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Frequently Asked Questions

See below for the answers to our FAQs. If you can't find the information you're looking for, you can Contact Us for assistance.

A beta exam is a new version of a certification exam consisting of new questions that have not yet undergone psychometric analysis for validity and reliability. The purpose of beta testing is to evaluate new exam questions by having them answered by actual credential candidates.

A new exam goes through the beta process before the exam is launched for the first time. This is one of the last steps during an exam development process. Data gathered and analyzed during the beta period is used to select the best exam questions, and to eliminate questions that are vague, too difficult, or not useful in evaluating a candidate’s HIM knowledge.

During the beta period, you will not receive immediate results upon completion of your exam. There is a waiting period (typically up to 24 weeks from the start of the beta period) after which results are provided to test takers.

The exam eligibility period is 120 calendar days from the application approval date. The exam must be scheduled and taken within those 120 calendar days.

If a candidate applies for an exam and is deemed eligible but does not schedule a date to take the exam within the 120 calendar days, the exam application eligibility expires, and the candidate will need to reapply and pay all applicable fees.

You must apply for an extension 14 days prior to your scheduled exam date or 14 days prior to your eligibility end date.

You can apply for extensions in 30-day increments for up to 90 days. The cost for each 30-day increment is $50.

Effective July 13th, 2020, the retesting waiting period for all AHIMA certifications exams is 90 days.

Thank you for your interest in the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Please be advised that the RHIA examination will be releasing a new version of the certification exam consisting of new exam items aligned to the new exam content outline. The new RHIA exam is the result of a recent job analysis. The new content outline can be found on the RHIA certification page or by clicking here.

The new exam will be released on 03/01/2021. Please be advised all exams scheduled on or after 03/01/2021 will be based on the new exam content outline.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have additional questions, please contact our certification department at certification@ahima.org.

Visit the Apply page for instructions on how to apply for a certification exam.

Additional information on applying for an exam:

  • Exam purchases must be completed online.
  • If you are registering for an RHIT® or RHIA® exam, you must submit your official transcripts for review before or after you register for an exam; preferably before you register. These types of exams will not be approved until official transcripts are received and approved.
  • After the application is received and processed, candidates should receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter via email within five business days from Pearson VUE with instructions on how to schedule an exam date.
  • Candidates who have taken and failed an examination must wait a minimum of 90 days before a new application is approved.

Visit the Updates & Announcements page for the latest certification news, including testing updates related to Covid-19. We recommend visiting this dedicated web page frequently as information can change daily.

To request a duplicate copy of your exam score report, contact Pearson VUE at (888) 524-4622.

Effective April 1, 2018, virtual certificates have replaced hard copy certificates for newly credentialed individuals. Official virtual documents for all certifications, including a congratulatory letter and employer notification, are immediately available to print and save from your AHIMA CEU center upon the granting of a credential. The certificate valid-through date is automatically updated with the successful completion of each recertification cycle.

You can purchase a hard copy certificate—including reprints of existing certifications or an updated one to reflect a name change—and frame through AHIMA’s certificate partner. Please have your virtual certificate details available when purchasing your hard copy certificate to ensure the certificate data you enter is correct.

Your official transcripts must be received before the certificate number is issued, and the credential designations can be listed on your signature line. Please contact your school, if you have not done so already, and request an official transcript that includes your graduation date and degree issued.

Transcripts must be mailed directly from the school or forwarded in an unopened school envelope for processing to:

AHIMA
Attn: Certification Transcripts
233 N Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Once mailed, please allow up to four weeks to process from the date they are received.

Official transcripts may also be sent electronically via a transcript service to certificationtranscripts@ahima.org. Emailed transcripts will not be accepted directly from the school or individual. They must be submitted from a designated transcript service.

If transcripts have already been submitted, please contact us if they may have been submitted be under a different last name.

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) has amended the eligibility criteria to sit for the RHIA® certification exam for individuals who hold the RHIT®. Individuals who have an RHIT will be eligible for the RHIA exam starting July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2021, if they have received a baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or nationally recognized accreditor (official sealed transcripts must be sent to AHIMA for verification); received their RHIT credential on or before December 31, 2018; and have complied with the Standards for Maintenance of the RHIT credential.

Proviso policy: An official transcript of your baccalaureate program or higher must either be received electronically directly from the vendor (i.e., publishing clearinghouse) or mailed in an unopened envelope to:

AHIMA
Attn: Certification Transcripts
233 N Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Official transcripts may also be sent electronically via a transcript service to certificationtranscripts@ahima.org. Emailed transcripts will not be accepted directly from the school or individual. They must be submitted from a designated transcript service.

For more information, visit the RHIA page

AHIMA’s Approved Continuing Education Provider Program is designed for organizations interested in providing continuing education units (CEUs) for their programs. For more information, visit the Continuing Education Provider Program page 

For international degrees, transcripts must first be evaluated by a credential evaluation agency for US equivalency. Visit the World Education Services: International Credential Evaluation for transcript evaluation. After your international degree(s) and transcripts are evaluated, please forward your completed evaluation along with transcripts to certificationtranscripts@ahima.org.

  1. There will no longer be a difference in registration or the testing process for global candidates.
  2. When registering for an AHIMA exam, all candidates will register using the same exam name – there will not be a global indication in the exam naming convention.
  3. There is no longer a testing window, and exams can be taken throughout the year, as long as test centers are open.
  4. When selecting a testing location, candidates can select any available/open Pearson VUE location
  5. All candidates will now follow the same policies and procedures stated in the Candidate Guide.

Visit the Updates & Announcements page to see more news about our certifications.

For verification of an individual’s certification status, visit the Credential Verification Portal. Please have the credential holder’s last name and either the credential number or AHIMA ID# ready to complete the online verification process.

AHIMA has joined with Credly, a Pearson Company, to develop a platform that issues digital badges to visually display your accomplishment(s) on social media sites, in your email signature, or on your electronic resume. AHIMA programs using the digital badge platform include the Triumph Awards, AHIMA Fellowships, AHIMA certifications, and HIM Faculty Achievement. 

As you achieve an accomplishment, an email will be sent providing instructions on how to access your digital badge and achieve the greatest benefit from the use of the digital badge. View step-by-step instructions on how to share your badge on varying platforms once claimed.

When the badge is clicked, it will show more information about the accomplishment and the necessary requirements you fulfilled to earn it.  People can click the link to get a better understanding of your significant achievement.

Effective January 1, 2021, AHIMA and the Commission on Certification (CCHIIM) discontinued the mandatory annual self-review requirement for CCA®, CCS®, and CCS-P®. If you hold a single certification (either CCA, CCS, or CCS-P), you will still need to earn 20 CEUs per recertification cycle.

After January 1, 2021, all CCS, CCS-P and CCA credential holders will no longer need to complete an annual self-review. They should still continue to follow the rest of the recertification process.

After March 31, 2021, self-reviews will no longer be available.

 

To recertify, complete the checklist below. For more information, visit the Recertify page.

  1. Obtain the required number of CEUs during your recertification cycle for each credential (at least 80% of required CEUs for each credential must be related to one of AHIMA’s specified HIIM domains).
  2. Participate in accepted and qualified CEU activities.
  3. Enter your CEUs on time.
  4. Keep all CEU certificates and activities documented for auditing purposes.
  5. Ensure your recertification fee is paid.

If you hold one credential, the recertification fee is $218.

If you hold more than one credential, the first recertification fee is $218 and each additional certification is $50. Upon completion of the requirements, a baccalaureate or higher-level HIM credential (RHIA®) replaces an associate-based HIM credential (RHIT®). Once granted, the baccalaureate-based credential is recognized and CEUs for this credential need only be maintained.

Note:

  • Credential holders who are not AHIMA members pay the above fees on a biennial basis.
  • Credential holders who are AHIMA members pay reduced recertification fees on a biennial basis.
  • The cost of your recertification will be based on your membership status when your certification expires.
  • Recertification dues will be invoiced in the AHIMA CEU Center and payments must be made by or before your recertification cycle end date.
  • All CEUs and recertification requirements must be met before paying the fees to recertify.

For more information, visit the Recertify page.

Once your transcript is reviewed and eligibility is confirmed, your recertification cycle begins the day your transcript is approved. You will have up to a year from the time the RHIT® or RHIA® exam is passed to submit your transcript.

Individuals may appeal the permanent revocation of their credential due to failure to meet CCHIIM recertification requirements. Please submit your appeals via the Recertification Appeal Form. If you are in inactive status and have not been permanently revoked, please refer to the Recertification Guide.

To proceed with a Temporary Waiver request, please submit your request in writing along with proof of hardship to certification@ahima.org. The acceptable documents are:

  • Letter from the Unemployment office
  • Letter from the Government office
  • Letter from the hospital
  • Hospital bills

AHIMA will not be granting any temporary waiver requests due to COVID-19. 

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) accepts CEUs earned through participation in formal educational programs of study that address subject areas related to health informatics and information management.

For qualifying continuing education activities and how to calculate CEUs, visit the Recertify page or read the CCHIIM Recertification Guide.

Effective January 1, 2021, the recertification process will no longer include a three-month grace period following the end date of your recertification cycle.

  • At the end of your 24-month certification cycle, if you have not met the recertification requirements then your certification status will become “inactive”.
  • If you do not meet all of the recertification requirements, your certification will remain in the “inactive” status for 180 days before going “revoked”.

Prior to January 1, 2021, if you had not renewed your certification by the end of your 24-month certification cycle, your status would have been "grace" for 90 days, then "inactive" for 90 days before going to a “revoked” status.

If you need a recertification extension at the end of your 24-month renewal period, it will be available in your CEU center for a $50 fee.

Contact Us

For questions regarding certification, registration, eligibility, and digital badges Email: Certification@ahima.org
Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accommodations Email: ADA@ahima.org
Code of ethics violations & professional misconduct Email: CCHIIM@ahima.org
Continuing Education Provider Program  Email: PriorApproval@ahima.org
Early testing applications Email: EarlyTest@ahima.org
Exam bulk orders Email: ExamBulkOrders@ahima.org
Mailing address AHIMA
233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-5809
Recertification Email: Recert@ahima.org
Recertification Appeals ONLY Email: CertificationAppeal@ahima.org
Refunds for exam applications ONLY Emails: Refunds@ahima.org 
Meetings questions Email: meetings@ahima.org
Transcripts Email: CertificationTranscripts@ahima.org
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