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Health Information Management

Health Information Management Certifications
Health Information Management Schools

Health Information Management
Certifications and Credentials

Maintaining Excellence in the Profession
AHIMA has designated credentials that have become industry standards. A Health Information professional earns the credential through experience, job performance, and education, as well as performance on the national exam.

A degree and a credential will give professionals the competitive edge needed to obtain their goals. Employers regularly seek credentialed candidates for entry-level to senior management positions.

Credentialing is Valuable in your HIM Career
In 2005, AHIMA conducted a web based survey of healthcare employers on the topic of the value of industry certification.

Significant findings from the survey include:

  • Employers feel that credentials are most important for medical coding professionals (73%), and other HIM professionals (67%), followed by IT professionals (53%) and privacy and security officers (45%).

  • Hiring and promotion practices are influenced by credentials. With all other things being equal, 68% of employers report choosing a credentialed candidate over one who is not and 53% prefer credentials when promoting their employees.

  • Credentialed employees are rewarded financially. 67% of respondents report that they earn more than their non-credentialed peers.

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RHIT / RHIA vs the other Certified Coding Certifications?
The credentials of CCA, CCS, and CCS-P pertain to knowledge and expertise related to coding only. RHIT and RHIA certified professionals have demonstrated expertise in coding plus the other areas of health information: data management, privacy, and compliance, as well as in supervisory and managerial roles.

It Pays to Get Educated
Education makes an impact on salary and career opportunities as strongly as other factors. In a 2006 AHIMA survey, 79.3% of the HIM respondents reported having an Associate (34.5%), Bachelor (34.4%), or Master's (10.3%) Degree. Only 3.8% of respondents held only a high school diploma. In the same survey, HIM Directors reported differing salaries based on their education levels. While the average director salary earned by those with an associate degree is $60,613, that number grows to $75,126 for those with a baccalaureate degree, and to $86,728 for those with a master's degree.

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Health Information Credentials and Eligibility Requirements

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
  • Passed national medical coding certification exam
  • US high school diploma or equivalent
  • Atleast 3 years of professional experience in hospital-based inpatient coding or hospital-based ambulatory/outpatient coding work are strongly recommended
  • Education and proficiency in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology are recommended
Certified Coding Specialist - Physician based
(CCS-P)
  • Passed national medical coding certification exam
  • US high school diploma or equivalent
  • Atleast 3 years of professional experience in coding for physician services in multiple settings is strongly recommended
  • Education and proficiency in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology are recommended
Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
  • Passed national medical coding certification exam
  • US high school diploma or equivalent
  • Atleast 6 months professional experience with ICD-9-CM and CPT coding conventions and guidelines are recommended
  • Coding training and education are also recommended
Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS)
  • Passed national medical coding certification exam
  • Baccalaureate degree and a minimum of 4 years experience in healthcare management OR
  • Healthcare information management credential (RHIT, RHIA) with a baccalaureate or higher degree and a minimum of 2 years experience in healthcare management OR
  • Master's or related degree (JC, MD, PhD) and 2 years experience in healthcare management
Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA)
  • Passed national CHDA examination
  • Baccalaureate degree or higher and a minimum of 5 years of healthcare data experience OR
  • Registered healthcare information administration credential (RHIA) and a minimum of 1 year of healthcare data experience OR

Health Information Management Professional Organizations

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
    233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
    Chicago, IL 60601-5800
    312-233-1100
Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
    www.himss.org
    230 East Ohio Street, Suite 500
    Chicago, IL 60611-3270
    312-664-4467



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