Accreditation, Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential

From the AAMA Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri

Questions have arisen about the 60-month-after-graduation requirement for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and eligibility to recertify by retesting.

  1. Individuals who have graduated from a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) on or after January 1, 2010, must take and pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination within 60 months after the date of graduation. Individuals who graduated before January 1, 2010, are not subject to the 60-month requirement. In other words, according to current policy of the Certifying Board of the AAMA, an individual who graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program prior to January 1, 2010, is not subject to any time limit for taking and passing the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination and being awarded the CMA (AAMA) credential.
  2. Prior to the June, 1998 administration of the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, there were eligibility pathways other than graduation from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program. Generally, those who became CMAs (AAMA) prior to June of 1998 and were not graduates of an accredited program are eligible to recertify by continuing education or retesting. Such individuals are not forbidden from recertifying by retesting because they did not graduate from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited program.
Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, On the Job

Payment Adjustments Emphasize the Importance of Proper Order Entry

As the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs continue to be implemented and enforced, questions arise about how certain objectives for meaningful use affect reimbursement. The short answer to these questions is that all objectives are critical. Failure to meet even one objective for meaningful use can result in not only a payment forfeiture, but also retroactive recoupment of previous payments, as well. Thus, it is incumbent on all health care providers to ensure that proper steps are being taken to comply with all meaningful use objectives. The text and video of Mr. Anthony’s statement on this matter follows:

“That’s correct. If [a practice] is not meeting all of the objectives for meaningful use for a program year, then that payment would be forfeit. … As we move forward, of course, every year is going to be a deciding year for payment adjustments—so potentially, if an audit comes through and you forfeit a payment, you may not only be forfeiting the payment, but you would also be subject retroactively to payment adjustments, as well.”