Rheumatology practices are often looking for a way to get their coding staff certified in rheumatology coding. In response to the inquiries received at the ACR office, the ACR—in conjunction with the American Academy of Professional Coders—has developed the Certified Rheumatology Coding Exam.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2009
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This certification is designed to provide a higher knowledge of coding and billing compliance for physicians, fellows-in-training, practice managers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and coders/billers in rheumatology practices. The course aims to educate applicants on CPT, ICD-9, and HCPCS codes and teach them how to properly bill to the highest level of specificity for procedures performed in rheumatology practices.
Coders and billers with sufficient experience and expertise in rheumatology coding are encouraged to prepare and sit for the CRHC exam.
This is a specialized certification that does not require staff to be a certified professional coder. Although there are no specific requirements for taking the exam, its content covers comprehensive facets of rheumatology coding and billing. The CRHC examinee will be tested on:
- His or her ability to read and abstract physician office and procedure notes to apply correct ICD-9-CM, CPT, HCPCS Level II, and modifier coding assignments;
- E/M (both the 1995 and 1997 documentation guidelines);
- The rules and regulations of Medicare billing including—but not limited to—incident to, teaching situations, shared visits, consultations, and global surgery;
- Coding of the surgical procedures commonly performed by rheumatologists, such as trigger-point injections and joint injections;
- Medical terminology; and
- Anatomy and physiology.
The ACR’s practice management department will send its PMCC coding instructor to conduct a day-long review course and administer the 3½-hour test at several different locations throughout the United States. Those sitting for the CRHC exam will need the current CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS books to complete the examination. In addition to the sessions listed on the ACR Web site, the course and examination will be available on October 18, during the 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia.
Visit www.rheumatology.org for more information and to locate a review course and testing facility near you. For specific questions, contact the ACR’s certified coder Melesia Tillman, CPC, CRHC, CCP at (404)633-3777, ext. 820, or firstname.lastname@example.org.