What Is the Process for Earning AHIMA Certification?


Quick Answer

Each of the American Health Information Management Association's professional certifications require specified levels of education and experience combined with passing scores on the related certification exams. The computer-based certification exams consist of multiple choice questions with four answer choices and test at three levels of cognition: recall, application and analysis.

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Full Answer

Educational requirements for certification range from a bachelor's degree specific to health information management for certification as a registered health information administrator to a high school diploma or the equivalent with six months coding experience recommended for the credential of certified coding associate. Verification of education is required to establish eligibility for all of the certification exams, and candidates applying for the first time must submit transcripts with their applications. A processing fee of $75 dollars is required at the time of application, as of 2015, which is refundable if the candidate is found ineligible or by requesting a refund 14 business days prior to the date of the exam.

The association's commission on certification for health informatics and information management oversees the certification process, the development and validation of the exams and the requirements for maintaining certification. All AHIMA exams comply with the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

The certifications available through AHIMA include registered health information administrator and technician certified coding associate, coding specialist and coding specialist-physician-based. Certification as a health data analyst and documentation improvement practitioner are also offered along with a certification in health care privacy and security.

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