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The Key To Successfully Passing the CCS Exam

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

The CCS exam tests your coding skills at a mastery level. It is recommended but not mandated that you have at least three years actual hospital inpatient and outpatient coding experience as well as a demonstrated proficiency in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.

With that being said it is not impossible to pass the CCS exam without experience but it will require additional study time and preparation.

The key to successfully passing the CCS exam is having the skill to recall, analyze and apply the Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting. You also need to skillfully use your ICD 9 book.

You need to follow the basic coding steps for each and every diagnosis and/or procedure. Failure to following these steps can and will result in the incorrect code assignment.

1. Locate the main term in the ICD 9 index
2. Identify nonessential modifier
3. Review all subterms
4. Follow all index instructions
5. Review selected code in the tabular
6. Follow all tabular instructions
They can be found
• At the code
• At the 3 or 2 digit category
• At the beginning of the section or chapter
7. Assign fifth digits as appropriate
8. Assign the code

Having taught several classes and coached many individuals to get their CCS, I have found that preparation is essential and time consuming. It is not an easy task but once you successfully pass the CCS exam, you will never have to do that again.

Author:  Mary Beth York

Click here to learn about  the upcoming CCS Prep Exam class schedule

About Barry Libman Inc.

Barry Libman Inc. provides medical record coding, audit, and educational services to the Health Information Management departments of healthcare institutions.   Barry Libman Inc. offers the right-mix of online and classroom education to ensure that the HIM professional is prepared to handle changes in the medical record coding systems and the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS.