Since the time professionals have taken medical coding as a career, they have the curiosity about how to be called a Certified Professional coder. Having a Certification with a nice experience in medical coding will surely give you a good growth in your career. Many medical coders first start learning about the field and then go for the Certification exams. Nowadays even a fresher without having any experience is interested to become a Certified Professional coder through medical coding certification exams. Because of the good jobs for Certified professional coders many professional are interested to make a career in medical coding. Now, I am from India and I see here that there are many job vacancies in the field of medical coding. So, you can understand how much medical coding field has grown in last few years. Since, we are here to talk about the basic certification exams in medical coding we will just review few of the exams, which will boost the career of a medical coder.
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Certified Professional Coder or CPC Certification
Every year AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders), organize CPC (certified Professional Coder) exam for the entire professionals who want to become a Certified Professional coder. Now, this is the most common exam you can see organized every year by AAPC and every year many of us gets CPC certified. We have two attempts (one fee retake) to clear this CPC exam. However, I would suggest clearing the exam in the first attempt. The CPC exam is full 150 Multiple-choice questions. There are different sections in CPC examination paper. I would suggest solving questions, which take less time to answer than the difficult one. It is one the basic exams to clear and be Certified by AAPC. Once you have cleared the exam you become a member of AAPC and a Certified Professional Coder. You can get the best sample CPC exam guide here which will surely help in clearing this exam.
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COC (Certified outpatient coder)
Certified outpatient coder is almost same like the CPC exam. The only difference here is the questions in COC are from outpatient settings (emergency department visits, outpatient clinic visits, Ambulatory surgeries, radiology and laboratory and outpatient therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and chemotherapy). This also has a lot of value if you clear the COC exam. Being certified COC coder jobs are easy to find in any healthcare firm or hospitals. This also has 150 Multiple-choice questions and has two attempt (one fee retake) like CPC only.
Read also: How to become a Certified Professional Coder
Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
This exam has been newly introduced by AAPC. You would not find many coders with this certification. However, this exam is difficult to clear compare to above two exams. This exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions and 10 inpatient cases with fill in the blank. Therefore, it is subjective as well as objective question paper. So, we have to be more careful for answering the question especially the inpatient cases. This exam also has two attempts (one free retake). This exam mainly concentrates on inpatient coding and inpatient coding methodologies. So, if you have healthy experience in inpatient coding, you can surely go for this exam.
Hope, you got the clear idea about the basic exams conducted by AAPC for medical coders. Do solve some model or practice questions papers for preparing for these exams. Practice makes one Perfect so keep solving sample questions and appear any one the above exams. All the best for clearing the exams friends.