Click here for more sample CPC practice exam questions with Full Rationale Answers

Practice Exam

Click here for more sample CPC practice exam questions and answers with full rationale

Practice Exam

CPC Practice Exam and Study Guide Package

Practice Exam

What makes a good CPC Practice Exam? Questions and Answers with Full Rationale

CPC Exam Review Video

Laureen shows you her proprietary “Bubbling and Highlighting Technique”

Download your Free copy of my "Medical Coding From Home Ebook" at the top left corner of this page

Practice Exam

2016 CPC Practice Exam Answer Key 150 Questions With Full Rationale (HCPCS, ICD-9-CM, ICD-10, CPT Codes) Click here for more sample CPC practice exam questions with Full Rationale Answers

Practice Exam

Click here for more sample CPC practice exam questions and answers with full rationale

How To Flip To the Codes Faster in the Medical Coding CPC exam

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www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep Well for the ICD Manual, I’ll start with that. One of the frustrating things for me is I don’t think there’s any version of a manual out there that has the true Table of Contents. And most versions are volumes 1 and 2 and one spiral bound book. And if you’re into Inpatient Hospital Coding, you have 3 volumes in it and it’s very hard when you’re brand new at using it to figure out you know, where to even start. So what I recommend to my students is that at the top of the manual, not on the sides, that they get those hard tabs and put them where all the main sections of their manual are. So obviously, where each volume starts when you have volumes 1 through 3.

More here: http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org

Watch Laureen Jandroep show you her proprietary “Bubble and Highlighting Technique”

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For more CPC Exam study techniques, visit Laureen’s official site here at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

You can also get access to Practice CPC Exam Questions which comes with full rationale answers at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org

 

How To Prepare For Your CPC Exam and How To Pass It On Your First Try

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Medical Coding Certification CPC Exam Review

Watch Laureen Jandreop show you her special “Bubbling and Highlighting Technique” and how you can practice it in your coding manual too (The CPC exam is an open book exam so you can bring in your coding manual with you to your exam)

Feeling stressed studying for your CPC exam? Maybe overwhelmed by the amount of studying involved?

Maybe you are not sure whether you are well prepared for the CPC exam questions, or maybe you have a hard time planning and managing your study time, maybe you’re worried that you can’t finish the CPC exam paper in the five and a half hours time.

Fear not, I’ve been there too and this was exactly how I felt. I was especially worried about the 5 and a half hours alloted time frame which always seems too short.

Maybe this is your first time studying for the CPC exam. Or maybe you are re-sitting the CPC exam. Either way, as the date draws nearer you might be getting desperate for a method to help you study for and pass the CPC exam.

Good news! Laureen Jandroep (CPC) has put together the highly result driven Medical Coding Certification Review Blitz Videos that you cna watch online from the comfort of your own home. It shows 12 hours of CPC exam review and CPC exam tips that you wouldn’t wanna miss! And as a bonus, a full set of 7 DVD’s of these video course will be delivered to your home or office!

This Medical Coding Review Program prepares you for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and also the Certified Coding Specialist-Physician Based (CCS-P) exam by the American Health Information Association (AHIMA).

This is a two in one program where the program will guide you in the review of the subject matter, as well as guide you in doing well on the CPC exam. The video course will guide you through an exhaustive review of all the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures covered in the exam, and also teaches you how to make the best use of the time alloted in the CPC exam, which is only five anda half hours! And since the CPC exam is an open-book exam, Laureen Jandroep’s proprietary bubbling and highlighting technique will greatly save time and enable you to locate the important points quickly and efficiently during the CPC exam. This Bubbling and Highlighting Technique actually teaches you how to mark and highlight your coding manual, making it easier to choose the correct answer for any question in the CPC exam. It will also teach you how to manage more difficult questions.

The online video program and the DVD program is identical. This is what they will cover:

01 Introduction to the program

02 Medical Terminology CPC Exam Prep

03 HCPCS CPC Exam Prep

04 Modifiers CPC Exam Prep

05 ICD-9 CPC Exam Prep

06 E&M Section CPC Exam Prep

07 Anesthesia Section CPC Exam Prep

08 Radiology Section CPC Exam Prep

09 Path & Lab Section CPC Exam Prep

10 Medicine Section CPC Exam Prep

11 Integumentary System CPC Exam Prep

12 Musculoskeletal System CPC Exam Prep

13 Respiratory System CPC Exam Prep

14 Cardiovascular System CPC Exam Prep

15 Digestive System CPC Exam Prep

16 Urinary System CPC Exam Prep

17 Genital System CPC Exam Prep

18 Endocrine/Nervous System CPC Exam Prep

19 Eye/Ear System CPC Exam Prep

Laureen Jandroep has been teaching medical coding 12 years ago since 1999. She has personally taken all the certification exams so she could understand the format of the exams and thus prepare her students for what was gonna be covered in the exams. The video course was created when her students begged her to help them prepare for the following weeks exam and therefore she reviewed the whole CPC training program in two days. Since then, Laureen has been teaching this CPC review program and has helped many students successfully pass the CPC exam.

Click here to visit the official site now!

You can also download Laureen’s CPC Exam Study Guide at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

Practice CPC Exam Package Review – 150 Question CPC Practice Exam, Answer Key, With Full Rationale, Medical Coding Certification Study Guide

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What I like most about this CPC Practice Exam Package is that the full answers and rationales are given for all 150 questions. It also refers you to the relevant part of your textbook. They also provide the answer keys to each CPC exam question, so you can go through each one and see if your rationale is correct when testing yourself. I also found the CPC Exam Study Guide very helpful as it summarizes the whole textbook for you. As the CPC exam is an open book exam, you can actually mark your book or highlight the important texts or codes to help you search for the codes faster during the test. Do practice answering all 150 questions of the practice test within 5 and a half hours, make it to 5 hours if you can so you will have time to go back and check your answers.

The CPC Medical Coding Practice Exam is delivered as an electronic download (in the PDF format), which means it’s instantly accessible after purchase. The good news is that ut’s priced at only $37.

This Price Includes:

What is included in this package?

  • The Full 150 Question CPC Practice Exam
  • Answer Key, With Full Rationale
  • Scan Tron Bubble Sheets
  • The Exam Study Guide, including:
    Common Anatomy Terminology Handouts
    Common Medical Terminology Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Handouts
  • The Official AAPC Proctor-to-Examinee Instructions (read out loud on the day of the CPC exam)

Download the full CPC Practice Exam Package here and receive your bonus at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

You can also get the latest CPC Exam updates at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

Best Compilation Of Sample CPC Exam Questions – Followed With Full Answer And Rationale

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Sample CPC Exam Question 3: ICD-9-CM

Jim was at a bonfire when he tripped and fell into the flames. Jim sustained multiple burns. He came to the emergency room via an ambulance and was treated for second and third degree burns of his face, second degree burn on his shoulders and forearms, and third degree burns on the fronts of his thighs.

a. 941.20, 841.30, 943.25, 943.21, 945.36, 948.42, E897
b. 941.30, 943.29, 945.36, 948.42, E897
c. 941.09, 943.09, 945.09, 948.64, E897
d. 941.30, 943.29, 945.36, 948.64, E897

Rational

Answer: B

Burn codes always have no less than three codes: A burn code, a total body surface area code (948.XX), and an E code. You can have more than three codes but never less. Burn codes have the following rules (which can be found at the beginning of the ICD-9 book under general guidelines), always code one location to the highest degree (Ex. 1st and 2nd degree burns on the arm, only code 2nd degree). When sequencing burn codes always list the highest degree first (Ex. 1st degree burns to the face and 3rd degree burns to the arm. List the arm burn first and then the face burn). Answer B is the answer because its codes describe the highest degree burn to each anatomical location, it sequences the burn codes in order of highest to lowest degree burns, the 948 (TBSA code) has the correct calculation, and the E code correctly describes the bonfire incident.

Sample CPC Test Questions 4: Anesthesia

When does anesthesia time begin?

a. After the induction of anesthesia is complete
b. During the pre-operative exam prior to entering the OR
c. When the anesthesiologist begins preparing the patient for the induction of anesthesia
d. Once the supervising physician signs over the patient’s care to the anesthesiologist

Rational

Answer: C

The answer to this question can be located in the anesthesia coding guidelines under the title “Time Reporting”

Go Through more of these Sample CPC Test Questions with full answers and explanation at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Get the latest updates on the CPC Exam at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

More CPC Sample Exam Questions – Comes With Correct Answer And Full Rationale For Each Question

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Sample CPC Exam Question 2: Musculoskeletal

OPERATIVE NOTE

PREOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS: myelopathy secondary to very large disc herniations at C4-C5 and C5-C6.

POSTOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS: myelopathy secondary to very large disc herniations at C4-C5 and C5-C6.

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 and draped in standard fashion. An incision was made approximately above the level of the cricoid. Blunt dissection was used to expose the anterior portion of the spine with carotid moved laterally and trachea and esophagus moved medially. I then placed needle into the disc spaces and was found to be at C5-C6. Distracting pins were placed in the body of C6. The disc was then completely removed at C5-C6. There was very significant compression of the cord. This was carefully removed to avoid any type of pressure on the cord. This was very severe and multiple free fragments noted. This was taken down to the level of ligamentum. Both foramen were then also opened. Part of the body of C5 was taken down to assure that all fragments were removed and that there was no additional constriction. The nerve root was then widely decompressed. Machine bone allograft was placed into C5-C6 and then a Zephyr plate was placed in the body C6 with a metal pin placed into the body at C5. Excellent purchase was obtained. Fluoroscopy showed good placement and meticulous hemostasis was obtained. Fascia was closed with 3-0 Vicryl, subcuticular 3-0 Dermabond for skin. The patient tolerated the procedure well and went to recovery in good condition.

a. 22554, 63081, 63082, 20931, 22845
b. 22551, 63081, 20931, 22840
c. 22551, 63081, 63082, 20931, 22845
d. 22554, 63081, 20931, 22840

Rational:

Answer: A

Per. Paul Cadorette and the American Medical Association article titles, “Coding Guidance for Anterior Cervical Arthrodesis”, “When a spinal fusion (arthrodesis) is performed, the first thing a coder needs to recognize is the approach or technique that was utilized. With an anterior (front body approach)to cervical fusion the incision will be made in the patient’s neck, so the key terms to look for are platysma, esophagus, carotid, and sternocleidomastoid. These structures will be divided and/or protected during dissection down the vertebral body. After dissection, the procedure can proceed on one of three ways:

1) When the interspace is prepared (minimal discectomy, perforation of endplates) then 22554 would be reported.

2) When a discectomy is performed to decompress the spinal cord and/or nerve root(s) report 22554 for the arthrodesis along with 63075 for the discectomy procedure.

3) When a partial corpectomy (vertebral body resection) is performed at C5 and C6 report CPT code 22554 for the arthrodesis with 63081 and 63082. Two codes are reported because the corpectomy procedure is performed on two vertebral segments (C5 and C6). CPT codes 63081-63091 include a discectomy above and/or below the vertebral segment, so code 63075 (discectomy) would not be reported if performed at the C5-C6 interspace.

Once the decompression procedure has been completed, a PEEK cage can be placed within the interspace or a structural bone graft can be fashioned to fit the vertebral defect created by the previous corpectomy. Insertion of the PEEK cage would be reported with a biomechanical device code 22851. This code is only reported one time per level even if two cages are placed at C5-C6. When a structural bone graft is used, determine whether it is an allograft (20931)) or an autograft (20938). The bone graft codes are only reported one time per procedure and not once for each level. Finally, the physician will place an anterior plate with screws (22845) across the C5-C6 interspace to stabilize the area fusion”.

Some guidance on coding such procedures can also be located in the Spine (vertebral column) coding guidelines (above code 22010).

Learn more of these CPC exam questions with full answers and explanation at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Get the latest CPC Exam Updates at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

CPC Sample Exam Questions – Comes With Correct Answer And Full Rationale For Each Question

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Example Of Sample CPC Exam Question 1: Medical Terminology

The term “Salping-Oophorectomy” refers to

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

Rational

Answer: A

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)

Learn more of these CPC exam questions with full answers and explanation at www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Get the latest Medical Coding Certification and CPC Exam Updates at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

Practice CPC Exam Questions And Answers And Time Yourself To Finish It In 5 Hours

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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:

  • Coding Guidelines
  • Understanding of Conventions
  • Correct Modifier Use
  • Bundling and Global Packages
  • Medical Terminology and Gross Anatomy

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.

Download and practice the CPC Exam Questions with Answers at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Get the latest Medical Coding Certification and CPC Exam Updates at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

What Medical Coding And Billing Questions Are Good For The CPC Practice Exam?

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A good practice exam should fully prepare its examinee for the real exam. Knowing what to expect and not being surprised on exam day are important.

AAPC’s CPC exam is 150 questions and must be completed in 5 hours and 40 minutes or less.

There are three main sections to the CPC exam:

1. Medical Concepts
2. Surgery and Modifiers
3. Remaining CPT codes
Each of these three sections are then further divided into the following smaller headings.

1. Medical Concepts:
**The following sub-divisions are each assigned 5-10 category specific questions**
Guidelines
Payment management
Medical terminology
Anatomy
ICD-9-CM codes
HCPCS codes

2. Surgery And Modifiers:
**This section is mainly sub-divided to reflect the surgery section of the CPT book and assigns 5-10 category specific questions to each of the following sub-divisions**
Integumentary
Musculoskeletal
Respiratory
Cardiology
Hemic/Lymphatic systems
Mediastinum/Diaphragham
Digestive
Urinary
Male and Female reproductive organs
Maternity/ Endocrine system
Nervous system
Eyes/Ears

3. Remaining CPT Codes:
**This portion of the exam focuses on the remaining CPT codes and assigns 5-10 category specific questions to each of the following sub-division**
Evaluation and Management
Anesthesia
Radiology
Pathology
Medicine

Our 150 question CPC practice exam was created using the structure listed above in order to emulate the actual CPC exam as closely as possible. We felt that by doing this examinees would know exactly what to expect on examination day. By utilizing this structure examinees can better prepare for the exam by focusing on category specific questions and identifying areas of weakness. Knowing what to expect in detail also tend to help calm pre-test anxiety.

Get the latest Medical Coding Certification and CPC Exam Updates at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

Practice CPC Exam Questions And Answers For Your Exam Preparation – This Is The Best Way To Learn Medical Coding And Pass Your CPC Exam

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Are you about to take the AAPC exam for Certified Professional Coder for the first time?

Or 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?

It’s Time To STOP Doing What’s Not Working, And Get The CPC Practice Exam!

CONTENTS OF THE PRACTICE EXAM:

CPC Practice Exam Questions

CPC Practice Exam Questions

  • 150 Question CPC Practice Test
  • Answer Key, With Full Rationale
  • Scan Tron Bubble Sheets
  • The Exam Study Guide, including:
    Common Anatomy Terminology Handouts
    Common Medical Terminology Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Handouts
  • The Official AAPC Proctor-to-Examinee Instructions (read out loud on the day of the exam)

Download your copy of the CPC Exam Practice Questions And Answers at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Get the latest Medical Coding Certification and CPC Exam Updates at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

Medical Billing And Coding At Home Jobs – How to pass the CPC Exam and become a Certified Professional Medical Coder

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Download your CPC Practice Exam Questions at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

A good practice exam should fully prepare its examinee for the real exam. Knowing what to expect and not being surprised on exam day are important.

AAPC’s CPC exam is 150 questions and must be completed in 5 hours and 40 minutes or less.

Contents of the CPC practice exam:

* 150 Question CPC Practice Exam

* Answer Key, With Full Rationale * Scan Tron Bubble Sheets

* The Exam Study Guide, including: Common Anatomy Terminology Handouts Common Medical Terminology Prefix, Root Word, and Suffix Handouts

* The Official AAPC Proctor-to-Examinee Instructions (read out loud on the day of the CPC exam) AAPC’s CPC exam is 150 questions long. Questions range from true and false, to 1-2 sentences, to full page operative notes.

* Coding Guidelines

* Understanding of Conventions

* Correct Modifier Use

* Bundling and Global Packages

* Medical Terminology and Gross Anatom 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. Download your FREE “Medical Coding From Home eBook” at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

How These Videos Will Help You Pass the CPC Exam – CPC Exam Video Review

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 Download your FREE “Medical Coding From Home eBook” at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

CPC Practice Exam Questions at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Elimination of AAPC Apprentice Credential – Medical Coding Certification

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For the latest updates, visit www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

( Enclosed is the article)

Letter from the Chairman and CEO (Jan 2012)

Elimination of “A” Designation

The Apprentice designation is not needed anymore.

The National Advisory Board (NAB) has recommended, and the AAPC leadership team has discussed and agreed, that the Certified Professional Coder-Apprentice (CPC-A®) credential has outlived its usefulness. The objective of the apprentice (A) designation was to show others—primarily prospective employers—an individual had passed the CPC® exam, but did not yet have one or two years of on-the-job experience. Instead, it was too often preventing most CPC-As® from getting interviews for potential jobs and hurting their prospects.

We believe the résumé indicating the experience level of an individual should speak for itself. Whether the individual has great aptitude, a terrific work ethic, good people skills, or any other desirable attribute is often never discovered because an interview was unable to be obtained. While we still believe experience is needed to become a good coder, we think it should be the employer’s decision who to hire.

Accordingly, AAPC is accepting comments through Jan. 31, 2012 on the following proposal:

Effective July 1, 2012, the CPC-A® credential will no longer be granted. All current CPC-As® would have their “A” removed by doing one of the following:

Getting at least one year of on-the-job experience no later than Dec. 31, 2013 (helpful to those with a job and currently working towards that end), or

Successfully passing a clinical exam consisting of coding 20 operative/office notes

Thus, no current CPC-A® would be “grandfathered” into the CPC® credential.

Those taking the CPC® exam after July 1, 2012 will have two ways to get their CPC® credential.

They can have one year of coding experience prior to taking the CPC® exam (proof given at time of exam application), and then pass the CPC® exam, or

They can pass both the current CPC® exam and clinical exam by successfully coding 20 operative/office notes. On-the-job experience after taking the CPC® exam will not be required.

It does not matter in which order the two exams are taken; if lacking prior experience, both are required to become a CPC®.

The pass rate for the CPC® exam will stay the same and a 90 percent pass rate on the clinical exam will be required. The 90 percent will be determined by correctly coding 18 of the 20 notes (and most will require multiple codes). The clinical exam will not be multiple choice; it will be free form and hand graded.

The clinical exam will include a sampling of office visits, surgical notes, evaluation and management (E/M) coding, ancillary services, modifier usage, and diagnosis coding.

The clinical exam would be taken at any AAPC proctored exam site. The same five hours and 40 minutes time restriction and code books will be allowed into this exam. If additional resources beyond code books are needed to properly code the notes, that information will be provided as part of the exam.

Both exams will be paid for at the same time and the cost for both exams will increase by $35. Applicants may still take each exam twice to pass it. If the examinee has one year experience, then he or she would pay only the CPC® exam price. If one exam is passed after two attempts, but not the other, then the fee for the exam not passed would be paid to re-take it.

Of course, current CPCs® are not affected by this change. As stated above, we would appreciate comments to this important change to our credentialing program through Jan. 31, 2012. You may go to www.aapc.com/cpc-acomment to submit your comment. From those comments we will either proceed ahead, make modifications that strengthen the change, or slow down the change due to legitimate concerns that AAPC has not properly considered.

For the latest updates, visit www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

How to study for the CPC exam paper? More important tips to help …

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A strategy that has been adopted by many, it might work out better for you to start answering the questions from back to front. Start the CPC exam paper from the end to the front may work for you because the questions are generally more advanced at the end, while the front questions are somewhat simpler. Therefore you may not need to spend as much time on the front questions.

Also, do not worry if you’re unsure of the answers to some questions. Just skip those questions and mark them. You can come back to them later. Work on those that you are sure of, as there is a higher chance of you getting more questions correct this way, and you can be sure that you’ve got time to cover every question. After you have gone through the whole paper, return to those marked questions to work on them. If you are really running out of time, just pick an answer randomly, this way you will at least have a chance of choosing the correct answer as opposed to leaving the question blank.

Confirm and check out the CPC examination venue beforehand if possible. This will help you feel prepared and less stressed out on the actual CPC exam date. Confirm the examination venue on the website, and always arrive early just in case. This is very important as you may be forbidden from taking the CPC exam if you are late.

On the day of the CPC exam, take a breakfast rich in protein and low in greasy fat. Take some carbohydrates too. Two half-boiled or poached eggs taken with some toast would be perfect. Taking a glass of milk would be good too as it is full of protein and natural sugars and vitamins that will nourish you, your brain and your body. Refrain from eating fried or oily food for breakfast as you may feel sluggish later. Never ever sit for your CPC exam with an empty stomach. That is the biggest mistake anyone can make as you are not operating with your full potential with low blood sugar and an empty stomach. Remember, this CPC exam is 5 and a half hours long. It’s a long time to fast.

Things to bring along to the CPC exam:

Bring along a bottle of water with you into the CPC exam venue. You will need water for optimal function of your body and brain. Also, bring a watch with you to keep track of the time. Plan your time accordingly. For example, 2 and a half hours into the test, you should be halfway through the questions. Lastly, bring along a jacket or sweater to keep you warm and comfortable if needed during the test.

Click here for CPC practice exam questions and the CPC exam study guide

You can also download the CPC Exam Practice Questions which come with the answer keys and full rationale at http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpcpracticeexam

Or if you’d like to learn more about Laureen Jandroep’s CPC exam study guide and her special Bubbling and Highlighting technique, you can visit http://www.cpcmedicalcodingcertificationexamprep.org/cpc-exam-prep

20552 vs 20553

I am sure that I am overthinking this and making it harder on myself. Our physician states in her note "Left and Right SI joint injection administered to lumbar". I realize that 20552 states 1 or 2 muscles and 20553 states 3 or more muscles. Since the physician stated Left & Right injection I coded this case using 20552-RT, 20552-RT-59. It was denied by carrier. Of course my only other selection left is 20553. I just want to make sure that I am understanding the usage of these two codes as I am thinking lumbar has two separate locations (Left & Right). Thank you in advance for any help with this matter.

Medical Billing and Coding | AAPC Forum

P9057

Hi,

We are having some debates about the "/" in HCPCs and if it means "and" or "or".

P9057 Red blood cells, frozen/deglycerolized/washed, leukocytes reduced, irradiated, each unit.

Does that mean frozen AND deglycerolized AND washed since there aren’t commas between them or does the slash mean frozen OR deglycerolized OR washed.

I appreciate any input.

Thanks!
Jamie

Medical Billing and Coding | AAPC Forum

So Many Books, So Little Time – Part 3

Yes, it’s true.  There are so many books and so little time, I haven’t even had time to blog for the last two weeks because I had my nose in two of them.  Thank God for smartphones and long waits at the car wash, or who knows how much longer it would been before I posted again!


In my first post of this series, I gave one of my favorite quotes: “ICD is from Mars, HCPCS is from Venus.”  So let’s move on to Venus for a bit.  Don’t worry, we’ll be back to Mars, but I like to talk about the present before I talk about the future (ICD-10), so let’s get on with it.  I apologize for the length of this post, but I have a lot to say today!


Three Levels of HCPCS
The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) has three different levels and just to make things more interesting, Level I is not usually called HCPCS, it’s called CPT.  The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) was developed and is maintained by the American Medical Association (AMA).

By Physicians for Physicians
What makes CPT so unique is that it is the only coding system in the HIPAA-approved code sets that is developed by physicians for physicians.  The codes you see in the CPT code book are the result of various medical and surgical societies coming together with the AMA to decide which procedures deserve their very own CPT codes.  Every year at the AMA’s CPT Symposium, coders from around the country gather in Chicago to listen to these physicians present the coding updates for the coming year.  It’s an expensive but valuable conference that I think every coder should experience at least once.  

CPT codes are primarily used by physicians to report procedures and services performed in every possible setting where a physician – or qualified health practitioner – may see  a patient: his office, the hospital, a clinic, a nursing home, etc. But it doesn’t stop there.  CPT is also used to report hospital outpatient procedures. Of course, since there are still a lot of procedures that are performed solely as inpatient, hospital coders use a small number of CPT codes in comparison to pro-fee (physician) coders. 

Three within Three

So now that we know that CPT is one of three levels of HCPCS, let’s delve a little deeper into this major code set. CPT has three categories of codes and this is still a pretty new concept for me because when I was learning, there were no categories, just CPT codes. 

Category I Codes
Category I codes are the original CPT codes they’re what I like to call “grown-up” CPT codes. In order to get a grown-up CPT code, a procedure has to meet some pretty stringent criteria: 
  • The procedure must have FDA approval
  • The procedure must be commonly performed by practitioners nationwide
  • The procedure must have proven efficacy
Once these criteria are met, a five-digit numeric code is assigned to the procedure and unlike ICD (different planet, remember?), these codes do not have decimal points. The codes are arranged in sections by type of procedure or service:
  • Evaluation and Management (E/M) (codes beginning with 9)
  • Anesthesia (codes beginning with 0)
  • Surgery (codes beginning with 1-6)
  • Radiology (codes beginning with 7)
  • Pathology and Laboratory
  • Medicine (the rest of the codes beginning with 9)
The Surgery codes are divided by specialty, for example, the cardiovascular codes begin with 3 and neuro codes begin with 6. After coding for a while, you should be able to look at a CPT code and have a general idea of what it is. A common newbie mistake is to look for the E/M codes in the back of the book. After all, they begin with 9!  But remember that CPT is a coding system that was developed by physicians for physicians and since physicians use E/M codes more than any others, they are in the front of the book for quick reference. 

Here are a few examples of Category I CPT codes:
  • 99283, Emergency department visit for the evaluation and management of a patient, which requires these 3 key components: An expanded problem focused history; An expanded problem focused examination; and Medical decision making of moderate complexity
  • 12002, Simple repair of superficial wounds of scalp, neck, axillae, external genitalia, trunk and/or extremities; 2.6cm to 7.5cm
  • 75625, Aortography, abdominal, by serialography, radiological supervision and interpretation 
Category II CPT Codes
Category II CPT codes are located behind the Category I CPT codes in the book. These are the only CPT codes that are optional. They are used by physicians for tracking performance measures. The purpose of these codes is to decrease administrative burden on providers while collecting information on the quality of patient care. Category II codes are five-digit alphanumeric codes that end in “F.”  Here are some examples:
  • 1040F, DSM-5 criteria for major depressive disorder documented at the initial evaluation (MDD, MDD ADOL)1
  • 3775F, Adenoma(s) or other neoplasm detected during screening colonoscopy (SCADR)12
Category II CPT codes are implemented throughout the year and may be implemented before they actually appear in the CPT book.  Code updates can be accessed on the AMA’s website

Category III CPT Codes
Category III CPT codes, or “baby codes,” as I like to call them, are for emerging technologies that do not meet the criteria of a grown-up Category I CPT code. The Category III codes are found behind the Category II codes in the CPT book. For procedures that are not commonly performed, lack FDA-approval, or don’t yet have proven efficacy, Category III codes are assigned. These are temporary codes for a period of 5 years. It has become common practice to see Category III codes reach Category I status with each annual update. For 2015, one of those procedures that was moved was transcatheter mitral valve repair with a prosthesis. The MitraClip uses this relatively new technology to treat mitral regurgitation and it received FDA approval in 2013. 

These are five-digit alphanumeric codes that end in “T.” The codes are added throughout the year and may be implemented before they are published in the CPT book. Here are some examples of some Category III codes:
  • 0387T, Transcatheter insertion or replacement of permanent lead less pacemaker, ventricular
  • 0274T, Percutaneous laminotomy/laminectomy (intralaminar approach) for decompression of neural elements, (with or without ligamentous resection, discectomy, facetectomy and/or foraminotomy) any method under indirect image guidance (eg, fluoroscopic, CT), with or without the use of an endoscope, single or multiple levels, unilateral or bilateral; cervical or thoracic
Updates to Category III codes can also be found on the AMA’s website throughout the year.  

Staying Updated
Back in the day, it was important just to make sure that you had the most recent year’s CPT book to ensure you were using valid codes. However, with the Internet, now it’s also important to monitor the CPT updates and errata on a regular basis since changes are made throughout the calendar year. I find it easiest to put a reminder on my calendar the first of each month to check the AMA’s website for updates to the errata, which is a list of corrected errors in the CPT code book, as well as changes in Category III codes. Since I don’t use Category II codes, I forego that update, but if you are coding them, be sure to look for those updates too. 

By the way, the errata is on the list of approved materials for the AAPC exams. The year I took the CIRCC exam (Certified Interventional Radiology and Cardiology Coder), there were a lot of errors in the electrophysiology code notes and the errata was something I really needed.  Be sure to check it out!

Modifiers
HCPCS codes have a concept specific to HCPCS codes only: modifiers. Think of modifiers like moons that are specific to a planet (and please forget for a moment that Venus doesn’t have any moons!). Modifiers apply to HCPCS codes only, not ICD-9-CM codes. They are added to HCPCS codes to provide additional information, such as a bilateral procedure or an unusual service or to indicate that a procedure was discontinued. CPT modifiers are two numeric digits that are appended to a HCPCS code with a dash (e.g., 75710-59). 

All CPT Coders are not Created Equal
The people who assign CPT codes are just as complex as the coding system. Since hospital coders code only a subset of CPT codes, they don’t have the same skill set that a pro-fee coder has. Remember that hospital inpatient coders use volume 3 of ICD-9-CM to code procedures. Hospital outpatient coders assign CPT codes for procedures that are found in the outpatient setting. So while the pro-fee coder coding for the cardiologist will code everything from a clinic visit in the physician’s office to an angioplasty in the hospital cardiac cath lab to a full blown coronary bypass in the hospital’s OR (all using CPT, of course), the outpatient hospital coder would only use CPT to code the angioplasty. Hospitals don’t follow conventional E/M rules and coronary bypass is an inpatient procedure that gets coded using ICD-9.   In addition, many of the modifiers used by hospitals are different than those used by physicians. 

These differences are one of the reasons it’s so difficult to make the crossover from hospital to pro-fee coding and vice versa. I personally hate E/M coding but I know people who love it. So if you find that one area of coding is not really your cup of tea, fear not!  You may find another area very rewarding. 

I also really can’t talk about CPT without bringing up a little tiny thing from the hospital side called a charge description master (CDM), or as it’s more commonly called, the charge master.  It’s as masterful as it sounds: a line-item listing of everything a hospital department charges for.  Each line item has a description of the charge, charge amount, and sometimes a CPT code.  One of the most difficult transitions I see in pro-fee coders crossing over to the hospital side is not understanding that the coder doesn’t code everything.  There are many codes that are assigned automatically by the charge master when a charge is applied to the bill.  This is the case when the CPT code doesn’t require a lot of subjective reasoning (e.g.,  lab test or x-ray).  For those procedures and services, such as operative procedures, that require subjective reasoning, a real-live coder will assign the code.  It may sound counter intuitive, but this actually increases the amount of coding-related jobs in a hospital.  The charge master analyst requires coding knowledge as he/she works with hospital departments to set up charges, research appropriate CPT codes for the procedure or service, and determine if it will be hard coded (by the charge master) or soft coded (by a person in coding).  

CPT Made (Too?) Simple
This posting really oversimplifies the CPT code set (that’s right, it gets more complex!), but it’s a start if you’re still finding your way in the coding field.  I have a love-hate relationship with CPT because I find it both challenging (love!) but also frustrating when I hear conflicting coding advice between CMS, the AMA, and medical/surgical societies (hate!).  If you find that you love all aspects of CPT, then you can have a very lucrative career in either the pro-fee or facility coding arenas.

Stay tuned to this series…  Next up is HCPCS Level II.


Coder Coach

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https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6xLvQDJZ5XcNFQ3azN2OHRydzQ

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