What’s the difference between COC and CPC medical coders?

Posted By:   Posted On: September 21st, 2016

medical coder in physican's office

This month we’re talking about the difference between COC and CPC medical coders. This is part of a series of articles we’re writing that address the highest paying medical coder specialties and ways you, as a medical coder, can have the best job opportunities, whether you are a remote medical coder or an on-site medical coder.

What’s a COC Medical Coder?

A COC used to be called a CPC-H, and According to the American Academy of Professional Coders, a COC is Certified Outpatient Coding. A COC coder codes for outpatient hospital and facility services. This certification is growing in need because more and more physicians are leaving private practices and joining hospital groups.

What’s a CPC Medical Coder?

A CPC coder is a Certified Professional Coder who will code for services performed by physicians and healthcare providers in the office or facility settings.

A CPC certification is the most common medical coder certification.

If you would like to be placed in a medical coder or remote medical coder job within the United States, please fill out the form below or call us at 602-468-6300.

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The Difference Between COC and CPC Medical Coders: Salary

According to the 2009 Medical Coding Salary Survey from the AAPC, COC medical coders (then known as CPC-H coders) reported an average salary of $51,980 versus the CPC medical coders, who reported an average income of $45,253.

The Difference Between COC and CPC Medical Coders: Skills and Facilities

A COC coder will code services performed in outpatient hospitals, outpatient facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers vs a CPC coder who will code services performed in a physician’s office or in a facility (inpatient hospital).

Both COC and CPC medical coders will code for a wide range of services. They will have to abstract information to support accurate coding. They use the same coding books.

If you would like to be placed in a medical coder or remote medical coder job within the United States, contact Desert Medical Careers at (602) 468-6300.

The Difference Between COC and CPC Medical Coders: Certification Exam

Both certifications:

  • Consist of a 150 multiple choice exam
  • Allow 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
  • Offer one free retake
  • Cost $350 to take
  • Are open code book in nature.

The materials covered in the exam are very different, however. The COC exam covers far fewer topics, but goes more in depth into each one of them. For instance, the COC asks 10 medical terminology questions and 10 anatomy questions and the CPC asks 8 in each of those areas. The COC exam will want you to have the same skill set as a CPC, but will ask the questions from outpatient settings (emergency department visits, ambulatory surgeries, occupational therapy, and so on) plus it will go into outpatient reimbursement knowledge.

The COC exam covers:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy
  • Coding Guidelines
  • Payment Methodologies
  • Compliance
  • ICD-10-CM
  • CPT
  • HCPCS Level II Coding
  • HCPCS Level II Coding

The CPC exam covers a much wider range of topics:

  • 10,000 Series CPT
  • 20,000 Series CPT
  • 30,000 Series CPT
  • 40,000 Series CPT
  • 50,000 Series CPT
  • 60,000 Series CPT
  • Evaluation and Management
  • Anesthesia
  • Radiology
  • Laboratory / Pathology
  • Medicine
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy
  • ICD-10-CM/Diagnosis
  • HCPCS Level II
  • Coding Guidelines
  • Compliance and Regulatory

If you would like to be placed in a medical coder or remote medical coder job within the United States, contact Desert Medical Careers at (602) 468-6300.

Are You Looking for a Medical Coding or Remote Medical Coding Job?

Desert Medical Careers has a high demand for medical coders and remote medical coders throughout the United States. We place full-time and part-time healthcare positions. With over 20 years’ experience working with healthcare employees, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment. Contact DMC today at (602) 468-6300.

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