Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, On the Job

Expired Credentials and Meaningful Use

I have been receiving questions about whether a medical assistant who formerly held the CMA (AAMA) credential is considered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to be a “credentialed medical assistant,” and is permitted to enter medication, laboratory, and radiology orders into the computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system for “meaningful use” calculations under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs.

First of all, it is important to understand that the policy of the Certifying Board of the AAMA states that only a current CMA (AAMA) is permitted legally to use the initialisms “CMA” or “CMA (AAMA),” and the phrases “Certified Medical Assistant” or “certified medical assistant.” Anyone other than a current CMA (AAMA) who does so is violating the intellectual property rights of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Because an individual whose CMA (AAMA) is not current cannot use the credential for any purpose, such an individual is not a “credentialed medical assistant” according to the CMS rule, and cannot enter orders into the CPOE system and have such entry count toward meeting the meaningful use requirements. The individual must recertify and make current the CMA (AAMA) credential in order to meet the CMS definition of a “credentialed medical assistant.”