Top 11 Medical Office Specialist Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications for medical office specialists, including information on requirements, benefits, and resources.
Published 16 min read
Certifications are important for medical office specialists in the job market because they demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skills. Having a certification shows employers that the individual has taken the initiative to learn and develop their skills, which can be very attractive in today's competitive job market. Certifications also provide medical office specialists with more credibility and authority when dealing with patients, since they have been approved by an accredited organization. This can lead to increased job prospects and better salaries. Additionally, certifications may open up opportunities for advancement within a company or even across industries.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Medical Office Specialists and explain how they can help to advance their career.
What are Medical Office Specialist Certifications?
Medical office specialist certification is a form of professional recognition that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in medical office management. This certification is usually earned through the completion of a formal program such as an associate's degree or certificate program, or through a combination of education and experience. With this certification, medical office specialists are qualified to handle administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling and billing, as well as other duties such as patient registration and insurance verification.
Having this certification can help individuals who wish to enter the field of medical office management stand out from the competition when applying for jobs. Additionally, having a medical office specialist certification can open up more opportunities for advancement within the profession. For example, those with this certification may be eligible for higher-level positions such as managing larger staffs or overseeing multiple departments. Finally, having a medical office specialist certification can provide peace of mind to employers that they are hiring someone with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their job effectively.
Pro Tip: Make sure to research the different certifications available for medical office specialists. Different certifications may have different requirements and benefits, so it is important to find the one that best suits your needs. Additionally, make sure to stay up-to-date with all of the required continuing education courses, as these are necessary in order to maintain your certification.
Related: What does a Medical Office Specialist do?
Top 11 Medical Office Specialist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Medical Office Specialists today.
1. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and competency in the administrative side of healthcare. It is designed to provide professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully manage medical office operations and serve as a liaison between patients, providers, and other members of the healthcare team.
The CMAA certification is offered through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To be eligible for the CMAA certification, individuals must have at least one year of experience working in a medical office setting or have completed an accredited medical assistant program.
The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, patient privacy laws, coding systems, billing processes, insurance policies, and more. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.
To get certified as a CMAA, applicants must register for the exam online through the NHA website. The cost for taking the exam is $129 USD. After registering for the exam, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to access their study materials and take their test.
Once applicants have passed their exam and met all eligibility requirements they will be awarded their Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) credential from NHA. This credential is valid for two years before it needs to be renewed by retaking the exam or completing continuing education credits.
2. Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)
A Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) is a professional who has been certified by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The CEHRS certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and skills to use, maintain, and support electronic health records systems.
It typically takes about 6-12 months of study and preparation to become certified. To get the certification, candidates must pass a computer-based exam that tests their knowledge of electronic health records systems. The exam covers topics such as data entry, medical coding, privacy and security, system navigation, and more.
The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it can range from $150-$300 for the exam fee alone. Additional fees may apply for study materials or other related expenses.
3. Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM) is a certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of medical office managers. It is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
The CMOM certification is earned through successful completion of an exam that tests a candidate's knowledge of medical office management topics such as medical terminology, coding systems, insurance processing, patient scheduling, billing practices, and more. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed in two hours or less.
In order to take the exam, applicants must have at least three years of experience in a medical office setting or have completed an accredited healthcare program. Applicants can also qualify for the CMOM certification if they hold a current NHA certification in one of the following areas: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS), Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), or Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS).
The cost for taking the CMOM exam is $125 USD. Once certified, individuals are required to renew their certification every three years by completing at least 15 continuing education credits.
4. Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is a credential offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in medical coding. The CPC credential is the most widely recognized and respected certification for medical coders.
It typically takes between 6 months and 1 year to prepare for the CPC exam, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying and practice tests. To get the CPC credential, you must pass an exam administered by AAPC. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, coding guidelines, reimbursement methodologies, and compliance regulations.
The cost of taking the CPC exam varies based on whether or not you are an AAPC member. Non-members pay $399 for the exam fee, while members pay $299. In addition to the exam fee, there may be additional costs associated with purchasing study materials or attending review courses.
5. Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS)
A Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) is a professional who has been certified by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) to demonstrate proficiency in medical reimbursement. This certification is designed to recognize individuals who have mastered the knowledge and skills necessary for accurate coding, billing, and reimbursement of healthcare services.
To become a CMRS, one must pass an examination administered by the AAPC. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, legal issues related to medical reimbursement, coding systems and regulations, and insurance policies. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.
To prepare for the exam, applicants should review the AAPC’s Exam Content Outline which outlines all topics covered on the test. They should also take advantage of study materials offered by the AAPC such as practice tests and online courses. Additionally, many employers offer training programs specifically designed to help their employees prepare for the CMRS exam.
The cost of taking the CMRS exam varies depending on whether or not you are an AAPC member. For non-members, the fee is $399 while members pay $299. There may also be additional fees associated with purchasing study materials or taking preparatory classes.
6. Certified Medical Office Administrator (CMOA)
Certified Medical Office Administrator (CMOA) is a professional certification for medical office administrators. It is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage a health care practice. The CMOA credential is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
The CMOA certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as medical terminology, coding, billing, insurance, patient relations, and other administrative duties. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.
To be eligible to take the CMOA exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in a healthcare setting or have completed an accredited medical office administration program. Those who do not meet these requirements may be able to take the exam if they can demonstrate sufficient knowledge and experience in the field.
The cost of taking the CMOA exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it will cost between $250 and $400 USD to take the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with registering for the exam or obtaining study materials.
7. Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE)
Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) is a professional certification program offered by the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE). It is designed to recognize those who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in medical practice management. The CMPE credential is awarded to individuals who demonstrate mastery of the core competencies required for successful medical practice management.
The CMPE program consists of three parts: an online application, a written examination, and an oral examination. The online application requires applicants to provide information about their educational background, work experience, and other relevant qualifications. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation from two current or former employers or colleagues. Once the application is approved, applicants must pass a four-hour written exam that covers topics such as finance, human resources, legal issues, marketing, operations management, risk management and technology. After passing the written exam, applicants must complete an oral exam that tests their knowledge on more specific topics related to medical practice management.
The cost for the CMPE program varies depending on which components you choose to complete. The online application fee is $225; the written exam fee is $395; and the oral exam fee is $595. It typically takes six months to one year to complete all three parts of the CMPE program.
8. Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
Certified Professional Biller (CPB) is a certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). The CPB certification is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate knowledge and expertise in medical billing. This certification is for those who want to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in medical billing, coding, and reimbursement.
It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to complete the CPB program. To get certified, you must first pass an exam that covers topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical coding systems, insurance plans, claims processing, and reimbursement procedures. After passing the exam, you will need to complete a practical component that includes hands-on experience with medical billing software or a real-world setting.
The cost of the CPB program varies depending on the provider. Typically it costs around $400-$600 for the exam fee plus any additional fees associated with the practical component.
9. Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT)
A Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) is a professional who transcribes dictated medical reports and other documents into written form. This includes patient histories, physical examinations, laboratory results, operative notes, and discharge summaries. CMTs are responsible for ensuring that all documents are accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
To become a CMT, one must have at least two years of experience in medical transcription or pass an exam administered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, grammar and punctuation, formatting standards, and legal aspects of healthcare documentation.
The AHDI offers several study materials to help prepare for the exam including textbooks, online courses, practice exams and webinars. It typically takes 3 to 6 months to prepare for the exam depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying.
The cost of becoming a CMT varies depending on the study materials you choose to purchase but generally ranges from $200-$500.
10. Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)
Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s competency in the field of health information technology. RHITs are responsible for managing patient health information and medical records, ensuring accuracy and privacy of those records, coding diagnoses and procedures for insurance reimbursement, and analyzing medical data to improve healthcare delivery.
To become an RHIT, individuals must complete an associate degree in health information technology from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Depending on the school, this degree typically takes two years to complete.
In addition to completing an accredited program, individuals must pass the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as anatomy & physiology, legal aspects of healthcare documentation, health data management & analysis, and more. The cost of the exam is $199 for members of AHIMA ($299 for non-members).
Once certified, RHITs must maintain their credential through continuing education activities every two years.
11. Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA).
A Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) is a professional credential that demonstrates expertise in managing patient health information and medical records. The RHIA credential is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To become an RHIA, candidates must have a minimum of an associate degree in health information technology or a related field, plus two years of full-time work experience in the field.
To get the RHIA credential, you must pass the AHIMA certification exam. The exam covers topics such as healthcare data management, legal and ethical issues, statistics and analytics, and systems analysis. It consists of 175 multiple-choice questions and takes four hours to complete. You can prepare for the exam by taking courses through AHIMA or studying independently with practice exams and study guides.
The cost of the RHIA certification exam varies depending on whether you are an AHIMA member or non-member and where you take it. For members, the cost ranges from $250 to $350; for non-members, it ranges from $400 to $500. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your RHIA certificate within six weeks.
Do You Really Need a Medical Office Specialist Certificate?
Whether or not you need a Medical Office Specialist Certificate depends on your individual goals and career aspirations. If you are looking to become a receptionist, medical biller, or other entry-level position in a medical office, then obtaining a certificate is likely the best option for you. It will provide you with the necessary education and skills to be successful in those roles.
However, if you are looking to move up into higher positions within the medical office field such as management or leadership roles, then it may not be necessary to obtain a Medical Office Specialist Certificate. While having a certificate can give you an advantage over other applicants who do not have one, many employers will consider candidates who have relevant experience and knowledge even if they don’t have formal certification.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not obtaining a Medical Office Specialist Certificate is worth the time and effort for your specific situation. If you think that having this certificate could help advance your career goals then it would be wise to pursue one. However, if you feel confident in your ability to perform well without certification then there is no need to go through the process of obtaining one.
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FAQs About Medical Office Specialist Certifications
1. What type of certification do I need to become a Medical Office Specialist?
Answer: You will need to obtain a Certificate in Medical Office Administration or a Medical Office Specialist Certification. Both certifications provide the necessary training and skills to work in a medical office setting.
2. How long does it take to get certified as a Medical Office Specialist?
Answer: Depending on the program you choose, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete the certification process.
3. What courses are required for Medical Office Specialist Certification?
Answer: Courses may vary depending on the program but typically include medical terminology, medical coding, healthcare software applications, basic accounting principles, and medical office procedures.
4. Are there any prerequisites for becoming a Medical Office Specialist?
Answer: Yes, most programs require students to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent before enrolling in their program. Additionally, some programs may require applicants to pass an entrance exam prior to admission.
5. Is there an exam I need to take after completing my certification?
Answer: Yes, many programs require that students take and pass either the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam upon completion of their program in order to be fully certified as a Medical Office Specialist.