Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®) - Certification Exam

Advance your career with the Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®) credential. Medical auditing is a critical piece to compliant and profitable physician practices. Whether it's Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) audits, private payer denials, or just peace of mind, more physicians plan to have audits conducted regularly. The risks of being non-compliant with documentation and coding are too great. As a CPMA, you will be able to use your proven knowledge of coding and documentation guidelines to improve the revenue cycle of nearly all healthcare practices.


Earn an Impressive Salary as a CPMA

With tighter regulation on reporting healthcare services and payer compensation for those services, CPMAs must have a clear understanding of when a practice is at risk for non-compliance. That is why CPMAs are valuable to healthcare practices and organizations. They help keep healthcare providers out of harm's way of fraudulent activity. Healthcare business professionals earn an average annual salary of $54,980, according to AAPC's 2019 Salary Survey. But coders who earn the CPMA credential and take on auditing responsiilities earn much more. In 2019, the average CPMA salary was $69,172. This average fluctuates depending on location, years of experience, how many credentials held, and the employer type. Click here to calculate the average CPMA salary in your area.

Certified CPMAs demonstrate expertise in:

  • Medical documentation, fraud, abuse, and penalties for documentation and coding violations based on governmental guidelines
  • Coding Concepts
  • Scope and Statistical Sampling Methodologies
  • Medical Record Auditing Skills and Abstraction Ability
  • Quality Assurance and Coding Risk Analysis
  • Communication of Results and Findings
  • The Medical Record
CPMA Exam Only
CPMA Basic Prep
Exam Bundle
3 CPMA Practice Exams
FREE 2021 CPMA Study Guide

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The CPMA® Exam

  • 150 multiple choice questions (proctored)
  • 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
  • 1 free retake Exclamationmark
  • $399
  • Open code book (manuals)

The CPMA® exam thoroughly covers:

  • 26 questions
  • The Medical Record
  • HIPAA Privacy and Release of Medical Record Information
  • Covered Entities
  • HIPAA Privacy Regulations
  • JCAHO Documentation Standards
  • Record Retention
  • The Advance Beneficiary Notification
  • Legal Requirements of the Medical Record
  • Analyzing the Operative Report
  • 32 questions
  • The Compliance Plan
  • Fraud and Abuse
  • Civil Monetary Penalties Law
  • Federal False Claims Act
  • Stark
  • Type of Audits
  • OIG Regulations and Workplan
  • National Correct Coding Initiative
  • CMS guidelines for E/M documentation
  • OIG imposed CIA (Corporate Integrity Agreements)
  • Recovery Audits and other government programs
  • 20 questions
  • CPT coding concepts
  • Modifier usage
  • Diagnosis coding and medical necessity
  • Evaluation and Management Documentation Guidelines
  • Coding Guidelines versus carrier guidelines
  • 11 questions
  • Audit scope
  • Statistical sampling

Audit Cases including:

  • 52 questions (24 audit cases)
  • Evaluation and Management
  • Surgery
  • Physical Therapy
  • Radiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Infusion Services
  • 9 questions
  • Validation of Audit Results
  • Analysis and Report of Audit Findings
  • Communicating Audit Results
  • Corrective Action

The majority of the questions are presented in multiple choice format covering auditing theory, legal and regulatory issues, NCCI, RAC audits, statistical sampling, coding concepts, and modifiers, etc. In addition, each test taker will need to audit approximately 20 health care cases.

Approved Manuals for Use During Examination

Exam Bundle includes all code books students will need for nearly all AAPC exams*, including AAPC’s Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam. Included are the AMA CPT® Professional, ICD-10-CM Expert, and HCPCS Level II Expert medical coding books.

Exam Book Bundle 2021 (CPT®, HCPCS, ICD-10-CM)

ICD-10-CM Code Book 2021 - Now Shipping
AMA CPT® Professional 2021 - Now Shipping
HCPCS Level II Expert 2021 - Now Shipping
Retail: $359.99   Save: $130.00 (36%)
Non-Member: $259.99
Member: $229.99


Electronic devices with an on/off switch (cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are not allowed into the examination room. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disqualification of your exam.

Any officially published errata for these manuals may also be used. No other manuals are allowed. Each code set is updated annually; it is essential that examinees use the current calendar year's coding manuals when taking the certification exam.

Individuals with a solid understanding of coding fundamentals, anatomy and terminology should be able to answer each examination question through application of the CPT®, ICD-10-CM or HCPCS Level II manuals or through careful reasoning.

Approved Exam Manuals/Exam Instructions

Non-Approved Manuals for Use During Examination

Due to the advantages of additional information and/or ease of use, the following books cannot be used during the exam:

  • Any Procedural Coding Expert
  • Any Procedural Professional
  • CPT® Plus! - PMIC
  • CPT® Insider's View - AMA
  • ICD-10-CM Easy Coder
  • Study Guides

Exam Requirements

While there is no experience requirement, we strongly recommend that the candidate have at least two years of experience in medical auditing.

Please be aware that this is a difficult, high-level examination which is not meant for individuals with little, limited or no audit experience or training

Other requirements:

  • We recommend having an associate's degree
  • Pay examination fee at the time of application submission
  • Maintain current membership with the AAPC
    • Renewing members must have a current membership at the time of submission and when exam results are released.
    • Renewing members must be current at the time of application submission as well as when results are sent
  • Materials to bring:

Exam Recommendation

The CPMA® examination is recommended for a certified coder or medical record auditor who has experience auditing physician services or significant coding experience and is well versed with a variety of different types of audits including but not limited to E/M services.  Auditing involves compliance and regulatory issues in its day to day work, and the examinee will be tested on these concepts in addition to coding, modifiers, NCCI usage, and more.

Maintaining Certification

Membership is required to be renewed annually and 36 Continuing Education Units (CEU's) must be submitted every two years for verification and authentication of expertise. For CEU requirements please see our CEU Information page.


Each examination is separate and distinct from one another. To obtain all certifications, each examination must be taken separately and passed.

An overall score of 70% or higher is required to pass an exam. For examinees who do not pass, only the areas of study/categories with a score of 65% or less are provided for examinees’ preparation.

The areas of study reported reflect scores based on the number of questions in each category/section of the exam; each of the category/section may vary in the number of questions asked.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU) submissions are required for all certifications. For CEU requirements please see our CEU Information page.

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