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Tips for taking the CPC exam

Nobody wants to know how to fail the AAPC CPC exam, so the following tells you what to look out for. You just need to be aware of certain CPC exam rules that can result in you getting disqualified or automatic failure. You can consider this as a quick checklist of what not to do when you’re in the medical coding certification or AAPC CPC exam hall. So let us discuss what are the things you shouldn’t do that breaks the exam rules.

Leave your cell phone behind

First of all, you’re not allowed to bring your cell phone to the exam. This also goes for any electronic devices like smart phones, tablets, mobile gaming consoles, etc. You wont have any place to stow them during the exam anyway, so the best solution is to just not bring them at all.

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Bring the right tools

With that said, make sure you do bring the required items for the medical coding certification exam. Check with the CPC exam proctors several days beforehand to know what you’ll need. Basically you’ll need a picture ID, your member ID, #2 pencils, as well as the CPT, ICD-9CM, and HCPCS II manuals.

Keep up to date

Remember that the code sets for each coding book are updated every year, so it’s essential for you to have up to date books. Using out of date books would obviously puts you at a disadvantage, with substantial penalization. The exams are updated every January for the new code sets, so you can’t use upcoming year’s book for the exam. Do keep in mind that the exam proctors may not clarify test questions during the CPC exam.

Tabbing your coding books

You’re permitted to tab your coding books for quick reference, whether you inserted, glued, pasted, taped, or stapled it in the manuals. Having handwritten notes in the coding books are also acceptable only if they pertain to daily coding activities. The guideline is that they should be used with the intent to earmark a page with words or numbers, not supplement information in the book.

Keep it to yourself

Finally, any attempt to smuggle exam materials out of the exam hall will result in you failing the AAPC CPC exam. If you exhibit collaborative or disruptive behavior, then it can be cause for immediate action by the proctors. Because the CPC exam materials are confidential, you may not copy or discuss the questions with others during or following the examination. Now that you know how to fail the AAPC CPC exam by breaking the exam rules, be sure to keep all the points here in mind and you’ll do well to pass the AAPC CPC exam.

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Click here and find out how to pass the CPC exam on your first try!

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Get certified by watching review videos

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to getting help to get you certified as a medical coder fast. You may have the experience and coding knowledge to take the CPC exam, but it is still a good idea to invest a little to get further coaching and advice as part of your preparation. There are no shortage of practice exams, books, prep courses, certified trainers, and review classes that you can use.

Let’s add one more unique choice to the list: coding review videos. Video engage more of our senses, so when we study using coding review videos or DVD, we simply absorb more due to the fact that it is in an audio and visual form. Laureen Jandroep has released her blitz review videos for coding and CPC exam for some time, and since it’s release has been helping students to pass the CPC exam on their first or next try.

Today: Check out her bubble and highlight technique.

Today: Check out her bubble and highlight technique.

So lets review again why Laureen Jandroep’s coding blitz videos or DVD are so much better as review materials:

First of all, you simply get more value from the videos or DVD because you get Laureen personally guiding you through all the steps you need to do to pass the certification exam. Every aspect is covered from identifying areas to focus on, how to maximize your study and exam time, how to mark up your CPT book, time management, and more. Check out her credentials as a certified medical coding and billing trainer and you’ll see why she has a long list of testimonials from past students.

When you do your review in videos, you absorb more information. She is speaking directly to you in the videos, so you pay more attention. You also get to follow along with her explanations and illustrations. Also, videos are less likely to make you fall asleep. If you commute a lot, why not download the videos onto your iPod or MP3 player to squeeze out more review time. When you’re at home, just pop in the DVD.

Not everyone studies at the same pace, so in a classroom environment you are usually either ahead or behind. The blitz review videos is like your virtual classroom, you get to pause, rewind, and fast forward your teacher. And if you have questions that aren’t answered in the videos, you still have her telephone support and access to her private community of experienced coders and billers.

Click here now to see a special video presentation for you by Laureen herself!

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Retaking the CPC exam

If you have failed the CPC exam, trust me, you are not alone. Even though the CPC exam is an open book exam, there are a great many factors to take into consideration. A grueling examination for would-be medical coders, taking nearly 6 hours long, the CPC or Certified Professional Coder certification exam by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is brutal and does not boast of a very high passing rate for first time test-takers.

First, you must get a passing rate of 70% to pass the CPC exam. It used to be that you need to get 70% on each of the 3 sections of the CPC exam, which means that should you fail to reach 70% on just one section you will not pass the CPC exam.

For this reason, there are plenty of study guides out there to help you get ready to retake the CPC exam. There are a few recommended by the AAPC, as well as online prep courses by experienced trainers and coders that can help you hone your coding skills.

You can retake the CPC exam within 12 months of your failed test without having the pay the hundreds of dollars that the first test cost. That alone should be a relief to you, so now not only do you have the opportunity to sit for the exam again but can do so at no further cost to you. The thing to remember is that you have to take the test within 12 months of the initial exam or you will be charged a fee. Don’t delay too long in retaking the test because all the study you did will still be fresh in your mind. If you have to wait longer before retaking the CPC exam, then you’ll have to maintain your study efforts at a high level to ensure you don’t forget and lose the information you’ve worked hard for.

Click here for a special personal video message now

Click here for a special personal video message now

When you receive your scores, you will be notified which sections were problematic for you, so you can focus your studies and improve on your weaknesses. Being able to fine tune your studies to pass the CPC exam is a great benefit to you. Not only will you see which areas you succeed in, but being able to target your low scores makes it much easier to focus all your energy and effort for the next round. Talk to other students as well as your mentor or coach so you can target the weak areas specifically.

Take more timed practice exams to get back into the rhythm and refine your study and question-answering strategies. When testing day rolls around again, you’ll be more at ease and be better prepared for the CPC exam. Don’t let your nerves get the better of you. Go in with a positive and confident mindset that you’ll do well this time around.

What makes Laureen Jandroep’s blitz review videos so good that you can pass the CPC exam on the first or next try? Click here now to find out more!

Context is crucial when deciding what to do with abnormal test results

Question: What do you do when presented with abnormal lab results?

Answer: Ask lots of questions.

The nursing home just sent over a urinalysis on a patient of Dr. Carlyle. I am covering his practice for a few days. The test showed that an 82-year-old woman had 3+ white blood cells in her urine. “NKDA” was written in the margin, indicating she had no allergies.

I sighed internally and called the nursing home. The charge nurse seemed a little surprised at all my questions.

“What are the symptoms? What is the patient’s kidney function? Is she on blood thinners or any other medications that might interact with an antibiotic?”

The presence of bacteria or white blood cells in the urine should not usually be treated if there are no symptoms. That’s not always been our belief, but most doctors agree with this approach today.

Looking at a test result without knowing the story behind it, we cannot decide whether or how to act.

Last week, we got a critically high potassium result on a patient with normal kidney function and no prescription medications in her profile. I did nothing about it, except order a repeat test that was normal. The obvious explanation was hemolysis; red blood cells contain more potassium than the serum that transports them and if the cells break during blood draw or handling of the vial, serum potassium will be falsely elevated.

A seizure patient of Dr. Carlyle had a high phenytoin level. I pestered the nurse to give me several past results and to track any previous dose changes. It turned out this patient had stable levels for a year and a half and suddenly had a low level last month. Dr. Carlyle raised the dose. In retrospect, the patient probably had missed a few doses, and would have been fine staying on the same dose. I dropped the prescribed dose back down and expect the patient to do fine.

A hypothyroid patient was hospitalized with abdominal distention and constipation. She is non-verbal, and fearful of medical procedures. The hospitalist checked her thyroid function, as undertreated hypothyroidism can contribute to constipation. The test suggested she needed a higher dose, so she was discharged on a substantially increased dose of levothyroxine. As soon as I saw her again, I reversed the medication change; her TSH had been normal one week before her admission, and a severe illness or traumatic experience can affect thyroid values. I figured the hospitalist did not notice her old TSH result in the hospital computer.

Context is crucial when deciding what to do with abnormal test results. But doctors are often pressed for time, and finding the story behind the results takes time. Even when all the data is in our electronic medical records, it takes time to see the patterns: The test results are usually in one place, the prescriptions in another, the office notes in a third, and the phone messages in a fourth. My own EMR can produce flowsheets with lab results, but each test is identified by the date it was ordered instead of the date it was performed, so correlating lab values with prescription dates becomes confusing, for example when following thyroid cases.

In times past, when solo practice physicians cared for their patients in the office, hospital and nursing home, they kept the threads of context and continuity together more easily. Today, with more providers sharing the care, and with other office staff also interacting with patients and their families, there is more room for errors, gaps and confusion. The tools we have right now are not always as effective as we would like, and they certainly can be cumbersome and slow to use. Reading each other’s notes can take a while, as the EMR format is primarily built for coding and not for ease of following the clinical story.

A few words doctor to doctor, doctor to nurse or doctor to patient can sometimes do what half an hour on the computer might not. Treatment without context is essentially just random reflex actions: Killing the innocent bacteria, lowering the falsely elevated potassium, treating the lab value and not the patient — none of it does anybody any good, and probably will cause harm to some unfortunate patients.

Our temptation to view test results as obvious facts in a predictable process instead of possibly misleading clues in a complex mystery reminds me of these words from a Sherlock Holmes novel:

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“A Country Doctor” is a family physician who blogs at A Country Doctor Writes:.











CPC Practice Exam | iMobile – News Leader In The Mobile Space!

CPC Practice ExamClick Image To Visit SiteOr are you one of the many people who FAILED the exam the first time, and are now looking to retake the test, perhaps for the third or fourth time?

As soon as the 2013 coding books were released in late 2012, we went over the entire test with a loupe to make sure all the codes referred to in the answer key hadn’t changed since last year. The test is now fully updated for 2013.

Already know our CPC medical coding practice exam is exactly what you need? Please click here to place your order.

AAPC’s CPC exam is 150 questions long. Questions range from true and false, to 1-2 sentences, to full page operative notes.

Questions on the CPC exam do not cover just specific medical codes. Questions can be very diverse, testing the examinees knowledge on:

We have taken into account the wide spectrum of diversity the CPC exam offers and have constructed the questions on our CPC Practice Exam to reflect those on the actual exam as closely as possible.

In addition to our well constructed questions we are also providing a full rationale for each question.

These rationales provide the correct answer for each question as well as a full explanation as of why this option is correct, why the other three options are incorrect, and where in the medical coding books the answer can be located.

Studying the rationale of an answer may very well be the easiest and most efficient way to learn how to pass the CPC exam.

a. The removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries b. The surgical sampling or removal of a fertilized egg c. Cutting into the fallopian tubes and ovaries for surgical purposes d. Cutting into a fertilized egg for surgical purposes

The term “salp” means tube, the term “ooph” refers to the ovary, and the suffix “ectomy” means to surgically remove. Some CPT books (like the professional edition put out by the AMA) contains pages with common medical terms like these in the beginning of the book (prior to the coding guidelines)

PROCEDURE PERFORMED: 1. Anterior discectomy, C5-C6 2. Arthrodesis, C5-C6 3. Partial corpectomy, C5 4. Machine bone allograft, C5-C6 5. Placement of anterior plate with a Zephyr C6

ANESTHESIA: General ESTIMATED BLOOD LOSS: 60 mL COMPLICATIONS: None

INDICATIONS: This is a patient who presents with progressive weakness in the left upper extremity as well as imbalance. He has a very large disc herniation that came behind the body at C5 as well and as well as a large disc herniation at C5-C6. Risks and benefits of the surgery including bleeding, infection, neurologic deficit, nonunion, progressive spondylosis, and lack of improvement were all discussed. He understood and wished to proceed.

DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURE: The patient was brought to the operating room and placed in the supine position. Preoperative antibiotics were given. The patient was placed in the supine position with all pressure points noted and well padded. The patient was prepped… Read more…




CCHIIM Relaunches CCS Exam | Journal of AHIMA | How To Learn …

CCHIIM Relaunches CCS Exam

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) has announced it will relaunch the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam starting August 1. The move comes after the exam was suspended for four months following a security breach of the test.

Due to continued security concerns, CCHIIM officials said there is no further information or timetable for when the CCS exam will resume testing at testing centers in Asia.

According to a CCHIIM-created CCS Exam Question FAQ, the CCS exam content has not changed. Candidates will still be tested in accordance to the same exam blueprint that is posted to the certification website, and the domains and tasks have not changed.

CCHIIM has spent the last four months updating the questions on the exam, including new medical record scenarios. While questions have changed, the exam will still test “the same areas of expertise as the old questions tested,” said Heather Rich, operations manager of certification services at AHIMA. The questions still map back to the same job analysis performed in 2012 to develop the CCS exam.  

Developing a bank of new test questions that can be rotated in the exam will help increase its security, Rich said.

Some have questioned whether the CCS exam will test in ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM/PCS. The CCS exam will continue testing on ICD-9-CM until a new coding classification system is officially implemented.

To register for the exam, visit AHIMA’s online store at https://www.ahimastore.org, click “Certification” under Products, and select “CCS Exam.” After registering for the exam and paying the application fee, individuals will receive an Authorization to Test letter that will allow them to schedule an examination date. A list of available testing centers in both the US and internationally is available at www.pearsonvue.com/ahima.

CCHIIM officials said that the exam will launch in beta form, which means immediate scoring will not be available. Results will be available in approximately 10 to 12 weeks. For additional information visit http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCS.

 

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See original: CCHIIM Relaunches CCS Exam | Journal of AHIMA

Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

The certification examinations are administered through the AAPC’s local chapters and Professional Medical Coding Curriculum (PMCC) sites. These examinations are proctored by AAPC’s approved

City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Inasmuch as I do not have two years coding experience or provide proof thereof, I understand that upon passing the examination, I will be

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS FOR THE CPC/CCA EXAM Unless the question states otherwise, assume that a physician documented all the information provided.

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AHIMA Boot Camp provides students an overview of Medical Coding and the transformation of narrative descriptions of diseases, injuries, and healthcare procedures

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Examination Date Examination Index # (available from contact person or online at www.aapc.com) City State Exam Proctor Examination Location Check One o CPC® Examination (Physician Coder) o CPC-H® Examination o Coding course certificate or transcript of completion attached

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Stress you feel when taking a medical coding certification exam mostly comes from uncertaintythat if at any time you feel the exam environment is distracting

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Excerpt from: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam …

Excerpt from: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Excerpt from: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

See original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

Originally posted: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

View original post: Medical Coding ExamMedical Billing & Coding – CPC Practice Exam

CCHIIM Relaunches CCS Exam | Journal of AHIMA

CCHIIM Relaunches CCS Exam

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) has announced it will relaunch the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam starting August 1. The move comes after the exam was suspended for four months following a security breach of the test.

Due to continued security concerns, CCHIIM officials said there is no further information or timetable for when the CCS exam will resume testing at testing centers in Asia.

According to a CCHIIM-created CCS Exam Question FAQ, the CCS exam content has not changed. Candidates will still be tested in accordance to the same exam blueprint that is posted to the certification website, and the domains and tasks have not changed.

CCHIIM has spent the last four months updating the questions on the exam, including new medical record scenarios. While questions have changed, the exam will still test “the same areas of expertise as the old questions tested,” said Heather Rich, operations manager of certification services at AHIMA. The questions still map back to the same job analysis performed in 2012 to develop the CCS exam.  

Developing a bank of new test questions that can be rotated in the exam will help increase its security, Rich said.

Some have questioned whether the CCS exam will test in ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM/PCS. The CCS exam will continue testing on ICD-9-CM until a new coding classification system is officially implemented.

To register for the exam, visit AHIMA’s online store at https://www.ahimastore.org, click “Certification” under Products, and select “CCS Exam.” After registering for the exam and paying the application fee, individuals will receive an Authorization to Test letter that will allow them to schedule an examination date. A list of available testing centers in both the US and internationally is available at www.pearsonvue.com/ahima.

CCHIIM officials said that the exam will launch in beta form, which means immediate scoring will not be available. Results will be available in approximately 10 to 12 weeks. For additional information visit http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCS.

 

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