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Ophthalmology Coding


General coding credentials - AHIMA and/or AAPC

Ideally, a coder in ophthalmology or in any specialty, should first hold a "general" coding credential from AHIMA and/or AAPC as a foundation. See Coding Credentials page for explanations on these credentials. Ophthalmology specific coding credentials are also available for specialization.

Ophthalmic Coding Specialist credential (OCS) - may be the only coding credential

Coders who specialize in ophthalmology may earn the "Ophthalmic Coding Specialist" credential. The American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) are partners in offering the Ophthalmic Coding Specialist exam. This credential is endorsed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Good study resources for the exam are the CPT, ICD-9-CM, HCPCS, and ophthalmic coding books. The CMS Web site (see links page) is another good resource.

The OCS exam is designed to provide learning and to thoroughly test the coding knowledge of professionals in ophthalmology. The exam will be mailed to the applicant after JCAHPO receives the exam application. The applicant will then have ten working days to complete the open-book exam in the privacy of his home or office, using CPT, ICD-9-CM, and other resources. Cost of the exam is $300 for non-AAO members. To maintain the OCS credential, one must retest every three years.

AAPC's specialty coding credential - as additional coding credential only

Starting in 2008, AAPC will start offering an ophthalmology specialty coding credential for those who already hold a core credential (CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P, CCS, CCS-P, RHIT or MD). Cost of the specialty exams is currently $245. Test takers must also be AAPC members ($120 per year). To maintain this credential, one must do 8 additional CEUs per year in ophthalmology.

Apr 2008 Update - Eventhough AAPC announced on their 2007 website that the ophthalmology specialty credential will be offered starting in 2008, it is not currently listed on their website.


Ophthalmic coding books

Click on the book title links for complete publication information.

Coding Companion for Ophthalmology

Coding Companion for Ophthalmology, 2008

  • Ingenix
  • comprehensive coding and reimbursement guide that links coding and clinical information for coding common ophthalmic procedures
  • CPT codes with lay descriptions, illustrations, coding tips, diagnostic crosswalk, RVUs, and more
  • ISBN-10: 1601510470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601510471
  • the 2009 edition will be released Dec 2008
  • previous edition: 2007

oph coach

Ophthalmic Coding Coach, 2008

  • AAO
  • comprehensive coding guide to minor, major, and special testing services
  • good review book for the OCS exam
  • ISBN-10: 1560558253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560558255
  • previous edition: 2007
Coding and Billing for Ophthalmology, 2008 Coding and Billing for Ophthalmology, 2008
  • Contexo Media (was MMI)
  • includes 2008 CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS level II codes relevant to ophthalmology
  • ISBN-10: 1583835660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583835661
  • the 2009 edition will be released Dec 2008

Eye & Oculoplastic Surgery Coding Guide: For Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Eye & Oculoplastic Surgery Coding Guide: For Ambulatory
  • by Lolita Jones, HCPro Inc
  • combines ICD-9-CM, CPT, and HCPCS Level II eye and oculoplastic surgery coding information and puts it all together in one convenient place
Code Pathways for Ophthalmology, 2008 Code Pathways for Ophthalmology, 2008
  • Ingenix
  • laminated flip charts with decision trees provide guidance in choosing the appropriate procedure codes amongst the various options and scenarios
  • ISBN-10: 1601510225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601510228
  • the 2009 edition will be released Feb 2009


ICD-9 for Ophthalmology, 2007
  • AAO
  • book contains every code that relates to the eye directly or indirectly
  • excludes a large volume of codes that are irrelevant to the daily practice of ophthalmology

cpt easy links

CPT Easy Link 2008 Ophthalmology

  • PMIC
  • validate diagnosis to procedure code linkages, helps verify that diagnoses reported on insurance claims support and justify reported services and procedures
  • ISBN-10: 1570664722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570664724
  • previous edition: 2007

easy coder

Easy Coder: Ophthalmology, 2008

  • Unicor Medical Inc.
  • different book format - alphabetical, codes are listed beside the diagnosis, every code is taken to ultimate specificity below the code
  • ISBN-10: 1567810675
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567810677
  • the 2009 edition will be released Sep 2008
  • previous edition: 2007

cpt express

CPT Express Reference Coding Card: Ophthalmology, 2008

  • AMA
  • double-sided, laminated CPT coding card
  • Note: Ideally, you should code from a current code book, not from a "cheat sheet". Always verify codes in the current CPT book.
  • the 2009 edition will be released Nov 2008
  • previous edtion: 2007

express reference
(example card)

ICD-9-CM 2008 Express Reference Coding Card Ophthalmology

  • AMA
  • more than 350 of the most commonly reported ICD-9-CM codes per medical specialty
  • double-sided, laminated
  • the 2009 edition will be released Sep 2008
  • previous edtion: 2007
coding alerg Ophthalmology Coding Alert
  • Coding Institute
  • monthly newsletter
  • ophthalmology-specific coding and compliance information


See the CPT books and ICD-9-CM books pages for more code books .
See the Ophthalmology books page for more books (e.g. ophthalmic dictionaries).
See the MAs in Ophthalmology page for career info and  books (e.g. COA, COT, COMT).
See the Links page for additional coding related links.

AAO http://www.aao.org
AAOE http://www.aao.org/aaoesite
AAPC http://www.aapc.com

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