By: Lorna Simons, CPC
Medco Consultants, Inc
Twice a year Medco holds a Certified Professional Coding (CPC) Course in which we teach the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) curriculum for outpatient medical coding. At the end of the course, which has grown over the years to 16 weeks, we proctor the AAPC’s CPC exam privately for our students. But what does this mean?
There are many different types of certificates and certifications that can be achieved in the medical coding field. The AAPC is one of the largest nationally recognized certifying organizations. They offer many different certifications including those in specialty specific coding, however, before getting the other certifications you must first pass the CPC Exam. You may say the CPC is like a gateway certification.
Using the AAPC’s curriculum with real life examples allows us to prepare our students for the exam as well as day to day coding. The examination is multiple choice using the International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedural Classification System (HCPCS) manuals. The test is designed to determine if the coder understands how to navigate the manuals to code a variety of questions and scenarios.
While the AAPC does not require any specified length of training to sit for the CPC exam, the examinee must have a minimum of 80 hours of classroom learning to waive a year of coding experience. The examinee must have at least 2 years of experience to earn a CPC. Without 2 years of experience, the examinee will be given the CPC-A (apprentice) designation upon passing the CPC exam. All classroom hours after the initial 80 are not applied to the years of experience. 160 hours of classroom learning will NOT earn you 2 years of experience.
Since the course began in 2005, Medco has used its knowledge and understanding of coding and compliance concerns to help students reach their potential. Our course instructors are all certified through the AAPC and currently work in the coding and compliance field.
Twice a year Medco meets and educates a new group of coders using curriculum specifically designed to help them pass a test that will lead to many different opportunities. The classes real life examples help navigate day to day coding and the length of the course will waive a year of coding experience.