Exam Information

How long is the exam?

The HCS-D certification exam is 3.5 hours long and contains 80 questions.
* Effective October 1, 2017, all candidates sitting for an initial HCS-D exam or an HCS-D retake will be sitting for the 2018 HCS-D exam. The 2018 HCS-D exam includes the recently released 2018 official guidance.

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.

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 to 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
    *Note, your name on the 2 forms of ID must match your exam registration with BMSC. If it is different and/or has changed, please contact customer service at 1-855-225-5341 to have this updated. You will not be allowed to test if it 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 and 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, 2018. Available for purchase in the DecisionHealth online store.
  • Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual, 2017
  • Any other vendor’s ICD-10 coding manual (2017 or 2018 Edition)

In addition to the above referenced coding manual, you may take the FY2018 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.

*Note, BMSC recommends a current code year, 2018, coding manual be used when taking the HCS-D or HCS-H exam.

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 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).


  • Alphabetical section dividers
  • 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:

  • OASIS-C2 Assessment  form
  • Chapter 3 of OASIS-C2 Guidance Manual
  • Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society Guidance on OASIS-C2 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-C2 Form Companion. The candidate may supplement this guide with the published quarterly Q&As. Version year 2017 or 2018 is acceptable. Note, BMSC recommends the current version year, 2018, 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.

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.