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Difference between CCS and CPC certification

  1. Talking Difference between CCS and CPC certification
    Medical Coding Books

    I am just a rookie coder. I just finished a 5 month coding course which was full time. I had been doing medical billing for 9 years and decided to start preparing for my CCS or CPC exam. I've spoken with people online who are either studying for or have the CCS certification. I get the feeling that they think they have something better with a CCS. Anyone know the difference?

    I have books to practice my coding that have the answers to check my work. Case studies seem to be a problem for me. I know there must be books that have the answers to case studies but can't find any online. Can anyone help me with this.


  2. #2
    Milwaukee WI
    Default For E/M coding
    For E/M coding practice try emuniversity.com There's a subscription service, but there is also a free portion. The "case of the week" allows you to practice E/M coding and once you "vote" on the answer you can get access to the correct answer - including explanation of how they arrived at each key element.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M

  3. Default
    Hello JoAnne,
    The CPC is certification for physician coding (AAPC)
    The CCS is certification for facility / hospital coding (AHIMA)

    I have both the CPC and the CCS. Both exams are appropriately challenging; the CCS does entail more ICD-9 principles and guidelines whereas the CPC is heavily based and focused on CPT coding principles and guidelines.

    I value both credentials, however somewhat partial to my CPC. CPT coding rocks!!!

    I also find that the AAPC puts more behind maintaining the credential through c.e.u. requirements rather than a single annual assessment for all coders.

    A recent article was published on the home page of the AAPC's website explaining the difference between the CPC & CCS.

  4. #4

  5. Default
    This white paper has inaccurate information pertaining to the AHIMA coding credentials.

  6. #6
    Hi Joanne - Ciphermed is not quite correct in stating that CPC is for physician coding and CCS is for facility. CPCs also code for Ambulatory Surgery Centers and CPC coders who have taken the CPC-H also do outpatient coding. CCS and RHIT coders mainly do inpatient coding which entails a lot of extraction of codes from inpatient charts or chart auditing. I work for a company that owns and operates ASCs and code only op notes for six different centers. Hope this helps.

  7. Default
    I urge everyone to look at the many comments posted about the inaccuracies of this paper

  8. #8
    Charleston, South Carolina

    You have an idea now about the differences. The next questions are what kind of codoing do you do, in-patient or physician/out-paitent; and what are you looking to do. That should lead you to which credential you may want to pursue.

    Good luck!


    PS, I am in the beginning of thinking of doing the CCS as I am a consultant and work with a lot of hospitals. Like I said, just the beginning thoughts, I need to see if it would have value for me, etc.

  9. Default
    I am really considering taking the CCS exam sometime soon. The only thing is I do not want to get all these certifications and have to pay expensive membership fees and CEU maintenance. I am currently enrolled in a dental coding course to become a certified dental coder, I am taking the chart auditing exam in February, considering taking the CCS, once I finish college (Bachelor of Science in Heath Information Administration) I will sit for the RHIA exam, I am a CPC and a CPC-P.

    That's four different organizations that I will have to pay into in order to keep my credentials. I guess I will just have to see which one(s) is/are more lucrative and let the less lucrative one(s) go, I don't know yet, time will tell...With all the talks of outsourcing, computerized coding and companies not recognizing or accepting the CPC, it makes me wonder if I need to change my line of work.

    Does anyone out there in the coding world have any advice/suggestions? I would love to hear everyone's opinion.

  10. #10
    AHIMA certifications are recognized more than AAPC when it comes to hospital based coding.

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