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Preparation tips for the CPC Exam

A number of preparation materials for Certified Professional Coding exam are available with the AAPC. Though they are available through the AAPC’s website, they are very expensive. You can also learn everything you need to pass the CPC exam in a coding course at a university or institute. And there is a need to purchase the AAPC’s training materials if you are out of practice.

Here are few tips for preparing CPC exam

Prep Strategies

The CPC exam has many topics and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed in the preparation stages. Following are the few ways to cope with this intimidating exam:

During the exam, you need to spend most of your time with the CPT manual. Though there are some questions on ICD-10-CM codes and HCPCS, there are more questions that relate to the CPT code set, so focus your study efforts there. You need to also have the knowledge back to front, and be comfortable navigating it and also use its numerous appendices.  There are many people who take the exam only after they work for a while in medical coding. Remember that to be certified, the CPC needs a passing score and two years of professional experience. If you have already gathered that experience you may be relatively familiar with medical terminology and anatomy and physiology. But then it is best to brush up with the information through the review courses.

There will be various questions in the exam that have reference to medical or anatomical terminology, but if you have a strong medical vocabulary will help you in deciphering other questions too.

Taking the Exam

While you take the CPC exam, you can bring along each of the code manuals (the ICD, CPT, and HCPCS manuals).  You can make notes in the margins of these manuals, but these notes cannot have any test specific information.

On your code manuals, you can mark the most important or frequently used sections. As CPT manual comes with a number of tabs you can place in the book to mark certain important places. While you take the CPC exam, you may be asked to perform as if you were coding at your regular coding job, so all you need to do is set up your manual in a way that makes the most sense to you.

Time Management

The CPC exam is almost for six hours and consists of 150 questions. Hence it is good to break things down so that they are very manageable. You can separate the questions into various blocks of time, and then start working on one block of questions for a fixed amount of time before starting the next.  For example, the entire CPC exam can be divided into five groups of 30 questions. You can allot one hour for every thirty questions.

Understand Your Goals

Always keep in mind that If you want to pass the CPC exam, all you need to get is 70% or better. The lengthy, multi-part questions that make you look up three, four or five codes are worth the same as the general knowledge questions. In case, you are stuck with one question, you can always come back to it later. You should remember that while you take the test, you get 35 questions wrong. You need not waste a lot of time on a question that’s totally confusing you. All you need to do is move on to another question and try with easier, less intensive questions.


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How exactly is Medical Coding different from Medical Transcription?

The terms like Medical coding and medical transcription are often used interchangeably, despite the fact that they are somehow different from each other. Nevertheless, these terms represent careers that are indispensable for the medical profession.  All these careers need an adequate understanding of medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy.

Medical coding and transcription are interconnected professions that are pivotal for every healthcare provider. A better perception of the job description of each of those critical professions will surely help in the development of the careers which will be reflected in a better quality of the health care services offered.

What is Medical transcription and what are its opportunities?

Medical transcription applies to the profession which is centered on the process of conversion of audio reports recorded by physicians and other healthcare providers, such as nurses, into written or typed text format.

Medical transcriptions play a crucial factor in the healthcare industry. Medical transcribers need to have sound knowledge of medical terminology, physiology. and anatomy, Medical transcribers role is to translate medical records written by doctors and other medical professionals related to this field. Medical transcribers need to have good working knowledge of computer systems and have a right level of typing skill. Medical transcribers start by working in a healthcare setting, and after several years of work experience, they may work from the house or establish their transcription businesses.

What is Medical coding and what are its opportunities?

Medical Coding provides codes to diagnose the procedures which assist in financial settlement from insurance companies, IT companies, government agencies and consulting firms. Medical Coding is known as insurance coding in the healthcare industry. This industry produces medical coders who specialize in coding after a comprehensive training course and a certification process. Medical coders work in different places right from Hospitals, clinics to dentists and should have information on medical terminology and physiology.

The major difference between Medical Transcription and Medical Coding

Medical transcription includes translating laboratory reports or other medical data as written by medical personnel. Medical coding is converting prescriptions of medical data into numeric or alphanumeric codes to assist the medical billing process. The Medical Transcriptionist assures the notes of the medical personnel are comprehensible while the coder provides that the coding needed for billing insurance organizations are entered correctly.

Six Reasons Why Medical Coding is Booming Presently

Nowadays there is an extraordinary growth in the career opportunities in different fields. Many new opportunities are arising in the job market. Among the various upcoming jobs, Medical Coding is an excellent career option for the youth of the country. With the growth of the different sectors, the healthcare industry is also witnessing a sudden growth in the country. This industry is generating millions of jobs not only in India but also in other developed and developing countries.

Medical Coding is one of the actively growing fields in India. As industries are growing day by day according to industry data, the offshore healthcare services industry is expanding at a rate of 25-35 % per year. Medical coding is the fastest-growing outsourced business process in the nation, so trained and certified coders are required. Unfortunately, at present, very few of healthcare employers are adequately staffed with trained medical coders. The most common reason behind this is the lack of qualified candidates. In the United States currently, only 49% of employers have an adequate staff of medical coders due to the lack of trained candidates.

If the benefits and reasons below resonated with you, then it’s the time to consider a career in medical coding.


  • Demand For Medical Coders


There is an increasing need for medical coders and now is the correct time to join this industry if you’re looking for a healthy job market. With the impending switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10, we will soon see the need for skilled medical coders with ICD-10 certification and training and at that point, unless the state has issued an extension, it will be expected that all medical coding shall be done by implementing ICD-10. This change will devise many healthcare and insurance providers unequipped to continue providing service in the same position. In preparation for this switch, several medical coding companies, and healthcare service providers are looking out coders with ICD-10 certification.


  • Potential For Growth And Promotion


Medical coding needs attention to detailing, organizing, and strong critical thinking skills. These elements are not for everyone and will eliminate those who are not cut out for the requirements of this job. However, those who can handle these challenges will thrive in this position. Leaders in healthcare are aware of the importance of skilled medical coders, and the essential role played by them in the healthcare industry and will reward those who demonstrate these critical skills.  


  • Be A Part Of One Of The Largest And Fastest Growing Industry


From an economic point of view, healthcare continues to be one of the most stable and profitable industries in India. For those seeking a job with potential long-term investment, the healthcare industry is the smartest choice. While several companies falter with fluctuations in the stock market and other economic variables, health care providers are always in demand.  This requirement has led to the further need for medical coders to meet the medical services needs.


  • Work Remotely


Despite medical coders work in settings ranging from doctor’s offices to insurance agencies, many coders enjoy the bonus of working from home, and this is appealing for those candidates looking for a flexible work schedule or for those candidates who belong from a remote location. Other advantages include; avoidance of stressful commutes and spend an increase of personal time.


  • Opportunity to Start Your Own Business


Medical coders are frequently hired as independent contractors, working remotely like their own business. If you consider yourself an entrepreneur looking for a way to start your company this may be an excellent opportunity for investment. Once the candidate is done investing time in gaining medical coding certification and training, then he or she can join a business market with several appealing opportunities.


  • Provide An Invaluable Service


Coders provide an indispensable service to the healthcare and insurance providers. Medical coders may not be in the limelight or at the front line, yet without coders, neither of the industries would be able to do their job. They provide the voice for insurance companies to decipher claims and start processing payments. Without high quality and detailed codes, insurance companies cannot process the argues that ultimately keep our healthcare system in the business.

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