The Medical Coding CPC Exam is an test setup that you fail. Actually, i know that sounds controversial, but I believe it to be true.
And the numbers seem to bare this out. While the AAPC will not release actual pass/ fail rates for the exam, many of those that I have talked to over the past several years have not necessarily passed the Medical Coding CPC Exam.
Even while using the luxury of hindsight, the percentage of people who pass the certification exam on the second try is still not that great. Why is this the case?
The reason is two fold. First, the CPC certification exam is made to be difficult because the American Academy of Professional Coders wants to make sure if you pass, you are skilled at the craft. Second, they also have a vested interest keeping the pass/ fail rate higher on the “fail” side. Lets take a closer look at each of these.
1) Remember that as the certifying agency, the AAPC is putting its reputation on the line every time an employer, be it a medical center, a family practice, a billing agency, what ever the outcome may be, employs someone who is said to be certified as a coder. There comes a positive expectation of competence together with performance when an employer hires an avowed medical coder.
Most companies hire certified coders because it limits their liability to be sued for over billing or OIG non concurrence. This alone could save the company millions of dollars (depending on the size of the business) in the down side. This type of protection is valuable to a company.
That being said, the upside is quality coding and maximizing the money the company receives for its services. Why by this is, if ones coders are “under coding” because they’re trying to prevent the market from being sued, then there is a good chance the programmers are leaving hundreds of dollars on the table because they are not being reimbursed for their services at the optimum level.
Both scenarios may not be good. You sure don’t want to over coder and open yourself as much possible litigation, and you sure don’t want to “under code” and not get compensated for the services caused to become.
This is always a lot more controversial than the primary reason, but it carries the maximum amount of weight and should end up explored. A few words, “follow that money”. Even though the AAPC will deny this over and over again, they actually have a vested a fixation with you not passing that Medical Codng CPC Exam the main or second time approximately. Exactly why? For the reason that double their revenue whenever you fail. When you, like thousands before you, get it wrong the CPC Exam for any second time you must pay the fee once more. (At the time from this writing the fee was $300 to take the exam).
This is no little bit of money and it is not really like the AAPC might give you a break and help you retake the CPC Exam for, say, half the price of the original fee, that they could easily do. You may have to pay full amount over again.
We should never know what the exact percentage of folks that fail the first or second time, because the AAPC would never release these numbers, nevertheless from my experience helping people prepare for the CPC Exam, the percentage is very high.
And it only is smart that there be some sort of financial reason that drives this procedure. Even though you and I have to believe otherwise, “follow the money” always usually add clarity to why something is the way it is. It always generally seems to lead us in the proper direction.
Please keep in mind that this first reason I outlined is a substantial part of the process. But also remember that this second reason is also an integral part of the mix as properly.