The HFMA Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor (CICA) certification validates and acknowledges the expertise of the inpatient coding auditor professional. Certified inpatient coding auditors can help your organization ensure coding accuracy, increase reimbursements, and improve overall revenue cycle performance. The CICA certification is the only certification currently available to inpatient coding auditors and it tests across all coding auditor responsibilities, including:

  • Documentation and coding accuracy and specificity
  • DRG assignment, case mix index, quality initiatives, MAC's, RAC's
  • The impact of accurate documentation and coding on overall revenue cycle
  • Compliance

Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor (CICA) Assessment Only Pricing

Member: Included with All-Access membership, no charge. 
Non-member: $399 per individual

The fee includes the CICA certification assessment only.

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Additional Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor (CICA) Information

Recommended Prerequisite Experience: The CICA certification is intended for experienced coders. The CICA certification assessment is recommended for coding professionals with at least 3 years of acute care inpatient coding experience. Participants should have a working knowledge of DRG assignment, case mix index, quality initiatives, MAC’s, RAC’s, and the importance of accurate clinical documentation. (RHIA, RHIT, CCS, or CPC credential is recommended)

Advance Preparation: The coursework to prepare for the Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor assessment is available through HFMA's collaboration with Career Step LLC. The fee for this coursework is processed by Career Step LLC and is not included as part of your HFMA membership. Experienced professional coders may take the CICA assessment without completing course work if they choose. IMPORTANT TO NOTE: HFMA does not provide the preparation coursework for the CICA certification and is only offered by Career Step LLC.

CICA Assessment: The CICA certification assessment is hosted via the HFMA online learning portal and will be accessible for one year following purchase. It is comprised of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 3 hours. If necessary, participants may retake the assessment following a 30-day wait period. A certificate suitable for framing may be downloaded upon successful completion of the assessment. Recertification is required every two years (a minimal fee is charged for non-members).

CPEs: Not available

More details can be found in the CICA FAQs.

Organizational Perspective

Why should we employ certified coding auditors?
  • Gain confidence in the expertise of your coding auditors
  • Keep money on the front end with improved revenue capture and reduction of claim denials
  • Lose less money on the back end with better performance on external audits
  • Improve regulatory compliance
  • Reduce in improper payments

Coding Professional Perspective

Why should I obtain a CICA certification?
  • Justify your career advancement
  • Gain confidence and validate your expertise through key industry standards
  • Make the case for increased in professional responsibility and earning potential
  • Gain advantage in a competitive hiring situation
  • Demonstrate your expertise by showcasing the CICA credential next to your name in your signature

For more information about the HFMA CICA assessment, contact the Career Services Department or call (800) 252-4362. 


The Role & Value of Inpatient Coding Auditors in Today's Healthcare Climate

According to the American Hospital Associations (AHA) RACTrac Initiative survey from Q3 2016, incorrect MS-DRG or other coding errors account for a majority of complex Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) denials. These errors have the greatest overall dollar impact than any other type of denial. Organizations are increasingly employing inpatient coding auditors to ensure coding accuracy and increase reimbursements. Drivers that highlight the need for coding auditors include:  

  • Changes in reimbursement models
  • Increases in regulatory audits
  • Continuous DRG downgrading
  • Increased regulatory reporting requirements

Watch the webinar recording below to learn more about the new certification, the role of an inpatient auditor, and how to build your patient audit team.