- 150 multiple choice questions (proctored)
- 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
- 1 free retake to be used within one year of first attempt
- Open code book (manuals)
Reviewed by a Plastic and Reconstructive Steering Committee:
- John Verhovshek, CPC
- Michaele Hall, CPC, COBGC, CPRC
- Pat Stone, CPC, COC, CPRC, CPCD
- Carol Pfeiffer, CPC, CPCD, CPRC
- Rhonda Cottrell, CPC, CPCD, CPRC
- Susan Ward, CPC, COC, CPC-I, CEMC, CPCD, CPRC
Specialty exams aptly measure preparedness for “real-world” coding by being operative/patient-note based. In addition to questions regarding the correct application
of ICD-10-CM, CPT®, HCPCS Level II and modifier coding assignments, examinees will also be tested on specialty-specific coding and regulations.
- Must schedule examination four weeks in advance
- Must have current AAPC membership
- While there is no requirement, we strongly recommend that the candidate has at least two years of experience in the specialty. Please be aware that these are
difficult, high-level examinations not meant for individuals with little, limited or no coding experience
Examinees that pass a Specialty certification examination will receive recognition in the Healthcare Business Monthly within three months of their examination date and will receive
a diploma suitable for framing.
Approved Manuals for Use During Examination
- CPT® Books (AMA standard or professional edition ONLY). No other publisher is
- Your choice of ICD-10-CM (Exams will test ICD-10 effective January 1, 2016).
- Your choice of HCPCS Level II.
Highly Recommended References:
- One reference of your choice
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.
Non-Approved Manuals for Use During Examination
Due to the advantages of additional information and/or ease of use, the following references cannot be used during the exam:
- Current Procedural Coding Expert® - Ingenix
- Procedural Coding Professional - Contexo
- Procedural Coding Professional - AAPC
- Procedural Coding Expert - Contexo
- Procedural Coding Expert - AAPC
- CPT® Insider's View - AMA
- CPT® Plus! - PMIC
- Coders' Choice CPT® - PMIC
- ICD-10-CM Easy Coder
Each examination is separate and distinct from one another. To obtain all certifications, each examination must be taken separately and passed. Continuing Education Unit (CEU)
submissions are required for all certifications. For CEU requirements please see our CEU Information page.