When taking a CPC examination, it isn’t only about completing it with a passing score of 70% or higher.
To obtain a certification from the AAPC, you need at least two years of experience in the field.
It seems like because of this, new coders wouldn’t be taking the CPC examination, but it’s not necessarily so.
There are apprentice programs offered by the AAPC additionally to their CPC certification.
If you don’t have the required experience and complete the CPC exam, you will receive a CPC-A certification.
With this certification, you can work as a certified coder while gaining either the on-the-job experience or continuing education units for full certification.
To obtain the certification through experience, you need to provide two letters of recommendation that demonstrate the two years of experience to the AAPC.
One should be from your employer written on their letterhead.
Another one, from the co-worker.
These letters prove your experience and the expertise in using the ICD-10-CM, HCPCS, and CPT code sets.
To obtain a full certification through CEU, you need to provide documentation of 80 contact hours of the CPT, HCPCS, and ICD-10-CM code sets instruction.
Contact hours mean scheduled instruction.
One contact hour would be equal to an hour-long class.
Coding classes are available at community colleges.
There are also programs not affiliated with a school, but you should be cautious about those, as many of them are scams.
The confirmation of these hours should be sent from an instructor on the school letterhead.
You can also send a certificate or diploma confirming the completion of these 80 hours, or a school transcript describing this.
After the submission of the required documentation of work experience or instruction, the AAPC will grant you a full certification.
They will issue it within two to four weeks.