UPDATE 6/18/2014- AHIMA’s Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) is working diligently to reinstate the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam at all Pearson VUE testing centers in the US. Although we do not have a specific date the exam will be available, we are pleased to inform you that the project is on schedule for redeployment this year.
We understand the impact the suspension of the CCS exam has had on everyone and we are committing significant resources to make the exam available without any compromise on the exam’s longstanding quality and integrity. Thank you for your patience and please check back for future updates.
Effective immediately, the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) is suspending administration of AHIMA’s Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) examination in all U.S. and Global Pearson Professional Centers. This action has been taken due to concerns over exam security and will continue until such time as the security and integrity of all AHIMA exams are ensured.
CCHIIM has sole and independent authority in all matters pertaining to the certification of Health Informatics and Information Management professionals.
THE CCHIM also is investigating the validity of individual scores on exams already taken. The CCHIIM reserves the right to invalidate the scores of candidates who may be implicated in any irregularity and candidates whose exam scores may have been compromised and, if necessary, to require any and all candidates to take an additional examination at a later date under conditions which will ensure the validity of all scores.
Further, if it is determined that any individuals have been involved in a breach of exam security or any other exam-related irregular behavior, the CCHIIM will vigorously pursue appropriate action, which may include cancellation of exam scores, revocation of certification, permanent denial of future eligibility for certification, and legal action, as deemed appropriate by the CCHIIM.
Due to the pending investigation and pursuit of legal action, neither CCHIIM nor AHIMA can discuss the circumstances surrounding the security issue.
If you have any questions, please submit a customer support request.
A: Yes, your CCS exam certification is valid. All AHIMA CCS exam candidates that took their exam prior to March 30, 2014 will be subject to review by CCHIIM as a result of the security audit. At this time we do not know the timeline for all audits to be completed. CCS certified professionals should continue to earn their required CEUs needed for Recertification unless otherwise notified.
A: Yes, all candidates that had their exams cancelled will receive a full refund without any penalties.
A: No, AHIMA will have to process refunds for all candidates affected.
A: No, if you do not want to take your exam under ICD-9, you will need to request a refund. The refund policy is available for review.
A: At this time CCHIIM is unable to determine when the exam will be available due to the pending investigation and security audit.
A: AHIMA will officially announce the new exam launch through all communication channels to include:
A: We will confirm if the new exam will be based on ICD-9 or ICD-10 once the date of the exam launch is determined.
A: No, the exam will launch as a beta exam therefore immediate scoring will not be available.
CCSs are skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in a hospital setting. These coding practitioners:
Different facilities and institutions make use of a CCSs' skills:
Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification.
CCS - Eligibility FAQ Document
Candidates must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
Before submitting an application, carefully review the information contained in this guide. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure eligibility before submitting the application. Applicants who are determined to be ineligible and submit an ineligible application or request withdrawal of their application, will receive a refund of the application fee minus a $75 processing fee.
Applicants may register online or by submitting a paper application.
Member Price: $299
Non-member price: $399
A candidate’s eligibility period is defined in the Authorization to Test letter (ATT) as a four-month window in which candidates are required to schedule their exam appointment. Candidates who fail to schedule an examination appointment within their eligibility period indicated in their ATT will forfeit their application fee. A complete application and examination fee are required to reapply for the examination.
Candidates arriving at the test center 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment will not be allowed to test and will forfeit the testing fee. A complete application and examination fee are required to reapply for the examination.
A certification examination is based on an explicit set of competencies. These competencies were determined by job analysis surveys of hospital-based coders (for the CCS exam) . The competencies are divided into domains and tasks as shown in the PDF below. Examinations test only content pertaining to the following competencies.