Certified Professional Coder (CPC®)

AAPC's Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential is the gold standard for medical coding in physician office settings and held by more than 80,000 coding professionals. CPC's are critical to compliant and profitable medical practices and typically earn 20% more than non-certified coders.* The CPC increases your chances of being hired and retained in a competitive job market.

A Certified Professional Coder has proven by rigorous examination and experience that they know how to read a medical chart and assign the correct diagnosis (ICD-9), procedure (CPT®), and supply (HCPCS Level II) code for a wide variety of clinical cases and services.

The CPC's abilities include:

  • Expertise in reviewing and assigning accurate medical codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services performed by physicians and other qualified health care providers in the office or facility setting (eg, inpatient hospital)
  • Proficiency across a wide range of services, including evaluation and management, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology and medicine
  • A sound knowledge of medical coding guidelines and regulations including compliance and reimbursement – allowing a CPC to better handle issues such as medical necessity, claims denials, bundling issues and charge capture
  • Understand how to integrate medical coding and payment policy changes into a practice's reimbursement processes
  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology necessary to correctly code provider diagnosis and services

The CPC Exam

  • 150 multiple choice questions (proctored)
  • 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
  • One free retake
  • $300 ($260 for AAPC Students)
  • Open code book (manuals)

The CPC examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT®, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes and ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes used for billing professional medical services to insurance companies. Examinees must also demonstrate knowledge on proper modifier use, coding guidelines and regulatory rules.

The CPC exam thoroughly covers:

10,000 Series CPT®

  • 10 questions
  • Surgical procedures performed on the integumentary system
    • Skin, subcut aneous, and accessory structures
    • Nails
    • Pilonidal cysts
    • Repairs
    • Destruction
    • Breast

20,000 Series CPT®

  • 10 questions
  • Surgical procedures performed on the musculoskeletal system
    • Head
    • Neck
    • Back and flank
    • Spine
    • Abdomen
    • Shoulder
    • Arm
    • Hand and fingers
    • Pelvis and hip
    • Leg
    • Foot and toes

30,000 Series CPT®

  • 10 questions
  • Surgical procedures performed on the respiratory system
    • Nose
    • Accessory sinuses
    • Larynx
    • Trachea and bronchi
    • Lungs and pleura
  • Surgical procedures performed on the cardiovascular system
    • Heart and pericardium
    • Arteries and veins
  • Surgical procedures performed on the hemic and lymphatic systems
    • Spleen
    • Lymph nodes and lymph channels
  • Surgical procedures performed on the mediastinum and diaphragm

40,000 Series CPT®

  • 10 questions
  • Surgical procedures performed on the digestive system
    • Lips
    • Mouth
    • Palate and uvula
    • Salivary gland and ducts
    • Pharynx, adenoids, and tonsils
    • Esophagus
    • Stomach
    • Intestines
    • Appendix
    • Rectum
    • Anus
    • Liver
    • Biliary Tract
    • Pancreas
    • Abdomen, peritoneum, and omentum

50,000 Series CPT®

  • 10 questions
  • Surgical procedures performed on the urinary system
    • Kidneys
    • Ureter
    • Bladder
    • Urethra
  • Surgical procedures performed on the male reproductive system
    • Penis
    • Testis
    • Epididymis
    • Tunica
    • Scrotum
    • Vas deferens
    • Spermatic cord
    • Seminal vesicles
    • Prostate
  • Surgical procedures performed on the female reproductive system
    • Vulva, perineum, and introitus
    • Vagina
    • Uterus
    • Fallopian Tubes
    • Ovaries
  • Maternity and Delivery
  • Surgical procedures performed on the endocrine system
    • Thyroid gland
    • Parathyroid
    • Thymus
    • Adrenal glands
    • Pancreas
    • Carotid body

60,000 Series CPT®

  • 10 questions
  • Surgical procedures performed on the nervous system
    • Skull, meninges, brain
    • Spine
    • Spinal cord
    • Extracranial nerves
    • Peripheral nerves
    • Autonomic nervous system

Evaluation and Management

  • 10 questions
  • Office/Other Outpatient
  • Hospital Observation
  • Hospital Inpatient
  • Consultations
  • Emergency Department
  • Critical Care
  • Nursing Facility
  • Domiciliary and Rest Homes
  • Home Services
  • Prolonged Services
  • Case Management
  • Care Plan Oversight
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Non-Face-to-Face Services
  • Special E/M
  • Newborn Care
  • Neonatal and Pediatric Critical Care and Intensive Care
  • Complex Chronic Care Coordination
  • Transitional Care Management

Anesthesia

  • 8 questions
  • Time reporting
  • Qualifying Circumstances
  • Physical Status Modifiers
  • Anesthesia for surgical, diagnostic and obstetric services

Radiology

  • 10 questions
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Diagnostic Ultrasound
  • Radiologic Guidance
  • Mammography
  • Bone and Joint Studies
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Nuclear Medicine

Laboratory / Pathology

  • 10 questions
  • Organ and Disease Panels
  • Drug Testing
  • Therapeutic Drug Assays
  • Evocation/Supression Testing
  • Consultations
  • Urinalysis
  • Molecular Pathology
  • MAAA
  • Chemistry
  • Hematology and Coagulation
  • Immunology
  • Transfusions
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Cytogenetic Studies
  • Surgical Pathology
  • In vivo and Reproductive

Medicine

  • 10 questions
  • Immunizations
  • Psychiatry
  • Biofeedback
  • Dialysis
  • Gastroenterology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cardiovascular
  • Noninvasive Vascular Studies
  • Pulmonary
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Genetics
  • Central Nervous System Assessments
  • Health and Behavior Assessments
  • Hydration
  • Therapeutic and Diagnostic Administration
  • Chemotherapy Administration
  • Photodynamic Therapy
  • Dermatology
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Medical Nutrition
  • Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
  • Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment
  • Patient Education and Training
  • Non-Face-to-Face Nonphysician Services
  • Moderate Sedation

Medical Terminology

  • 8 questions
  • Medical terminology for all systems in the human body

Anatomy

  • 8 questions
  • Anatomy for all systems in the human body

ICD-9-CM Volumes 1 & 2

  • 10 questions
  • ICD-9-CM Offical Guidelines for Coding and Reporting
  • Diagnosis for all the chapters included in ICD-9-CM
  • Diagnosis questions will also appear in other sections of the exam from the CPT® categories

HCPCS Level II

  • 5 questions
  • Modifiers
  • Supplies
  • Medications
  • Professional services for Medicare patients

Coding Guidelines

  • 6 questions
  • ICD-9-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting
  • CPT® coding guidelines and parenthetical notes
  • Modifier use

Compliance and Regulatory

  • 5 questions
  • Services covered under Medicare Parts A, B, C and D
  • Apply coding to payment policy
  • Place of service reporting
  • Fraud and Abuse
  • NCCI edits
  • NCD/LCD
  • HIPAA
  • ABNs
  • RVUs

* Medical Coding Salary