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hnybunny

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I recently applied for a position at a local hospital. They do not recognize the CPC and require their coders to have the CCS instead. I am considering trying to get this certification. Has anyone ever taken this exam? Is it similiar to the CPC?
 

Kevinph84

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Nope! It's a different animal!

The Certified Coding Specialist is a credential that verifies you are capable of doing hospital inpatient and outpatient coding. This is a very intense exam and requires additional knowledge on coding inpatient scenarios, DRG assignment, using volume 3 of ICD-9, etc. It is a completely different animal. The CPC is a certification geared towards outpatient - physician coding. The CPC is equal the AHIMA's CCS-P. It's recommended you have three years of experience in hospital coding, before taking the CCS exam. For more education go to www.ahima.org/certifications

www.gatlineducation.com

www.hcprobootcamps.com

These are online courses and boot camps that will help you learn how to do inpatient coding. Get your feet wet with physician coding first.
 

kevbshields

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Indeed, the prior Kevin's comments on the CCS are very accurate. The CCS isn't really comparable to much of anything. I've known folks with RHIAs, RHITs and also substantial hospital experience (well beyond what's recommended) who could not and have not mastered/passed that exam.

All that being said, I'm living proof that it's possible, although a very serious conviction.

I also happen to know an individual who took her CCS without ever having sat for another coding exam and did very well. I suppose the important thing is to understand the requirement(s) in terms of time, effort and knowledge.

If you go the AHIMA website Kevin84 mentioned, look around for the "sample test". Print it off, hide the answers from yourself and give it a go. Although not completely reflective of the exam, the sample is a very good indicator of the skill level required to pass.

Good luck to you.
 

rthames052006

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Indeed, the prior Kevin's comments on the CCS are very accurate. The CCS isn't really comparable to much of anything. I've known folks with RHIAs, RHITs and also substantial hospital experience (well beyond what's recommended) who could not and have not mastered/passed that exam.

All that being said, I'm living proof that it's possible, although a very serious conviction.

I also happen to know an individual who took her CCS without ever having sat for another coding exam and did very well. I suppose the important thing is to understand the requirement(s) in terms of time, effort and knowledge.

If you go the AHIMA website Kevin84 mentioned, look around for the "sample test". Print it off, hide the answers from yourself and give it a go. Although not completely reflective of the exam, the sample is a very good indicator of the skill level required to pass.

Good luck to you.

Kevin,

I've heard from others too, that the CCS-P is a tougher exam than that of the CPC, I am a CPC and I am seriously considering taking the CCS-P I printed off the sample questions and did well, but I still think I wanna get some more "practice" before I take that exam.

Roxanne Thames, CPC
 

janetmoh

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There are also study guides out there. When I took the CCS exam, I used the PRG (Professional Review Guide). I believe they have since merged with another company and use that name. I'm sure if you did a search for review guides, you would find it. The guide was very helpful.
 

kevbshields

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With any of the study guides mentioned and those that are not, please understand you must take the answer keys with a grain of salt; in every study guide I've seen/used, there were professional fee coding questions, incorrect ICD-9 Dx codes assigned, violations of both AMA & AHA guidelines, as well as those of CPT-4.

Just a word of caution, because that (in my opinion) was the most frustrating aspect of preparing for the exam: unreliable study guides.

My humble opinion . . .
 

rthames052006

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With any of the study guides mentioned and those that are not, please understand you must take the answer keys with a grain of salt; in every study guide I've seen/used, there were professional fee coding questions, incorrect ICD-9 Dx codes assigned, violations of both AMA & AHA guidelines, as well as those of CPT-4.

Just a word of caution, because that (in my opinion) was the most frustrating aspect of preparing for the exam: unreliable study guides.

My humble opinion . . .
Your right kevin, I remember when I did the ISP thru AAPC, there were mistakes, but I guess nothing is perfect.

When i was taking the ISP I called AAPC a few times to get clarification on things and they were always very supportive, even when i just couldn't "get something" I'd call and they would always walk me thru my mistake and tell me where I went wrong, which was a big help.

Roxanne Thames, CPC
 

kevbshields

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I used the ISP materials to prepare for the CPC. However, the mistakes in it were absolutely minor to what I saw out of most CCS study guides. With AAPC, there's always what you did: the ability to request clarification. With these other products, there is no support that I am aware of . . .

To be honest, I think AHIMA tells folks to have 3 years acute care coding just so they can muddle their way effectively through the study guides--being able to decipher what's fact vs. what's fiction!

Advance for HIP had an ad for a CCS review guide I'd not seen before; but, it's the only one I can't say needs improvement.

Good luck to all.
 

jira85

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Kevin:

I was scheduled to take the CCS-P exam, and I chickened out because I was very intimidated. I took the CPC exam and passed first try, no problem. But I do not have alot of coding experience in regards to medical records. I purchased Carol Buck's study guide and after a almost 2 months, I still didn't feel that I was prepared. Do you have any tips for me since you have taken the exam and passed?
 

kevbshields

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Because the CCS-P is a different format than the CPC, be comfortable with that format beforehand. Personally, I didn't find it that difficult--although I've had people with substantial more coding experience than I say they found it frustrating and uncertain. As an aside, those people passed also.

The difference between CCS-P and CPC isn't just the organizations that grant them. Coders who rely on superbills or charge slips for their duties are probably not going to perform as well on CCS-P as those who abstract straight from the record. Also, because the E/M is scored for you, auditors aren't necessarily going to be at any advantage.

Try out the column that runs in Advance for HIP and just build confidence and comfort. You might also try locating someone locally that's taken the exam more recently than I and could provide pointers on what resources to use in preparing.

Good luck.
 

member7

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I wonder if the 2008 CPC exam is now similar to the CCS-P in some respects. Some of the posts I've read seemed to indicate that there were multiple codes to be chosen for each question. Did I misread those posts?
 

rthames052006

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I wonder if the 2008 CPC exam is now similar to the CCS-P in some respects. Some of the posts I've read seemed to indicate that there were multiple codes to be chosen for each question. Did I misread those posts?
I haven't taken the ccs exam yet but from what I've heard the two test are nothing alike. I've heard that the ccs is alot more in depth and harder. Now this is what I am told, hopefully someone will read this who recently took the ccs and can let us know their thoughts on it.

Roxanne Thames, CPC
 

jira85

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Because the CCS-P is a different format than the CPC, be comfortable with that format beforehand. Personally, I didn't find it that difficult--although I've had people with substantial more coding experience than I say they found it frustrating and uncertain. As an aside, those people passed also.

The difference between CCS-P and CPC isn't just the organizations that grant them. Coders who rely on superbills or charge slips for their duties are probably not going to perform as well on CCS-P as those who abstract straight from the record. Also, because the E/M is scored for you, auditors aren't necessarily going to be at any advantage.

Try out the column that runs in Advance for HIP and just build confidence and comfort. You might also try locating someone locally that's taken the exam more recently than I and could provide pointers on what resources to use in preparing.

Good luck.
I'm not sure of the Advance for HIP column you are referencing?? Could you please explain further?
 

MichelleK

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Hi...I'm looking for the comments posted in regards to the inaccuracies. I mentioned in a thread that there were inaccuracies but I haven't seen anyone else post anything.

Thanks!
 

janetmoh

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The comments are posted with the white paper. From the main AAPC page do a search for "white papers."
 

rcbaker

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ccs exam

i noticed that when i am studying i have two problems.
1. understanding DRG.
2. DX sequencing.

any advise would be welcomed.
 

MichelleK

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I can't seem to find the comments for this white paper any longer...can someone help me please?
 
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