BMSC Exam Information

Do you have questions about how to get certified? Find the answers here.

What credentialing exams does BMSC offer?

BMSC offers the following exams:

  • Home Care Coding Specialist – Diagnosis (HCS-D)
  • Home Care Coding Specialist – Hospice (HCS-H)
  • Home Care Clinical Specialist – OASIS (HCS-O)
  • Home Care Specialist – Compliance (HCS-C)

To learn more about which exam is right for you and to find the candidate handbooks for each exam, visit About BMSC Credentials.

 

How do I register for an exam?

You must take and pass an exam in order to obtain a BMSC credential. There are 2 ways to take an exam through BMSC: at a computer-based testing center OR at a BMSC-approved live event.

To take your exam at a computer-based testing center:

Register for your exam online.

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email. Please allow up to three (3) business days after receipt of this email before scheduling your exam with our testing partner, PSI. PSI will send you an email with instructions on how to schedule your exam.

Take your exam at a BMSC-approved live event:

Visit the Conferences and Live Events page and find the event you want to attend. You’ll find specific instructions on how to register for the exam there. If you don’t see the event you’re looking for, contact the sponsor of the event or BMSC Customer Care at 1-855-CALL-DH1 or customer@decisionhealth.com for information on how to register. Once you’re registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from BMSC.

If you require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please complete this form.

 

How long is the exam?

  • The HCS-D certification exam is 3.5 hours long and contains 80 questions.* 
  • The HCS-O certification exam is 3 hours long and contains 80 questions.
  • The HCS-H certification exam is 3 hours long and contains 80 questions.
  • The HCS-C certification exam is 3 hours long and contains 80 questions.

* Effective October 1, 2018, all candidates sitting for an initial HCS-D exam or an HCS-D retake will be sitting for the 2019 HCS-D exam. The 2019 HCS-D exam includes the recently released 2019 official guidance.

 

What’s the passing score for my exam?

  • The passing score for the HCS-D exam is 76%.
  • The passing score for the HCS-O exam is 74%.
  • The passing score for the HCS-H exam is 75%.
  • The passing score for the HCS-C exam is 75%.

 

What should I expect when taking a BMSC exam?

When taking any BMSC exam, whether at a testing center or a BMSC-approved live event, please take note of the following important information:

  • You should arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam is scheduled to begin.
  • You will be asked to show 2 forms of ID , one of which must be a government issued photo ID. Your name on the 2 forms of ID must match your exam registration with BMSC. If it is different or has changed, please contact customer service at 1-855-225-5341 to have this updated. You will not be allowed to test if the name does not match.
  • Only BMSC authorized resources are allowed in the testing room.
  • Scratch paper and pencils will be provided by the proctor.

 

Allowed materials

HCS-D Exam:

You may take only ONE of the following manuals into the testing room:

  • Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual, 2019. Available for purchase in the DecisionHealth online store.
  • Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual, 2018
  • Any other vendor’s ICD-10 coding manual (2018 or 2019 Edition).

Note: BMSC recommends a current code year, 2019, coding manual be used when taking the HCS-D exam.

In addition to the above referenced coding manual, for the HCS-D exam, you may take the FY2019 official guidelines provided here into the testing room. Please note, only the watermarked guidelines provided through this link will be allowed into the testing room as an additional resource.

Electronic code look-up systems are NOT allowed in the testing room. A hard copy coding manual is the only allowed resource.

The hard copy coding manual may have alphabetic and tabular section dividers (A through Z) that are affixed. You may have annotations written on the coding manual pages including the notes pages at the back of the manual but they must be free of any notes containing coding rules and guidelines from other reference materials (for example, Coding Clinic, Home Health ICD-10-CM Coding Answers, and similar materials).

Not Allowed:

  • Post-It notes
  • Loose papers or any other papers attached by any means

The testing center staff or exam proctor reserves the right to deny code books that contain excessive writing and information that may give the candidate an unfair advantage.

HCS-H Exam:

You may take only ONE of the following manuals into the testing room:

  • Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual, 2019. Available for purchase in the DecisionHealth online store.
  • Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual, 2018
  • Any other vendor’s ICD-10 coding manual (2018 or 2019 Edition).

Note: BMSC recommends a current code year, 2019, coding manual be used when taking the HCS-H exam.

In addition to the above referenced coding manual, for the HCS-H exam, you may take the FY2019 official guidelines provided here into the testing room. Please note, only the watermarked guidelines provided through this link will be allowed into the testing room as an additional resource.

The hard copy coding manual may have alphabetic and tabular section dividers (A through Z) that are affixed. You may have annotations written on the coding manual pages including the notes pages at the back of the manual but they must be free of any notes containing coding rules and guidelines from other reference materials (for example, Coding Clinic, Home Health ICD-10-CM Coding Answers, and similar materials).

Not Allowed:

  • Post-It notes
  • Loose papers or any other papers attached by any means

The testing center staff or exam proctor reserves the right to deny code books that contain excessive writing and information that may give the candidate an unfair advantage.

HCS-O Exam:

You may take only the following manuals into the testing room:

  • OASIS-D Assessment form
  • Chapter 3 of OASIS-D Guidance Manual
  • Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society Guidance on OASIS-D Integumentary Items
  • OASIS Considerations for Medicare PPS Patients
  • CMS Quarterly Q&As

The above materials are available for purchase as a complete binder entitled: The OASIS Form Companion. The candidate may supplement this guide with the published quarterly Q&As. Version year 2019 is acceptable. Note: BMSC recommends the current version year, 2019, when taking the HCS-O exam. See the DecisionHealth online store for details.

In lieu of purchasing the above resources, you may download the materials from various regulatory sites or purchase materials from any other vendor; however, the materials MUST be clearly labeled and bound in ONE binder. If the proctor at a live event or a computer based testing center cannot clearly identify the allowable resources, you will NOT be allowed to take the resources into the testing room.

HCS-C Exam:

No resources allowed.

 

What is BMSC's confidentiality policy?

BMSC has adopted policies and procedures to protect the confidentiality of exam candidates. BMSC staff members will not discuss pending applications with anyone but the candidate and will not discuss a candidate’s scores by telephone or by fax. BMSC will discuss pending applications and score results by:

  • US mail upon a signed request by the candidate.
  • Via email from the candidate if there is a match between the email address on the communication and the email address on the candidates record.

BMSC will not release exam results to educational institutions or employers unless authorized by the candidate in writing.

 

What Happens After the Exam?

Successful candidates receive:
  • An email indicating your exam results once they are processed.
  • A congratulatory letter, score report identifying how you performed in each competency area, acknowledgement of the credential earned with the date of your certification, suitable for framing, and a BMSC lapel pin to wear proudly as a credential holder (via USPS within 6 weeks of taking the exam).
  • A listing in the Directory of Certified Credential Holders.
Unsuccessful Candidates receive:
  • An email stating that you were not successful in your attempt to earn the BMSC credential.
  • Score report identifying how you performed in each competency area.
    • Candidates taking the exam at a testing center will receive the score report immediately upon exam completion.
    • Candidates taking the exam at a BMSC-approved live event will receive the score report via USPS within 6 weeks of taking the exam.
  • Instructions how to register to retake the exam.

For more information about how the exams are scored, refer to your candidate handbook.

BMSC is responsible for the validity and integrity of the scores reported. Occasionally, computer malfunctions or candidate misconduct may cause a score report to be suspect. BMSC reserves the right to void or withhold examination results if, upon investigation, violation of BMSC’s regulations is discovered. Candidates are expected to fully cooperate with any investigation.

In order to protect the integrity of the examination, BMSC cannot release a candidate’s specific answers to questions on any certification examination, nor will BMSC discuss rationale for specific correct answers to examination questions.

 

How can I retake my exam?

Candidates can retake any BMSC certification exam within 90 days of their initial or previous certification exam for $99, per attempt.

To retake your BMSC HCS-D, HCS-O, HCS-H or HCS-C exam, log in to the CEU Tracker and click on “Retake Now.” If you are unable to log into the CEU Tracker, contact customer service at 1-855-225-5341.