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Maximizing Your Career Potential With Practice Management Credentials

In addition to onsite and online undergraduate and graduate programs in healthcare administration and management, there are a number of programs that offer certification and registration (both terms meaning the same thing) for career healthcare managers.

When researching programs, some questions you should ask are:

  1. How long has the program been in existence?
  2. How many people have been credentialed through the program?
  3. What are prerequisites (education, experience, references, other)?
  4. Does the program have an education component in the form of mentoring, coaching, conferences, webinars, online classes, or in-person classes?  Cost associated with each?
  5. What information is covered in the exam? How can I learn this information?
  6. What is the exam format (objective, essay, interview, presentation, other)?
  7. What is the exam media (paper & pencil, online at home, online at testing center, other)
  8. What are costs if the exams have to be repeated?
  9. Do you have any data about the earning power or success of those credentialed through your program versus those from other programs?

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American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

Cost: Membership requires a Bachelor’s degree. Annual dues are tiered and escalate from $150/year to $325/year over five years.  Fellow exam is $450, recertification is every three years.

  • Fellow American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)

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American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE)

Cost: The education arm of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), $275 annually (one-time $95 application fee), knowledge assessment $95, Body of Knowledge Review $29 each domain, exam workbook $119, objective exam $165, essay exam $165

  • Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE)
  • Fellow American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE)

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American College of Physician Executives (ACPE)

Cost: Membership $280/year, Master’s degrees for physicians only

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst (online part-time MBA)
  • University of Southern California (Master of Medical Management)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Master of Medical Management)

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International Association of Registered Health Care Professionals (ARHCP)

Cost: $120/year for membership, $385 per exam

  • Registered Medical Manager (RMM)
  • Registered Medical Coder (RMC)

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Physician Office Managers Association of America (POMAA)

Cost: Annual membership $110, study guides $100 each, exams $275 each

  • Certified Practice Manager (CPM)
  • Medical Coding Specialist (CPM-MCS)
  • Human Resource Specialist (CPM-HRS)

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Practice Management Institute (PMI)

Cost: $799 – $999 for each program and exam – program available in-person, online or self-study.  Annual recertification $75/year

  • Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
  • Certified Medical Compliance Office (CMCO)
  • Certified Medical Insurance Specialist (CMIS)

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Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM)

Cost: $195/year membership, study guide $150, practice test $150, exam $385, recertification every 2 years $75

  • Certified Medical Manager (CMM)

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The American Academy of Medical Management (AAMM)

Cost: $378/year membership – certification is available with or without exam for $259, recertification is $179 every 3 years

  • Certified Medical Staff Recruiter (CMSR)
  • Certified Administrator in Physician Practice Management (CAPPM)
  • Executive Fellowship in Practice Management (EFPM)
  • Physician Fellowship in Practice Management (PFPM)
  • Fellowship in Medical Staff Development (FMSD)

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You may also want to read an earlier post on Manage My Practice: “How Does One Become a Medical Practice Manager?”
and read the other posts in the Category : A Career in Medical Management by clicking on the category on the sidebar to the right.




What is CCHIT and Should My EMR/EHR Be Certified?

medicalrecords

An excellent article on EHRs and CCHIT was pointed out to me recently and I thought I’d pass it along to my readers.  To answer the question “What is CCHIT?”, the site SoftwareAdvice says this:

CCHIT is a private, non-profit organization formed to certify EHRs against a minimum set of requirements for functionality, interoperability and security. It was founded in 2004 by three industry associations ( HIMSS, AHIMA and the Alliance (no longer in operation.))  It was subsequently funded further by the California Healthcare Foundation and a group of payers (e.g. United HealthGroup), providers (e.g. HCA) and software vendors (e.g. McKesson). In 2005, CCHIT was granted a $2.7 million contract by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support its mission. A number of other medical associations have since supported CCHIT. Despite the HHS contract, CCHIT is not an extension of the federal government.

As of March 2009, Eighty-some ambulatory EHRs received certification against the 2006 CCHIT criteria, sixteen EHRs received certification against the more rigorous 2007 criteria and twenty have achieved CCHIT certification for the 2008 Ambulatory EHR criteria. We estimate this equates to roughly 30% of all ambulatory EHRs being certified, while additional EHR vendors are currently pursuing certification for their systems.

In the article, SoftwareAdvice’s founder and owner, Don Fornes, also goes on to answer the questions:

  • What are the benefits of CCHIT?
  • Why does CCHIT generate some controversy?
  • Why doesn’t every vendor just get certified?
  • What are the criteria used by CCHIT to certify EHRs?
  • What important criteria does CCHIT not evaluate?
  • Does CCHIT evaluate specialty EHRs or templates for specialists?
  • Will CCHIT result in higher prices for EHRs?
  • Will a CCHIT-certified EHR improve my practice’s income?
  • Do I need a CCHIT-approved EHR to participate in my local HIE?

and ends with conclusions, recommendations and five key takeaways for helping you determine your path with EHRs and CCHIT.

Because I had never come across the SoftwareAdvice site before, I spoke with Houston Neal from Software Advice to understand what the site is and how it works.  Houston told me that the company has been helping healthcare entities choose practice management and electronic medical records software for almost 2 years and that the goal of the service is to help physicians develop a short list of vendors specific to their specialty and software needs.  There is no charge to the physician, but the software companies pay a referral fee to Software Advice.  Not all software vendors are represented on the site, but the company is working to get all vendors on board, and their representatives may discuss non-participating vendors if the needs of the physician warrant it.  Although I’ve not tried their service, it seems like a win/win situation if practices can get free software vendor recommendations based on a needs analysis.  I’d be interested in knowing if anyone out there has used SoftwareAdvice and what your feedback is.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, Houston confirmed for me that the way to pronounce “CCHIT” is either “SEA-CHIT” or :C.C.H.I.T.”  Thought you’d like to know!




Why are More Healthcare Management Job Postings Looking for Certification?

©Sgame/Dreamstime.com

©Sgame/Dreamstime.com

If you are working in practice management, you might want to explore the gold standard in certification through the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE). Disclaimer: I am Board Certified and a Fellow in the ACMPE but I receive no compensation for writing about the College or having a link to them on my blog.

Why certification as opposed to an undergraduate degree? I think this week’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Charles Murray says it better than I can. Read the article here.