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Topic Title: CCS EXAM
Topic Summary: COMPUTER BASED CCS EXAM
Created On: 05/25/2006 09:58 AM

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 05/25/2006 09:58 AM
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lisacoder

Posts: 6
Joined: 05/25/2006

I will be taking the CCS exam in the near future & I was wanting to hear from anyone who has taken the exam in the new computer based format. Any suggestions on study resources for the exam would be great and any comments on how the exam is structured also.

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.. Thanks!
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 06/08/2006 02:06 PM
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jpp4342

Posts: 4
Joined: 06/08/2006

Hi Lisa,

I have not taken the CCS yet, still studying myself, but there is a group Medical_Coders_Resource_Networking_Group@yahoogroups.com that is made up of people preparing for the CCS as well as credentialed coders. This group has really helped me..there are quizzes, links, study guide info etc.

Also, if you are a member of AHIMA there is a COP site for individuals studying for the CCS. If you aren't a member you might want to consider joining. You can download the CCS candidate book at AHIMA as well.

I have Jennifer Garvin's book 2006 CCS Exam Success Review book which I am using and I'm told the format is very close to that of the CCS exam. There is the PRG (Professional Review Guide) and another good book is Faye Brown's ICD9-CM Workbook.

Hope this helps!
Good Luck!

Kate
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 06/12/2006 09:19 AM
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lisacoder

Posts: 6
Joined: 05/25/2006

Kate,

Thanks so much for all your input... I will check out the group that sounds great!
Thanks again & Good Luck on your test!

Lisa
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 11/06/2006 09:47 PM
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skharrill

Posts: 1
Joined: 11/06/2006

Hi Lisa, I took the CCS computerized exam last November. I'm basically an Inpt coder and when I finished the exam I was sure I had failed. I passed much to my surprise.

I'm helping 2 others I work with study to take the exam this Dec. My biggest suggestion is to memorize
coding guidelines. There are a lot of questions directly from the guidelines. Also Faye Brown has been a very good resource. Read it front to back. Make sure you know the history of coding, that's in the guidelines but also covered very well in Faye Brown's books.

Also if you've downloaded the sample tests from AHIMA memorize them, if you can get old ones from people get them. Some of the questions are the exact same ones.

Good luck.
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 01/31/2007 09:43 PM
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CCS

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Joined: 01/24/2007

I am a CCS since 1992, the first year they administered the exam, and only about 46% of us passed it on the first go-around back then. It was like the slaughter of the lambs for many. I am also an LPN, ( no longer nursing,) but the written CCS exam was harder than state board nursing exams. The best advice I can give is to be sure you know your Coding Clinics. Study them constantly until you take the exam! A lot of the questions come directly from Coding Clinics. Some hospitals still have hard copies of them that go back many years, and perhaps you could arrange to review them with the Director of the HIM dept if you don't know where else to find any. They are quite expensive, and most hospitals with computerized encoders now get theirs as part of their encoder package these days. I personally own 5 huge 3-ring binders of them. I have copied and size-reduced the ones I commonly need to reference, and taped them into my coding books. In 1992 if your notes were part of your book you could have them with you for the exam, since you were allowed into the exam room with only your coding books and your pencils. No additional binders or loose papers were allowed, and one girl actually had her huge binder of Coding Clinics she brought in to the exam room confiscated! I bought a Channel book and put lots of notes in the back, attached to the post binder itself, as part of the book.

Another thing I can advise is to not waste too much time on any one question. If you aren't sure, go on to the next question, so you can go back and study ones that were troublesome at the end, when you have finished the rest of the part you are taking. You want to answer all of the questions, for the best chance at getting a passing score. Many people complained that there wasn't enough time to complete Part II, where there were actual coding scenarios.

Also, take an apple or something you will be able to eat for lunch (in your purse) in case the line is too long and you can't get served in the small amount of time allotted to eat. There was a tiny deli at our hotel in Miami and they were not equipped to handle such a large group needing lunch at the same time, and many of us ate candy and chips from the vending machines because it was all we could get! Not exactly brain food, but it filled the hole somewhat.

Good luck!!

-------------------------
mmmccs
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 03/07/2007 12:46 PM
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jpp4342

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Joined: 06/08/2006

Lisa,

Since my last post I took the CCS and did not pass. I would advise following the AHIMA test candidate book , pay close attention to the competency statements. I think the exam is really straightforward but timing is everything. I did not finish the last 3 inpat cases before the clock ran out. So I am working the AHIMA Coding Workout to gain speed and skill for the second attempt. If you haven't taken it yet good luck!
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 03/08/2007 12:49 PM
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lisacoder

Posts: 6
Joined: 05/25/2006

Thanks for all the replies! This has given me alot of knowledge... I have yet to take my exam, I will probally be taking it toward the end of summer.
Thanks everyone!
Lisa
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 03/24/2007 12:07 PM
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ftd

Posts: 23
Joined: 09/12/2005

I have been coding for almost 16 years and took the CCS exam just this past week. It was extremely stressful (almost in tears at one point) and I felt like I bombed. Much to my surprise I did pass - and passed very well. I don't do any OP - CPT coding so that is where I felt I was lacking. I agree with the above comments - study study study the Official Coding Guidelines and Coding Clinics and Fay Brown and the domains that are being tested. It took the entire time to complete the test so if you are struggling over one, mark it and move on - if you have time go back to it. I used Carol Buck's study book - that was good on one side but on another was very disappointing because I found several errors in the answers (like having the "right" answer for history of prostate cancer as V10.41 - I was marked down for putting the correct answer of V10.46). I also had AHIMA's coding book (can't think of the name right now) that I practiced out of and found errors in those answers too. Point being, make sure YOU know your guidelines, Coding Clinics etc and don't think the answer in those books are 100% right. It was just as stressful if not more so than taking the RHIT exam straight out of HIM schooling - just be confident in your knowledge and try to relax. Easier said than done!! *8-)
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 03/30/2007 11:18 PM
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berwag77

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Joined: 03/30/2007

Lisa,
I'm glad to find a site like this. To prepare for your CCS test, there are other areas that are important to know about and memorize too, I will list them:
Data Managment
Data Quality
Regulatory Guidelines for In patient & Outpatient
I just finished taking the exam today and will have to retake, (need to work on the areas mentioned above.
I have currently finished course work for certified coding technology and thought I'd see how it goes w/ the CCS exam. I see the areas I need to work on and that's what I will do.
Do you have experience on the job w/ coding?
It would be helpful for me to have this kind of support with the preparations of the test. I would be glad to tell you more about the test, if your interested.
Bev
P.S. the areas that I mentioned above are areas that I find terribly boring. part of my problem too.
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 04/18/2007 08:57 AM
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lisacoder

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Joined: 05/25/2006

Bev,

Thanks for your information. I still have not taken the test. Right now I am in the middle of a project here at work, converting to EMR, I plan to take the test in Sept.

I have been working at a Hospital for 3 years as a Coder, I code IP, OP, OB's, Surgery's and Ancillary services. We do not do alot of CPT coding so I know that will be my downfall, so I am working on that.

What resources are you using to study?

Lisa
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 04/30/2007 08:51 AM
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coderII

Posts: 21
Joined: 04/14/2007

I was told by someone who has their CCS to subscribe to Advance Magazine for Health Information Proffesionals. It is free and it offers CCS prep information in the magazine and on the web site. I was also told to check out codebusters.com to. I was given the same responses as the others told you also because I will be taking the test in the future. Know the history of coding, coding clinics, and timing is everything. Use Fay Brown's (ICD-9) and Carol Buck's (CCS) workbook. I was also told not to take the test unless you have experience in inpatient and outpatient coding not just one area. Good Luck!
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 04/30/2007 08:52 AM
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coderII

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Joined: 04/14/2007

P.S. Also there are CPT work books out there if you need help in that area.
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 02/28/2008 11:26 AM
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16847571

Posts: 8
Joined: 09/19/2006

hi i am studying for the CCS and would like to review the website from yahoo but couldn't find it can you tell me how you got on the site.
thanks
anissia
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 03/05/2008 05:46 AM
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CMBENJAMIN@BELLSOUTH.NET

Posts: 52
Joined: 08/09/2007

Hi Anissia,
I suggest that you try www.tools4coding.com. There is a list of resources and guidance on that website for the CCS including study guidance, good websites with practice cases, a frequently asked questions list, and several issues of a newsletter (Exam Echoes) which has a list of questions with answers that cover the multiple choice competencies or topics that is on Part I of the exam as well as numerous other tips for the CCS and clarification of lots of myths about the CCS.

On that same website, you will also find the direct link to a discussion group called Hospital_Inpatient_Coders and I have lots more information on the CCS on that Webgroup also, including a summary of an online chat that an associate of mine had with a group of coders and students that are looking to take the CCS and there is lots of good questions and answers in there.

I have been tutoring students and coders who want to pass the CCS for the past 3-4 years and would be happy to help you. One of the best books to get is the Clinical Coding Workout by AHIMA and the Professional Review Guide for the CCS exam by Patricia Scherning. The main thing is knowing the official coding guidelines, the multiple choice competencies for Part I of the exam, and how to quickly and accurately abstract codes from inpatient and outpatient hospital records. Several students who did not have years of on-the-job coding experience have passed the exam in recent years as well as past years, including myself. My email is cmbenjamin@bellsouth.net if you would like more information.

Christina Benjamin, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P
Independent Coding and Education Consultant
Georgia

Edited: 03/05/2008 at 05:56 AM by CMBENJAMIN@BELLSOUTH.NET
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 03/21/2008 10:59 AM
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thames52006@verizon.net

Posts: 17
Joined: 01/22/2008

Christina,

I am a CPC and am seriously considering taking the CCS-P, I have always been told that the ccs-p is way harder than the CPC test. What are you thoughts/opinions on this exam.

What areas would I need to really study, I am a physician coder, so I am very familiar with the ICD-9 but no surgery coding under my belt, I did purchase a book from Ingenix to help me out with coding surgeries, the Coding from the operative report 2008 edition, it is helpful but no support as to when I pick the wrong code as to what I did wrong.

I am still sticking with it, just wanted to get some opinions.

Have a great weekend,

Roxanne Thames,CPC
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 03/21/2008 12:01 PM
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dawson.ballard@cwwemail.com

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Joined: 01/28/2008

I am currently studying for the CCS-P exam and I plan to take it in August. I have heard that it is nothing compared to the CPC. The CCS-P is mainly designed for those who actully code from the medical records themselves. Those who code from superbills, I think would have a very difficult time passing it. Just my thoughts!

Dawson Ballard, CPC
Coding Auditor
Nashville, TN
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 03/21/2008 12:43 PM
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thames52006@verizon.net

Posts: 17
Joined: 01/22/2008

That would be me "coding from the superbill", but I know how and do at times code from the office note.

I too, agree that the CCS-P is a whole differant certification than the CPC.

I am considering taking it but I gotta get brushed up on things first.

Have a good weekend,

Roxanne Thames, CPC
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 03/25/2008 05:16 AM
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CMBENJAMIN@BELLSOUTH.NET

Posts: 52
Joined: 08/09/2007

Hi Roxanne,
The CCS-P does require a solid knowledge of CPT surgery coding and one of the best resources to help you study what you need to know is Coding for Physician Practice by Lynn Keuhn. This is an AHIMA-published book, but is probably available elsewhere also. The other main source that I used to prepare was this website www.ericacodes.com. I also purchased the Professional Review Guide for the CCS-P exam just to get a feel for how the test might be because there is a mock exam in there. Be sure to download a copy of the AHIMA candidate handbook so that you know the key domains to study for on the multiple choice part as well. AHIMA is expanding the content of this exam this year (starting June) so be sure to get plenty of information on those newer areas like privacy, technology, etc.
Christina
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 04/08/2009 01:17 PM
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joannj123

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Joined: 01/31/2008

Has anyone taken the CCS in the last two years that is willing to give some studying advice? Thanks.
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 09/23/2009 10:48 AM
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Bdav47

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Joined: 09/23/2009

Hi, I am just thinking about taking classes or studying on my own for the CCS. Do you just buy the books and study on your own? I would like an online class or one that might meet once a week and that teaches you how to look through a medical record to find documentation to accurately code a record. i want to get the best knowledge so I can pursue a job in coding with no prior experience. I recieved my RHIT in July and have my Associates in HIM. So, I have knowledge of coding. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Becky

-------------------------
Becky Davis,RHIT
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