Since 1988 the American Association of Professional Coders has provided medical coding certification for medical coders in physicians' offices, outpatient facilities and provider facilities. You'll need to pass the Certified Professional Coder examination in order to be certified as a professional medical coder by the AAPC. You'll also need to provide the AAPC with proof that you have worked as a medical coder for two years without a degree, that you have worked as a medical coder for one year with a degree or certificate, or that you have completed an online coding course through the AAPC.
Things you'll need:
• $300 for exam fee
• $125 for AAPC membership
• No. 2 pencils
• Government-issued photo ID
• AAPC member ID
• AMA CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS II coding manuals
1. Work for two years as a medical coder. Obtain two signed letters of recommendation from your employer indicating you have two years of experience and furnish them to the AAPC.
2. Work for one year as a medical coder and obtain a degree or certificate. This requires at least 80 hours of coding training. You'll need a transcript on school letterhead and a single letter of recommendation from an employer.
3. Acquire virtual experience through the AAPC website in lieu of real world experience. You must pay $200 to enroll in an online coding course and must code at least 720 out of 800 cases correctly, an accuracy rate of 90 percent. If you don't pass the test on the first try, you will have two opportunities to re-code the incorrect cases and achieve a 90 percent score.
1. Locate an exam in your area through the AAPC scheduling website. Select the country or state you live in and click "Search." Review the list and choose the exam session you would like to attend. Click "Details" next to the session for more information.
2. Complete the registration form. For question one, indicate whether your AAPC membership is current or whether you need a new membership; memberships cost $125 or $75 for students. Next select the "CPC" examination from the drop-down menu. The exam costs $300.
3. Check the boxes indicating you will provide proof of experience and that you agree to the terms of service. Click the "Purchase" button and provide the AAPC with your payment details.
4. Attend the examination session you signed up for. Bring several No. 2 pencils, a government-issue picture ID and your AAPC member ID with you. You should also bring copies of the AMA CPT, ICD-9-CM and HCPCS II industry standard coding manuals.
5. Complete the examination. The exam contains 150 multiple choice questions and takes about 5 hours and 40 minute to complete. If you fail your first attempt, you can retake the test once for free