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Specialty AHIMA Certifications for Medical Coders and Billers

AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) offers several types of specialty certifications for those in the medical coding and billing field. It’s a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms and designations.

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)

As a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), you are an expert in managing medical records, including patient information and computer systems. You also have in-depth knowledge of ethical and legal requirements and standards with regard to the healthcare industry.

To be eligible for this certification, you must

  • Have completed an accredited Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) program or have graduated from an HIIM program approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement.

  • Have a degree from a Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) program. A directory of these programs is available on the CAHIIM website. CAHIIM is the organization that accredits associate and bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in health information management.

Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)

As a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), you are certified to ensure completion and accuracy of medical records, including proper entry into computer systems. You may also specialize in coding medical records.

This certification is often held in combination with a bachelor’s degree. To be eligible, you must have completed an accredited Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) program (accreditation is through the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) or have graduated from a HIIM program approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement.

Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA)

To achieve the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) certification level, you must demonstrate expertise in health data analysis. As the healthcare industry becomes more data driven and the use of electronic medical records continues to increase, practitioners will need individuals who can focus on the future of their practices and develop strategies to stay viable. To be eligible for this certification, you must have either of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher and a minimum of five years of healthcare data experience

  • A RHIA credential and a minimum of one year of experience in healthcare data

Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS)

The Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS) certification identifies you as competent in protecting privacy and security programs in all types of healthcare information management. To be eligible for this certification, you must have any of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum of four years of experience in healthcare management

  • A master’s degree (or equivalent) with a minimum of two years of experience in healthcare management

  • A HIIM credential of RHIT or RHIA with a bachelor’s degree or higher and a minimum of two years of healthcare management experience

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