The AAPC Upgrades 18 Medical Coding Specialty Credentials

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  • April 24, 2009
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To better meet the growing demand in the health care industry for specialty-specific medical coders, AAPC ( announces that it has redesigned its medical coding specialty certifications. These 18, revamped credentials, which do not require a CPC® as a prerequisite, allow coders to demonstrate their coding expertise in a specialty with unique coding, reimbursement and compliance challenges.
“The complete re-launch of these certifications is a major step forward for specialty-specific medical coders,” said Reed Pew, president and CEO of AAPC. “These certifications demonstrate a coder’s expertise in a specialty, and in today’s health care environment of audits, regulations and increased scrutiny, it is vital to have a knowledgeable, certified coder on your team.”
The 18 specialty credentials are:

  • Ambulatory Surgical Center (CASCC™)
  • Anesthesia and Pain Management (CANPC™)
  • Cardiology (CCC™)
  • Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery (CCVTC™)
  • Dermatology (CPCD™)
  • Emergency Department (CEDC™)
  • Evaluation and Management (CEMC™)
  • Family Practice (CFPC™)
  • Gastroenterology (CGIC™)
  • General Surgery (CGSC™)
  • Internal Medicine (CIMC™)
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (COBGC™)
  • Orthopaedic Surgery (COSC™)
  • Otolaryngology (CENTC™)
  • Pediatrics (CPEDC™)
  • Plastics and Reconstructive (CPRC™)
  • Rheumatology (CRHC™)
  • Urology (CUC™)

The exam for each specialty credential tests the examinee on medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, reimbursement and regulatory concepts, as well as CPT®, ICD-9-CM and HCPCS Level II coding. All exams are operative note- and physician note-based (practice-oriented, not academic-oriented). The 5.5-hour exam has 150 questions.
AAPC has also developed a practicum for each specialty exam, which includes three hours of audio lectures as well as coding simulation with 75 coding scenarios specific to the specialty. The practicum matches the format of the actual exam and also offers students six continuing education units (CEUs). More information about the specialty credentials, practicums and registration is available on AAPC’s website at

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – CCVTC

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