April 24, 2009 | | Comments 14
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AAPC will require ICD-10 proficiency exam

certificateAt the American Academy of Professional Coders conference in Las Vegas, a wave of ICD-10 info (and emotion) washed over the conference attendees. Reed Pew, the AAPC CEO and president, made one announcement during his conference address on April 6 that caught the attention of many.

The AAPC will require all those with a certified professional coder (CPC) credential to take an ICD-10 proficiency exam to keep their certification. Even though this was met with a number of groans from the crowd, the AAPC is quick to stress the facts about the test:

  • The test will be open book
  • The test will be online
  • It will consist of 75 questions
  • It will cost about $60
  • Coders will have  two years to take the test, starting October 1, 2012

“We want to make sure we’re the best in the industry,” said Deb Grider, CPC, CPC-H, CPC-I, CPC-P, CEMC, COBGC, CCS-P, president of Deborah Grider and Associates in Indianapolis, IN, and the former president of the American Academy of Professional Coders National Advisory Board.

What is your reaction? Do you think this proficiency exam will help to ensure your coding department is prepared for the transition to ICD-10? Let us know what you think!

Entry Information

Filed Under: CodingPlan for implementation


Doreen V. Bentley About the Author: Doreen V. Bentley, CPC-A, is the Managing Editor of JustCoding.com, which provides coders, coding supervisors, and health information management (HIM) directors with educational resources to test their coding knowledge, employ correct coding guidelines, and stay abreast of CMS transmittals.

E-mail her at dbentley@hcpro.com

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  1. When are coder going to be required to take the test for ICD10 Proficieny?

  2. Doreen V. Bentley

    I believe that coders will be able to take the exam starting in 2012. And I think everyone will have the year to take the exam, so you don’t have to rush to take it. Hope this helps!

  3. Did AAPC mention if and when they will have ICD-10 manuals/coding books available for sale? I recently received a catelog from PMIC with an “Introduction to ICD-10″ book for sale.


  4. Doreen V. Bentley

    I don’t recall the AAPC mentioning specifics about manuals and coding books currently for sale, but you can find more information at http://www.aapc.com/icd-10.

  5. Here’s the points to remember:

    – The proficiency validation is set up to ensure employers continue to value the CPC and other AAPC credentials once ICD-10 is implemented, and that they truly represent an ability to code under the CURRENT code set.
    – There will be TWO (2) years to do it (not one as mentioned by the author)
    – The two (2) years begins October 1, 2012 (one year before implementation of ICD-10) and ends September 30, 2014 (one year after implementation)
    – It will have 75 questions, open-book, online and un-proctored
    – Coders will have two (2) attempts at passing for the $60 administration fee

  6. Doreen V. Bentley

    Thank you so much Bevan for clarifying the number of years coders have to take the proficiency test! I will correct the original post to reflect this information. Thank you again for your feedback!

  7. I don’t understand why we have pay AGAIN for taking a test. Someone please explain to me why we have to keep giving money? I suppose we have to pay to get the materials that AAPC requires to take the test. So then $60 then turns into $300.

  8. Will the exam include questions on CPT codes as well or strictly ICD-10?

  9. Doreen V. Bentley

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for your question. The information posted on the AAPC Web site does not mention the inclusion of CPT codes in this test and describes the exam as an “online ICD-10 proficiency test.” Please access the AAPC’s frequently asked questions page for more details about this FAQ: http://www.aapc.com/ICD-10/faq.aspx#implemented

  10. AAPC is going to conduct at very very less cost. AAPC need to spend some money for exam, so they will be charging, But $60 is very very less. YOu may need to spend some money for material which is very much required for the implemntation of ICD-10.

  11. I think its all about making money off of a situation that is being taking advantage of. Once you have trained and have the materials that you trained with, why do you need to pay more just for a reivew? Of course there will be ongoing changes to the codes, but why not just get updated instead of charging over and over?

  12. How many coders are just going to bow out of the profession? It is very expensive, especially when you dont have a company paying for much of it. I pay everything on my own and collect my own CEU’s etc.. No easy task!! I am a CPC and CPC-H since 2008.

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