how to pass CPC Exam

cjswanson

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Hi there! Thank you for all the great tips. I'm taking my CPC in August!! I was wondering what you meant under ICD when you said "and correspondingly write in 'tabular' section the sequencing of code like for sepsis, HIV, Poisoning, etc"?

Thank you!!
 

btadlock1

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Hi!!

i gave my CPC exam first attempt on 06/16/2012 and passed with 94% Hooray!!

i would like to share the helpful tips i searched for the exam with all of you who are going to take or re-take the exam
following is a gist of what i found given by Laureen, Brandi Tadlock, Angie and few are my suggestions
i would say there are two steps: one is preparing yourself and the other is preparing your books for the exam
1 Preparing yourself :
-please invest in study guide and exam sample papers, those are worth buying, if not both please buy sample papers
-solve sample papers again and again by setting a timer
-now when you solve the exam paper and look the rationale, look for each questions and not just the wrong ones, and look not the correct answer but see 'how you reached to the correct answer' and you will realize how to 'eliminate' wrong answers
-for the exam, the best tip i would suggest is 30 questions in one hour
when you are given the exam booklet mark a line after 30, 60, 90, and 120th question
and start solving your paper from 120th question(this will help your brain to 'relate' to the question - answer and eventually increase your pace) .
- solve 30 questions (120-150, 90-120 like that) in an hour, if you don't know the answer mark that question in exam booklet and go ahead, don't waste your time (i would even suggest to mark your 'guess' tentatively instead of leaving it blank, later on you can erase and workout the right answer for that if your time permits, this will reduce chances of 'missing' the bubble and marking wrong bubbles in rest of the other questions or leaving the answer 'blank' if you run out of time)
-IN the exam: while solving the coding questions, don't first read the question, just go to answers given so that you understand what to 'expect' from the question
now 'read' the question, by reading the question i am not saying go on reading all those surgical descriptions but 'read' and underline the 'keywords' in the questions leading you to the code, for example if approach is laproscopic underline that and this will automatically eliminate two options of open procedures or say in fracture case, if treatment given is open, will eliminate two closed reduction options
-likewise some questions be answered by choosing right modifiers as post surgical complications, staged procedure, discontinued procedure etc
-if you are in doubt for procedure code, some will be eliminated by ICD diagnosis code also
-for ICD, directly go to 'tabular' list, know your coding conventions thoroughly for sepsis, HIV, Poisoning, Adverse effect,Late effects, Neoplasm and Radiation treatment, Infections caused by various organisms, Diabetes, Hypertension and CKD, maternal and foetal codes will always be first and no code from maternal side is on newborn record or vice a versa etc, this will help you to eliminate the wrong sequence of answers in exam
-for E/M codes, know your 3/3 or 2/3 key components rule in deciding the code, know your 'consultations' 'critical care' and 'neonatal critical care' guidelines thoroughly, know your vaccination coding
-also read in parenthesis, there are instructions for use and not use the code with another code, add on codes given with mod 51 etc will help you to automatically eliminate wrong options


now coming to the second part which is most likely be ignored by students and what i think is the very important part: Prepare your Books for the Exam:
ICD
-take a highlighter and highlight all the coding conventions for ICD and correspondingly write in 'tabular' section the sequencing of code like for sepsis, HIV,Poisoning, etc
-buy color 'post it' sticky page markers and mark the page for Neoplasm table, Hypertension table, Poison and Drug table, Ecodes in aalpahabetic list
-mark the page for diabetes, CKD, Heart failure, Pregnancy complications, Foetal weight issues, E code 849 place, Burn, Sepsis in tabular list and know your V codes and coding conventions thoroughly

CPT
-take a highlighter and highlight all the guidelines of use and not use of modifiers, like mod 53 in colonoscopy, mod 59 in skin repair, medicine sections modifier guidelines, mod 62 in spinal surgery use and no use like for instrumentation and bone graft, etc
-highlight your skin sections as per all the same segments like 'trunk arms legs' 'scalp neck hands feet' in every procedure
-highlight Xray, CT, MRI of various body parts in radiology section
-know your skin section thoroughly

Hope these tips will help you in passing the exam, most importantly don't panic, stay calm in the exam

best of luck!!
I wish I could *Like* this post, but sadly, we're not on Facebook. :p
I've posted a lot of tips, but I'm guessing you're referring to the ones I've got on this thread: http://www.aapc.com/memberarea/forums/showthread.php?t=64283&highlight=exam+time+management

Good luck! :D
 

Lynda Wetter

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I wish I could *Like* this post, but sadly, we're not on Facebook. :p
I've posted a lot of tips, but I'm guessing you're referring to the ones I've got on this thread: http://www.aapc.com/memberarea/forums/showthread.php?t=64283&highlight=exam+time+management

Good luck! :D

@ Btadlock, that was funny, just last night I was going thru the forum just reading different posts and i said the exact same thing to my husband" I wish there was a LIKE button"!

We should write a letter

Also, I posted a question in the E/M section of the forum and was hoping to get some insight from you on it. Its in reference to the ROS/Exam portion and the documentation of the HEENT. (if you have a second to look it up)
Thanks,
Lynda Wetter CPC
 
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DYJ Thanks for help!

I wish I could *Like* this post, but sadly, we're not on Facebook. :p
I've posted a lot of tips, but I'm guessing you're referring to the ones I've got on this thread: http://www.aapc.com/memberarea/forums/64283-insight-advice-opinions.html?highlight=exam+time+management

Good luck! :D
My name is Tina. Can you tell me what you meant by sample papers. I seen the AAPC Study Guide book (can be purchased for like $70) thru the AAPC website. Did you use that study guide? What are where are the sample papers and studying materials your talking about? Thanks T :)
 

CodingKing

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My name is Tina. Can you tell me what you meant by sample papers. I seen the AAPC Study Guide book (can be purchased for like $70) thru the AAPC website. Did you use that study guide? What are where are the sample papers and studying materials your talking about? Thanks T :)
Sounds like they meant to say practice exams,. For example CCO.us provides a scantron form with their practice tests which you can print out and fill out since that better simulates the exam. Then after doing that go back into the exam online and enter the answers and see your score. Then use the rationales to better educate yourself on how they came to the answer.
 
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