ccs examination

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Ed in Palatine, Illinois

81 months ago

How can I successfully pass CCS exam without having any experience in coding? Will studying on my own bring any success?

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Lorraine W in Connersville, Indiana

81 months ago

While you may certainly attempt the CCS exam, I have met one (1) coder who passed it straight out of school without work experience. The suggestion for the exam is having a minimum of 5 years experience.

How long was your school course? 3 mos? 6 mos? 2 years?

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ed in Elgin, Illinois

81 months ago

Lorraine W in Connersville, Indiana said: While you may certainly attempt the CCS exam, I have met one (1) coder who passed it straight out of school without work experience. The suggestion for the exam is having a minimum of 5 years experience.

How long was your school course? 3 mos? 6 mos? 2 years?

Well I'm currently in a 2 year Medical Office Management Program. My program curriculum includes ICD-9 and CPT classes, however they focus more on medical office coding. I would be more intrested in hospital coding. I am not sure if getting experience in medical office coding can help in passing the CCS exam? Any suggestions?

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

81 months ago

The CCS exam is structured around inpatient and outpatient coding. Your being in a Medical OFFICE Mgmt Program seems to be a little contradictory. Hence, the CCS is designed more for the well-rounded, experienced coder...I just don't know what to tell you, really. By all means, study hard and take the test, but if your marks are low, it may be a sign that you need to get practical work experience in order to flash credentials.

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Crystal A in Worcester, Massachusetts

80 months ago

See I was wondering the same thing because my school is 10 months, entensive. I do 60 class hours per course, that is 15 more than a normal college semester course. We have all the classes needed to start in the field. I would like to skip the CCS-A exam all together in hopes to working in the Hospital that has positions open for coders.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

79 months ago

Crystal A in Worcester, Massachusetts said: See I was wondering the same thing because my school is 10 months, entensive. I do 60 class hours per course, that is 15 more than a normal college semester course. We have all the classes needed to start in the field. I would like to skip the CCS-A exam all together in hopes to working in the Hospital that has positions open for coders.

That might not be a bad idea...but you might want to contact the department head and ask which credential (RHIT vs. CCS) they require of their coders. Most hospitals require the RHIT within the first year of hire; the full CCS tends to be for those who have worked in the field for 2-3 years.

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drg in greensboro, North Carolina

77 months ago

i'm studying right now for the ccs, and i'm about rip my hair out!=0...the multiple choice i pass with the ccs book with flying colors but the case studies are KILLING me! any suggestions...rules to remember?

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

77 months ago

drg in greensboro, North Carolina said: i'm studying right now for the ccs, and i'm about rip my hair out!=0...the multiple choice i pass with the ccs book with flying colors but the case studies are KILLING me! any suggestions...rules to remember?

I know what you're asking, but I really don't know what to tell you. Case studies are designed to test your overall coding knowledge and determine what you've learned while on-the-job, analyzing a complete patient record.

From AHIMA:

CCS Examination Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to sit for the CCS exam, you must have earned a high school diploma from a United States high school or have an equivalent educational background. Although not required, it is strongly recommended that you have experience in hospital inpatient (ICD-9-CM) and ambulatory care (ICD-9-CM and CPT) medical record coding.

Results of previous examinations suggest that those with three or more years of coding experience are more likely to pass.
***

Granted the stats do change from year to year--but the average pass rate for the full CCS exam is around 60%. I'm still on the fence about getting it myself, but right now I just can't see spending the money on a credential that I don't need for my job. Have you considered taking the CCS-P exam instead?

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Melony T in West Hills, California

77 months ago

drg in greensboro, North Carolina said: i'm studying right now for the ccs, and i'm about rip my hair out!=0...the multiple choice i pass with the ccs book with flying colors but the case studies are KILLING me! any suggestions...rules to remember?

there is a 66% curve this year. Problem is you pay for the test all over again if you dont pass, unlike the AAPC. Get some study guides and check amazon.com

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Melony T in West Hills, California

77 months ago

Lorraine W in Connersville, Indiana said: While you may certainly attempt the CCS exam, I have met one (1) coder who passed it straight out of school without work experience. The suggestion for the exam is having a minimum of 5 years experience.

How long was your school course? 3 mos? 6 mos? 2 years?

Lorraine,
Can I ask you a couple questions off the board?

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drg in greensboro, North Carolina

77 months ago

Melony T in West Hills, California said: there is a 66% curve this year. Problem is you pay for the test all over again if you dont pass, unlike the AAPC. Get some study guides and check amazon.com

2 days later, i'm starting to feel better...that maybe i'm not such an idiot...although does anyone know how the scoring is done? i've tried to research this but have come up with zilch. Do you get points for getting principal diagnosis or any additional diagnosis...or for getting a diagnosis but in the wrong order with the additional diagnoses. Are inpatient case studies weighted more because they are usually more difficult?

It certainly is nice to know about the curve...=)

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

77 months ago

I have 2 years now of work exprience in internal medicine (mostly when the doctors to the rounds) just started billing a new position billing lab for the nursing home, and all the out patient series therapies. I have a diploma from Branford Medical Billing/Coding, I work for CHS of Long Island and want to get ready for a hospital coder, where can i get the book or cassettes to start preparing for it? any information that you can give will be greatly appreciated. CCS definition is?

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

77 months ago

That would be Certified Coding Specialist.

From AHIMA:

Certified Coding Specialists are professionals skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in the hospital setting. These coding practitioners review patients' records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. To perform this task, they must possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM coding system and the surgery section within the CPT coding system. In addition, the CCS is knowledgeable of medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology.

Hospitals or medical providers report coded data to insurance companies or the government, in the case of Medicare and Medicaid recipients, for reimbursement of their expenses. Researchers and public health officials also use coded medical data to monitor patterns and explore new interventions. Coding accuracy is thus highly important to healthcare organizations because of its impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates tested data quality and integrity skills in a coding practitioner.

The CCS certification exam assesses MASTERY or proficiency in coding rather than ENTRY-LEVEL skills.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

77 months ago

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

77 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: That would be Certified Coding Specialist.

From AHIMA:

Certified Coding Specialists are professionals skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in the hospital setting. These coding practitioners review patients' records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. To perform this task, they must possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM coding system and the surgery section within the CPT coding system. In addition, the CCS is knowledgeable of medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology.

Hospitals or medical providers report coded data to insurance companies or the government, in the case of Medicare and Medicaid recipients, for reimbursement of their expenses. Researchers and public health officials also use coded medical data to monitor patterns and explore new interventions. Coding accuracy is thus highly important to healthcare organizations because of its impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates tested data quality and integrity skills in a coding practitioner.

The CCS certification exam assesses MASTERY or proficiency in coding rather than ENTRY-LEVEL skills.

Sorry two more questions, where do I get tested for CCI? I am a medical biller and familiar with the ICD-9 and CPT coding but only for out patient therapy billing. Is there a book for me to study and where can I get it from? Just new at this career and I really enjoy it but want to become a Hospital Coder...thanks!

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Dee in Raleigh, North Carolina

76 months ago

Lori in Loganville, Georgia said: Can you get a job as a Medical Coder with out being certified ???

Most hospitals will give you 6 mos after your hire date to get your certification. I just graduated with an Associates in Medical Billing/Insurance Coding and they won't even look at me until I get 3-5 yrs experience in a medical facility setting whether it be in a hospital working in a different dept such as centralized scheduling, patient accounting, etc., or a doctors office. I don't know what doc's office rules are for certification. I hope this somewhat helps...good luck

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

76 months ago

thank you so much; I in the ohther hand took and 8 month course on medical billing and coding and got a job 2 and half years later doing really well but want a higher paying salary so want to go for the CCS test. Good luck to you!

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Cynthia in Lake City, Florida

75 months ago

How extensive is the Reimbursement portion of the CCS exam? And, will there be questions generated towards current changes vs past rules and regulations? Where should the focus be? I'm using the 2008 CCS Coding Exam Review author Carol J. Buck, Marilyn Rasmussen, Deborah Neville and Judith Neppel.

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JB in South Elgin, Illinois

75 months ago

I am studying for the CCS exam with the CCS Review Guide by Jennifer Garvin. They strongly recommend reviewing the last 3 to 5 years of Coding Clinic.

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sheryl w in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania

75 months ago

my background i started processing medicare claim in 1985. so i been processing and adjusting claims for commerical after 10 years of medicare. and did nine months of medical biller and now i am a patient account rep-follow-up person. so i have over 25 years of ins and then and i took a four month course of medical coding. do you think i will have a problem with take the ccs-p exam

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JB in Vermilion, Illinois

75 months ago

I took the CCS exam today. It was hard! If I had to take it over again, I would start coding the longer patient charts first. I went in order and was almost short on time. Definitely know how to pick out an additional diagnosis!

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Janet in Mckinney, Texas

75 months ago

Hi everyone. I finished a medical billing and coding certificate program and I was advised to start out with the CCA exam. I picked up a book called Clinical Coding Workout with nothing but coding exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced. I want to sign up to take the CCA exam, but I was wondering if anyone can tell me how the CCA exam is broken down. What type of questions would be on there besides some coding? I have read the AHIMA site but I need a more in depth breakdown of what will be on the exam. I have no problem with the coding, I imagine though that there are other types of questions that cover other areas other than just choosing the correct code. If anything can help me with this I would be extremely greatful.

Thanks!

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JRS in Windham, New Hampshire

75 months ago

Hi everyone,

I have been doing medical billing for nine yrs. This involved coding for physician office oral surgery with some hospital cases for seven yrs. I want to do hospital coding, preferably radiology. I took a five month billing and coding course from 9:00-5:00 Mon-Fri and am happy to have taken my National Coding and Billing exam passing with a 91. I have been studying for the CPC exam and am confused if whether the CCS exam is better or what the difference even is. Anybody know?

I'd prefer not to work in a doctors office again.

Thanks!

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Terry in Boston, Massachusetts

75 months ago

Difference=experience

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JRS in Windham, New Hampshire

75 months ago

Are you saying CCS through AMIMA is a better certification to get instead of the CPC through AAPC? Can you please elaborate.

Thank you

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Annie in Millington, Michigan

75 months ago

JRS in Windham, New Hampshire said: Are you saying CCS through AMIMA is a better certification to get instead of the CPC through AAPC? Can you please elaborate.

Thank you

The CCS is a better credential in that the test is much harder so it is often viewed as more of an "expert" credential. The exam only has a 60-65% pass rate. The CPC exam is fairly easy by comparison which is why schools are able to have high pass rates after 6 months.

BUT--there are coders who only have a CPC who are great coders, so just because someone has the CPC credential does not mean they are not good at coding. We prepped for the CCS and CCS-P in my HIT program and it is a very hard test--and expensive.

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Ann Roth in Beaufort, South Carolina

75 months ago

I am an in-patient coder who has been coding for five years. I only code ICD no CPT codes. I took the CCS test two years ago and missed it by fourteen points. I am preparing to take it again, any tips on how to proceed with a study program would be appreciated.

I was fortunate to be hired when I did my clinicals at this hospital and trained by the coding supervisor. She put alot of time and effort into my training.

Any tips would be appreciated.

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Cat in Pensacola, Florida

75 months ago

Does your hospital do any Ambulatory Surgey cases? And if they do ask yr manager if on yr own time, after yr shift if you can have some to practice on with the books since they don't allow an encoder at the test. That way you can get used to it. That is the best way to get used to CPT codes and how to use them. That is what I did in order to get ready for the CCS.

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

75 months ago

thank you Cat, one more question if you don't mind, how long and how hard is the test?

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Cat in Pensacola, Florida

75 months ago

It is a very hard test. I don't know about now but when I took it in 2000, I was there from 9 am to about 3 in the afternoon with a lunch break in btwn. The worst part was the multiple choice it is 60 questions in 60 minutes so that breaks down to a minute a question to read and answer (very stressfull)it is a mix of rules, medication questions,diagnosis scenarios. And then inpt and ambulatory surgery. By the end of that day I was so brain dead I hardly knew my own name. And if you can still take books with you, paste notes into the book that you might need,as long as it is not loose paper you can do that, and make notes in the icd 9 if you can't take a cpt and link up the icd procedure with the cpt procedure anything that will save time.

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

75 months ago

thank you so much that gives me an idea of what and where I will need to prepare.

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JRS in Windham, New Hampshire

75 months ago

I cannot find anyplace on AHIMA website where or when they give the CCS exam.

Annie in Michigan - Thank you for explaining the difference between CCS and CPC certifications.

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JB in Orland Park, Illinois

75 months ago

Once you apply for the exam, (you can do it through the AHIMA website) you will receive a letter in the mail giving you the information about where you can sign up for a date and time to take your exam. The company who gives the exams is called Prometric.

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sheryl w in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

75 months ago

www.ahima.org click on certification and that will take to different exams.

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Ann Roth in Beaufort, South Carolina

75 months ago

Another tip on the CCS. Make a trip to look at the place you will be taking the CCS. The testing center I was at did not have adequate air conditioning, it was off and then on! This was in GA in the middle of summer. I am older and have tempature issues, if you know what I mean. Also, the work are was so tiny, there was no space to have the books open to leaf thru for codes. Next time I will visit some of the testing centers and pick out the most "user friendly" facility.

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

75 months ago

Thank you for the advise since I am in the same boat with the body temperture situation, did you go to school to prepare or just study the books? I was thinking of enrolling in a class that will prepare me for the test and work the Medical Billing that I do during the day.

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Melony in West Hills, California

75 months ago

Shammu in Greenville, South Carolina said: Hi! I did a 4 month medical coding course and am looking for jobs. But I heard that getting a certification will give me better job opportunities. Please let me know which certification I should be taking ? CCA or CMC

CCA would be for inpatient coding and CMC is a certification I have not heard of. Try a google search for the training you have to see what certification would be more beneficial for you.

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Ann in Beaufort, South Carolina

75 months ago

I took a one year course thru the techincal college. I was very fortunate to do my clinicals at our local hospital. The coding supervisor offered me a job and spent basically an entire year training me. She checked every chart I did for a long time. I have now been doing inpatient coding for five years. It is very difficult to get a job without the experience. I knowe one gal who is PRN she started out by volunteering in the HIS Dept. She had also taken a one year course.
Good luck.

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Dorispal in Bay Shore, New York

75 months ago

Thank you Ann that was very helpful, is the financial compensation rewarding or about the same as a Medical Biller? Have a great week-end!

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Ann in Beaufort, South Carolina

75 months ago

Hi, glad that helped. I don't know what medical billers make. I am now at a whopping $11.00 an hour, pitiful isn't it!! When I get the CCS certification I can look forward to about one-third increase. I got into this field for health benefits but I do want the money! I am doing the same work as the certified gals with the same accuracy. So I am going to get busy studying.

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JRS in Windham, New Hampshire

74 months ago

Hi,
Can anyone help with finding books to work with coding case studies that give the answers. I have three books to study with and there are answers but none of them have the answers for the case studies.
Thanks,
JoAnne

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Ann in Beaufort, South Carolina

74 months ago

I have a book at work, I believe the name is Advanced Case Studies, will look and let you know for sure later in the week. It has the answers. Try Amazon.com, I have had good luck on that site, make sure in the description that it says answers included.

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Janet in Mckinney, Texas

74 months ago

Does anyone know the breakdown of the CCA exam? I'm scheduled to take it end of this month, and I'm wondering if anyone can elaborate on what is on the exam so I can more precisely know what I need to study.

Thanks for any help

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kim white in Winston Salem, North Carolina

74 months ago

I found this forum verfy interested, first time here. I have 5 years of experience with a speciality cert. in home health coding. I am now preparing myself to study for the CCS-P any suggestion on which books are good for this test?

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Rachelle Davis in Dover, Delaware

74 months ago

Hi,
I am new to coding and like all the others are having a hard time finding a job the first time without any exprience. I happen to be moving to the fayetteville area. I was wondering where did you get your cert from; i have not heard of it. Also, how did you first get started?

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Kathie Henton in Wellington, Kansas

74 months ago

Ed in Palatine, Illinois said: How can I successfully pass CCS exam without having any experience in coding? Will studying on my own bring any success?

I took my exam in 2003 just with years of experience and passed! I recommend you know the rules in both the CPT and ICD-9 books, have a good understanding of medical terminology and anatomy. I don't know if you still bring your own code book to test, but if so, take a book you are familiar with. If you have only used an encoder, use the book for a month or so prior to exam. Hope this helps.

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Barb in Sanford, Florida

74 months ago

Do I need experience or schooling to sit for CCS? How much does A CCS make?

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G Michaels in Youngstown, Ohio

70 months ago

"I am sitting for the CCS exam and I need to know if anyone have any sample test or guides I can prefer to.I need all the information I can to pass the test the first time." Tamii in Tifton, Georgia

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, here is a full length practice exam

medicalcodingpro.com/store-exam-prep-main.html

Gregg

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Cat in Pensacola, Florida

70 months ago

one place you can get information is from www.ahima.org they have a little booklet you can download. Also their are actual books that are study guide's that are for the CCS and they have other books devoted to other examinations given by AHIMA. Professional Review Guide for the Ccs Examination 2009 is the name of the book the author is Patricia Schnering, I found it on Amazon but you could do a web search and see if you can get a better price on some other site.
The other suggestion I can give you is in the ICD-9 and CPT books that you will take with you make whatever notes you need in the books and make copy's of things you can paste on the pages. I did that when I took my CCS exam in 2001 as long as it is in the books and no loose papers its ok. But I will warn you that test is very hard and long, when I took it I was there almost 8 hours the first part of the test is the mulitple choice, it is 60 questions in 60 minutes(1hr)that breaks down to 1 question per minute and they are tricky questions that cover a whole range of subjects you will have studied, from coding questions to questions on how to use the icd-9 book and rules and regulations,etc. Then you get 45 minutes to and hour for lunch then back for the second part of the exam their should be a cpt procedure part and then icd-9 inpatient part with printed reports of examples of patient cases. I was so brain fried by the end of the day I could not tell you what my name was, but I passed so it was all worth it. I used the above guides I recommended and I was working at the time and part of the requirement was to sit for the CCS in the first year, I also took advantage and would stay after my shift and practice on different types of charts and pick the brain of my coding manager for something I was not sure of. I also paid $150 for a CCS prep seminar at a local college. All of which helped me to have success passing the CCS. Good luck to you. And let the forum know how you do. When is your exam dat

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lana in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

68 months ago

I am wondering if anyone knows if you can bring the 2008 versions of the ICD-9 and CPT coding books to the CCA exam after March 2009. I have the 2008 versions

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