Approved References for Use During the CPCO Exam
Reference materials are not required for the CPCO exam, but you may refer to the following items, so long as they are printed directly from the official websites. Notes are allowed only on the printed side of documents.
Electronic devices with an on/off switch (cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are not allowed into the examination room. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disqualification of your exam.
Non-Approved CPCO Exam References
Due to the advantages of additional information and/or ease of use, the following books cannot be used during the exam:
- Study Guides and Practice Exams
- Any published references by HCCA
Recommended Resources for Preparation
Healthcare Compliance Certification Requirements
The CPCO exam requires an understanding of a wide variety of compliance topics and issues. CPCO candidates should undertake CPCO Online Training and/or have two years’ experience working with compliance programs.
Prior to the CPCO exam, you should be extremely familiar with key elements required for compliance programs, including the daily operational aspects. You should also be familiar with key laws and regulations impacting compliance programs, physician practices, and policies used to address potential fraud and abuse, including associated penalties and fines. Additionally, you should know where to go and how to research information to identify correct practices to mitigate compliance risks.
Individuals with limited compliance experience will need to become familiar with the different topics addressed on the exam. You can find these topics outlined on the exam breakdown tab of this page.
Be aware that this is a challenging, high-level examination which is not meant for individuals with limited or no compliance experience or training.
- Maintain annual AAPC membership
- If you haven’t become an AAPC member, you must do so prior to scheduling your CPCO certification exam.
- Renewing members must have a current membership at the time of exam application and/or when exam results are released.
- CPCOs are required to complete 36 Continuing Education Units (CEU's) every two years. For CEU requirements, please see our CEU Information page.
An overall score of 70% or higher is required to pass the certification exam. If you don’t pass, the areas of study/categories with a score of 65% or less will be provided for your preparation to retest. The areas of study reported reflect scores based on the number of questions in each category/section of the exam.
All AAPC certification exams exclusively measure proficiencies relating to the one credential named in the exam. To earn additional medical coding credentials will require you to pass additional certification exams.