The American Academy of Professional Coders

The American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Health Information Management Association

The American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Health Information Management Association also have exams covering a wide range of topics. As a result, everyone studying for the AAPC and AHIMA exams needs to create a strategic study plan to planning for the exams. The AAPC and AHIMA exams can be passed if you use your time wisely and concentrate on the critical material.

Amount of Study Time Needed

Proper use of time in preparing for AAPC and AHIMA exams is crucial because it will ensure proper revision of the diverse topics covered by AAPC and AHIMA examination (Vines, Braceland,Rollins, Miller, 2012). Spending as much time as possible in preparing for AAPC and AHIMA exams is advisable since both AAPC and AHIMA exam covers one hundred and fifty questions each that test the coder's knowledge in various topics. It is important to have a personal timetable in order to cover all the topics tested in both AAPC and AHIMA examinations (Vines et al., 2012). In addition, more time should be allocated to the topics that seem more difficult to comprehend while spending less time on the topics that are easy to understand. This will help in proper time management and in enhancing the knowledge of the challenging topics as well as the easier topics. A thirty-minute break should be included after every three hours of study to enable the person preparing for the AAPC and AHIMA exams not to overwork his/her mind.

Information to Be Included In the Study

An AAPC and AHIMA examination covers many topics and sometimes it might be challenging to decide on where to start while preparing for the exam. The best resource to use while preparing for the AAPC and AHIMA exams is the AAPC's CPC and COC practice exams (Vines et al., 2012). This practice exam covers a broad range of information that is tested in the CPC exam such as CPT codes, ICD-10-CM codes, HCPCS, and medical and anatomy terminologies (Alakrawi, 2017). Moreover, it is crucial to be familiar with the AAPC manual to ensure that an individual is comfortable navigating and able to use its numerous appendices. Although many people that apply for CPC and COC certification exams have worked in coding for a little while, it is important to pay more attention to getting acquainted with the physiology terminologies, anatomy terminologies, and medical terminologies because there are tested in both CPC and COC certification exams.

How to Leverage Information Learned From Class to Prepare for Both Certifications

Information learned from class is important since it acts as reference material in cases where a person has forgotten or as a source of clarification for ideas not well understood. It is important to go through class work since it will aid in providing more useful information regarding what is expected in the examinations (Alakrawi, 2017). Furthermore, class work is well summarized, and this will assist in saving time when preparing for both AAPC and AHIMA examinations. Besides, information learned from class is well elaborated for easier understanding; therefore, using this information will be very helpful in preparation for the AAPC and AHIMA exams.


Importance of the Following Course Objectives to the Medical Coder and Biller

Identify and Explain the Different Sections of the CPT Coding Manual and Demonstrate Steps to Accurate Procedural Coding

CPT codes are codes that are used to describe surgeries, tests, evaluations and other medical procedures performed to a patient by a healthcare provider. They inform the insurance company of what the medic is reimbursed for and hence are an integral part of the billing process. The codes are divided into three categories. The category I codes have six sections divided according to the healthcare field they directly pertain to. The six sections include evaluation and management, anesthesiology, surgery, radiology, pathology and laboratory, and medicine in that order (Lin, Jiao, Biskupiak, & McAdam-Marx, 2013). Except for the evaluation and management codes, the others are arranged in numerical order. The assignment of accurate procedure codes involves six steps reviewing of the complete medical documentation, abstracting of the procedures from the visit documentation, identification of the principal terms of each procedure, location of terms in CPT index, verification of codes in CPT main text, and determining the need for modifiers (Lin et al., 2013). It is important for medical coders and billers to be aware of these sections and the steps to ensure that they are able to avoid errors during health insurance reimbursement processes and ensure the healthcare providers receive their payment without delay.

Recognize the Need for HCPCS Coding and When to Report HCPCS Codes

HCPCS codes are codes used to report equipment, devices provided to patients and supplies. The HCPCS codes have two levels namely I and II. Level I codes include the CPT codes (Lin et al., 2013). Level two codes involve the services such as durable goods, supplies, ambulance, orthotics, and prosthetics. The HCPCS codes are reported whenever they are used outside the office of the physician. It is also used in reporting of chemotherapy drugs, outpatient, and Medicaid. Medical billers and coders have an obligation to recognize the HCPCS coding and know when to report them in order to ensure accurate identification and reporting of procedures and services for which they bill insurance programs. In addition, it is important for them to understand them for proper submission of claims for a variety of services not identified by CPT code (Richards, Prybutok, & Ryan, 2012).

Identify and Explain the Purpose of a Coding Audit and Know How to Implement a Coding Audit

A coding audit refers to the process of reviewing coding accuracy, procedures, and policies. It is fundamental in determining the inaccurate coding and compliance with the CPT definition of codes (Richards et al., 2012). Medical billers and coders need to identify and explain the purpose of the coding audit for them ensure coding accuracy hence increasing reliability and avoiding variance. Further, the medical coders need to have a positive perspective about the audit and getting the most of it. This can only be achieved through a clear understanding of how to implement a coding audit.

Explain The Purpose And Process Of Electronic Medical Claims Processing.

Electronic medical claims processing is done using medical practice management software. Different types of medical practice management software are available in the market each with its format and set of commands (Richards et al., 2012). The electronic medical claims processing is done to ensure that the healthcare providers are paid faster. The processing involves submission of electronic claims, receiving of the processing reports and resolving of denials and rejections. Billers and coders should understand the process and the purpose of electronic processing to ensure that the claims are properly filed for timely payment to be made.


Alakrawi, Z. (2017). Data analytics of codified patient data: Identifying the factors influencing coding trends, productivity, and quality (Doctoral dissertation). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh.

Lin, J., Jiao, T., Biskupiak, J.E., & McAdam-Marx, C. (2013). Application of electronic medical record data for health outcomes research: a review of recent literature. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research, 13(2), 191-200.

Richards, R.J., Prybutok, V.R., & Ryan, S.D. (2012). Electronic medical records: Tools for competitive advantage. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 4(2), 120-136.

Vines, D., Braceland, A., Rollins, E., Miller, S.H. (2012). Comprehensive health insurance: Billing, coding & reimbursement. New York: Pearson.

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