Certified Cardiology Coder (CCC®) Credential

Experienced cardiology coders are encouraged to sit for the CCC® exam. CCC certification recognizes demonstrated skill reporting surgical procedures performed by cardiologists, such as heart catheterization, coronary interventions, pacemakers, peripheral vascular procedures, etc.

The CCC certification exam will test:

  • Ability to read and abstract physician office notes and operative notes to apply correct ICD-10-CM, CPT®, HCPCS Level II, and modifier coding assignments
  • 2021 evaluation and management (E/M) guidelines for new and established office and outpatient services, as well as E/M coding based on 1995 and 1997 documentation guidelines.
  • Rules and regulations for Medicare billing — including incident to, teaching situations, shared visits, consultations, and global surgery
  • Coding of surgical procedures performed by cardiologists such as heart catheterization, coronary interventions, pacemakers, peripheral vascular procedures, etc.
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
Certified Cardiology Coder

Specialty Exams

  • 100 multiple choice questions (proctored)
  • 4 hours to finish the exam
  • Open code book (manuals)
  • $299 for 1 attempt
  • $399 for 2 attempts

Reviewed by a Cardiology Steering Committee

  • Jim Collins, CPC, CCC, CHCC
  • Carolyn McLaughlin, CPC, COC, CCC
  • Kimberley Floyd-Waldman, CPC, CCC, COC
  • Belinda Inabinet, CPC, CCC
  • Salet Handley, CPC, CCC, CCVTC
  • Anne C. Karl, CPC, CCC, RHIA, CCS-P, ACS-CA
  • Christina Neighbors, CPC, CCC, MA, ACS-CA

Specialty exams measure proficiency in the correct application of specialty-specific ICD-10-CM, CPT®, HCPCS Level II, modifier usage, and regulations.


  • Must schedule examination four weeks in advance
  • Must have current AAPC membership
  • We strongly recommend that you have at least two years of experience in the specialty prior to sitting for the certification exam. Please be aware that these are difficult, high-level examinations not intended for individuals with little, limited, or no coding experience

Passing & Certification

Each specialty certification exam must be taken separately and passed. To obtain all certifications, you must test in all specialties.

An overall score of 70% or higher is required to pass the certification exam. If you don't pass, the areas of study/categories with a score of 65% or less will be provided for your preparation to retest. The areas of study reported reflect scores based on the number of questions in each category/section of the exam.

Maintaining your certification will require Continuing Education Units (CEUs). For CEU requirements please see our CEU Information page.

Approved Manuals for Use During Examination

Required References

  • CPT® Books (AMA standard or professional edition ONLY). No other publisher is allowed.
  • Your choice of ICD-10-CM
  • Your choice of HCPCS Level II

Highly Recommended References

  • Anatomical charts or pictures of the vascular tree
  • E/M Audit Worksheet of your choice
  • Both CMS documentation guidelines (1995 & 1997)

Optional References

  • One book/reference of your choice

Confirm what reference materials are allowed during the specialty certification exam.


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.

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