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Do I have to be CPC certified before becoming an auditor?

Exam Requirements

While there is no experience requirement, we strongly recommend that the candidate have at least two years of experience in medical auditing.

Please be aware that this is a difficult, high-level examination, which is not meant for individuals with little, limited or no audit experience or training.

  • We recommend having an associate’s degree
  • Pay examination fee at the time of application submission
  • Maintain current membership with the AAPC
    • Renewing members must have a current membership at the time of submission and when exam results are released.
    • Renewing members must be current at the time of application submission as well as when results are sent.
  • Materials to bring:

Exam Recommendation

The CPMA® examination is recommended for a certified coder or medical record auditor who has experience in auditing physician services or significant coding experience and is well versed with a variety of different types of audits including but not limited to E/M services. Auditing involves compliance and regulatory issues in its day to day work, and the examinee will be tested on these concepts in addition to coding, modifiers, NCCI usage, and more.

From CCO instructor Chandra Stephenson: If you are asking how long you should wait after become a CPC® before you start learning auditing skills, the short answer is it’s up to you. It is never too soon to learn skills that will enhance your coding skills. However, learning to be an auditor does take time and dedication. Some employers require you to have a certain amount of coding experience (often 3-5 years) before they will hire you as an auditor. Others, however, don’t require as much experience and will work with you to train you. In my opinion, understanding what auditors look for and the skills an auditor needs only helps make you a better, maybe more critical, coder.

Exam Requirements

While there is no experience requirement, we strongly recommend that the candidate have at least two years of experience in medical auditing.

Please be aware that this is a difficult, high-level examination, which is not meant for individuals with little, limited or no audit experience or training.

  • We recommend having an associate's degree
  • Pay examination fee at the time of application submission
  • Maintain current membership with the AAPC
    • Renewing members must have a current membership at the time of submission and when exam results are released.
    • Renewing members must be current at the time of application submission as well as when results are sent.
  • Materials to bring:

Exam Recommendation

The CPMA® examination is recommended for a certified coder or medical record auditor who has experience in auditing physician services or significant coding experience and is well versed with a variety of different types of audits including but not limited to E/M services. Auditing involves compliance and regulatory issues in its day to day work, and the examinee will be tested on these concepts in addition to coding, modifiers, NCCI usage, and more.

From CCO instructor Chandra Stephenson: If you are asking how long you should wait after become a CPC® before you start learning auditing skills, the short answer is it’s up to you. It is never too soon to learn skills that will enhance your coding skills. However, learning to be an auditor does take time and dedication. Some employers require you to have a certain amount of coding experience (often 3-5 years) before they will hire you as an auditor. Others, however, don’t require as much experience and will work with you to train you. In my opinion, understanding what auditors look for and the skills an auditor needs only helps make you a better, maybe more critical, coder.

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