Medical auditing is a critical piece to compliant and profitable physician practices. Whether the audit purpose is Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) audits, private payer denials, or just peace of mind, physicians have audits conducted regularly. The risks of being non-compliant with documentation and coding are too costly. As a CPMA, you will use your proven knowledge of coding and documentation guidelines to improve the revenue cycle of nearly all types of healthcare practices.
With tighter regulation on reporting medical services, there is a growing demand for CPMAs. They have a clear understanding of when and where an organization is at risk for non-compliance. CPMAs help providers avert liability and secure proper reimbursement for their patient care.
Certified CPMAs demonstrate expertise in:
Medical documentation, fraud, abuse, and penalties for documentation and coding violations based on governmental guidelines
Scope and statistical sampling methodologies
Medical record auditing and abstraction
Quality assurance and coding risk analysis
Communication of results and findings
The medical record
100 multiple-choice questions
Online or in-person options
AAPC offers online and in-person proctored exams. Choose to take the exam at home in a quiet, private location or through your local chapter or a licensed instructor. Learn more about the online proctored exam and how to prepare for the current exam.
In-person and online exams are administered in one sitting, with four hours to complete the exam.
Equipment required for online exam
A reliable internet connection and an external webcam that can be positioned to show your face, hands, keyboard, and the area around the keyboard (about 10 inches) are required.
Please be aware that the CPMA certification exam is a difficult, high-level examination and is not intended for individuals lacking training or experience. Examinees should have CPMA training and/or experience in auditing physician services, and be well versed in different types of audits, including evaluation and management (E/M).
Not ready yet? We recommend taking our CPMA preparation course.
Approved code books
AMA's CPT® Professional Edition (current year)
ICD-10-CM (current year), any publisher
HCPCS Level II (current year), any publisher
If taking the exam in person, you may also bring E/M audit worksheets of your choice.
Note: Because code sets are updated annually, it's essential that you use the current calendar year's code books when taking the certification exam.
Maintaining your certification
To maintain your credential, you must maintain your AAPC annual membership, and earn 36 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years.
One attempt for $399 or $499 for two attempts. Of note:
80% of AAPC students pass on the first attempt.
Students who train with AAPC are three times more likely to pass the certification exam.
The exam is open book and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions (proctored) to be completed in four hours. The majority of the questions are presented in multiple choice format, covering auditing theory, legal and regulatory issues, NCCI, RAC audits, statistical sampling, coding concepts, and modifiers. In addition, each test taker will need to audit approximately 18 cases.
Whether you take the exam online or in person, you must complete the CPMA exam within four hours and answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass.