CPC Practice Exam

Medical Coding Training Online Program

medical coding training online globe

Why Choose the CPC Certification?

This medical coding training program is for individuals who are interested in becoming a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

medicalcodingtrainingcoursecpccertificaiton The CPC is the most recognized and sought after coding credential in the professional coding community. Individuals who wish to begin a career as a medical coder must obtain either the CPC or the CCS in order to be recognized among employers.

While the CCS is also highly recognized and sought after there are several reasons beginners should obtain the CPC credential first.

  • It is easier to gain experience as a CPC because private practices are not as restricted as facilities are in regards to hiring policies.
  • The CCS exam strongly encourages examinees to have prior experience prior to sitting for their examination while the CPC exam does not. This is because the CCS exam is more difficult to pass because it was created for experienced coders.
  • The CPC exam is less of an investment; AAPC fees for the exam are less than AHIMA's fees and provide CPC examinees with a free re-take if they are unsuccessful in their first attempt. AHIMA allows CCS examinees only one attempt and re-takes must pay the full exam fees again.

Optimal Course Length

The length of a well rounded medical coding training course should be no shorter than 20 weeks.

Medical coding training courses should not be shorted due to:

(1)The large amount of information that is learned

(2)The large amount of practice that is required

Statistics show that students taking shorter medical coding training courses tend to "cram" instead of learn, and student polls reveal that many of those students:

  • Do not pass the CPC exam on their first attempt
  • Forget the material shortly after the course concludes
  • Are overwhelmed with the large amount of material given to them in such a short period, and are unable to fully absorb key elements as a result
  • End up taking additional courses, purchasing additional study material, or taking a refresher course to supplement
5-6 month courses, (around 20 weeks) provide students with a consistent portion of instruction and practice work on a weekly basis.

Taking this approach teaches the information in a logical, time appropriate pattern, and helps to enforce the knowldge in a methodocal way which also helps students commit the material to memory.

Online VS Classroom Setting

medicalcodingtrainingonlinecomputer Many individuals prefer the flexibility and comfort of taking an online class from their own home.

When selecting an online course it important to remember that all course are not created equal.

Some online courses offer computer simulated instruction modules, and for some subjects this works well. Coding is not one of those subjects though.

Coding is a "gray" world and often answers are not straight forward. Becoming familiar with the coding books and learning the coding guidelines usually accompany many questions and require an available human instructor.

If pursuing a CPC credential online we suggest the AAPC's online medical coding course.

For those who are pursuing the CPC credential, and who are interrested in a medical coding course in a classroom setting, we suggest looking for a CPC-I in your area. A CPC-I can be located by state at the AAPC's website.

Class Curriculum

A medical coding training course that is designed specifically to prepare individuals for the CPC exam through the AAPC should cover specific material.

Knowing the structure of the CPC exam allows individuals to understand the type of material a medical coding course should offer.

The CPC Exam is extensive and tests individuals over a wide range of topics for almost 6 hours.

Individuals must have a solid knowledge of: medical coding training online course book

  • Medical Terminology
  • Gross Anatomy
  • National Level I Codes, CPT
  • National Level II Coddes, HCPCS
  • Diagnosis Coding, Volumes I&II, ICD-9-CM
  • Coding Guidelines
  • Medical Coding Conccepts
In addition individuals should have a basic knowledge of:
  • Medical Billing Procedures
  • HIPPA Guidelines
  • Medical Insurance Policies, Guidelines, and Regulations
The CPC exam integrates all of these subjects and divides them into the exam, testing on how extensive the examinee's knowledge is in each area.

The CPC exam is a five hours and forty minute exam with 150 multiple choice questions.

Section I is designated 60 quesitons that are focused on CPT, National Level I codes. Section II is designated 47 questions that are also focused on CPT, National Level I codes.

Section three is designated the remaining 43 questions and covers the following topics:

  • Gross Anatomy
  • Medical Terminology
  • ICD-9-CM
  • Coding Guidelines
  • Practice management
This exam blue print indicates that 71% of the CPC exam is focused on the CPT, National Level I codes.

By knowing that almost 3/4 of the CPC Exam is focused on the CPT manual you should be able to deduce that a good medical coding trainging program will focus the majority of it's time on learning the CPT as well.

An example of a solid 20 week program might follow a schedule similar to this:

  • Week 1: ICD-9-CM Overview
  • Week 2: CPT, Evaluation and Management
  • Week 3: Anesthesia and Modifiers
  • Week 4: Integumentary
  • Week 5: Musculoskeletal
  • Week 6: Respiratory
  • Week 7: Cardivascular
  • Week 8: Hemic, Lymphatic, Mediastinum, and Diaphragm
  • Week 9: Digestive
  • Week 10: Mid-term
  • Week 11: Urinary
  • Week 12: Male and Female Reproductive organs and Maternity
  • Week 13: Nervous System
  • Week 14: Eyes and Ears
  • Week 15: Radiology
  • Week 16: Pathology
  • Week 17: Medicine
  • Week 18: HCPCS Book
  • Week 19: Coding Concepts
  • Week 20: Final Exam
In addition to proper instruction, a good medical coding training course should also include lots of practice work, provide multiple timed examinations, and assist student through the membership and exam application process.

Medical Coding Books

Medical coding training programs require students to have the following books (see our list of medical coding books):

Books: medical coding training online note

  • Current year CPT, printed by the AMA
  • Current year ICD-9-CM
  • Current year, HCPCS

Medical coding courses may also require students to purchase a text book as well. One very commonly used text book is "Step-by-Step to Medical Coding" by Carol Buck.

The AAPC also has rules regarding which editions are and are not allowed for exam use.

For a list of the AAPC's book restrictions for the CPC Exam please click here and go to the "Approved Mauals" tab.

Coding from Home

Many individuals are drawn to the medical coding field because it offers an opportunity for individuals to work from home.

While these jobs do exist they cannot be obtained immediately after earning your cetification.

It is important for those who are interrested in coding from home to know what will be expected of them and how to prepare in advance.

We ask those who are aspiring to code from home to carefully read our Coding Careers page prior to investing in our medical coding online training program.

Professional Coding

"Professional Coding" is used to describe the type of coding being performed.

Professional coding is medical coding performed in outpatient settings, such as:

  • Emergency Rooms
  • Private Practices
  • Outpatient Surgical Centers
"Facility Coding" is coding performed in in-patient settings, such as hospitals.

A professional coder should obtain a CPC credential through the AAPC while a facility coder should obtain a CCS credential from AHIMA.

Course Cost and Length

When looking into a medical coding course make sure to ask a lot of questions before signing up.

Also, don't pay for a lot of unnecessary classes. You don't need to get an associate degree to become certified.

A typical course can run about 6 months and cost around $1,500.00.


Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below and add us to your favorite bookmarking service?

| Homepage | ICD-10 | About Us | Contact | Affiliates | CPC Practice Exam |
Return to top
Copyright© 2007-2012.