AAPC’s CIRCC: Core Credential Illuminates IVR Coding

By Brad Ericson, CPC, CPC-ORTHO

It’s called the Certified Interventional Radiology and Cardiovascular CoderTM, (CIRCCTM) and it was developed by interventional radiology (IVR) coders to demonstrate the unique expertise needed to successfully report procedures in this growing subspecialty.

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – CCVTC

Interventional radiology coding proves as dynamic as the type of medicine it reports. The techniques performed by physicians are exciting, ever evolving, and often life-saving. Coding and charging error rates are known to be high in this subspecialty and it’s no wonder, considering the unique knowledge of confusing arterial and venous families and trees, ever-improving radiological techniques, payment-altering PC/TC splits, changing coding guidelines, and other details required to accurately file a claim.

“We’re pleased to offer this to our members,” Reed Pew, CEO of the AAPC told Coding Edge. “This credential recognizes a very unique subspecialty and was developed knowing that IVR coding is often much different than the coding most CPC’s® perform.”

Exams for this new AAPC core credential begin Oct. 1. The 150 question, five-and-a-half hour exam includes case studies and questions in the following areas:

  • Diagnostic angiography
  • Non-vascular interventions
  • Percutaneous vascular interventions
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterizations
  • Basic coronary arterial interventions
  • ICD-9-CM
  • Basic coding (E/M, modifiers, etc.)
  • Anatomy
  • Terminology

Member price for this core credential exam, which can be taken at any exam site, is $400. Maintenance of the credential requires earning 18 CEUs a year with 12 of those being in IVR or cardiovascular coding. It joins CPC®, CPC-H®, and CPC-P® as a core credential. The exam may be taken at any normal examination site.

David Zielske, MD, CPC-H, CPC-CARDIO, CCS, RCC, a National Advisory Board (NAB) member and interventional radiologist, helped to develop the examination along with his colleagues at ZHealth Publishing. Dr. Zielske told Coding Edge, “The CIRCCTM credential is long overdue. Hospitals and physician practices are looking for coders and techs who know interventional radiology coding. Currently, there is no way to tell if a person has the specialized training in this highly technical and growing area. The interventional radiology credential shows this.”

Several training programs are available if you wish to take this new core exam:

ZHealth Publishing offers interventional, cardiology, and vascular surgery workshops. Check out
ZHealthPublishing.com for more information.

Sept. 13, 2008—Nashville, Tenn.—Interventional, Cardiology, and Vascular Surgery

Nov. 8, 2008—Las Vegas, Nev.—Interventional, Cardiology, and Vascular Surgery

Feb. 28, 2009—Scottsdale, Ariz.—Interventional, Cardiology, and Vascular Surgery

Medical Asset Management offers a variety of programs. Check out

Sept. 11-12, 2008—Atlanta, Ga.—Interventional Coding for Beginners

Oct. 6-10, 2008—Atlanta, Ga.—One Week Intensive Coding Course with Proficiency Exam

Oct. 23-24, 2008—Atlanta, Ga.—Interventional Coding for CICs

Feb. 2-6, 2009—Atlanta, Ga.—One Week Intensive Coding Course with CIRCC Exam

June 1-5, 2009—Atlanta, Ga.—One Week Intensive Coding Course with CIRCC Exam

For more information about the new CIRCCTM core exam, check out aapc.com.


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