The CIRCC® Exam
- 150 multiple choice questions
- 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
- Price: $400
- 1 free retake
- Open code book (manuals)
- Anatomical charts to assist in catheter selection (labeled with w/catheter selectivity) also may be used on the exam
The CIRCC® exam thoroughly covers:
- Diagnostic angiography
- Non-vascular interventions (biliary procedures, biopsies, ablations, spine interventions, etc.)
- Percutaneous vascular interventions
- Diagnostic cardiac catheterization
- Basic coronary arterial interventions
- Basic coding
The majority of the questions are presented in a case report format. Diagnostic angiography, non-vascular interventions and percutaneous vascular interventions each comprise
approximately 25% of the exam. Diagnostic cardiac catheterization and basic coronary arterial interventions cover 10% of the exam. Test sections on basic coding, anatomy and
terminology each cover less than 10% of the test.
Approved Manuals for Use During Examination
- CPT® Books (AMA standard or professional edition ONLY) no other publisher is allowed
- Your choice of HCPCS Level II
- For the CIRCC® examinations you may use anatomical charts to assist in catheter selection (labeled with w/catheter selectivity).
Electronic devices with an on/off switch (cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are not allowed into the examination room. Failure to comply with this policy may result in
disqualification of your exam.
Any officially published errata for these manuals may also be used. No other manuals are allowed. Each code set is updated annually;
it is essential that examinees use the current calendar year's coding manuals when taking the certification exam.
Individuals with a solid understanding of coding fundamentals, anatomy and terminology should be able to answer each examination question through application of the
CPT® or HCPCS Level
II manuals or through careful reasoning.
Approved Exam Manuals
Non-Approved Manuals for Use During Examination
Due to the advantages of additional information and/or ease of use, the following books cannot be used during the exam:
- Current Procedural Coding Expert® - Ingenix
- Procedural Coding Professional - Contexo
- Procedural Coding Professional - AAPC
- Procedural Coding Expert - Contexo
- Procedural Coding Expert - AAPC
- CPT® Insider's View - AMA
- CPT® Plus! - PMIC
- Coders' Choice CPT® - PMIC
While there is no experience requirement, we strongly recommend that the candidate
have at least two years of experience in interventional radiology. Cardiovascular
experience is also useful.
Please be aware that this is a difficult, high-level examination which is not meant
for individuals with little, limited or no interventional radiology coding experience
- We recommend having an associate’s degree
- Pay examination fee at the time of application submission
- Maintain current membership with the AAPC
- New members must submit membership payment with examination application
- Renewing members must have a current membership at the time of submission and when
exam results are released.
- Materials to bring:
CPT® (AMA Standard or Professional versions only)
- HCPCS Level
- Anatomical Charts to assist in catheter selection (labeled with catheter selectivity)
The CIRCC® (Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder®) credential
is a "base" credential, with different requirements for CEUs. Each examination
is separate and distinct from one another. To obtain all certifications, each examination
must be taken separately and passed. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) submissions
are required for all certifications. For CEU requirements please see our
CEU Information page.
We have contracted with only three companies that may provide training that will
qualify for the 12 specific CEUs required each year (or 24 CEUs per renewal period)
to maintain the CIRCC® credential. These companies are ZHealth Publishing, Medical Learning, Inc. (MedLearn), and Medical Asset Management. Although other pre-approved
vendors may provide interventional radiology training, the CIRCC® CEU requirement
must come from one of the above-mentioned companies.
Over the past several years, there have been many new developments in the percutaneous
treatment of diseases, as well as rapid technological advancements in devices and
procedures performed. Complex medical terminology, normal and variant anatomy and
knowledge of interventional procedures and related equipment is also required. CMS
(Centers for Medicare or Medicaid Services) often has changes in the governing rules
and regulations, CCI edits and HCPCS Level II codes, while the AMA (American Medical
Association) has many changes to E/M codes, modifier usage and CPT® procedural
codes, that all impact the final codes selected. All of the above factors combine
to make this area at high risk for reimbursement errors and compliance issues.
Never before has it been so important to have properly trained individuals to ensure
correct coding. This exam was designed to help the examinee understand and demonstrate
mastery of these many challenges. Current trends reveal increasing numbers of percutaneous
nonvascular and vascular procedures being performed in interventional radiology
departments and angio suites, cardiac catheterization labs, endovascular suites,
the operating room and in other departments and clinics performing non-vascular
intervention. Charging and coding within the facility is often fragmented between
technologists and HIM coders. Physician practice coding is usually through a single
coder who must have a high level of expertise for accurate billing. Many physicians
are combining cardiac and peripheral procedures during the same encounter for patient
benefit resulting in additional complexities to accurate coding. With these influences
in mind, the CIRCC® credential was designed to cover all of these intertwined
issues. The ultimate goal is for a CIRCC® to perform proficiently and be comfortable
whether working in a physician practice, a single specialty lab, the operating room,
a swing lab, within the HIM department or the business office. This will make the
credentialed examinee invaluable to both physician practices and facilities in striving
to eliminate reimbursement and compliance errors.