CPC exam: FAQs
Advancing Your Career in Medical Coding: CPC® Certification
Employers value individuals who demonstrate proficiency and continued commitment to excellence through professional certification. For those seeking a career in medical coding, a Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential from AAPC is the gold standard, nationally recognized by employers, physician societies, and government organizations.
Experienced, proficient medical coders are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for certified medical coders will increase 22 percent through the year 2022. Becoming a CPC® helps you to prepare for a career in a growing, dynamic healthcare industry, and improves your chances of getting hired in a competitive job market.
As an initial step to earning a CPC® credential, you must take and pass the CPC® examination. The exam assesses and confirms your ability to correctly apply CPT®, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes used to report and bill professional medical services. In passing the exam, you'll demonstrate:
- Proficiency across a range of services (including evaluation and management (E/M), anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology, and medicine);
- Sound knowledge of medical coding guidelines and regulations, including proper modifier application;
- Mastery of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology necessary to code correctly diagnosis and services; and
- An understanding of how to integrate medical coding and payment policy changes into reimbursement processes.
Scope of Certification
The CPC® examination consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, and tests your knowledge of a broad range of coding-related topics.
Questions based on the CPT® code book include:
- Surgical procedures performed on the integumentary system (10 questions)
- Surgical procedures performed on the musculoskeletal system (10 questions)
- Surgical procedures performed on the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, hemic and lymphatic systems, and the mediastinum and diaphragm (10 questions)
- Surgical procedures performed on the digestive system (10 questions)
- Surgical procedures performed on the urinary system, male and female reproductive systems (including maternity and delivery), and endocrine system (10 questions)
- Surgical procedures performed on the nervous system (10 questions)
- E/M services (10 questions)
- Anesthesia, including time reporting and qualifying circumstances (8 questions)
- Radiology (10 questions)
- Laboratory and pathology (10 questions)
- Medicine (10 questions)
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