by Mary Beth York, CCS, CCS-P, CIC
I am often asked by prospective CCS candidates: “When is the CCS exam changing to reflect the new codes?” Great question. First a little background.
The ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS and CPT coding systems update at least yearly. For the ICD-10 code sets, there were significant changes for FY2018 updates for discharges October 1, 2017. The CPT code set changes are effective January 1 of each year.
AHIMA’s updating of the CCS Exam lags behind changes to the coding sets. AHIMA has confirmed that the CCS exam will be updated to the 2018 guidelines and code sets on May 1, 2018. Until then, the CCS Exam will test candidates on the 2017 guidelines and code sets.
It is therefore critically important, when preparing for the CCS Exam, that candidates know when they plan to take the test and specifically what the test will cover. For example, the current AHIMA CCS exam, which will be used for testing through April 2018, is based on:
- FY 2017 Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting
- ICD-10-CM 2017
- ICD-10-PCS 2017
- CPT 2017
Libman Education offers online and instructor-led CCS Exam prep and review courses. Our next CCS Exam Prep course will start in January and will be based on the FY 2018 code sets and guidelines.
“What happens if the basis of the exam changes before I am prepared to sit for the exam?” Hopefully you will be both sufficiently prepared and have sufficient warning to sit for the exam you have studied for. If not, adjust your final preparation schedule and add additional study of the new material.
It adds a bit of challenge but dealing with changes to guidelines and codes, and knowing when to apply which set, is part of being a coder. Nothing you can’t handle. You just need to give yourself time to prepare.
Applications are now being accepted for the Libman Education CCS Exam Prep — an intensive, 15-week course by Mary Beth York, CCS, CCS-P, CIC, a nationally recognized CCS expert who has mentored hundreds to CCS success. Don’t delay! Class size is strictly limited to ensure one-on-one mentoring and personalized live instruction. Learn more here.