CCDS Exam Study Guide, Third Edition

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CCDS Exam Study Guide, Third Edition

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Available December, 2015

CCDS Exam Study Guide, Third Edition

Fran Jurcak, RN, MSN, CCDS

Laurie L. Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP

In 2016, those sitting for the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) exam face the biggest changes to the test yet. The updated exam has been expanded from 120 to 140 items and has a brand-new section on quality of care. In addition, it incorporates updates to the Official ICD-10-CM Guidelines for Coding and Reporting as well as critical Coding Clinic ICD-10 guidance related to documentation and querying.

To help candidates prepare for this updated exam, the best-selling CCDS Exam Study Guide has been refreshed. The third edition of the guide targets the test objectives and content outline prepared by the CCDS Certification Board, letting candidates focus their time on areas of CDI practice with which they are least familiar.

Also, this year the CCDS Exam Study Guide comes with an online practice exam, allowing prospective examinees to practice and get instant results—just like the certification exam offers.

The CCDS Exam Study Guide, Third Edition will:

  • Help candidates determine whether they are ready to take the CCDS exam
  • Give qualified candidates the confidence they need to succeed
  • Provide sample questions for self-assessment
  • Deliver proven test-taking strategies and “day of the test” tips

The CCDS Exam Study Guide reviews:

  • The inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS)
  • ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting and selected entries from AHA Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM
  • Query processes and procedures
  • Common clinical conditions and indicators for query opportunities
  • CDI program metrics and data analytics
  • RAC preparedness and CDI ethics
  • The impact of reportable diagnoses on quality of care


Each chapter reviews CDI program principles and contains sample questions for self-testing. Click here to learn more about prerequisites for taking the exam or to apply.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Healthcare Regulations, Reimbursement, and the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)

Chapter 2: Identification of Clinical Indicators

Chapter 3: Medical Record Documentation

Chapter 4: Healthcare Facility CDI Program Analysis

Chapter 5: Utilizing Communication and Education Skills to Champion CDI

Chapter 6: Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting

Chapter 7: Professionalism, Ethics, and Compliance

Chapter 8: Impact of Reportable Diagnoses on Quality of Care

Chapter 9: Tips to Prepare for the Exam 

* This book also includes online practice questions.

About the Authors

Fran Jurcak, RN, MSN, CCDS, is a senior director in CDI Solutions at Huron Healthcare, a division of Huron Consulting in Chicago. She is proficient in the assessment of program status and has directed the implementation of programs providing education and support to CDI specialists engaged in working with physicians to improve documentation of severity of illness in patient care records. She serves as a member of the CCDS Certification Committee and has served on the ACDIS Advisory Board. Jurcak has been a speaker at several national ACDIS conferences and routinely speaks at state chapter meetings and conferences. With more than 25 years of nursing experience, she has clinical experience in critical care and emergency medicine, and taught as an assistant professor of nursing at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, for more than 15 years. She was among the first CDI specialists to earn the CCDS certification in 2009.

Laurie L. Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, is the CDI education director for HCPro. She serves HCPro and the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) as a CDI subject matter expert, lead developer, and instructor of its best-in-class CDI Boot Camps; she also contributes to various publications and webinars. Prescott initiated and fostered a clinical documentation program at a community hospital in North Carolina. Her nursing experiences include acute care, primarily medical-surgical, with experience in ICU, PACU, endoscopy, and one-day surgery. She has worked as unit manager of med-surg and ICU units, served as an adjunct professor for an ADN program, and later stepped into the role of director of education and clinical support of nursing staff. In addition, Prescott has experience with both regulatory and compliance issues. 

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