Prepare for the COC® exam

Take the COC Preparation Course and become a Certified Outpatient Coder.

Your success as a COC is dependent on your ability to prioritize the information presented to you and organize it in ways that allow you to problem-solve efficiently. The following preparation tips will help ensure that you’re fully prepared.

Ensure you have mastered the prerequisites

Earning the COC designation requires two years — or the equivalent — medical coding experience. If you have not submitted proof of 2 years’ experience, a COC-Apprentice designation will be awarded.

Highly recommended: AAPC offers a three-topic fundamentals of medicine (medical terminology, anatomy, and pathophysiology) prerequisite course to provide you with a high-level knowledge of medical terminology and other information that will allow you to succeed in the path to obtaining your COC credential.

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Do I need the prerequisites?

If your education or employment background have provided you with reliable knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and pathophysiology, you can skip past this recommended course. Otherwise, you should take this course as the COC exam will thoroughly test your knowledge in the fundamentals of medicine.

Train with AAPC’s world-class instructors

The surest way to prepare for the COC exam is to train with AAPC by enrolling in the COC Preparation Course. Designed by the creators of the exam, this course will ensure you receive an effective and comprehensive education covering proper use of all medical code sets you'll encounter on the exam. Choose from a self-paced course or a virtual instructor-led course.

Required: CPC certification required for enrollment in the COC certification prep course. This condensed course teaches an existing CPC the regulatory requirements for an outpatient hospital/facility and ASC setting and prepares a CPC to take AAPC's COC (formerly CPC-H® exam for a career in medical coding.

The prep course is aimed at teaching the design of facilities, compliance in the facility, and various CMS payment systems including the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). This course also covers a summary of the correct application of CPT®, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used for coding and billing outpatient facility and ASC services to insurance companies. This course will not cover inpatient hospital coding in any detail.

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Test your knowledge before the exam

Diagnose your strengths and weaknesses. We highly recommend that you take one of the 50-question online practice exams to help you become familiar with the format and time constraints of the real test. Our practice tests accurately mirror the exam to ensure you are fully prepared on exam day.

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Diagnose and prioritize your focus areas

After you take your first practice exam, you’ll realize not all areas of COC curriculum require equal study time. Based on your diagnostic results and practice performance, we’ll recommend lessons and exercises at just the right level. Follow these recommendations to make the most of your practice time.

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Review the study guide and test-taking techniques

Designed to help you prepare for the exam, our official COC Study Guide walks you through a review of anatomy and terminology and covers all the content sections found on the exam. Best of all, it provides testing tips for taking the AAPC's COC exam.

In each chapter of the study guide, pertinent outpatient/facility coding principles are followed by coding scenarios related to that chapter.

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