AHIMA Certifications

Certified Coding Specialist - CCS

DURATION : 120 Hours

Weekdays classes 2 hours daily.

DURATION : 120 Hours

Weekends classes 2 hours daily.

System Requirements

Online Training

  • High-speed Internet access with supported computer operating systems and Internet/Web browsers
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • PowerPoint Viewer.
  • Zoom App/Google Meet/Skype for Business.

For best experience, use of a mobile device is not recommended

Coding specialists are skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, often in a hospital setting but also in a variety of other healthcare settings.

The CCS certification is a natural progression for professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records.


  • •  Review patients’ records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure
  • •  Possess expertise in the ICD-10-CM and CPT coding systems
  • •  Are knowledgeable about medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology

Apply for the Exam:

  • Non-member price: $399
  • Member price: $299

Exam Specifications:

The CCS is a timed exam. Candidates have four hours to complete the exam. The total number of questions on the exam range between 115 and 140 total items. The exam consists of two sections, a Multiple-Choice Section and a Medical Scenario Section (inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department). The exam is given in a computer-based format.

AHIMA exams contain a variety of questions or item types that require you to use your knowledge, skills, and/or experience to select the best answer. Each exam includes scored questions and pre-test questions randomly distributed throughout the exam. Pre-test questions are not counted in the final results.

The passing score for the CCS is 300.

Competencies for CCS fall into four domains. Each domain accounts for a specific percentage of the total questions on the certification exam. See the Exam Content Outline below for greater detail.

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) Exam Content Outline (Effective 7/1/20)

  • Domain 1 – Coding Knowledge and Skills (51.9%)
  • Domain 2 – Coding Documentation (10.1%)

Mandatory Code Books

On test day, all candidates must bring the correct codebooks to the test center. Candidates who do not have the correct codebooks will not be allowed to test and forfeit their exam fees. The full list of allowable codebooks are can be found in the PDF below and include the ICD-10-CM, AMA CPT and HCPCS Level II code books

CCS Course Content:

  • Anatomy,Physiology,Pathology and medical terminology review
  • Inpatient facilities and related hospital departments
  • Pharmacology concepts
  • Documentation and coding standards
  • ICD-10-CM coding guidelines
  • ICD-10-PCS
  • CMS and inpatient payment systems
  • Outpatient prospective payment system
  • Regulatory and payer requirements
  • Business in the inpatient facility
  • Compliance in the facility
  • DRG Creep Examples
  • DRG hands on assignment

Exam Specifications

  • » Multiple Choice Section- The multiple choice section will consist of 97 single response multiple-choice items (79 “scored” and 18 “pre-test” items). Pre-test items are unscored items that are included in the examination to assess the item’s performance prior to using it for operational use in a future examination. The pre-test items are scrambled randomly throughout the examination and do not count toward the candidate’s score.

  • » Medical Scenarios – The medical scenarios will consist of 8 scenarios (6 scored/ 2 pre-test); each scenario will have up to three separate questions. They will require candidates to pick from a range of codes/ list to answer each question.

  • » The total testing time for the exams is 4 hours

Candidates must meet one of the following eligibility requirements to sit for the CCS examination:

  • Complete courses in all the following topics: anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, reimbursement methodology, intermediate/advanced ICD diagnostic coding, and procedural coding and medical services (CPT/HCPCS)
  • Minimum of two (2) years of related coding experience directly applying codes; or
  • Hold the CCA® credential plus one (1) year of coding experience directly applying codes; or
  • Hold a coding credential from another certifying organization plus one (1) year of coding experience directly applying codes; or
  • Hold a CCS-P®, RHIT®, or RHIA® credential

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