Have you taken the CCS Exam?

imaginethis1

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I currently have a CPC-H certification which is not opening up any doors for me. I am thinking about taking the CCS. Has anyone taken the exam. I know the AHIMA exams are hard. I have a study guide for the CCS-P but I feel more comfortable with inpatient coding. So, I think. LOL!!

I just want to know if the following are required:

Revenue Codes
Bill Types
DRG assignments

Can anyone recommend any free quiz sites also? I am ordering the Clinical Coding Workout? But are there any other case test sites or books?

Thanks for your help.
 

neatmon

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I am currently a CPC, and I am preparing to sit for the CCS exam. I have ordered a study guide from an EBay site which is supposed to have sample exam questions in it. Lots of study guides out there, have you checked with other local hospital coders?
 

mad_one80

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I currently have a CPC-H certification which is not opening up any doors for me. I am thinking about taking the CCS. Has anyone taken the exam. I know the AHIMA exams are hard. I have a study guide for the CCS-P but I feel more comfortable with inpatient coding. So, I think. LOL!!

I just want to know if the following are required:

Revenue Codes
Bill Types
DRG assignments

Can anyone recommend any free quiz sites also? I am ordering the Clinical Coding Workout? But are there any other case test sites or books?

Thanks for your help.
yes, for sure they will quiz you on the REV codes and DRG assignments (plus much more!) also,
here's a free quiz site for the CCS....

http://health-information.advanceweb.com/

scroll down towards the middle...where it says..."CCS PREP"...click on it and there are outlines/guidelines summaries for various sections of the cpt book with sample Q/A to prepare for CCS exam...this includes the Vol 3 (hospital)codes also!
 

imaginethis1

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Thanks for your help. I need to be prepared as much as possible for this exam. I usually call on Jesus too for extra guidance.
 
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I recently took and passed the CCS-P exam and I would recommend taking it. It does ask questions about revenue codes, POS and DRG's, plus detailed case studies. If you can code inpatient charges, thats a plus. It's two part test with a 10 minute break in between. The books are a very good way to study for the test. Having dual credentials is a plus plus

Good luck :)
 

ciphermed

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The Professional Review Guide for the CCS examination (book) is a excellent resource to study for the CCS exam. If you already have coding experience and other coding certifications...this should be a good choice.

I used it and passed on the first try. The book comes with a CD that has timed practice exams...explanations and answers provided in the book and on the cd. The actual exam was very much like those provided in this book.

I got the book from Amazon..
 

em2177

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I have no inpatient coding experience. How difficult do you think this would be for me? Will the study guides teach me what I need to know, meaning would that be enough to sit for the exam?
Thanks,
 

mwoulfe

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I recently passed the CCS exam and can say it is much tougher than the CPC. I recommend joining AHIMA and using the information on their website, including a forum just for persons studying for the CCS, as well as lots of articles, briefs, etc. The Clinical Coding Workbook is an excellent resource. I also used The CCS Review Guide by Jennifer Garvin. These books are available on the AHIMA website, whether a member or not. The CCS required a lot more knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, DRG's, POA, etc. I do not have any inpatient coding experience, though, so it is possible to succeed without experience. Good Luck!
 

imaginethis1

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Not dual certified yet, but close!

Well, I tried for the CCS today. Didn't pass but it showed me what areas to work on. The Clinical study guides helped. But, I knew I would be weak on pharmacology and some compliance guidelines. Does anyone have a cheat sheet on types common drugs and associated diagnosis or are their any quiz sites. I was so stressed out about the test that you talk yourself out of passing. My score was 27/191 and I ran out of time. I didn't have time to read cases 9-13. I just go go gadget code! I wasn't expecting this score. I thought it would be lower. I knew after Part 1 was done I had failed. But I needed to see how I coded. I'm glad I gave it a try. Will retake in a few months. New scores will be required by then, but I hope their not too high! Lol! I needed to relax, relate and release! The test is very passable; I know see the lingo and format of the test. FYI. I felt like a criminal at the test site. I thought they would take my fingerprints too. Lmao
 

Alta

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Did you have many DRG and revenue ?s?

I think the best book for studying for the CCS is the Clinical Coding Workout. It has every kind of case in there to practice going through all the body systems, (outpatient and inpatient) then it has the explanations of why the answer is wrong or right in the back. It really gets you to use and look up the guidelines as you go along which are the basics you need to pass that exam. I had that, Carol Buck CCS Prep, and PRG. The PRG diskette is good for practicing the multiple choice part, but I found the cases part not so helpful. I don't think Carol Buck is very user friendly. The cases are extremely difficult and the CD will not give you any answers until you go through and take all the tests. It is very restrictive (frustrating) to a student trying to check themselves as they go along. If it is that tedious to check your answers, you tend to give up. But the front information in the book for studying for the multiple choice, I found to be good. After struggling with Carol Buck I went back to the basics: Studying the guidelines and doing the CCW cases. I did take the exam and passed. Everyone is different in what they need to study, that's just my observation! Good luck!

Now, tell me about passing the CPC. I want to do that next!
 
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@ Alta the CPC test was no joke! It has a 150 questions and you have 5hrs and 45 mins to finish it! It is mind boggling, but very much doable. Everyone is different, but if you have experience in E/M, CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS then you will be find. Preferably if you can outpatient code you are fine!
 

keke74

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Hello,

I plan to start preparing for the CCS exam as well. The updated CCS exam prep.4th edition will be available for purchase 08-30-11 on Ahima's website. I also plan to take some of the e-learning courses Ahima offers like the Hospital Outpatient & Inpatient courses and any other courses I think may be beneficial. I have no Inpatient Coding experience. I have a 2005 CCS & CCS-P Study guide & although their both 6 years old, there's alot of information covered on both exams. Good luck to everyone thats planning to sit for the exam!
 

coders_rock!

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I'm interested as well but a little intimidated. Does anyone know of a preparation course being offered in the NYC area? What to expect on the exam? I'm nervous just considering.:eek:
 

cpccoder2008

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I too have been studying for the CCS exam for about 5 months now. I have inpatient coding experience but not nearly enough to take the CCS just yet. I have been using the CCS exam prep book by Jennifer Garvin; it's more like a practice exam than a study guide though so if you aren't familiar with coding inpatient I’d recommend getting other books as well. I have taken the entire test in the book and almost done with the last one and my scores are getting higher and higher so I feel that I am just about ready to take the test. The part that worries me is the compliance questions and DRG questions. I am an excellent coder and can just about code any outpatient/inpatient chart but I cannot begin to tell you what DRG is higher or what procedure would make it higher. So that worries me but the good thing is that it's multiple choices so I have a better chance. What i'm really excited about and not sure if anyone knows this yet but they changed the CCS exam. In my opinion it seems easier. There will be no part 1 and part 2 exam; it will be awhole like CPC. They will only have enough blanks for the ICD codes and CPT codes whereas before there were I think 4 diagnosis and 10 procedures. That way you don't over code or under code. The first part is still multiple choice but they also have multiple select meaning you choose more than one, like A and C or A B and C. The time is still the same and the amount of questions has changed but there are like 10 questions that are randomly spread throughout the exam that don't count against you. Also for the inpatient charts you will only be counted one point off for every code you get wrong, before it was one point for not having the correct code and one point for having the wrong code. I am very excited about this new change but am afraid at the same time they might think they made it too easy and change the exam back again for 2012 so I decided to take mine around March of 2012. If you take it between now and Oct you will be mailed your scores because they haven't come out with the scoring system yet.
 
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mkm1517

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want to form an online CCS study group?

since there's multiple coders wanting to study & pass the CCS in the near future is anyone out there willing to form an online study group together? this way we have accountability to each other and can learn from each other as we go along. maybe we can set up 1 or 2 times throughout the week to meet (via facebook, skype, etc)? we'd also need a syllabis type calendar that we can follow so we know what to work on. we would need a coach who is CCS credentialed. any takers? I'd be interested in being part of the study group if we can get one formed.
 

cpccoder2008

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I'd love to be a part of a group, i hate the fact that AHIMA has no forum,, well i think it might but no one post on it like AAPC. I have so many questions regarding the CCS and not too many people from my area are certified so i can't ask them. Like the books, i have been highlighting and putting little notes and not sure if you can have that with AHIMA. Also if you become a member and purchase the test at the same time you get a discount, so if i purchase them both now how long do i have before i have to test ?? If i want to test in Feb 2012 should i just wait and become a member then ? Cause i think there is a waiting period after you become a member like 30 days before you can test.
 

cordelia

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I'd love to be a part of a group, i hate the fact that AHIMA has no forum,, well i think it might but no one post on it like AAPC. I have so many questions regarding the CCS and not too many people from my area are certified so i can't ask them. Like the books, i have been highlighting and putting little notes and not sure if you can have that with AHIMA. Also if you become a member and purchase the test at the same time you get a discount, so if i purchase them both now how long do i have before i have to test ?? If i want to test in Feb 2012 should i just wait and become a member then ? Cause i think there is a waiting period after you become a member like 30 days before you can test.
Have you read the candidate guide? I read through the entire thing a few days ago and it answered a lot of questions.

http://www.ahima.org/downloads/pdfs/certification/Candidate_Guide.pdf

I also read up on the new format, which in some ways sounds a little easier than the old way....
 
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cpccoder2008

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Have you read the candidate guide? I read through the entire thing a few days ago and it answered a lot of questions.

http://www.ahima.org/downloads/pdfs/certification/Candidate_Guide.pdf

I also read up on the new format, which in some ways sounds a little easier than the old way....

I am looking to take the CCS around the same time as you, if you would like to study together let me know
Sure that sounds great, not sure how we would study though cause i'm sure we're from different area's.
 

cpccoder2008

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since there's multiple coders wanting to study & pass the CCS in the near future is anyone out there willing to form an online study group together? this way we have accountability to each other and can learn from each other as we go along. maybe we can set up 1 or 2 times throughout the week to meet (via facebook, skype, etc)? we'd also need a syllabis type calendar that we can follow so we know what to work on. we would need a coach who is CCS credentialed. any takers? I'd be interested in being part of the study group if we can get one formed.

That sounds great. I'm not familiar with skype or anything like that so i wouldn't be able to set that part up but i think facebook would be great. You can open a page called "Future CCS" or something like that and we could invite people from AAPC and our personal facebook page to join in. I'm sure you could find a few people out there who are CCS and CPC certified to help us further our career. When ( because i do believe i will pass :D ) i become CCS certified i wouldn't mind posting about my expirence and what area's i had trouble in.
 

dballard2004

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AHIMA actually has a forum for those who are studying to take the CCS Exam. I would suggest you inquire with AHIMA about membership to access the forum.

I wish all of you the best of luck on the CCS Exam.
 

cpccoder2008

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AHIMA actually has a forum for those who are studying to take the CCS Exam. I would suggest you inquire with AHIMA about membership to access the forum.

I wish all of you the best of luck on the CCS Exam.
Yes it does have a forum but it's for members only. I plan on registering for the test and becoming a member at the same time for the discount but once i do that i will be mailed an approval letter telling me if i qualify to take the CCS and then have four months to take it. So i would hate to become a member now just for the forum knowing that i'm not ready to test yet but i do plan on becoming a member in the next two months because i was searching last night for the testing dates in my area and it would not let me without my approval code.
 

mkm1517

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Study Group

I'm setting up a facebook group titled "CCS Study Group." Feel free to join the group to post questions and share your exam prep experiences.

The more info we share with each other the more successful we will be. The following resources are highly recommended from CCS credentialed coders in helping to prepare for the exam:
- Professional Review Guide
- Clinical Coding Workout
- CCS Review from AHIMA

Can't wait to meet you on facebook!
Melissa Hoff
 

mkm1517

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online study group

Since we're all in different time zones, I thought it might be easiest to do "homework" on our own (ie: working through the prep guides) and then "meet" on facebook to post questions, comments, etc. You would post whenever you had time - maybe we could set up a specific day to have our questions posted and then others can answer, comment as they have time. We're going to use the calendar printed in the Professional Review Guide as our guide for what we should be working on. Once we go through the PRG we'll supplement with the Coding Clinic Workout for extra work with looking codes up in the coding books.

If anyone has ideas that would work better, please voice them. This is a work in progress so we may have to tweak it as we go along. :)
 

Aleifer

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Count me in, I want to join your CCS study group!
I do not recommend buying the 2011 Clinical Coding Workout. AHIMA used the same exercises from previous editions without updating the answers with the new codes. For example, in case 5.9 they still used the CPT Cardiac Cath. codes that have been discontinued (93510, 93543, 93545, 93555 and 93556). On that note, Dr. David Dunn did a great job explaining the Cardiac Cath Changes in the March 2011 issue of the Coding Edge. It prepared me well for my CPC-H exam.

I would be wary of the Professional Review Guide as well since the CCA Professional Review Guide and CCS Professional Review Guide are identical but with different covers.

When shopping for 2011 books and workshops make sure the new test format is stressed in the material. I wonder if some materials were published before it was known that the test format would be changed?

I would only use the new AHIMA CCS Review Guide and study AHA Coding Clinic, ICD-9-CM and CPT Guidelines and other resources recommended in the review guide. Some of the Coding Edge articles of updated codes may also be useful.
 
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cpccoder2008

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I'm setting up a facebook group titled "CCS Study Group." Feel free to join the group to post questions and share your exam prep experiences.

The more info we share with each other the more successful we will be. The following resources are highly recommended from CCS credentialed coders in helping to prepare for the exam:
- Professional Review Guide
- Clinical Coding Workout
- CCS Review from AHIMA

Can't wait to meet you on facebook!
Melissa Hoff
Sounds great, just post the link once it's been set up.

I have been studying with the CCS exam prep by Jennifer Garvin and have finished all the exams so i'm looking into other books that might help. I have read about Coding Clinic workout and the PRG CCS but will price them when i get home. Can anyone tell me what material it covers ? Is it inpatient senario's or everything like the CCS exam prep ? After taking the exams i have the most trouble in Data Quality and Management and Information and Communication Technolgies
 

rpcarrillo

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I took the CCS exam a couple of years ago and it was considerably more challenging than the CPC exam in my opinion. It requires a very strong knowledge of diagnosis coding guidelines, rules, and Coding Clinics, and you have to do it all very quickly to beat the time limit.

This is a test that novice or newly credentialed coders are likely not well equipped to take without a program or course as additional help. But a seasoned outpatient coder can do it on their own, as long as you are prepared.

A couple of resource tips for CCS examinees:

1. Get yourself a Faye Brown to help you learn the ins and outs and basic mechanics of diagnosis coding. What you may have learned about ICD-9 in order to pass the CPC will definitely not be enough

2. You should also study pathophysiology, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology to give you a better background of the drugs, anatomy, and the disease processes themselves

3. Memorize (or at least strongly familiarize yourself with) the "Official ICD-9-CM Guidelines for Coding and Reporting", usually the first 35 pages in the front of the ICD-9-CM. Since the guidelines are in your ICD-9, you can actually use them during the exam and this is not cheating, but in order not to waste precious time during the exam you have to know what section to quickly thumb to to find the answer you need

4. Get the official AHIMA CCS study guide. Although, a friend who bought the book this year said it was rife with errors, but the year that I took it I didn't find many errors. I also used a Carol Buck review guide, but the Carol Buck was not nearly as helpful as the offical AHIMA guide. The AHIMA guide uses actual questions from the exam, and I actually found that there were some questions ended up on the test that I actually remembered word for word from the review guide. The included CD also has a timed practice multiple choice exam that helps a lot

About the exam itself, the multiple choice questions are extremely difficult, the kind of questions where almost all of the choices look reasonable, so it's very difficult to eliminate potential wrong answers. There are 13 cases to abstract, and they were also very challenging to complete in the time alotted.

A tip for the case abstracting: the year I took it (I say that because I'm not sure if it's changed) the principal diagnosis was worth something crazy like 13 points, and each additional diagnosis was only worth 1 point. So it was easy to get wrapped up in a single case trying to code as many secondaries as possible, but the real strategy is to get that principal diagnosis right and make sure you score that 13 point chunk and not get wrapped up in adding too many secondaries that are only worth 1 point.

And no matter which section of the test you're on, you have to be aware of the clock at all times, clock management is vital to passing that exam.

Best of luck!
 
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