Health Information Management

A Note from the CCDS Coordinator: What you need to know about the new CCDS Exam

CDI Strategies, January 21, 2016

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Record numbers of people took the CCDS exam in December and early January before the new version of the exam took effect on January 18. In the period December 1 to January 16 alone, 355 people passed the exam and earned their CCDS.

Now, the focus is on the new exam and people want to know what to expect. The exam includes 140 questions and a new section, “Impact of Reportable Diagnoses on Quality of Care.” It remains a three-hour timed exam.

The concepts on the new exam are very similar to the previous version. Many questions were carried over with minimal changes. The exam candidates are not asked to assign ICD-10-CM/PCS codes. However, it does contain questions which require knowledge of ICD-10 coding guidelines. In general, it remains a clinically-based documentation improvement exam.

Download the exam candidate's handbook for an overview of the exam content.

There is also a new CCDS Exam Study Guide, which includes an online practice test.

One of the allowable resources to use during the exam, the DRG Expert, must be an ICD-10 edition.

The exam passing grade has not been determined, and candidates taking the exam in the first few weeks will not get their scores on site after completing the exam.

The ACDIS CCDS Advisory Board and a team from Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP, the company that administers the exam) will meet to review the first few weeks of exam results and determine the passing score and mail results to all candidates whose results are pending. We anticipate that instant on-site score results will resume by early March 2016.

If you’ve been a CDI specialist for more than two years, I encourage you to apply and wish you the best!

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