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To those of you that knew I was taking the CPC-ORTHO exam a few weeks ago,

just wanted to share with you that I PASSED :)

Thanks for everyones support

Hip Hip Hooray!!!That is wonderful!!!!! I didn't know you were taking it but it doesn't surprise me, in the least, that you passed.

:D congrats mbort and treetoad! WELL DONE! I had planned on the ORTHO exam for November 14th but I just didn't feel "ready" in October when the fee had to be in. I figure I'll wait till 2009. Hopefully early in the year they'll offer it here.

Did either of you use the full amount of time? Did you use the AAPC study guide? (I don't like the AAPC ORTHO study guide, it seems so "basic", I thought it was supposed to be more in-depth)

Actually, that was one reason I decided not to test - I "heard" the test would be extremely difficult - yet the study guide doesn't seem to be, so I thought "I MUST be missing something"... anyway -

CONGRATULATIONS! Job well done! :)
to be perfectly honest, I thought it was a cake walk. I too, had heard that the test was gruesome. I finished in 2 hrs 35 minutes. The proctor about fell out of her chair.

You are allowed to take one additional resource book with you, other than the study guide. I borrowed the coding companion books but only used it for two cases throughout the exam (for pictures).

I was somewhat concerned because I dont like spine and there were definitely spine cases.

I had bought the AAPC study guide months ago but didnt really open and read it until the day before the exam (I'm a slacker) at which time I took notes and wrote them in the pertinent spots in my CPT book.
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I know it is probably too much to ask, but let me ask you guys this question, was the guide close to the exam? I have taken the cpc and cpc-h after studying the guides and passed without a problem
The AAPC ORTHO specialty guide I have is NOTHING like my other study guides for CPC and CPC-H - there are only a "few" practice questions in the book, it's a very small study guide (and spendy too) - appears to me to be very basic info, not as detailed as I assume the test will be. At the most I think there might be 10-15 practice questions (I don't have the guide with me). So, you can't really get a feel of what the test will be like, unlike the other study guides that give you 150 question mock exams....
so far, "to me" - the ORTHO specialty guide isn't worth the paper it's printed on... I was very disappointed in the guide - I expected MUCH more from it .
I think the guide was helpful (for my note taking of things I always forget ie Zones I-V of the hand) I wrote that kind of stuff down in my book..which I'm GLAD I did!! I also took notes regarding spine cases since I try to avoid those like the plague!!

There are only about 15 test questions in the guide, but the actually test only has 45 CPT questions, the other 30 are ICD-9 and Pathophysiology type questions (ie: Boxer's fracture is ????, Lisfranc fracture is ????, Kidner procedure is ???)
I agree with the comments about the guide, really a waste of paper and money, so what other references would you guys recommend? are the cases pretty much what we post or have seen posted or are they completely different? I remember when I took my ccs-p there was a case where you literally say "come on this doesn not happen in really coding"
Now, Mary could you be more specific about the spine cases? anything we have posted?
I can tell you that the spine cases were a challenge. Lots of levels, spinal cages, hardware, category III codes, arthodesis etc.
thank you so much for the information, I will keep on asking you more questions. I am determined to take the test in 09
I was very disappointed with the study guide too. Personally, I thought the exam was very difficult. There were a lot of spinal procedures and I don't have much experience with those--there's another practice in town that takes most of those cases. I took the general surgery exam previously and I thought that was a piece of cake. I finished it in 3 hours. It took me most of the allotted time to finish the ortho exam. My advice--do as much as you can to prepare.
Treetoad - did you use/bring the ortho companion books, and if so, did you find them helpful? Also, ... what else did you use to prepare for the ORTHO test? I can't seem to find ANYTHING in the way of helping/practicing/etc - it's coming down to just experience, and the AAPC ORTHO guide as far as practice... I haven't found a "mock ORTHO exam" - I really wish there was one out there somewhere!

thanks for the input -

mbort - what about you?... did you use anything for studying/practice or just your experience??
I just used experience..after 18 years I was hoping I knew what I was doing...just when I think I've seen it all..something new appears!!
Mary...That's GREAT!!
Pass or not pass, there is no :rolleyes: one I would rather ask advice from. You definitely have the edge. Congrats!!


As a CPC-ORTHO I can vouch for the hard work needed for the test. You earned it. Go out and celebrate!!!!