCPCS level II, modifiers, coding guidelines and regulatory rules.

Tips for ICD-9 and CPT coding certification CPC exam

The first and the foremost thing to know to clear the CPC exam is the coding guidelines. Just follow the coding guidelines you can answer more of the question correctly. This applies with all the books (CPT, ICD-9CM, and HCPCS leveII). The coding conventions and guidelines for ICD-9 are given in front of the codebook. CPT guidelines are given in introductory part of each system. So, be prepared with the coding guidelines for clearing the CPC exam.

Highlight the important guidelines and instructions, so that it is easily found during ICD-9 and CPT coding certification exam.

Do not forget to read the instruction notes given below CPT codes. Sometimes, the CPT code is included with the primary code and hence we should not report it separately. Ignoring the instruction note, can lead to wrong answer. Also in ICD-9CM, sometimes there are instruction for using some code as primary diagnosis (Pdx), for example V58.11, so do check the sign and convention while coding ICD-9 diagnosis codes.
Parenthetical notes give valuable information, so do pay a close attention while coding CPT codes.

Be prepared with modifiers very nicely. The modifiers are little tricky to apply. Now, with the introduction of new modifiers along with 59, the difficulty level has increased. However, not to worry if you have the scenario when to use a modifier it is easy to apply while coding medical charts.

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