Certified Rheumatology Coder (CRHC)


The Certified Rheumatology Coder (CRHC) is appropriate for coders with sufficient experience and expertise in rheumatology coding. A team of leading rheumatology coders in conjunction with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) developed the CRHC exam.

The CRHC examinee will be tested on:

  • Ability to read and abstract physician office notes and procedure notes to apply correct ICD-10-CM, CPT®, HCPCS Level II and modifier coding assignments
  • Evaluation and management (both the 1995 and 1997 Documentation Guidelines)
  • Rules and regulations of Medicare billing including (but not limited to) incident to, teaching situations, shared visits, consultations and global surgery
  • Coding of surgical procedures commonly performed by rheumatologists such as trigger point injections, joint injections, etc.
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology

Specialty Exams

  • 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
  • $300
  • Open code book (manuals)

Reviewed by a Rheumatology Steering Committee:

  • Raemarie Jimenez, CPC, CPC-I, CANPC, CRHC, CPMA
  • Antanya Chung, CPC, CPC-I, CRHC, CCP
  • Melesia Tillman, CPC, CRHC, CCP
  • Roseanne Danziger, CRHC

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

Required References:

  • CPT® Books (AMA standard or professional edition ONLY). No other publisher is allowed.
  • Your choice of ICD-10-CM (Exams will test ICD-10 effective January 1, 2016).
  • Your choice of HCPCS Level II.

Highly Recommended References:

Optional 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.