If you are an ophthalmology professional, it is important to keep your coding knowledge up to date! Whether you are a physician, coding/billing staff, office manager, administrator, consultant, ophthalmic medical personnel, or para-professional, taking the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist (OCS) Exam will benefit you. Here are a few frequently asked questions that we can help answer.
What is the OCS exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE), the practice management arm of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) are partners in offering the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist (OCS) Exam.
The OCS Exam is designed to test the coding knowledge of professionals in ophthalmology. This open-book exam includes questions on 19 content areas including anatomy and physiology, optical dispensing, neuro-ophthalmology, E&M and eye codes. Each area is represented in the 100 question exam. (A full list of tested content areas can be found on the AAO site.)
After completing the test, you will receive feedback to help improve your coding and documentation abilities. Those who attain a passing score of 80 percent or higher on this exam will be awarded the OCS Certificate of Completion.
Why should I get or renew my OCS Certification?
- To be rest assured that your coding knowledge is updated with the constantly changing codes, especially for those who are due to renew their certification.
- Receive national professional recognition for your expertise and proficiency which also improves your professional image.
- Enhance the success of your practice. Mastering coding and staying in compliance makes sure that you receive proper reimbursement and increases the financial performance of your practice.
- Improve your career qualifications. If you do not own a practice, demonstrating mastery of coding can make you more competitive in the job market.
- Increase the efficiency of your practice. With proficient coding knowledge, you will be able to quickly identify what clearinghouses look for in coding claims, submit them accurately and reduce the number of rejected claims.
Where can I take the OCS exam?
The exam costs $175 but it is a great investment. It must be taken online, on the JCAHPO’s ACTIONED website. You are allowed to complete the exam in more than one session where your answers will be saved from one session to the next. However, you must complete the exam within 10 days from the date of purchase.
Upon submitting your exam, you will receive a Pass or Fail grade immediately. Regardless of your score, you will receive a performance breakdown indicating which content areas with one or more incorrect answers. If you pass the exam your Certificate of Completion will be sent to you within two to six weeks.
How should I prepare for the exam?
- Study AAOE’s Ophthalmic Coding book series which covers the 19 essential and specialty content areas
- Attend courses such as AAOE’s CODEquest Ophthalmic Coding College, AAOE’s Coding SOS and Coding Camp (The next one will be held from November 10 to 13.)
- Quiz yourself or colleagues using AAOE’s OCS Flashcards
- For more resources, visit the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services or AAO’s page for coding products.
We hope that you are convinced about the importance of getting your OCS certification. The process is easy and benefits are abundant!
And don’t forget to pair your coding knowledge with VisionWeb’s electronic claims processing services. Benefits include decreasing time on the phone with payers, reducing redundancies of duplicate data entry, and further ensuring the proper coding claims (but you probably already got it right the first time thanks to the OCS exam!)
Head to AAO’s website for more details and to get started on the OCS exam!