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Top 11 Medical Records Technician Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top medical records technician certifications available, including requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for medical records technicians are important in the job market for a variety of reasons. First, certifications demonstrate to employers that a technician has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job duties at a high level. This is especially important in the medical field, where accuracy and attention to detail are essential. It also indicates that the technician is committed to staying up-to-date on industry standards and best practices. Additionally, certifications can open up opportunities for advancement or higher pay, as they often come with additional responsibilities or benefits. Finally, certifications can be used as evidence of a technician’s competency when applying for jobs or negotiating salary increases.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Medical Records Technicians, and explains how they can help to advance their career.

What are Medical Records Technician Certifications?

Medical records technician certification is a form of professional certification that requires individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field of medical records management. This certification is typically offered by organizations such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). In order to become certified, individuals must complete an approved training program and pass a comprehensive examination.

Having a medical records technician certification can be beneficial for those looking to enter the field of medical records management. It shows employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills required to perform your job effectively. Additionally, having this certification allows you to apply for better job opportunities and higher salaries than those without it. Furthermore, it may help you stand out from other applicants who do not have the same level of expertise or experience in medical records management. Finally, having this certification may open up new career opportunities that would otherwise not be available to you without it.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and understand the requirements for medical records technician certification before beginning the process. Most certifications require a specific amount of work experience, as well as passing a written exam. Knowing what is required ahead of time will help ensure you are able to complete the certification quickly and easily.

Related: What does a Medical Records Technician do?

Top 11 Medical Records Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Medical Records Technicians today.

1. Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)

A Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) is a professional who has been certified in the use of electronic health records (EHRs). The certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and requires successful completion of an exam. The CEHRS certification demonstrates a mastery of EHR systems, including their implementation, maintenance, security, and interoperability.

The CEHRS exam typically takes two to three hours to complete and consists of 125 multiple-choice questions. To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must have completed an approved training program or have at least one year of experience in the healthcare field.

To get the CEHRS certification, you must first register for the exam through NHA’s website. Once registered, you can schedule your exam with Pearson VUE at any time within six months of registering. The cost for taking the CEHRS exam is $199 USD.

2. Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRS)

A Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRS) is a professional who has earned a certification from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This certification demonstrates expertise in medical records management, coding, and other health information technology.

It typically takes six months to one year to complete the requirements for the CMRS certification. To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria, including having an associate’s degree or higher in health information technology or a related field, and two years of full-time work experience in medical records management. Applicants must also pass an exam administered by AHIMA.

The cost of obtaining the CMRS certification varies depending on the applicant’s educational background and work experience. The exam fee is $299 for AHIMA members and $399 for non-members. In addition, there may be additional fees for study materials or other resources needed to prepare for the exam.

Overall, obtaining the CMRS certification can be a valuable investment in your career as it provides employers with proof of your knowledge and skills in medical records management and health information technology.

3. Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and expertise in medical coding. Medical coders are responsible for assigning codes to patient records, which are used for reimbursement, research, and tracking of diseases. The CCS certification is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and is recognized nationally as the gold standard for medical coding professionals.

It typically takes individuals between 4-6 months to prepare for the CCS exam. Preparation includes studying textbooks, attending webinars or seminars, and taking practice exams.

To become certified, individuals must first join AHIMA and pay an annual fee of $195. They must then pass a two-part exam that covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, healthcare reimbursement systems, coding guidelines and conventions, ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems, and more. The cost of the exam itself varies depending on whether it is taken online or in person; however it typically ranges from $300-$400 per part.

Once certified, individuals must maintain their credentials by completing continuing education credits every two years in order to remain active with their certification.

4. Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)

Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a professional designation for individuals who are trained in the management of health information. RHITs are responsible for maintaining and protecting patient records, coding medical data for reimbursement and research, and using computer systems to manage health information.

The RHIT credential is offered through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To become an RHIT, you must complete an accredited program in health information technology or health information management and pass a certification exam administered by AHIMA. The program typically takes two years to complete and may include courses such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, coding systems, database management, healthcare statistics, legal aspects of healthcare, quality improvement processes, and more.

In order to sit for the RHIT exam, applicants must have completed an approved educational program or hold an active Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential. The cost of the exam is $199 for AHIMA members and $299 for non-members. Additionally, there is a $50 administrative fee that must be paid when registering for the exam.

5. Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR)

A Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) is a professional credential that recognizes expertise in the field of cancer registry. The CTR credential is awarded to individuals who have met the qualifications set forth by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA). To become certified, an individual must pass the NCRA’s Certified Tumor Registrar Exam. This exam covers topics such as data collection, coding, staging, and follow-up care.

It typically takes about six months to prepare for the CTR Exam and complete all of the necessary requirements. During this time, applicants should review study materials provided by the NCRA and take practice exams to become familiar with the format of the exam. Additionally, applicants must complete at least four years of cancer registry experience or a combination of education and experience totaling four years before they can be eligible to sit for the exam.

The cost of taking the CTR Exam varies depending on whether an applicant is a member of NCRA or not. For non-members, the fee is $375; for members, it’s $275. Additionally, there are fees associated with registering for and scheduling an exam date as well as any additional testing materials needed for preparation.

Overall, becoming a Certified Tumor Registrar requires dedication and hard work but can open up many opportunities in healthcare settings where cancer registry professionals are needed.

6. Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA)

Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) is a credential that is earned through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). This certification is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate expertise in medical auditing.

The CPMA credential requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in medical coding and auditing, as well as passing an exam that covers topics such as: compliance, documentation, reimbursement, and coding accuracy. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and must be completed within three hours.

In order to become certified, applicants must first apply for the certification online or by mail with the AAPC. Once approved, applicants will be sent an application packet which includes instructions on how to register for the exam. After registering for the exam, applicants will need to pay a fee of $399 USD before they can sit for the exam.

Once the exam has been taken and passed, applicants will receive their CPMA certification from the AAPC. The certification is valid for two years and must be renewed every two years in order to maintain it.

7. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) is a professional certification offered by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The CPHQ certification recognizes healthcare professionals who have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field of healthcare quality.

The CPHQ exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as patient safety, quality improvement, risk management, performance measurement, and data management. The exam takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

To be eligible for the CPHQ exam, applicants must have a minimum of two years full-time experience in a healthcare quality role or five years part-time experience. Applicants must also provide documentation of their experience and education to verify eligibility.

The cost of taking the CPHQ exam is $395 for NAHQ members and $495 for non-members. Additionally, there is an application fee of $50 that must be paid when submitting your application.

8. Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge and experience in healthcare risk management. The CPHRM credential is highly respected in the industry and provides recognition of an individual’s expertise and commitment to patient safety and quality care.

The CPHRM certification process includes an application, passing a comprehensive examination, and meeting certain education requirements. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as risk assessment, patient safety, legal issues, regulations, and ethics. The exam can be taken at any Prometric testing center or online through ASHRM's website.

In order to qualify for the CPHRM certification program, applicants must have a minimum of five years of healthcare risk management experience or three years of experience plus a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or related field. Applicants must also complete 30 hours of continuing education credits every two years to maintain their certification status.

The cost for the CPHRM exam is $395 for members of ASHRM and $495 for non-members. Additionally, there are fees associated with applying for the program ($50) and renewing your certification ($100).

9. American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer is a certification program designed to help healthcare professionals learn the intricacies of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification/Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS). This certification program is intended for individuals who are responsible for coding and abstracting medical records.

The program consists of an online training course that takes approximately 16 hours to complete. The course covers topics such as understanding the ICD-10-CM/PCS structure, coding conventions, official coding guidelines and principles of diagnosis coding. Upon successful completion of the training course, participants will receive a certificate from AHIMA verifying their completion of the program.

To get the AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer certification, individuals must first register for the online training course by visiting AHIMA’s website. Once registered, they can access the course materials and take the final exam at any time. The cost of this certification program is $299 USD.

10. American Health Information Management Association Approved Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Approved Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP) certification is a professional credential that recognizes an individual’s expertise in improving the accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation. The CDIP credential is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and skills in the areas of health information management, coding, clinical documentation improvement, and medical record review.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete the requirements for the AHIMA Approved Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP) certification. To become certified, individuals must first meet certain eligibility requirements, which include having at least two years of experience in coding, clinical documentation improvement, or medical record review. After meeting these requirements, individuals must take and pass a comprehensive exam administered by AHIMA.

To get the CDIP certification, individuals must first apply through AHIMA's website. Once approved for the exam, they will be required to pay a fee of $299 USD to take the exam. After passing the exam with a score of 75% or higher, individuals will receive their CDIP certification.

The total cost for obtaining the AHIMA Approved Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP) certification is approximately $299 USD plus any additional fees associated with preparing for and taking the exam.

11. American Academy of Professional Coders - Certified Outpatient Coder

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) credential is a certification that demonstrates a professional coder's knowledge and expertise in coding outpatient medical services. This certification is designed for individuals who have experience coding outpatient services in hospitals, clinics, or physician offices.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete the COC program. The program consists of an online course, which covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems, HCPCS Level II coding system, and reimbursement methodologies. After completing the coursework, candidates must pass an exam to receive their COC credential.

To get the COC credential, you must first become a member of AAPC and pay the associated membership fee. Then you will need to complete the online course and pass the exam. The cost of the course varies depending on whether you are taking it through AAPC or through another organization. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your COC credential from AAPC.

The cost of obtaining the COC credential varies depending on how you go about getting it. If you take the course through AAPC directly, then it will cost $1,299 for members and $1,499 for non-members. This includes access to study materials such as practice exams and flashcards as well as access to an online community where coders can ask questions and get help from other professionals. If you take the course through another organization or provider then prices may vary so be sure to check with them for exact pricing information.

Do You Really Need a Medical Records Technician Certificate?

Medical records technicians are important members of the healthcare industry. They are responsible for managing and maintaining patient medical records. They must be proficient in understanding medical terminology, coding systems, and other medical office procedures. A certificate in medical records technology is not required to become a medical records technician; however, having one can increase your job prospects and make you more marketable to employers.

Having a certificate demonstrates that you have received specialized training in medical records technology, which can give employers confidence in your abilities as a professional in this field. The coursework included in these certificates often includes topics such as HIPAA compliance, anatomy and physiology, disease processes, coding systems, electronic health records (EHRs), and legal issues related to health care information management. In addition to providing an educational foundation for a career in medical records technology, it also provides valuable networking opportunities with other professionals in the field.

A certificate program can provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed as a medical records technician. You will learn practical skills such as filing patient information correctly according to established protocols, understanding confidentiality regulations and laws related to patient information management, using software programs for entering data into EHRs, managing databases of patient information securely, and troubleshooting common technical issues encountered when working with EHRs.

In summary, while having a certificate is not required to become a medical records technician it is highly recommended if you want to stand out among other applicants or advance your career down the line. It shows that you have taken the time to gain an extra level of knowledge about the profession while also giving you valuable connections within the industry that can help you further your career goals.

Related: Medical Records Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Medical Records Technician Certifications

1. What is a Medical Records Technician Certification?

A Medical Records Technician Certification is a credential that certifies an individual has the knowledge and skills to accurately manage medical records in accordance with industry standards. This certification is available through a variety of organizations, such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

2. How long does it take to become certified as a Medical Records Technician?

The length of time required to become certified as a Medical Records Technician can vary depending on the organization offering the certification. Generally, it takes between 6 months and 2 years to complete the requirements for certification.

3. What are the requirements for becoming a Medical Records Technician?

Requirements for becoming a Medical Records Technician vary by organization, but typically include passing an exam that tests knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health information management systems, legal aspects of health information, coding and classification systems, data analysis and quality improvement processes.

4. What are some of the benefits of becoming a Certified Medical Records Technician?

By becoming certified as a Medical Records Technician you will demonstrate your commitment to professionalism in this field, increase job opportunities in healthcare organizations, gain credibility with employers and colleagues alike, establish yourself as an expert in medical records management and be eligible for higher salary positions.

5. Are there continuing education requirements for maintaining my certification?

Yes - most organizations require continuing education credits (CEUs) to maintain your certification status. The number of CEUs required varies by organization but usually ranges from 10-20 credits per year or every two years depending on the type of certification held.