As the importance of accurate and thorough Medicare documentation increases in the home health setting, HCS-O credential holders typically:

  • Increase the value they bring to their agencies
  • Are more highly compensated than their uncredentialled peers and receive greater advancement opportunities
  • Have a competitive advantage when applying for jobs, and providers are increasingly requiring coding certification as a condition of employment

Learn more about each credential and its qualifications
in our BMSC Candidate Handbook

Home Care Clinical Specialist – OASIS (HCS-O)

The Home Care Clinical Specialist – OASIS (HCS-O) certification is held by clinicians who have demonstrated the clinical skills and judgment necessary to assess a patient’s condition correctly. HCS-O credential holders are healthcare professionals with specialized knowledge in applying clinical assessment findings to OASIS items. HCS-O credential holders include Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Coding Specialists, Billing Specialists, Compliance Directors, Quality Assurance Directors, Administrators, and Agency Directors. Although these individuals perform different jobs, the role of ensuring the accuracy of OASIS data is the same for all of them. To effectively ensure the accuracy of OASIS data, they must understand and apply the instructions contained in the OASIS Guidance Manual, category-specific questions and answers, and quarterly updates provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Clinicians with an HCS-O credential know how to:

  • Gather patient clinical documentation
  • Validate the accuracy of OASIS responses
  • Correct OASIS response errors according to OASIS guidance and documentation standards
  • Ensure that all activities are done in a legal and ethical manner that supports agency policy and regulatory and professional guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits to earning a BMSC credential?
A: Earning a BMSC credential can help you identify yourself as a leader and gain respect in your home care coding or clinical profession. Advanced certification also often produces higher salaries for medical coders and can help you work more effectively within your industry. Plus, the purchase of a BMSC exam includes a one year complimentary AHCC membership! To learn more about the AHCC Membership, please click here.

Q: How do I know if I’m qualified to take one of the credential exams?
A: Learn more about each credential and its qualifications in our BMSC Candidate Handbook.

Q: How should I prepare for the exam?
A: The most successful credential candidates have on-the-job experience, have attended coding or OASIS training events, and have followed a course of self-study. See the 2022 Candidate Handbook for more detail about the eligibility and qualifications we recommend for each BMSC exam.

We also recommend the study guides on the Study Materials tab to help you prepare for your respective exam(s).

Q: How many days do I have to take the exam after I purchase it?
A: Candidates registered for BMSC exams have 90 days from the day they register to take an initial or retake exam. The fee for the certification application process and examination is $329.00 U.S. or via remote proctor/$429 International. All fees are non-refundable.

For more information, please refer to the FAQ section on the AHCC website

Q: How can I recertify my BMSC credential?
A: Visit the AHCC website for more information about recertifying your credential. The recertification annual maintenance fee includes membership in the Association of Home Care Coding and Compliance.

Home Care Clinical Specialist — OASIS (HCS-O)

Product Code: DHBMSCO

Home Care Clinical Specialist — OASIS (HCS-O) 400