December 31, 2015 — the date where medical coders who were CPC Certified in 2015 and before (holding the CPC, COC, CPC-P, CPC-I, CRC, CPMA, or a coding specialty (excluding CIRCC)) were required to take the ICD 10 Proficiency Assessment Exam to remain certified, has finally come to an end!
Let’s back track a little bit. It has been said that in order to retain or maintain your CPC Certification, you must take your CPC Proficiency Assessment Exam and pass before December 31st, 2015. Why? Because if took the CPC exam and were certified in 2015 (or prior), the ICD-10-CM testing had not been included in the CPC Certification Exam. Now to remain certified going into 2016, the AAPC requires medical coders to be ICD-10-CM proficient. Hence, the ICD-10 Proficiency Assessment Exam requirement should have been completed prior to December 31, 2015.
What happens if you were not able to take the ICD 10 Proficiency Assessment Exam?
If coders have not completed and passed by December 31, 2015, coders will lose their certification and are required to fully test again.
NOTE: If you passed in November or December 2015, you have until 2/29/16 to complete the ICD-10 proficiency. If you haven’t passed the CPC exam yet, you are not required to take the ICD-10 proficiency exam any longer as it is now incorporated into the 2016 CPC Exam. ICD-9 is no longer on the exam as of 1/1/16, it will be CPT, ICD-10-CM and HCPCS only.
Here is how the AAPC has it officially stated on their website “Those failing to demonstrate proficiency by 12/31/2015 will have their credentials suspended until successful ICD-10-CM proficiency demonstration. Those failing to demonstrate by February 2nd will have their credentials revoked. Newly certified members who obtained certification in November or December of 2015 will have until February 29th for ICD-10-CM proficiency demonstration.”
CPC Certified in 2016 and beyond
If you decide to CPC test in 2016 for certification, the AAPC includes ICD-10 in the new 2016 exam, and you will only be required to test once for full certification. After January 1, 2016 the Proficiency Assessment Exam is no longer applicable. So if you test and pass in 2016 and beyond, you are fully certified and ICD-10 proficiency assessment testing is no longer required.