Registration vs. Certification

Q. Is registration for a medical assistant a “higher” or “better” credential than certification?

A. No. In almost every state, the CMA (AAMA) and RMA (and other medical assisting credentials) are voluntary national credentials, not mandatory state licenses or required state board examinations. In some professions, registration is “higher” than certification, but that is not the case in medical assisting.

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, executive director and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
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99 Responses to Registration vs. Certification

  1. BRENDA GUZMAN says:

    is there a phone number where I can get more information?
    my question is i took a medical assistant program and i graduated 5 years ago can i still get the certification?

    • By all means. The number of the AAMA Executive Office is 800/228-2262. Please ask for the Certification Department.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

      • marie says:

        We have some employees in our office that took the medical assistance classes twenty years ago and were certified. What will they need to do to recertify? Will they have to have continuing education classes or can they just take the exam?

      • Thank you for your question. Generally, CMAs (AAMA) are permitted to recertify by continuing education or examination. However, a CMA (AAMA) whose credential has been not current for more than 60 months must recertify by examination.

        I hope this is helpful.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262  |  Fax: 312/899-1259  |  http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook  

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  2. Marilyn Jefferis CMA(AAMA) says:

    We have a new RMA now working for us .Can she join the AAMA and get her ceu’s that way or will she have to go through the RMA.

    • Thank you for your question.

      The new RMA is most welcome to join the AAMA and earn CEUs for recertifying her RMA. I am not familiar with the exact continuing education requirements for the RMA, but I would think that many of the AAMA’s continuing education courses can be used for recertifying the RMA credential.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

  3. Misty Anderson says:

    Is it possible to be certified in both RMA and CMA?

    • Thank you for your question.

      Yes, it is possible for a medical assistant to become a CMA (AAMA) as well as an RMA. The medical assistant must meet the eligibility requirements for each examination, and must pass each examination.

      The CMA (AAMA) is offered by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The most common RMA credential is offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The eligibility requirements for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination are more stringent than those of the RMA (AMT). Only graduates of postsecondary medical assisting academic programs accredited by the CAAHEP or ABHES are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. These are separate examinations given by two different testing bodies.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let me know whether you would like further clarification.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

      • Vicky Edwards says:

        I graduated from an accredited MA school and I registered to take my exam, competed it and passed. I did not realize at the time is was the RMA exam. Should I also take the CMA exam? What one is the better to have?

      • Thank you for your question. Please see this article on the CMA (AAMA) and the RMA:

        http://www.aama-ntl.org/resources/library/CMAandRMA.pdf

        Even though you have passed the RMA test, I would strongly recommend that you also take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. Please also see the following:

        http://www.aama-ntl.org/resources/library/CMACred.pdf

        http://www.aama-ntl.org/resources/library/WhyMoreEmpsHireCMA.pdf

        http://www.aama-ntl.org/medassisting/discover.aspx

        I hope this is helpful. Please let us know whether you have further questions.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

      • MA Teacher says:

        I think that it might be adventagous for individuals to get both the RMA and the CMA certification. I have been an RMA for about 25 years and recently decided to sit for and take the CMA exam. I passed, and have recently found out that most schools that are ABHES accredited are requiring the CMA for their instructors in order for them to stay employed. I currenlty hold a Master’s Degree in Education and I think that as instructors we should maintain certification or registration so that when we ask our students to consider taking this step that they will see it as important, since we hold that credential as well. I also feel that any program director that is responsible for medical assisting should either be an RMA or a CMA. I am glad I have both credentials, since it shows my students that I am serious about the issue of being either certified or registered.

      • Thank you for those good insights!

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  4. Heather says:

    I graduated from an accredited MA school over 8 years ago, and I have been with my employer since graduation. At my time of hire, being an RMA or CMA was not required. Recently they have implemented a new pay scale for those that are certified. What is the easiest/fastest way for me to take advantage of this opportunity to become certified and increase my pay?

    • Thank you for your question.

      If the medical assisting program from which you graduated was accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES, you are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. You can go to the CAAHEP and ABHES websites to find out whether your academic program was accredited by one of these two accrediting bodies. The websites are caahep.org and abhes.org

      If your program was accredited by CAAHEP or ABHES, please go to aama-ntl.org and find the information about the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

  5. Cathie Chevalier says:

    I think more clarification is required on the RMA questions. The RMA that is granted by the AMT is the only RMA recognized by the AAMA, correct. There is another RMA. Also, can you tell me if the AAMA recognizes the NCHMA? I have never read anywhere that they do but some NHCMAs are saying they are. Thanks!

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to attempt to clarify some of these important matters.

      There are (or were at one time) three (3) RMA credentials. There are also other medical assisting credentials.

      The AAMA does not “recognize” any medical assisting credentials other than the CMA (AAMA). However, the RMA of the American Medical Technologists is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a national accrediting body for certifications.

      At this point in time, there are no other medical assisting credentials that are accredited by the NCCA.

      I hope this is helpful. I would be happy to dialogue further with you about this important subject.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

      • MA Teacher says:

        Right now, it seems like the difference between the RMA and CMA is kind of like the “do you like coke or pepsi” question. I think that right now some employers don’t take certification seriously at all. I have had some graduates from my program tell me that certification is worthless unless their employers require it; and that the lengthy process it takes to take the exam is a huge turn off for them. I feel that if the AAMA could become more involved at the school level then they would not have so many people who are resistant to take the exam.

      • Thank you for your comments. I am finding that increasing numbers of employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program, and who have a current CMA (AAMA) credential.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  6. angela johnson says:

    i am a cma..well, i guess my certification is expired, i just want to know how do i get it back and what steps do i need to take. i live in texas.

    • Thank you for your question. I have forward it to my colleague Anna Johnson, CAE, Director of Certification, who will respond to you.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

      • Anna Johnson says:

        Recertification of the CMA (AAMA) credential is required every five years. All Certified Medical Assistants (AAMA) practitioners or educators must have current status in order to use the CMA (AAMA) credential in connection with employment. Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released.

        CMAs (AAMA) must submit proof of provider level current CPR certification from an entity whose provider level CPR certification course meets or exceeds the provider level course offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association in order to recertify either by continuing education or retesting. CMAs (AAMA) with physical limitations preventing them from performing CPR shall be exempt from this requirement. Such limitations must be documented by a statement signed by a physician.

        The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) provides three documents that serve as useful guidelines for identifying relevant topics to study for recertification.

        1. The Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/ContentOutline.pdf ) is a comprehensive list of everything that a CMA (AAMA) must know, organized by topic category.

        2. The Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA) (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/OA.pdf) is based on an AAMA survey in which medical assistants listed the tasks that they performed on a daily basis and expected to perform in the future.

        3. The Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/AAMA_AdvancedPractice.pdf ) defines advanced medical assisting skills and areas of knowledge.

        Reactivation fee. Any CMA (AAMA) not recertifying on or before the expiration date of their credential will be considered as having an expired credential and will be required to pay a $50 reactivation fee in addition to the recertification fee in order to recertify. This applies to recertification by continuing education
        or examination.

        Reactivation by exam. If it has been longer than 60 months since a CMA (AAMA) has recertified, the credential has expired and cannot be reactivated by continuing education. However, recertification can be achieved by passing the CMA (AAMA) Exam. Payment of a $50 reactivation fee plus the recertification by examination fee will be required.

        RECERTIFYING BY CONTINUING EDUCATION
        Point Total Requirement: A total of 60 Recertification points is necessary to recertify the basic CMA (AAMA) credential. At least 30 of the 60 points must be AAMA CEUs. A minimum of 10 points is required in each of the general, administrative, and clinical content areas. The remaining 30 points may be accumulated in any of the three content areas.

        Time limits for recertification points: Points toward recertification are valid only if earned after initial certification or after the most recent recertification. Credits must be earned in the calendar year in which the application is submitted and/or in the six calendar years prior.

        AAMA CEU Credits: Applications for Recertification by the continuing education method must include at least 30 points accumulated from AAMA CEUs. AAMA credits are defined as continuing education programs that have been approved for CEU credit by the AAMA. These credits are available through our magazine, CMA Today; state society and local chapter programs; Annual Conference sessions, AAMA self-study courses, independent continuing education sponsors approved by the AAMA, etc. Credit received for CPR certification will count as AAMA CEU credit.

        For additional options for obtaining AAMA CEU credits go to http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/how.aspx.

        Non-AAMA Credits: A maximum of thirty (30) recertification points may be accumulated from other sources than AAMA CEUs. These may include CEUs acquired outside the AAMA, college or university credit, physician CME credits and contact hours. A contact hour is defined as a typical 50-minute classroom instructional session, or its equivalent.

        Calculating Recertification Points:
        • 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) = 1 recertification point
        • 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credit = 1 recertification point
        • 1 Contact Hour = 1 recertification point
        • 1 College credit Hour = 15 recertification points

        Documenting Non-AAMA Recertification Points

        Official documentation issued by the sponsor granting the credit must be attached to the application. The documentation must indicate:

        a. Applicant’s name
        b. Date when credit was attained
        c. Name of sponsor issuing credit
        d. Subject content of educational activity (a course description or content outline)
        e. Amount of credit awarded
        f. A certificate of completion or attendance bearing the number of contact hours awarded.

        Non-AAMA credits will be accepted towards recertification as long as they relate to the tasks and responsibilities listed on the Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination, the Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA) or the Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting document.

        The AAMA CMA Recertification by Continuing Education Application

        After you have obtained the 60 required recertification points you will need to submit a completed Recertification by Continuing Education Application and the required application fee. To download this application from our website, click on http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/apply_recert.aspx and select the Recertification by Continuing Education Application to download.

        NOTE: Review of recertification applications can take up to 90 days. If all criteria are met recertification is granted.

        Information about AAMA membership is available at http://www.aama-ntl.org/join.aspx.

        RECERTIFYING BY EXAMINATION
        A copy of the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination Handbook and Application can be found at http://www.aama-ntl.org/becomeCMA/apply_CMA.aspx. The deadline to apply for the exam is based on the earliest date that you wish to sit for the examination.

        Should you need additional assistance, please contact the AAMA at 1/800/228-2262. Please indicate whether you wish to recertify by continuing education or by examination so that we can direct you to a staff member who can best assist you.

        Anna Johnson

        Anna L. Johnson, CAE
        Director of Certification

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  7. Barby Ostafin CCMA AC says:

    Can a Medical Assistant who has been in her field 5 years apply for and take the RMA exam? I know she can’t take the CMA exam.. I have heard it both yes and no.. Do you have a definitive answer?

    • Thank you for your question. I would suggest that you go to the website of the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and find out the current eligibility pathways for the RMA test. The AMT website is amt1.com

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1575
      Chicago, IL 60606
      800/228-2262
      dbalasa@aama-ntl.org

  8. haydee jose says:

    I have read about Registration vs. Certification, but a think I need more information, I do’nt understates your answer, tk

  9. haydee jose says:

    I need more information about Certificaction vs. Registration, I don’t understates very well what was said about it, tk

  10. Regan Homer, RMA, CMA, MT says:

    I graduated from school over 16 yrs. ago. I have moved several times, sometimes to different states, and I no longer live in the state where I went to school. I need to be re-certified but I don’t see my school name on the website of accredited schools. I am not even sure it still exists. Can I still take the re-cert tests?
    Thanks

    • Thank you for your question.

      If you took and passed the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and were awarded the CMA (AAMA) credential, it does not matter that your school/medical assisting program is not currently accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES. I am copying my colleague Anna Johnson, CAE, Director of Certification, who will forward you detailed information about recertifying the CMA (AAMA) credential.

      Please let us know whether we can be of assistance in any other way.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

      • AAMA Administrator says:

        May I suggest that you call AAMA at 1/800/228-2262 and ask to speak with a Certification staff member so that we can help you determine if you were ever CMA (AAMA) certified? If you were never CMA (AAMA) certified you will need to give us the name of the institution where you completed your medical assisting program, the city and state where it was located and your exact graduation date.

        If you were CMA (AAMA) certified, the following information will be helpful to you:

        Recertification of the CMA (AAMA) credential is required every five years. All Certified Medical Assistants (AAMA) practitioners or educators must have current status in order to use the CMA (AAMA) credential in connection with employment. Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released.

        CMAs (AAMA) must submit proof of provider level current CPR certification from an entity whose provider level CPR certification course meets or exceeds the provider level course offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association in order to recertify either by continuing education or retesting. CMAs (AAMA) with physical limitations preventing them from performing CPR shall be exempt from this requirement. Such limitations must be documented by a statement signed by a physician.

        The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) provides three documents that serve as useful guidelines for identifying relevant topics to study for recertification.
        1. The Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/ContentOutline.pdf ) is a comprehensive list of everything that a CMA (AAMA) must know, organized by topic category.
        2. The Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA) (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/OA.pdf) is based on an AAMA survey in which medical assistants listed the tasks that they performed on a daily basis and expected to perform in the future.
        3. The Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/AAMA_AdvancedPractice.pdf ) defines advanced medical assisting skills and areas of knowledge.

        Reactivation fee. Any CMA (AAMA) not recertifying on or before the expiration date of their credential will be considered as having an expired credential and will be required to pay a $50 reactivation fee in addition to the recertification fee in order to recertify. This applies to recertification by continuing education
        or examination.

        Reactivation by exam. If it has been longer than 60 months since a CMA (AAMA) has recertified, the credential has expired and cannot be reactivated by continuing education. However, recertification can be achieved by passing the CMA (AAMA) Exam. Payment of a $50 reactivation fee plus the recertification by examination fee will be required.

        RECERTIFYING BY CONTINUING EDUCATION
        Point Total Requirement: A total of 60 Recertification points is necessary to recertify the basic CMA (AAMA) credential. At least 30 of the 60 points must be AAMA CEUs. A minimum of 10 points is required in each of the general, administrative, and clinical content areas. The remaining 30 points may be accumulated in any of the three content areas.

        Time limits for recertification points: Points toward recertification are valid only if earned after initial certification or after the most recent recertification. Credits must be earned in the calendar year in which the application is submitted and/or in the six calendar years prior.

        AAMA CEU Credits: Applications for Recertification by the continuing education method must include at least 30 points accumulated from AAMA CEUs. AAMA credits are defined as continuing education programs that have been approved for CEU credit by the AAMA. These credits are available through our magazine, CMA Today; state society and local chapter programs; Annual Conference sessions, AAMA self-study courses, independent continuing education sponsors approved by the AAMA, etc. Credit received for CPR certification will count as AAMA CEU credit.

        For additional options for obtaining AAMA CEU credits go to http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/how.aspx.

        Non-AAMA Credits: A maximum of thirty (30) recertification points may be accumulated from other sources than AAMA CEUs. These may include CEUs acquired outside the AAMA, college or university credit, physician CME credits and contact hours. A contact hour is defined as a typical 50-minute classroom instructional session, or its equivalent.

        Calculating Recertification Points:
        • 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) = 1 recertification point
        • 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credit = 1 recertification point
        • 1 Contact Hour = 1 recertification point
        • 1 College credit Hour = 15 recertification points

        Documenting Non-AAMA Recertification Points
        Official documentation issued by the sponsor granting the credit must be attached to the application. The documentation must indicate:
        a. Applicant’s name
        b. Date when credit was attained
        c. Name of sponsor issuing credit
        d. Subject content of educational activity (a course description or content outline)
        e. Amount of credit awarded
        f. A certificate of completion or attendance bearing the number of contact hours awarded.
        Non-AAMA credits will be accepted towards recertification as long as they relate to the tasks and responsibilities listed on the Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination, the Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA) or the Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting document.

        The AAMA CMA Recertification by Continuing Education Application

        After you have obtained the 60 required recertification points you will need to submit a completed Recertification by Continuing Education Application and the required application fee. To download this application from our website, click on http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/apply_recert.aspx and select the Recertification by Continuing Education Application to download.

        NOTE: Review of recertification applications can take up to 90 days. If all criteria are met recertification is granted.

        Information about AAMA membership is available at http://www.aama-ntl.org/join.aspx.

        RECERTIFYING BY EXAMINATION
        A copy of the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination Handbook and Application can be found at http://www.aama-ntl.org/becomeCMA/apply_CMA.aspx. The deadline to apply for the exam is based on the earliest date that you wish to sit for the examination.

        Should you need additional assistance, please contact the AAMA at 1/800/228-2262. Please indicate whether you wish to recertify by continuing education or by examination so that we can direct you to a staff member who can best assist you.

        Anna L. Johnson, CAE
        Director of Certification

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  11. Angelica Gamino says:

    I was certified back in 1998 and never renewed. I was wondering what steps i have to take to get my recertification. Ive been in the medical field all this time but working as a sleep technologist. What are these ceu’s and where do i get them?

    • AAMA Administrator says:

      Dear Ms. Gamino:

      Thank you for your question. I will provide you with information regarding recertification in the next several paragraphs; however, I would suggestion that you call the AAMA at 1/800/228/2262 to verify that you were certified by the AAMA Certifying Board as a CMA (AAMA) rather than being certified by another certifying organization.

      Recertification of the CMA (AAMA) credential is required every five years. All Certified Medical Assistants (AAMA) practitioners or educators must have current status in order to use the CMA (AAMA) credential in connection with employment. Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released.

      CMAs (AAMA) must submit proof of provider level current CPR certification from an entity whose provider level CPR certification course meets or exceeds the provider level course offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association in order to recertify either by continuing education or retesting. CMAs (AAMA) with physical limitations preventing them from performing CPR shall be exempt from this requirement. Such limitations must be documented by a statement signed by a physician.

      The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) provides three documents that serve as useful guidelines for identifying relevant topics to study for recertification.

      1. The Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/ContentOutline.pdf ) is a comprehensive list of everything that a CMA (AAMA) must know, organized by topic category.

      2. The Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA) (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/OA.pdf) is based on an AAMA survey in which medical assistants listed the tasks that they performed on a daily basis and expected to perform in the future.

      3. The Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting (http://aama-ntl.org/resources/library/AAMA_AdvancedPractice.pdf ) defines advanced medical assisting skills and areas of knowledge.

      Reactivation fee. Any CMA (AAMA) not recertifying on or before the expiration date of their credential will be considered as having an expired credential and will be required to pay a $50 reactivation fee in addition to the recertification fee in order to recertify. This applies to recertification by continuing education
      or examination.

      Reactivation by exam. If it has been longer than 60 months since a CMA (AAMA) has recertified, the credential has expired and cannot be reactivated by continuing education. However, recertification can be achieved by passing the CMA (AAMA) Exam. Payment of a $50 reactivation fee plus the recertification by examination fee will be required.

      RECERTIFYING BY CONTINUING EDUCATION
      Point Total Requirement: A total of 60 Recertification points is necessary to recertify the basic CMA (AAMA) credential. At least 30 of the 60 points must be AAMA CEUs. A minimum of 10 points is required in each of the general, administrative, and clinical content areas. The remaining 30 points may be accumulated in any of the three content areas.

      Time limits for recertification points: Points toward recertification are valid only if earned after initial certification or after the most recent recertification. Credits must be earned in the calendar year in which the application is submitted and/or in the six calendar years prior.

      AAMA CEU Credits: Applications for Recertification by the continuing education method must include at least 30 points accumulated from AAMA CEUs. AAMA credits are defined as continuing education programs that have been approved for CEU credit by the AAMA. These credits are available through our magazine, CMA Today; state society and local chapter programs; Annual Conference sessions, AAMA self-study courses, independent continuing education sponsors approved by the AAMA, etc. Credit received for CPR certification will count as AAMA CEU credit.

      For additional options for obtaining AAMA CEU credits go to http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/how.aspx.

      Non-AAMA Credits: A maximum of thirty (30) recertification points may be accumulated from other sources than AAMA CEUs. These may include CEUs acquired outside the AAMA, college or university credit, physician CME credits and contact hours. A contact hour is defined as a typical 50-minute classroom instructional session, or its equivalent.

      Calculating Recertification Points:
      • 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) = 1 recertification point
      • 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credit = 1 recertification point
      • 1 Contact Hour = 1 recertification point
      • 1 College credit Hour = 15 recertification points

      Documenting Non-AAMA Recertification Points

      Official documentation issued by the sponsor granting the credit must be attached to the application. The documentation must indicate:

      a. Applicant’s name
      b. Date when credit was attained
      c. Name of sponsor issuing credit
      d. Subject content of educational activity (a course description or content outline)
      e. Amount of credit awarded
      f. A certificate of completion or attendance bearing the number of contact hours awarded.

      Non-AAMA credits will be accepted towards recertification as long as they relate to the tasks and responsibilities listed on the Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination, the Occupational Analysis of the CMA (AAMA) or the Advanced Practice of Medical Assisting document.

      The AAMA CMA Recertification by Continuing Education Application

      After you have obtained the 60 required recertification points you will need to submit a completed Recertification by Continuing Education Application and the required application fee. To download this application from our website, click on http://www.aama-ntl.org/recertified/apply_recert.aspx and select the Recertification by Continuing Education Application to download.

      NOTE: Review of recertification applications can take up to 90 days. If all criteria are met recertification is granted.

      Information about AAMA membership is available at http://www.aama-ntl.org/join.aspx.

      RECERTIFYING BY EXAMINATION
      A copy of the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination Handbook and Application can be found at http://www.aama-ntl.org/becomeCMA/apply_CMA.aspx. The deadline to apply for the exam is based on the earliest date that you wish to sit for the examination.

      Should you need additional assistance, please contact the AAMA at 1/800/228-2262. Please indicate whether you wish to recertify by continuing education or by examination so that we can direct you to a staff member who can best assist you.

      Anna L. Johnson, CAE
      Director of Certification

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  12. norma mays says:

    I AM A MEDICAL ASSISTANT IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA I WILL BE MOVING TO THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA IN MAY CAN I STILL WORK IN THAT STATE. ALL I HAVE IS A DIPLOMA WHEN I GRADUATED FROM SCHOOL.

    • Thank you for your question. We wish you well as you move to Oklahoma.

      There are no special requirements that medical assistants must meet under Oklahoma law in order to be able to work in that state. However, increasing numbers of employers are preferring to hire CMAs (AAMA), and there are legal advantages in doing so. If you graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program, I would suggest that you take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination and become a CMA (AAMA).

      I hope this is helpful. Please let me know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  13. richard says:

    Where can I get a list of what a Medical assistant can perform in the state of Florida

    • Thank you for your question. Here is the Florida medical assisting law:

      Florida – Florida Statutes, Chapter 458, Medical Practice Act, 458.3485, Medical assistant:
      (1) DEFINITION.–As used in this section, “medical assistant” means a professional multiskilled person dedicated to assisting in all aspects of medical practice under the direct supervision and responsibility of a physician. This practitioner assists with patient care management, executes administrative and clinical procedures, and often performs managerial and supervisory functions. Competence in the field also requires that a medical assistant adhere to ethical and legal standards of professional practice, recognize and respond to emergencies, and demonstrate professional characteristics.
      (2) DUTIES.–Under the direct supervision and responsibility of a licensed physician, a medical assistant may undertake the following duties:
      (a) Performing clinical procedures, to include:
      1. Performing aseptic procedures.
      2. Taking vital signs.
      3. Preparing patients for the physician’s care.
      4. Performing venipunctures and nonintravenous injections.
      5. Observing and reporting patients’ signs or symptoms.
      (b) Administering basic first aid.
      (c) Assisting with patient examinations or treatments.
      (d) Operating office medical equipment.
      (e) Collecting routine laboratory specimens as directed by the physician.
      (f) Administering medication as directed by the physician.
      (g) Performing basic laboratory procedures.
      (h) Performing office procedures including all general administrative duties required by the physician.
      (i) Performing dialysis procedures, including home dialysis.
      (3) CERTIFICATION.–Medical assistants may be certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants or as a Registered Medical Assistant by the American Society of Medical Technologists.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  14. Sherry says:

    I am looking for a definition of what duties a CMA can perform in the state of Texas. Can you please help with that?

    • Thank you for your question. I have just sent my legal opinion letter for Texas and an excerpt from the Texas law to your e-mail address.

      I hope you find this helpful. Please let me know whether you have further questions.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  15. Julie Fogt says:

    I am looking for a definition of what duties a CMA can predorm in the state of Ohio. I appreciate any help you may give me. Thanks

  16. Lora says:

    Hello, I’m looking to attend a medical assistant program at a local private college and notice that it was not on the AAMA list of accredited schools. It does list as an ACICS accredited institution. They have an diploma program and associate’s program in medical assistant. Would this be good enough for me to get a job in this field.

  17. Cathie Chevalier says:

    I see that individual state requirements have been sent to people by e-mail. Are the state laws posted somewhere on the AAMA site. I would find this extremely helpful for students who plan to relocate after graduation. Can you post these? Thanks.

    • Thank you for your question, Cathie. It is good to hear from you!

      Only the laws of some states are posted on the AAMA website. This is done intentionally because the laws in many states are difficult to understand, and there is concern that they could be misinterpreted to the detriment of the medical assisting profession.

      Cathie, if you would please be kind enough to have any of your students e-mail me directly, I would be happy to reply with my legal opinion letter for the any states.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let me know how I can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  18. Rogers M says:

    I attended Southwest School of medical & dental assistants in San Antonio in 1984-5 and since the school is no longer in business. I have been working in the medical field as a medical assistant/management role and had been using my Medical Assistant Certificate I received upon graduation. I have recently taken on a new job and am being asked for my registery but was not offered test back then since we were Certified Medical Assistants. My employer is asking me to become registered but I am unable to obtain information regarding how i can do this if the school i once attended in no longer in business. Do you know who would have either purchased school and name change or where files would be stored. The real question is where can I or can I even be allowed to take the registery exam to become a RMA. Please reply soon since my job is requiring me to get this done ASAP due to new company policy. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your question. It is a bit complicated, so it might be better if we could communicate by e-mail, or even have a phone conversation.

      I will be in touch. We will do all we can to be of assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  19. Shannon S says:

    I graduated from a Medical Assistant program in 2002 in Great Falls, MT. I am a CMA(AAMA) and have been since graduation. At the time, there was no IV therapy option, but when I recently reviewed the program carriculum, IV therapy is now part of it. I would like to take this course to add to my knowledge base/experience. I have worked in a GI practice since graduation and we do give IV infusions in the office for Inflammatory Bowel Disease but it is done by an infusion nurse/RN. I read in a previous email to you by another MA wondering what a Medical Assistant can do and in the response list from you, it mentioned performing venipunctures and nonintravenous injections. Is this Ohio in particular, or is this the rule across the board for Medical Assistants in all states? In Montana there has been some upheavel by the Nurses Association about Medical Assistants and certain tasks they perform. We do seem to be behind the rest of the US in the acceptance of Medical Assistants, but are slowly improving. I wouldn’t want any further problems by performing IV therapy if not legally able to. I would like to assume the school looked in to this before adding it to carriculum, but you never know. Thank You

  20. Monica T. says:

    Hi! I graduated from an accredited college, Waukesha County Technical College, as a Medical Assistant, in 2006. Since graduation, I’ve worked in the mortgage industry, which has been completely turned upside down. Because of this, I have been attending school once again to finish up loose ends in order to get into my Nursing Clinicals, which is done by a petition process, and can take quite a bit of time. I have renewed my CPR certification, and have taken quite a few refresher courses pertaining to the healthcare field, including getting my certification for IV Insertion and Therapy, and am currently attending a Nurses Aide course,(I am already on the CNA registry), however, since I never took the certification exam for my CMA, and I haven’t worked in the medical field, I have tried, and failed to obtain a job as a MA.

    My question to you is, are there any refresher courses available in Milwaukee or other outlying areas in Wisconsin to prepare me for the certification exam? And…. if not, what are the best study guides available that I could study on my own?

    Thank you.

    • AAMA Administrator says:

      Monica:

      First let me suggest that you contact the program director and/or instructors at Waukesha County Technical College to see if they are currently offering any CMA (AAMA) exam review courses or if they are aware of any in your area.

      Beyond that, areas of knowledge and topics covered in the examination are listed in the “Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination.” It is recommended that examinees become familiar with the subject matter and topics listed in this document. Reviewing current books and publications that cover administrative and clinical content for medical assisting and anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and laboratory textbooks will also help candidates prepare for the exam.

      Information is available through the Internet and at any public library. Search on phrases such as “medical assisting textbooks” or “books in print.” Medical assisting textbooks can also be found on commercial sites such as http://www.amazon.com. If you use a public or school library, ask a librarian for the reference, Books in Print, publisher volume. This listing is published annually and contains a complete listing of United States publishers.

      To help you test your knowledge in the areas of anatomy and physiology and medical terminology, please click on the following links:

      http://www.aama-ntl.org/becomeCMA/practice_anatphys.aspx
      http://www.aama-ntl.org/becomeCMA/practice_term.aspx

      The CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination is offered by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) organization. The National Board of Medical Examiners—responsible for many national examinations for physicians—serves as test consultant for the examination. As a result the reliability, validity and security of the examination are of the highest order and greater numbers of employers are preferring—even demanding—that their medical assistants be CMA (AAMA) certified.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Anna L. Johnson, CAE
      Director of Certification

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  21. Jasmin D says:

    Hi, I have been Certified as a Medical Assistant since 1995 in CT. I have a second Certification as a Hyperbaric Technician and I lost track of the expiration date for my CMA.I just recently moved to PA and am working as a Medical Assistant again and my certification is due to expire. I have contacted the AAMA about information how I can recertify and they have told me I can do it with CEU’s or by sitting for the Exam again, however, they also tell me that there’s a 3 month wait for the exam and I need 60 credits of CEU’s to be able to recertify. My question is, the 60 credits of CEU’s are they only valid if we purchase them through the AAMA or can they be credits we have accumulated through courses and training we have acquired through hands-on training on the job and lectures we have sat in?

    • AAMA Administrator says:

      You are wise to check to see what approach is correct. May I ask you to e-mail me with your full name and Certification ID number. My e-mail is “ajohnson@aama-ntl. org”. Your response willl help me provide the specifics you need for an appropriate answer.

      Sincerely,

      Anna Johnson

      Anna L. Johnson, CAE
      Director of Certification

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  22. Sheri says:

    I was looking at what needed to be renewed for my CMA (AAMA) and totally forgot about the CPR certification. In the last year I started working outside the home, for the last 7 years I’ve been working as a medical transcriptionist, working 90+ hours at home. Will I lose my CMA status or can I go ahead and get CPR certified and turn this in with my other CEUs ASAP and be okay now that I am working outside the home so I don’t lose my job as a CMA? Thanks.

  23. Cathie Chevalier says:

    I agree that the program director of any CAAHEP accredited MA program should be a CMA. I don’t think that our credential is being promoted strongly enough by the AAMA. Instructors in our school will not be hired now unless they have a doctorate. What good is a doctorate without experience in the field? CMAs are not being hired because they are being told that they must have a terminal degree. Will someone please tell these administrators that a terminal degree for an MA is an Associate Degree? I am very disappointed that the AAMA is not helping in this area by requiring more CMAs to be employed. Nurses are also being accepted even without a doctorate. Some of these nurses are not current in their credential but still use it. What’s wrong with this picture? Nurses are not trained to the same duties as MAs are. They are trained to bedside care. I think we need our organization to provide more support in getting CMAs employed.

  24. Tina Flattery says:

    Can I take a reader with me to decifer the questions if need be? I am dyslexic and need help to re-word questions at times.

    • AAMA Administrator says:

      Dear Ms. Flattery:

      When applying for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination candidates who require special testing accommodations such as a reader must submit documentation of their need for these accommodations. The form used for such requests has been e-mailed to you so please check your e-mail for it.

      Prior to applying for the exam, please make certain that you meet the eligibilty requirements for the exam. To qualify for the exam, you must be in one of three enrollment categories:

      Category 1: Completing students and recent graduates of CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting programs

      Completing students may take the exam no more than 30 days prior to completing their formal education, including a practicum.
      Recent graduates are those who apply for the exam within 12 months of graduation.
      Category 2: Nonrecent graduates of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program

      Nonrecent graduates are those who apply for the exam more than 12 months after graduation.

      Category 3: CMA (AAMA) recertificant

      You must have previously passed the exam and been awarded the CMA (AAMA) credential.

      If you have any further questions, please let me know.

      Sincerely,

      Anna Johnson

      Anna L. Johnson, CAE
      Director of Certification

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  25. Cathie Chevalier says:

    Mr. Balasa, do you have any specifics on MAs for MA, ME, or NH yet. Could you e-mail me what you have? I don’t believe we have advanced in NH since the hearings of several years ago in the Legislature, have we? Thanks.

    • Thank you for your questions, Cathie. There have been no major changes in the medical assistant’s right to practice in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. I will e-mail you the latest information.

      No, there have been no major changes in the New Hampshire law, either.

      Thank you again for your questions, Cathie.

      Don

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  26. Debbie says:

    I’m a NRCMA, I took my test with National Allied Health. I recently joined AAMA as a member. My two part Question is, Do I have to take another test to be ceritifed by AAMA?, or is my NRCMA with Natioal Allied Health Test Registry fine the way it is?.

    • AAMA Administrator says:

      Thank you very much for your questions. We certainly welcome you as a member. Only individuals who have successfully completed a medical assisting program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. No exceptions to the eligibility requirements for the examination are granted. Thus, if you wish to become CMA (AAMA) certified you would need to meet these eligibility requirements.

      If you graduated from a medical assisting program you may send me the name, address, city and state of the institution where you completed the program. That information, along with your graduation date would enable us to determine if you are eligible for the CMA (AAMA) exam.

      Individuals whose previous education does not provide eligibility for the exam may wish to contact the ABHES or CAAHEP accredited medical assisting programs in their area to learn which institutions offer advanced placement opportunities for previous educational or work experience. If advance placement is available you may not need to complete the entire medical assisting curriculum in order to graduate. A listing of CAAHEP accredited medical assisting programs can be reviewed at http://www.caahep.org. For ABHES accredited medical assisting programs click on http://www.abhes.org.

      If you have any further questions or if I can be of additional assistance, please e-mail me at ajohnson@aama-ntl.org.

      Sincerely,

      Anna Johnson

      Anna L. Johnson, CAE
      Director of Certification

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  27. Amanda says:

    AM A MEDICAL ASSISTANT IN THE STATE OF Califonina I have moves TO THE STATE OF Tenesee can i work as a medical assisant in the sate or do i have to take some kind of testing? All i have is a diploma from when i graduated. I am also not sure whom i can take the either the RMA or the CMA test through seeing as though i whent to a community college.

    • Thank you for your question.

      Although increasing numbers of employer prefer to hire CMAs (AAMA), Tennessee law does not require medical assistants to complete formal medical assisting education or to have the CMA (AAMA) credential in order to work.

      If you graduated from a medical assisting program accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES, you are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. You can go to http://www.caahep.org and http://www.abhes.org and see whether the program from which you graduated is accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  28. duria demian f. says:

    I was a RMA from 1998- 2007, but I was living out of the States for almost 2yrs (2007-2009). My registration was discontinued because I was out of the States and I didn’t present any CE’s while I was away..I am working now as a MA in a medical office since 2009..What should I do now? should I take the CMA exams.?

    • Thank you for your question.

      Was your RMA from the American Medical Technologists (AMT)? If so, I would suggest that you contact this entity and find out how you can restore your credential to current status.

      Even though you have an RMA credential, it would be a good idea to also acquire the CMA (AAMA) credential. If you are a graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program, you are eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  29. Rena says:

    Can the CMA be challenged? I have graduated from an accredited school over 18 years ago, and have worked as an MA for just as long. However, I want to work in another state that requires CMA. I did not take the RMA( at the time) so I was wondering if with my length of experience can the exam be challenge.

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      Only graduates of CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting programs are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. Do you know whether the medical assisting program from which you graduated was CAAHEP or ABHES accredited? If you do not, please provide us with the name and location of the school, and the year in which you graduated, and we can help you ascertain your eligibility for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  30. Launa S. says:

    Hi there! I am moving from Idaho to Iowa this summer. I recently passed my CMA exam. Is there any paperwork associated with switching states, or will my certification be recognized in all states?

    • Thank you for your question! I am happy to respond.

      The CMA (AAMA) is a national credential that is recognized as such in every state. There is no paperwork you need to do when you move from Idaho to Iowa.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  31. Michelle Gross says:

    I am wanting to see if the NAHP exam is excepted by the AAMA? This test claims to register you for all 50 states and you then become a NRCMA (Nationally Recognized Certified Medical Assistant.). Must I take the AAMA certification if I am Nationally recognized by NAHP? I graduated in 1991 from Allied Health Careers in Austin Tx and I am a member of the AAMA. Should I take another test with the Medical Technologists? I am also a director of a Medical Assistant Program and I would like to make sure that my students are Nationally recognized since we teach a great deal of military spouses and inactive military. They move around the states all the time. Please let me know what you prefer for my students and myself.

    Regards,

    Michelle Gross.

    • Thank you for your questions. I am happy to respond.

      The CMA (AAMA) credential awarded by the Certifying Board of the AAMA is a different credential from the one offered by the NAHP. The NRCMA of the NAHP is a voluntary national credential. However, the NRCMA is not accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), and therefore has not demonstrated that it meets the Standards of the NCCA.

      If you have graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program, you are eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. I would encourage you to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination because it is the gold standard of medical assisting certification examinations. For the same reason, if your program is CAAHEP or ABHES accredited, I would urge you to encourage your students to register for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know whether we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  32. yadirav says:

    I have been a MA for 11 years with the same employer. Can they certifiy me to become an cma or a rma

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      Medical assistants must meet the prerequisites, and then successfully pass a national, standardized medical assisting examination in order to receive the CMA (AAMA) and the RMA(AMT) credentials.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  33. Anne Grimmer says:

    I just wanted to post that more medical assisting certifications are out there.. it is getting very confusing. Besides the four certifications listed in your article, I found four more:

    NRCMA- through National Association for Health Professionals http://www.nahpusa.com
    SCMA- Specialty Certified Medical Assistant https://www.specialtycma.org
    ARMA- American Registry of Medical Assistants http://arma-cert.org/home
    RCMAS- through National Certification Medical Association http://www.ncmanow.org/

    Are these certifications better or worse than the AAMA credential? Or are they scams?

    I wonder how many other certifications exist; it’s becoming an alphabet soup! Please advise.

    Thank you

  34. johani valentin says:

    what can i do im moving when im done with my accredited medical assistant program but im moving to another state. can I take my cma exam in that state or do I have to go to school again. what can i do?

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      The CMA (AAMA) is a national credential. Regardless of where you take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, the CMA (AAMA) is valid throughout the United States as a medical assisting credential. As long as the medical assisting program from which you graduated is CAAHEP or ABHES accredited, you are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination in any state.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  35. Nicole says:

    I am currently in a program that will qualify me to take the RMA exam with AMT. My professor says that after I am working full-time for 3 years, I can take the CMA exam. Is this correct?

    • Thank you for your question. The information you have received is not correct.

      The only individuals eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination are those who have graduated from a medical assisting program accredited by either CAAHEP or ABHES. Graduating from a non-CAAHEP or ABHES accrediting medical assisting program, and having a certain amount of work experience, will not qualify an individual to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

      • Nicole says:

        Thank you. I’m not sure why our instructor told us this. Our program is in the process of becoming CAAHEP certified. Do you know if this will make a difference.

      • Yes, that could make a difference. Any medical assistant who graduated within the thirty-six (36) months prior to the program becoming CAAHEP or ABHES accredited is eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination once the program becomes so accredited.

        I also help this is helpful.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  36. Nicole says:

    It is helpful. Thank you.

  37. Christina says:

    I am currently at the ending of my schooling to become a MA. I live in NY and will be moving right after I am do with school. I would like to know if I have take the cma & rma exam in NY or can I schedule them in the state I am moving to??

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      The CMA (AAMA) is a national credential. Regardless of where you take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, the CMA (AAMA) designation is valid in all states and other jurisdictions of the United States as a national certification.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know whether you would like further clarification.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  38. Jerelyn says:

    I graduated in 2007 and became a CRMA and never renewed.. I am currently in school again but would like to get recertified so I can work also as a CRMA.. I just need to know where to begin. I don’t have any of my old info….

  39. tatiuana chung says:

    I am very dissapointed to find out that my medical assisting program at Everest Institute, brighton Massachusetts is not accredited for ms to sit for the CMA(AAMA). I am currently attending Kaplan University online for my AAS in Medical Assisting and I dont believe they are either. I think Im about to drop out; today is my last withdrawal day, without any financial obligations.

  40. LeanDrwin Jones says:

    So if I get my certification in Georgia will I be allowed to work in Florida with no problem out would I need to be registered to work in another state?

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      The CMA (AAMA) is a national credential. Regardless of in what state you take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, the CMA (AAMA) is valid as a national medical assisting credential in all states of the United States. The Florida law specifically mentions the CMA (AAMA) credential, and there is no registration necessary to work as a medical assistant in Florida.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let us know how we can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  41. LeanDrwin Jones says:

    Any responses to my question please let me know ASAP I am planning to move soon and need to know which I should take.

  42. I all the time emailed this web site post page to all
    my friends, since if like to read it afterward my contacts will too.

  43. Hello to all, how is everything, I think every
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  44. Angela Rodriguez says:

    Hi. I’m a MA in the state of Florida and I’m planning to move to texas. Can I be an MA in texas too or do I need to be certified in state of texas?

    • Thank you for your question. There is no special state credential for medical assistants in Texas. Increasing numbers of employers are preferring to hire CMAs (AAMA). If you hold the CMA (AAMA) credential, that should be an advantage during the job search process.

      Texas does have a category of medication aides, and they are sometimes confused with medical assistants.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  45. jamel says:

    can a RMA cerification move from state to state or will i have to take the exam again

  46. Amber says:

    I am currently taking a medical assistant class right now in Illinois and I need to choose what I want to graduate with a (CMA) or (RMA) I want to know what looks better on an application when I do graduate and after how many years will I have to take another exam for both (CMA) or (RMA).

    • Anna Johnson says:

      Amber, thank you so much for informing us of your wise concerns. First, let me clarify that both the CMA (AAMA) and the RMA are national certifications. The AAMA permanently maintains the records of any individual who has been awarded the CMA (AAMA) credential. Other terminology for this is maintaining a registry.

      Greater number of employers across the nation are preferring (or even insisting) that their medical assistants be CMAs (AAMA). Employers continue to value the CMA (AAMA) precisely because the credential represents foremost quality. Advantages of the CMA (AAMA) include the following:

       The CMA (AAMA) is the only certification that limits eligibility to candidates who have completed a postsecondary, accredited* medical assisting academic program. Other credentialing bodies permit an individual to take their tests without having any formal medical assisting education. Because “hands-on,” psychomotor competencies cannot be measured by a paper-and-pencil or computer-based test, the mandatory education requirement distinguishes the CMA (AAMA) from all other medical assisting credentials, and provides employers, patients, malpractice insurance carriers, and third-party accrediting bodies such as the Joint Commission and the National Committee for Quality Assurance with tangible evidence that CMAs (AAMA) are not only knowledgeable about the multifaceted dimensions of the profession, but also competent in the clinical and administrative duties that are required in ambulatory care delivery settings.

      *Only individuals who have successfully completed a medical assisting program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. No exceptions to the eligibility requirements for the examination are granted.

       Physicians and other health care providers (such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants) can be held liable for negligent acts of their medical assistants. In some jurisdictions, physicians can be held liable for “negligent delegation” if they assign tasks to medical assistants who lack the necessary competence and knowledge. By employing CMAs (AAMA) employers can present powerful evidence that their hiring and delegation practices meet or exceed the legal standard. This evidence, in turn, can lessen the likelihood of a successful legal action against the delegating providers.

       The AAMA Certifying Board is the only medical assisting certifying agency that uses the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) as the consultant for its certification examination. NBME is also the consultant for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and many physician specialty exams. CMA (AAMA) exam scoring metrics are processed by the same professional psychometricians who provide this service for USMLE candidates. As a result, the CMA (AAMA) exam is a highly valid and reliable indicator of the knowledge necessary to be a competent medical assistant.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      Anna Johnson, CAE
      Director of Certification/AAMA Associate Executive Director

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  47. Will do! Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone

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