Certified Paraoptometric Coder (CPOC)

A CPOC™ is a person who has attained national recognition via certification by demonstrating proficiency, expertise and validating superior knowledge in an optometric coding environment.

What tasks does a Certified Paraoptometric Coder (CPOC™) perform?

Paraoptometric coders are responsible for ensuring that all the information about diagnoses and procedures for patients is accurate and complete. This prevents delays in reimbursement from insurance companies or denials of claims. A certified paraoptometric coder can be the first line of defense against non-compliance and improper coding for the provider. Another benefit of employing a certified coder is maintaining compliance with state and federal laws. This is especially important since the government has started focusing on identifying, decreasing and fining or prosecuting for fraudulent claims.

This is a general description of the duties that a paraoptometric with a minimum of two years of full-time coding experience in the optometric eye care field could be expected to perform. It is not meant to be a full description, nor restriction, of the duties that an employer may require or allow a CPOC to perform. Scope of practice is controlled by each state's legislature. To get a better understanding of your state's laws and any restrictions, please contact your state's optometric association.

"Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 20%, much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Employment growth will result from the increase in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be performed. As the population continues to age, the occurrence of health-related problems will increase," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What's the examination about?

The CPOC examination is open-book and consists of 125 multiple-choice questions related to anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, CPT® and ICD-10-CM codes, medical records, claim filing and compliance matters. Candidates will have two hours in which to complete the examination.

View the application, fee and eligibility requirements.

View the recertification requirements

What content do I need to study?

The full content outline is shown in the 2020 Handbook. Testing in 2020 will cover ICD-10. Standard or professional editions of Codes for Optometry and CPT® books may be available from the AOA Marketplace or other supplier. Current editions of these books are recommended and are the only reference books permitted for use during testing.

All textbooks must be bound volumes without other added or loose materials.

Writing or highlighting in the book is acceptable. Frequently used pages may also be turned down or marked using a paper clip. No Post-it notes or loose book marks are allowed.

If you have any questions about Paraoptometric Coding Certification (CPOC), please call 800.365.2219 Ext. 4210.

Updated November 2019