August 31, 2022
Do I need new medical coding books if I am testing in the following year

Do I Need New Medical Coding Books if I am Testing in the Following Year?

By Janine Mothershed

Books Needed to Become a CPC

If you are testing to become a Certified Professional Coder, you will need the following CPC exam books: CPT, ICD10, HCPC Level II. These books are designed to help medical professionals code medical services and procedures accurately. These AAPC books provide a thorough understanding of medical codes. Many include quick-find codes, reference tables and colored illustrations. Medical Coding books combine codes from medical research and computational biology to give students a thorough understanding of the medical coding process and the codes that they will use. AAPC books are crucial to be successful in your new career.

In my Expert CPC Opinion

You may be wondering if you need to purchase new CPC Exam books if you started Medical Coding school and are testing for the AAPC Exam the following year. In my opinion, there is no need to purchase a new set of books if you are testing in the following year. I have been teaching Medical Coding for seven years and currently have more than 500 students. AAPC allows the previous year’s books to be utilized during the CPC Exam. I have yet to come across anyone that stated that they could not locate information inside the previous year’s books. I have also never encountered someone failing from having AAPC books from the previous year.

Book Update Example

Here is an example of an update that occurred in the past. They are small variations. N18.3 CKD stage 3 updated to N18.30. This is very similar. The AAPC Medical Coding exam is multiple choice. If you were in a multiple choice test with your AAPC book and you know that your book is from the previous year, you would easily know which one was the right answer. This is one of the reasons that it is not imperative to purchase a new set.

Add New Updates to Your Books

You are able to physically write in any and all new content or changes from the new year. All updates could be written in. From the example above, you would write in a zero on your “old” Medical Coding books and you would be even more aware of the change. It is more harmful to have a new set of CPC exam books with no notes, then the old set with notes. You are allowed to write notes directly in your books. Research that year’s new updates and write in the code changes. This will be even more helpful than purchasing new books as your notes are most important and you retain what you write.

Negatives of Purchasing New Books

If you “wait” for the Oct 2022 ICD10 book, you will have to wait for the 2022 AAPC Course in mid November. Then you would wait for January 2022 for the 2022 CPT & HCPC release. This waiting game is very unnecessary and a much better idea to complete your test in a timely manner when the information is fresh in your memory.

Coding Clarified took a poll to see how many students used books from the current year or the last year.  There were 52 votes and It was nearly a 60/40% split between the students. Everyone that voted on the poll that used the previous year’s books had no issues at all. Take a look below.

Do I need new books

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What the AAPC Urges

The American Academy of Professional Coders, or AAPC, is the leading professional association for healthcare coders. Its CPC Exam is one of the most widely accepted credentialing exams in the industry. Medical coding books should be updated on a yearly basis. The test is updated every year, the CPC test reflects the latest changes to the Medical Coding books. The AAPC has recently announced updates to the CPC Exam for the year 2022. The new exam will launch on January 1, 2022. The AAPC suggests that Medical Coders keep their reference materials up-to-date and suggest that it is essential to purchase an updated edition of each book. The AAPC recommends that Medical Coders update books every year.

Decide What is Best For You

Coding Clarified has provided you with reasons, facts and research on why it is not essential to purchase new books for the following year to complete your test. The AAPC strongly promotes getting new books, however I don’t. If you do not spend money on a new set of books this year, it is helpful to write in all the updates. You are better off doing this, as you should have notes in your books that will help you far more than new books. You also may be able to get your CPC much quicker and have the information more fresh in your brain. I strongly urge my students to save their money and utilize the books that they have. You decide.

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