View all the CPC Certification exam information required. The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Certification is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Although the CPC Certification is not required by law, employers can state a preference or requirement that applicants for medical billing and coding positions possess a CPC Certification.

The AAPC describes the CPC Certification as the top standard for medical coders who work in Medical Billing Business or at physician offices. According to data collected by AAPC and from other independent surveys, as an average CPC Certified Medical Coder salary is 20% higher than non-certified Medical Coding professionals.

Medical Coding CPC Certification Exam Information and Cost 2014

CPC Medical Coding Certification Exam Requirements

The AAPC recommends that candidates attempting to become CPC Certified Medical Coder should have an associate degree. Those who are interested in pursing a CPC Certification with the AAPC will need to pass the certification exam. Registering for this requires:

AAPC membership

You require current AAPC membership for CPC Certification Exam. These are offered at three levels:
  • Individual – $125
  • Student – $70
  • Corporate – $750 for 6-10 members

Medical Coding Experience

At least two years of medical coding experience is required for Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Certification exam. Candidates who do not have this experience but pass the exam will be designated as "CPC – Apprentice (CPC-A)."

The "Apprentice" designation will be removed once two letters of recommendation verifying two years of experience are received by the AAPC. One year of experience may be substituted with 80 contact hours of medical coding education.

CPC Examination Fee

You will be required to submit CPC exam fee of $300.

CPC Certification Exam Process

The application and exam fee, which can both be made through the AAPC website, must be completed four weeks prior to a candidate’s exam date.

Once a candidate has paid the CPC Certification exam fee, he or she will have one year to complete this. One free CPC exam retake is allowed within a year of a candidate’s first exam.

CPC Certification Exam Question

The CPC Certification exam is comprised of 150 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 5 hours and 40 minutes. It is open book, and includes information from the latest editions of:
  • American Medical Association CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) coding rules and guidelines, current retail $114.95
  • HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) coding book, current retail $309.95
  • ICD-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification), physician offices and outpatient facilities or hospitals and payer organization, current retail $99.95 or $103.95, respectively
Candidates are encouraged to take these three resources into the exam and use them as references during the test.

CPC Certification Exam Scope

The CPC certification exam scope covers a medical coder’s knowledge of 24 subject areas likely to be encountered in a physician office setting, including:
  • Anesthesia
  • Major Body Systems
  • Radiology
  • Medicine
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Coding Guidelines
  • Pathology
  • Laboratory

CPC Certification Exam Preparation

In general, It inspects a candidate’s, anatomy, medical coding and medical terminology skills in a strict test environment, where every candidate has to answer 150 multiple choice questions related to the above-mentioned topic areas in just less than 6 hours.

Although question pattern is on multiple choice questions but still 6 hours is a long time to be sitting, answering exam questions. You will get only 2.4 minutes per question to conclude your answer. Nevertheless that sounds like, it’s so tough to answer. When you will sit for the CPC exam beginning at that question, you will easily find that there is enough time to answer the entire question on time.

The AAPC recommends several methods for the CPC Exam preparation for the candidates. That includes:
  • AAPC online medical terminology and anatomy courses
  • CPC preparation course
  • Official CPC study guide
  • CPC online practice exam
  • CPC review class
For those who know they will benefit from a more specific certification, the AAPC also offers additional certification options:
  • Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM)
  • Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA)
  • Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO)
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
  • Certified Professional Coder – Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H)
  • Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P)
  • Specialty Medical Coding Certification, for over 20 different specializations ranging from surgeries and dermatology to pediatrics and urology

CPC Certification Renewal Process

Renewing the CPC Certification requires:
  • Maintaining an annual membership with the AAPC
  • At least 36 AAPC-approved continuing education units (CEUs) submitted bi-annually, along with associated fees.

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