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Coding Certification

Last post 08-21-2008, 1:38 PM by ingrid millington. 18 replies.
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  •  08-04-2008, 3:40 PM

    Re: New student in Billing & Coding

    Fortunately, the CCS-P does not require extensive knowledge of insurance guidelines.  It is primarily based on the CPT coding guidelines and Medicare's guidelines.  The best book that I can suggest for studying is the one that I used CPT/HCPCS Coding and Reimbursement for Physician Practices.  This textbooks covers all the basics that you need to know to pass the exam.

    Christina Benjamin
    Independent Coding & Education Consultant

  •  08-12-2008, 8:09 PM

    Re: Coding Certification

    Hi Christina --

    I actually completed coding progam lst year and  immediately took the CCA exam.  My suggestion to new students in this job arena is begin by taking "baby steps".  Especially if it has been some time since they took a standardized type test.  Although you may consider this exam to be basic ,  it was a "good faith" effort and I passed the exam.  This basic exam does provide a certain confidence level that some new students may find beneficial.  Please do not discredit this exam. 

     I have been working in the billing area for 1 year now, however specialized to Urology, and I would appreciate any reference materials you can suggest.   I am an AHIMA member with the CCA crediential, however I have not found that employers are willing to acknowledge my coding crediential yet. I have ordered the CCS-P exam prep from AHIMA - however there is no reinforcement material or "notes" regarding the reason for the correct answers. 

     I appreciate your suggestion - Please let me know where I can get a copy of this "Exam Echoes " ?


    Thank you!


    Debbie Floyd




  •  08-13-2008, 9:44 AM

    Re: Coding Certification

    Hi Deborah,

    I am sorry, I meant no offense to those who have the CCA credential.  It is just that I don't recommend taking it especially with the hope that it will assist with employment.  And, after all, why else do students look to take and pass these tests, if it is not in hopes of improving their job prospects and their potential in the eyes of employers.  As you know and have personally experienced, employers do not recognize the CCA like they do the CCS, CCS-P or even CPC.  So to me and several other students and coders I have spoken with, it seems more reasonable to save up their money to take an exam that will count instead of having to save up for two exams. 

     As for the CCS-P exam, the top book that I recommend for studying is a textbook by Lynn Keuhn: Coding and Reimbursement for Physician Services.  This text will cover information on the multiple choice part of the CCS-P as well as give you a full review of CPT and HCPCS.  If you need information on ICD-9, there is a textbook called ICD-9 Coding for Physician Offices and it is by AHIMA  also and I recommend it for brushing up on ICD-9 if needed.  These two textbooks should give you both the text and practice that you need before working with the Prep book by AHIMA. 

    It is hard for me to recommend any test prep books out there because they just are lacking in so many ways, although they do have some benefit.  The best prep book for the CCS and CCS-P is really the Clinical Coding Workout by AHIMA.  It has detailed explanations like I have not seen or heard of in any other book out there. 

    My exam echoes is currently posted to my website as a complete multiple choice study guide for the CCS.  I hope to turn out another set of issues that will serve as a complete multiple choice study guide for the CCS-P and a refresher on key CPT coding principles later on this year.



    Christina Benjamin
    Independent Coding & Education Consultant

  •  08-21-2008, 1:38 PM

    Re: Coding Certification

    Hi Christina,

     Great comments, it made me think.  I am currently enrolled on HIT program, this is my second semester and I was planning to take the CCA exam by March next year.  The only reason I was going to do that is because I don't have any experience in the field.  So, I thought it would be a good way to start.  I don't know, but I got to think after your comment that pehaps I should try to take the CCS-P in instead.  But what concerns me is that the experience issue.  How long did it take you to prepare for the CCS? 

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