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Recommendation for Professional Coder Certification

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tdiet0928:
Hi All

I am not sure that this is the right forum, but thought I could start here.  I have done medical billing for 20 years (internal medicine and mental health) and would like to get my Professional Coder Certification.  I think I can probably do it by just reviewing the books, and taking the test, instead of paying $1000 for classes.  Anyone have any suggestions as to if this is the right way to do it and/or where's the best place to get the coding books?  I don't know much about this but would like to become certified to get a better job. 

Thanks!

kristin:
If you Google CPC exam, you will find a lot of helpful websites about what is on the exam, how to study for it, etc. That said...

Try and find a free online practice exam, and see how you do.

You will definitely need the most current editions of CPT, ICD-10, and HCPCS books, there is no way around that. You can shop around for the best prices, and they usually do a package deal at different places when you need all three. Still, it will be around $200 for all of them. Look at AAPC, Amazon, and Optum/Ingenix.

Find any and all free/cheap resources to study for the exam, and use them all.

Remember you only get three chances to take the actual exam, and it costs $300 each time if I am not mistaken. You have to be a member of the AAPC in order to take the CPC exam, and their membership fee is $125. If you haven't already, go to the AAPC website, look at any free info they have, and then you can also look at the message boards for free, where many people have posted great study tips/tricks and tips for passing the exam also.

Also remember that if you do pass the exam, you are a CPC-A, and not an actual CPC until you have enough work experience coding to get the A dropped. Because you have so many years as a biller, you will have an advantage when it comes to getting a coding job, but it is still a rough market out there regardless.

Good luck!!!

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