Prep Course Objectives

Prep Course Objectives:

ICD-10 Coding Objectives 

Basic CPT Coding Concepts  


CPT Modifiers

E & M Services



Respiratory System  


Digestive System


Male / Female Urinary  






Pathology/ Lab  


Musculoskeletal System

Pain Management

ICD-10 Coding Objectives:

  • Familiarize yourself with the layout of the ICD-10 manual

  • Translate a written diagnosis into the correct ICD-10-CM codes.

  • Learn the correlation between the alphabetic index and the tabular list.

  • Effectively use the Table of Drugs and Chemicals and the Index to External Causes of Injury and Poisoning.

  • Know what "main terms" and "sub-terms" are.

  • Know what Eponyms are.

  • Understand the concept of sub-categories.

  • Be familiar with ICD-10 Instructional Notes

  • Know the nine steps for accurate coding.

  • Know Acute versus Chronic coding

  • Coding Suspected Conditions

  • Combination Codes

  • Multiple Coding

  • Infectious and Parasitic Diseases

  • Know the difference between HIV and AIDS

  • Neoplasms

  • Diabetes

  • Arthritis and Arthropathies

  • Respiratory Diseases

  • Circulatory System (cardiology)

  • Injuries

  • Fractures

  • Burns

  • E Codes

  • V Codes

  • Coding for Late Effects

  • Coding for Complications from Medical care

Basic CPT Coding Concepts

  • What does CPT mean?

  • Who developed and manages CPT?

  • What is the organization of CPT?

  • What are the coding conventions of the CPT manual?

  • How are new codes or changed/revised codes identified?

  •  What are CPT modifiers?

  • What are subsections of CPT?

  •  What are the classes of main terms?

  • What are Eponyms?

  • What is the difference between See This & See Also?

  • What are the general rules for CPT Coding?


  • What does HCPCS stand for?  

  • What are the three levels of HCPCS?  

  • What is the organization of the HCPCS manual?  

  • Which codes are temporary codes?  

  • How do you use the Table of Drugs?  

  • Which letters are reserved for local use?

CPT Modifiers

  • Know why modifiers are used.

  • Know the three (3) ways to report modifiers.

  • Review all modifiers and examples.

  • Know how and when to use HCPCS National modifiers

  • Know what information carriers may need to justify payment of modified procedure and service codes.

E & M Services

  • Introduction of E & M

  • The levels of E & M Services

  • New versus Established patient.

  • Coding for E & M Services and surgical procedures.

  • Coding for preventive medicine services.

  • Coding for Emergency Room and Critical Care.

  • Coding for Inpatient services.

  • Coding for Special E & M Services.

  • Key components.

  • Contributory "ancillary" components.

  • How Time, Coordination of care and Counseling impact the level of E & M Service.

  • Know what systems are included in a Review of Systems.

  • Know what PFSH is.

  • Know the levels of Examination

  • Understand the levels and components of Medical Decision Making.

  • Understand the role of the three main components of MDM (possible diagnoses, amount of tests and information and risk of complications, morbidity and comorbidities.

  • Understand how to document for an Encounter Dominated by Counseling or Coordination of Care.

  • Understand the difference between a consult and a referral


  • Know the difference between general, region and local anesthesia.

  • Know what services are/are not included in an anesthesia services.

  • Know how anesthesia values are determined.

  • Know what basic units, time units and modifying units are.

  • Anesthesia modifiers (P1 - P6).

  • Know the Four qualifying circumstances modifiers (99100; 99116; 99135 & 99140).

  • Know what constitutes an emergency condition for anesthesia.

  • Know when time is not a factor in coding Anesthesia services.

  • Know the Anesthesia Billing Formula


  • Know the difference between the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

  • Know the components of the dermis.

  • Know the Incision and Drainage Codes.

  • Know the Debridement codes.

  • Know biopsy codes.

  • Code for removal of skin tags.

  • Coding for excision of lesions.

  • Coding for excisions and avulsions.

  • Know the difference & how to code simple, intermediate and complex repairs.

  • Know the 7 steps of coding for repairs.

  • Understand tissue transfers, flaps and grafts.

  • Know the 4 categories of tissue transplantation.

  • Know what a decubitus ulcer is.

  • Coding for burns.

  • Understand what the "Rule of Nines" means.

  • Coding for breast disorders.

  • Know the different types of mastectomies (radical, partial, simple).

  • Know the chest wall excision codes.

Musculoskeletal System

  • Introduction

  • Arthritis and Arthropathies (ICD-10 Review)

  • Understand the wound exploration codes.

  • Understand the three (3) types of fracture care categories.

  • Understand the two (2) types of fixation.

  • Understand the types of manipulation and stabilization.

  • Understand how to code for casts and strapping.

  • Coding for dislocations.

  • Understand arthroscopies and the difference between diagnostic versus surgical.

  • Know the different purposes for surgery.

  • Shoulder Procedures

  • Special procedures for knees.

  • Understand Osteochondritis Dissecans.

  • Cruciate Ligament repair, augmentation & reconstruction.

  • Understand arthrodesis, the proper questions and approaches.

  • Understand the correct steps to code Bone Grafting.

  • Understand the correct steps to code Bone Grafting.

Respiratory System

  • Understand polyps and excision of polyps.

  • Understand the vocabulary for accessory sinuses.

  • Understand nasal endoscopy. Larynx procedures.

  • Coding for bronchoscopies.

  • Terms associated with thoracotomy.

  • Coding for Laryngoscopy.

  • Coding for surgical thoracoscopy.


  • Know the kinds of blood vessels.

  • Understand the difference between the technical and professional component of a procedure.

  • Understand the cardiac graphics (Medicine section).

  • Coding for Rhythm Strips.

  • Know what a Signal Averaged Electrocardiogram is.

  • Coding for patient event recorders.

  • Coding for exercise stress tests.

  • Coding for electrocardiography.

  • Coding for and understanding TEE.

  • Coding for and understanding Doppler Echocardiography.

  • Coding for stress echocardiography.

  • Coding for PTCA.

  • Coding for Stent Placement.

  • Coding for cardiac catheterization.

  • Know what CABG is and how to code for it.

  • Coding for pacemakers, their insertion and removal.

  • Know what an AICD is.

  • Know what VAD's are and do.

  • Know what a PICC line is.

  • Coding for implantable infusion pumps.

Digestive System

  • Review the format and organization of the digestive system section.

  • Review the medical terminology of the structures of the mouth (above the esophagus).

  • Coding and terminology for tonsillectomies.

  • Understand the variations of code 43121.

  • Understand the mechanics and coding for insertion of a stent.

  • Know how to code for a PEG tube.

  • Know how to code for EGD.

  • Understand and know how to code for ERCP.

  • Understand the difference between a gastronomy, gastrectomy and gastrostomy.

  • Be familiar with the gastric bypass procedure.

  • Understand the difference between a proctosigmoidoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy.

  • Coding for hemorrhoid surgery.

  • Coding for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

  • Coding for hernias (important!).


  • Understand what the lithotomy approach is.

  • Understand the difference between Endoscopy,

  • Cystoscopy, Urethroscopy, and Cystourethroscopy.

  • Know urological medical terms.

  • Know the difference between the Ureter and urethra (important!).

Male / Female Urinary

  • Coding for Vasectomy

  • Coding for the biopsy of the prostate

  • Coding for Laparoscopy and related procedures.

  • Know coding for an inguinal hernia.

  • Know how to code for the insertion and removal of contraceptive devices.

  • Know how to code for surgical sterilization procedures.

  • Know the difference between a surgical and a diagnostic hysteroscopy.

  • Coding for a D & C.

  • Know how to code for laparoscopy/hysteroscopy procedures.

  • O/B

  • Know how to code for maternity care and delivery

  • Know the difference between delivery, postpartum and antepartum care.

  • Know the components of ante partum care.

  • Know how to code for multiple births.


  • Know what organs are part of the endocrine system.

  • Be familiar with the options of the endocrine system procedures (i.e., partial, complete, limited, etc...).

  • Know what organs are part of the endocrine system.

  • Know where to find surgical operations on the pituitary and pineal gland.

  • Be familiar with the options of the endocrine system procedures (i.e., partial, complete, limited, etc...).

  • Understand the variations of a thyroidectomy  

  • Understand the variations of a Parathyroidectomy  

  • Know what a Carotid Body is.


  • Know the anatomy and terminology of the nervous system.

  • Familiarize yourself with the twelve (12) cranial nerves.

  • Know the difference between parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves.

  • Understand and know how to code for pain management.

Pain Management

  • Be able to define Pain Management

  • Be familiar with pain management methods.

  • Be sure to follow the coding guidelines for unilateral / bilateral procedures and radiological guidance.


  • Know how to code for Adnexa

  • Know what is included in the code for extraction of a lens.

  • Coding for insertion and removal of ocular implants.

  • Coding for strabismus surgery


  • Be familiar with the 69100 ear excision codes.

  • Understand what a tympanostomy is and how to code for it.

  • Know which procedure code to use when the physician inserts ventilating tubes in to the opening of the tympanum.

  • Understand the difference between a stapedectomy and a stapedectomy.

  • Auditory System 2

  • Know what cochlear implant, aural rehabilitation, speech processor mean.

  • Know what a Basic Audiologic Assessment includes.

  • Know the components and factors involving coding for hearing screening


  • Know the difference between the professional and technical component.

  • Understand the terms and coding for diagnostic radiology.

  • Always pay careful attention to the number of views for X-rays.

  • Be familiar with CAT technology.

  • Understand the purpose and coding associated with contrast studies.

  • Be familiar with Computed Tomographic Angiography (CTA).

  •  Understand MRI coding and techniques.

  • Understand diagnostic ultrasound techniques and coding.

  • Be familiar with the different types of ultrasound.

  • Understand the role and coding for radiation oncology.

  • Note the difference between simple, intermediate and complex planning for the treatment of radiation oncology.

  • Be familiar with nuclear medicine.

Pathology/ Lab

  • Review the sections of the Path/Lab section.

  • Know that mod-51 is not used with Path/Lab codes.

  • Know the different types of lab test methods used.

  • Understand the guidelines for billing panels.

  • Lab panels have changed over the last few years.

  • If you have been coding for years, be sure to review this section as many codes have been deleted.

  • Familiarize yourself with the 11 panels.

  • Familiarize yourself with the drug screening tests.

  • Note that coding for qualitative screening tests is based on procedure, not method or analyte.

  • Be familiar with the types of tests included under Evocative/Suppression Testing.

  • Know the guidelines for coding blood transfusions.

  • Be familiar with anatomical and surgical pathology.


  • Be familiar with what type of information is found in the medicine section.

  • Be familiar with the Immunization Injection Codes.

  • Know how to use Prolonged Intravenous Infusion codes.

  • Be sure to read the Psychiatry Guidelines at the beginning of the Psychiatry section of CPT.

  • Be familiar with coding for dialysis for ESRD.

  • Understand the "separate procedure" rule.

  • Be sure to read the notes under the different vestibular and audiologic function tests.

  • Know how to code for hand-held doppler devices.

  • Know how to code for ventilation assist and management.

  • Know how to code for code 95004.

  • Understand how to code for the Skin End Point Titration Test.

  • Review the five levels of dermatological services.

  • Know that time is a major factor in coding physical therapy and rehabilitation codes.

  • Familiarize yourself with Osteopathic, Chiropractic and Special Services. Even though you may never code them, they still may (and probably will) be on the certification exam


IMPORTANT*** Due to the individual attention we give each student we are forced to limit this to only 10 students at a time. If you try to sign up and see the Course Closed sign please get on the mailing list and we will contact you as soon as a spot opens up!

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Product DetailsWho Is It For?ReviewsCPC ExamApproved Manuals
Details The Medical Coding Certification Prep Course is a 6 month online course designed to teach you about medical coding  and how to code properly! It includes over 700 medical coding exam questions and answers, over 120 Surgical Op Reports, over 1,200 terms defined and much, much more. Here is a complete list of the topics covered: Here is a complete list of Operative Reports included: Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions:
The Medical Coding Certification Prep Course is for the student getting started in medical coding. The course takes you from the beginning all the way to preparing you for certification.

"... I am kicking myself for paying out so much money on my Los Angeles AAPC course , when actually yours is more informative and better laid out."

K Taglianetti

"The online course is comprehensive and very well organized. The links to online reference sources and study materials is a great help. I'm confident that I will be more than ready to pass the certification exam!" N. Flower "The online course is just what I needed with my busy schedule. It allows me to study any time day or night when my schedule allows and at my own pace. I am also very pleased with the interaction I receive from the Help-line and quickness of responses with the answers to my questions." L. Schoenwetter  "I just wanted to let you know that I passed the recent CCS exam in June and wanted to give credit where it is due. Your coding quizzes were very helpful in helping me pass the exam. This was the most difficult exam I have ever taken ... I hope to be able to code at home now. Thank you so much for your help. I will certainly tell others about your company. R Butler 
The CPC Exam
  • 150 multiple choice questions (proctored)
  • 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
  • One free retake
  • $300 ($260 for AAPC Students)
  • Open code book (manuals)
The CPC© examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT®, HCPCS Level ll procedure and supply codes and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used for billing professional medical services to insurance companies. Examinees must also demonstrate knowledge on proper modifier use, coding guidelines and regulatory rules. The CPC© exam thoroughly covers: 10,000 Series CPT® - 10 questions Surgical procedures performed on the integumentary system Skin, subcut aneous, and accessory structures Nails Pilonidal cysts Repairs Destruction Breast 20,000 Series CPT® - 10 questions Surgical procedures performed on the musculoskeletal system Head Neck Back and flank Spine Abdomen Shoulder Arm Hand and fingers Pelvis and hip Leg Foot and toes 30,000 Series CPT® - 10 questions Surgical procedures performed on the respiratory system Nose Accessory sinuses Larynx Trachea and bronchi Lungs and pleura Surgical procedures performed on the cardiovascular system Heart and pericardium Arteries and veins Surgical procedures performed on the hemic and lymphatic systems Spleen Lymph nodes and lymph channels Surgical procedures performed on the mediastinum and diaphragm 40,000 Series CPT® - 10 questions Surgical procedures performed on the digestive system Lips Mouth Palate and uvula Salivary gland and ducts Pharynx, adenoids, and tonsils Esophagus Stomach Intestines Appendix Rectum Anus Liver Biliary Tract Pancreas Abdomen, peritoneum, and omentum 50,000 Series CPT® - 10 questions Surgical procedures performed on the urinary system Kidneys Ureter Bladder Urethra Surgical procedures performed on the male reproductive system Penis Testis Epididymis Tunica Scrotum Vas deferens Spermatic cord Seminal vesicles Prostate Surgical procedures performed on the female reproductive system Vulva, perineum, and introitus Vagina Uterus Fallopian Tubes Ovaries Maternity and Delivery Surgical procedures performed on the endocrine system Thyroid gland Parathyroid Thymus Adrenal glands Pancreas Carotid body 60,000 Series CPT® - 10 questions Surgical procedures performed on the nervous system Skull, meninges, brain Spine Spinal cord Extracranial nerves Peripheral nerves Autonomic nervous system Evaluation and Management - 10 questions Office/Other Outpatient Hospital Observation Hospital Inpatient Consultations Emergency Department Critical Care Nursing Facility Domiciliary and Rest Homes Home Services Prolonged Services Case Management Care Plan Oversight Preventive Medicine Non-Face-to-Face Services Special E/M Newborn Care Neonatal and Pediatric Critical Care and Intensive Care Complex Chronic Care Coordination Transitional Care Management Anesthesia - 8 questions Time reporting Qualifying Circumstances Physical Status Modifiers Anesthesia for surgical, diagnostic and obstetric services Radiology - 10 questions Diagnostic Radiology Diagnostic Ultrasound Radiologic Guidance Mammography Bone and Joint Studies Radiation Oncology Nuclear Medicine Lab/ Path - 10 questions Organ and Disease Panels Drug Testing Therapeutic Drug Assays Evocation/Supression Testing Consultations Urinalysis Molecular Pathology MAAA Chemistry Hematology and Coagulation Immunology Transfusions Microbiology Anatomic Pathology Cytopathology Cytogenetic Studies Surgical Pathology In vivo and Reproductive Medicine - 10 questions Immunizations Psychiatry Biofeedback Dialysis Gastroenterology Ophthalmology Otorhinolaryngology Cardiovascular Noninvasive Vascular Studies Pulmonary Allergy and Immunology Endocrinology Neurology Genetics Central Nervous System Assessments Health and Behavior Assessments Hydration Therapeutic and Diagnostic Administration Chemotherapy Administration Photodynamic Therapy Dermatology Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical Nutrition Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment Patient Education and Training Non-Face-to-Face Nonphysician Services Moderate Sedation Medical Terminology - 8 questions Medical terminology for all systems in the human body Anatomy - 8 questions Anatomy for all systems in the human body ICD-10-CM Volumes 1 & 2 - 10 questions ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting Diagnosis for all the chapters included in ICD-10-CM Diagnosis questions will also appear in other sections of the exam from the CPT® categories HCPCS Level ll - 5 questions Modifiers Supplies Medications Professional services for Medicare patients Coding Guidelines - 6 questions ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting CPT® coding guidelines and parenthetical notes Modifier use Compliance and Regulatory - 5 questions Services covered under Medicare Parts A, B, C and D Apply coding to payment policy Place of service reporting Fraud and Abuse NCCI edits NCD/LCD HIPAA ABNs RVUs source: AAPC
Approved Manuals for Use During Examination
  • CPT® Books (AMA standard or professional edition ONLY). No other publisher is allowed.
  • Your choice of ICD-10-CM (Exams will test ICD-10 effective January 1, 2016).
  • Your choice of HCPCS Level II.


Electronic devices with an on/off switch (cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are not allowed into the examination room. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disqualification of your exam. Any officially published errata for these manuals may also be used. No other manuals are allowed. Each code set is updated annually; it is essential that examinees use the current calendar year's coding manuals when taking the certification exam. Questions on the CPC, CPC-P and COC tests do not require the use of any other outside material. Individuals with a solid understanding of coding fundamentals, anatomy and terminology should be able to answer each examination question through application of the CPT®, ICD-10-CM or HCPCS Level II manuals or through careful reasoning. Approved Exam Manuals

Non-Approved Manuals for Use During Examination

Due to the advantages of additional information and/or ease of use, the following books cannot be used during the exam:
  • Current Procedural Coding Expert® - Ingenix
  • 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
  • ICD-10-CM Easy Coder
source: AAPC