Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder – CIRCC

Medical CodersThe Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder (CIRCC) was developed by the AAPC due to the high level of demand for specialists in this area.

It was developed by experts in interventional radiology physicians, technicians, coders and billers.

Error rates are high in this area so the CIRCC certification was created to add another level of expertise in this highly complex area.

According to the recent AAPC Salary Survey, Interventional Radiology is one of the highest average paying medical coding specialties.

The CIRCC Exam Details:

Length: 150 Questions

Duration: 5 hours and 40 minutes

Price: $400

Includes 1 free retake

Open code book (manuals)

Anatomical chart to assist with catheter selection also may be used

The CIRCC exam covers the following areas:

  • Diagnostic angiography
  • Non- vascular interventions (biliary procedures, biopsies, ablations, spine interventions, etc.)
  • Percutaneous vascular interventions
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterization
  • Basic coronary arterial interventions
  • Basic coding
  • Anatomy
  • Terminology

Most of the questions are in a case report format. Diagnostic angiography, non-vascular interventions and percutaneous vascular interventions each make up about 25% of the exam.

Diagnostic cardiac catheterization and basic coronary arterial interventions make up about 10% of the exam.

Test sections on basic coding, anatomy and terminology each cover less than 10% of the test.

Approved Manuals

  • CPT books (AMA Standard or Professional editions only)
  • HCPCS Level II
  • Anatomical charts for catheter selection

You can download a list of approved manuals for the CIRCC exam here.

Non-Approved Manuals

Due to additional information included in the following manuals, AAPC does NOT allow these to be used during the examination:

  • Current Procedural Coding Expert® – Ingenix
  • Procedural Coding Professional – Contexo
  • Procedural Coding Professional – AAPC
  • Procedural Coding Expert – Contexo
  • Procedural Coding Expert – AAPC
  • CPT® Insider’s View – AMA
  • CPT® Plus! – PMIC
  • Coders’ Choice CPT® – PMIC

Requirements:

No experience is required by the AAPC to take the CIRCC exam, however they do recommend a minimum of two years coding experience in interventional radiology. Some experience in cardiology would be helpful to. Again, this is not required, but this is a high level credential and the exam is very difficult.

The following is recommended by the AAPC:

  • Associates Degree
  • Pay exam fee when application is submitted
  • Maintain current membership with AAPC
  • Bring Current CPT Manual
  • Bring HCPCS Level II Manual
  • Bring Anatomical Chart

Maintaining your CIRCC certification:

  • One certification – 36 CEUs every two years of which 24 are interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding.
  • Two certifications – 48 CEUs every two years of which 24 are interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding.
  • Three certifications – 60 CEUs every two years of which 24 are interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding.
  • Four certifications – 72 CEUs every two years of which 24 are interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding.
  • Five certifications – 80 CEUs every two years of which 24 are interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding.

The AAPC contracted with three specific companies that can provide training and 12 CEUs required per year. They are ZHealth Publishing, Medical Learning, Inc, and Medical Asset Management.

The CIRCC CEUs must come from one of these approved vendors.