Career in medical coding is trending and the demand for the job is likely to increase to 22% by 2022 in India and around the world. Medical coding career pays well which is approximately INR 2,50,000 a year. The American Academy for Professional Coding ( AAPC) has a number of preparation materials for the Certified Professional Coding (CPC) exam which is available on their website but they’re a bit expensive.
Alternatively, a medical coding course can be taken at the convenience of your home and time provided by affiliated institutes online. You’ll learn everything you need to clear the CPC exam at the online institute or academy along with certification and job training.
Enroll in Prep program:
The CPC course is offered by the AAPC and you can find many resources online to clear the exam. In order to pass the exam, you must take a course in medical terminology and human body anatomy. These courses are offered by many academy’s online which is less than a year. You may also enroll yourself in these courses, if you want to refresh your knowledge. These academy’s provide resources and practice quizzes to prepare you for the exam.
You can double your chances of clearing the exam in one go by opting for the medical coding course. The course also provides on job training with real doctors to improve your practice and find a better job that pays well. To earn CPC designation, you must have experience in coding. If you don’t have experience in coding then you’re eligible only for the apprentice level certification which is called CPC-A.
Following are the areas you must be thorough with to ensure you’re ready for the medical coding exam:
These are alphanumeric designated codes that identify drugs/supplies/temporary codes
Two-digit suffix appended to the end of a code to indicate additional providers/services/status
- Medical terminology:
Prefixes/suffixes used for naming medical conditions/procedures
- Anesthesia section:
Understand the types of anesthesia- regional/general/conscious sedation/local anesthesia
- Radiology section:
Diagnostic imaging/X-rays/PET scan/ultrasound/MRI/nuclear medicine
- Medicine section:
Covers various procedures for all other medical specialists
Diagnosis course reporting for physician and outpatient, coding conventions and guidelines for reporting of conditions/illness/injuries/accidents and more
- E&M (Evaluation and Management Visit Codes):
Know what visit codes are used in each outpatient and inpatient setting.
- Path & Lab section:
Testing and identification of infectious diseases/etiology
You need to learn about body systems that includes the following:
- Eye/Ear system
- Urinary system
- Respiratory system
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Reproductive system
- Nervous or endocrine system
- Integumentary system
- Musculoskeletal system
If you have no experience in a medical coding career then consider taking more than one test. If you have years of experience then you should take a specialist coding exam to qualify for a promotion or higher rate of pay.
Preparing for the exam:
The best way to prepare and clear the coding exam is:
- Basic study in medical terminology and human body anatomy.
- Basic coding skills
- It’s imperative to use a study guide that makes sure you’re studying accurate information.
- If you feel you’re no fully prepared for the test, consider taking a review course
- After you’ve finished all the studying, it’s time to take a practice test.
Medical coding and medical billing is an open book test. There’s no possibility that one can remember all the procedures, diagnosis, supply codes in addition to all the complex rules that govern how they are put together. So be familiar with the books. Invest in current year books in CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS level II codes and a good medical dictionary. All these books are allowed during the medical coding exam as they are imperative to coding ability.
This is the vital information you need to know about the test.
- Cost of the exam and course
- Number and types of questions in the test
- Time allowed to complete the test
- Resources you can use during the test
- Government issued photo ID
- The time when you’ll receive your scores
General Rules before exam day:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Eat healthy breakfast and dinner
- Stay hydrated at all times
- Don’t get nervous or stress before an exam
A reputable study program accredited with the AAPC will help you in all areas to pass the test and perform well at the job. There are various quizzes and tests available online that you may take to test your knowledge and exam preparation.
You can get your medical coding training and exam preparation from online medical coding courses provided by a reputable academy. Medical coders have a highly paid job profile and this practice is now spreading across the world at a fast pace, creating millions of job opportunities.