CPC Medical Coding – Pros and Cons

CPC Medical coding could be an excellent choice for a career. It can offer a great amount of possibilities for those interested to make it a profession. A Certified Professional Coder or CPC has proven to be a lucrative as well as a very essential profession in the healthcare industry. Medical coders always work side by side with medical billers and although many people confuse these professions as the same thing, medical coders and billers have different responsibilities individually.

Even though there are several softwares nowadays that could help with medical coding, still, the demand for medical coders is increasing. Let’s face it; you can’t always rely on computers, anyway. That’s why companies hire people who are qualified to enter codes for physicians’ patient diagnosis as well as follow up on the most important data about the hospital, the insurance company and patients.

As a medical coder, you are expected to have a broad knowledge about computers. Simply knowing how to type and click just is not going to cut it these days. To be an excellent medical coder, you have to have be savvy when it comes to technology. This being said, CPC Medical Coding is not a job for everyone – especially not for those who can’t tell the difference between Microsoft Word and Excel.

Another is that medical coding does not have much to do with patient care. If you’re expecting to be running alongside emergency room nurses, then you’re completely wrong. In all its simplest sense, medical coding is a whole bunch of clerical work. But nevertheless, it is a profession that needs to be done by a certified individual, since any discrepancies on the part of the coder could mean harm to both patient and hospital.

Furthermore, medical coding is a profession that requires a lot of detail-oriented work. Not everyone pays attention to details as much as we should. That’s why medical coding is not just for anyone. In fact, before you could call yourself a certified medical coder, you have to go through a certification exam first.

Certification exams such as the CPC or Certified Professional Coder exams encourage at least an Associate’s Degree before submitting an application for the exam. Furthermore, the CPC’s will have 150 questions that come from various medical and healthcare system topics. These topics range from Anatomy and Biology to Medical Terminologies and System Security. Every aspiring medical coder is advised to take review classes before taking the exams.

Still, with all the studying and exams one has to go through to be a CPC, the medical coder salary with being a certified coder would surely make it worthwhile. According to http://www.Salary.com, Certified Professional Coders in the US earn as much as $62,000 per year.

With the healthcare systems changing, more and more professional coders will be needed in the coming years, opening a wide window of opportunity for those wishing to enter this industry.


How to Manage Your Time during the CPC Exam

The Certified Medical Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is highly regarded by medical coders because of the better prospects it offers in terms of career progression. People who have taken the exam successfully have gone ahead to get better jobs and higher salaries due to the high demand for coders by employers.


The exam usually consists of 150 questions that you are supposed to complete in a period of 5 hours and 40 minutes. When you make your calculations, you find that you need to answer each question within 2 minutes without a break in between. You have the freedom to refer to reading materials for answers, but the main issue here is time. If you do not know how to use the time you have, you will end up answering only a few questions. The following guidelines will help you manage your time well when taking the CPC exam.

The Multiple Passes Strategy

The good news is that there is a strategy that has been tried before and found to work effectively. The questions that you will encounter are not all equal; some will be hard while others easy. This strategy works in a way that you go through the question paper in three passes. The first pass will be to identify and answer the easiest questions, the second pass to handle the moderately hard questions while the last pass the most difficult questions. This will give you more time to concentrate on the most difficult questions that require a lot of thinking.

Keep Track Of the Time

You need to monitor your progress as you answer the questions. The CPC answer sheet provides you with five columns each holding 30 questions. You can allow yourself one hour each column so that you have 40 minutes at the end to review what you have done. When you are stuck on a question, move to the next one so that you can progress.

Attempt all questions

When you have attempted all the questions, you are sure of, use the remaining time to come up with answers to the difficult questions. Do not be afraid to guess because you will get a 25% chance of getting the question right. This is because each question has four choices for you to choose the best.

Practice, Practice and More Practice

The best way that you can apply the strategies discussed above is to practice. Various resources offer sample exams for you to take. You can use past exam papers or online simulations to increase your confidence and speed.

Once you know how to handle the time in a CPC exam, you will avoid any stress that comes with knowing that the time is limited yet you have not answered all the questions. IF you are looking for a great CPC certification online course, click on the link.

How to Pass your CPC Exam

Those who are looking for career change and greener pasture should look into medical coding field as its demand is steadily growing. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2005, the health information is in fast pace demand and will grow even faster in 2014. One of the main reasons for this is because of the high medical coder salary offer.


Medical coders make sure that they apply the appropriate code to methods and services which are tested to make sure that diagnoses are properly performed. Coders transform healthcare processes and other health related concerns to code numbers. Medical Coders should be detail oriented as well as well verse with codes. Nevertheless, a college degree is not required in this job since a high school is only required. Because of the lucrative offer this job brings, many changed their career path in medical coding. Nevertheless, CPC exam is difficult to pass with approximately 40%-50% of takers who passed their CPC exam in the first try. If you want to belong to this bracket, read the tips below.

Ready to be calm

Do not lose your nerves on the exam day and forget what you study. Be ready prior to the exam by reviewing special guides, getting online review videos and manage your time wisely. You can also do an AAPC mock up tests to be readier. Remember that 5 and half hours is just enough for you to complete the 150 multiple choice questions. When you panic, your brain release stress inducing hormones called cortisol that would blocks your memory. Reading guides released by AAPC will ensure that you get the appropriate training before the exams as the authors of the guides are the same people who simulate the exam. Proven high retention strategies may help you in your review as you absorb and recall your previous lessons.

Failing does not end anything

Once you failed the exam, remember that it does not anything. Do not give up just yet and retake until you pass, there are those who failed that did not give up and retake their exam. You just have to focus and always remember what you studied and watch the videos, purchase the tutorials and guidelines offered by the AAPC.

Taking the CPC exam does not have any prerequisites as long as you are academically ready. That being said, the AAPC does not even ask for proof of that you complete the program. However, with the benefits being a CPC holder offers, passing the exam is a must and requires mental readiness.

You Can Do it Online! Get Your CPC Certification

Be a Certified Professional Coder Today!Learning to be a certified medical coder is possible mostly through internet methods. The American Academy of Professional Coders supplies a number of virtual courses but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a dynamic school setting if it suits you better. The greater part of potential professionals are turning increasingly more to web based courses to acquire correct training for careers . The opportunity to teach students online exposes a world of flexible possibilities that permits the night-shift worker and stay-at-home mom the exact same possibility to get into an occupation they desire. High medical coding salary awaits you once you get into this field.

Learning to be a certified professional medical coder is one kind of those careers that is part of this recent trend. The cabability to plan for CPC certification is made easier by the wide accessibility of resources online. Being sure professional medical coding is a practical option it is smart to look at the AAPC website to acquire more information. You can generally be successful if you understand the requirement for rigorous study. Almost anything in the process to becoming certified can be achieved online with the exception of the actual exam itself (which is administered at testing sites across the United States) and 12 months of relevant experience.

To acquire your CPC certification you must pass the 5 hour and 40 minute exam plus have a very good couple years of experience underneath your belt (as dictated via the AAPC). The necessary experience can be obtained in part by physical participation and utilizing internet classes given by the AAPC.

Getting prepared for the CPC certification test is simple with the internet at your side. Your next step should be to sign up online at the AAPC website. Having constant admission to a valuable online site will aid greatly in your preparation. You’ll never really need to sacrifice your schedule while using web courses because you decide when you ought to complete your task. There exists a window of Six weeks relating to the time you register and apply for the test and when you receive the OK to actually take the exam.

Undoubtedly you will have to prepare for your certification in a variety of ways that will need much more than 6 weeks. Preparation is key. In the AAPC website they have a special CPC Preparation Course, CPC certification study guide (385 pages), and CPC certification practice exam available to you. In addition they offer 2 month long courses for Medical Terminology and Anatomy. Not surprisingly, availability comes at a cost.

If the AAPC route is quite costly to your tastes you should use other approaches to preparation in line with everything you know to be on the exam as described by the AAPC website. Spend some time to really determine your weak points and fill in the cracks with courses or study guides utilizing other sources. It may be that you feel comfortable with data entry however your ability to transfer medical terms into codes confuses you. You can take a course to clean up your abilities.

It can be determined that the internet is the best place for anyone to get prepared in the process of CPC certification. The AAPC allows the opportunity for anyone to make the most out of internet resources for practice all the way up until the date of the exam. Attaining a CPC certification is simpler than ever now with all of the virtual strategies ready for the taking and the success in this potential career is open to anyone.

For more information about CPC certification, click here.