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New CIC™ Inpatient Credential Opens Hospital Doors

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  • October 1, 2014
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By Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC
AAPC’s new credential for inpatient facility coding, the Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™), opens new doors for members who work, or who want to work, in hospitals. Announced in August, the credential demonstrates competency abstracting information from the medical record for ICD-9-CM Volumes 1-3 coding and payment knowledge of Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRGs) and the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS).
Developed at the request of members and inpatient facility health information management directors, the CIC™ joins the long established outpatient facility coding credential, Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H®), said Raemarie Jimenez, CPC, CPB, CPMA, CPPM, CPC-I, CANPC, CRHC, vice president of member and certification development for AAPC. As a result, the CPC-H® credential will be changed to the Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) (all current CPC-H® credential holders will display the COC™ designation).
“We test inpatient and outpatient coding separately because the roles are distinct in the industry. By testing inpatient and outpatient separately, it allows us to focus on the coding and reimbursement competencies the credentialed member is qualified to perform.” Jimenez told Healthcare Business Monthly. Only the credential acronyms will change, not the competencies, she added.
CIC™ designated members will have demonstrated proficiency in:

  • Medical record review to abstract information required to support accurate inpatient coding
  • Assigning accurate ICD-9-CM Volumes 1-3 medical codes for diagnoses and procedures performed in the inpatient setting
  • Current rules, regulations, and issues regarding medical coding, compliance, and reimbursement under MS-DRG and IPPS systems
  • Integrating coding and reimbursement rule changes in a timely manner to include updating the Charge Description Master, fee updates, and the field locators on the UB04 form
  • Understanding anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology required to code correctly facility services and diagnoses
  • Outpatient reimbursement methodologies

The CIC™ exam is groundbreaking for AAPC, as it is the first fill-in-the-blank exam for the organization. Examinees will answer 60 multiple choice questions and code 10 inpatient cases in four hours. As with all AAPC exams, code books are welcome in the exam; see www.aapc.com/certification/cic-inpatient-coding.aspx for specific exam requirements.
Cost is $325 ($260 for AAPC students) with one free retake.
Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, is director of publishing at AAPC.

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Renee Dustman, BS, AAPC MACRA Proficient, is managing editor - content & editorial at AAPC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Communications - Journalism. Renee has more than 30 years' experience in journalistic reporting, print production, graphic design, and content management. Follow her on Twitter @dustman_aapc.

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