Coding professionals who hold the CCA credential have demonstrated coding competency across all settings, including hospitals and physician practices.
Earning the CCA credential positions you as a leader in an exciting and growing market. Qualified health information professionals are in demand. The need for HIM professionals is expected to increase by 11% between 2018 and 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than the average job growth rate.
The CCA designation has been a nationally recognized standard of achievement in the health information management (HIM) field since 2002. The CCA exam is based upon job analysis standards and constructed using state-of-the-art testing principles.
The CCA is an indicator of coding competency in any setting, including both hospitals and physician practices. The CCS and CCS-P® credentials indicate mastery level skills in an area of specialty -- hospital-based settings and physician practices, respectively.
To apply to take the CCA exam, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, although not required, at least one of the following is recommended:
To apply to take the CCA exam, review the information described here and then complete and submit the online application. Paper applications are no longer accepted.
Before applying, carefully review the information provided in the Candidate Guide. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure eligibility before submitting the application. Applicants who are determined to be ineligible and submit an ineligible application or wish to withdraw their application will receive a refund of the application fee minus a $75 processing fee.
The CCS and CCA certifications are now included in the list of national certifications that may be submitted on the Demographic Data Collection Tool (DDCT) as part of the application for the Magnet Recognition Program® designation. You can view this information on the ANCC Accepted Certifications page.
Exam fees must be paid by credit card when completing the online application. Fees are as follows:
Premier Member Price: $189.05
Member Price: $199
Non-member price: $299
You will receive an Authorization to Test letter (ATT) when your application to take the exam is approved. Please read it carefully. The ATT will state a four-month eligibility period during which you must schedule your exam appointment. Candidates who fail to schedule an examination appointment within the eligibility period indicated in their ATT will forfeit their application fee.
Candidates who arrive at the test center 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment will not be allowed to test and will forfeit the application fee.
Candidates who have forfeited their application fees in the situations noted above must complete a new application and pay a new application fee to reapply to take the exam.
Organizations may purchase individual exams or exams in bulk. The process for organizations and candidates within these organizations is outlined below.
Organizations: Follow the steps below to purchase and administer exams for candidates within the organization:
Candidates: Follow the steps below to apply to take an exam ordered by your organization:
Organizations who DO NOT purchase Exams
If you do not purchase exams for your students or staff the above instructions do not apply. Students now have the capability to upload their completed Early Testing Form (if applicable) to the early testing section of the application. This form should be uploaded at the time of the application.
**PLEASE NOTE** Submission of official transcripts and certification of completion attestation are not affected by this change, and the normal process should continue.
To fully prepare for the CCA exam, candidates may find it helpful to become familiar with the following information.
The exam is timed for 2 hours. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, including 90 scored questions and 10 pretest questions that are not scored.
The pretest questions are administered to evaluate the question for possible inclusion as a scored question in future exams. Pretest questions are interspersed throughout the exam and cannot be identified by the candidate. Whether answered correctly or incorrectly, they do not affect the candidate's score.
AHIMA certification examinations are based on an explicit set of competencies. These competencies were determined through a job analysis conducted with practitioners.
Competencies for CCAs fall into six domains. Each domain accounts for a specific percentage of the questions on the certification exam, as shown below. Download the CCA Exam outline for information about the competencies within each domain.
Domain 1 – Clinical Classification Systems (30-34%)
Domain 2 – Reimbursement Methodologies (21-25%)
Domain 3 – Health Records and Data Content (13-17%)
Domain 4 – Compliance (12-16%)
Domain 5 – Information Technologies (6-10%)
Domain 6 – Confidentiality & Privacy (6-10%)
Recommended Resources for Study
CCA Self Reviews
Candidate Guide (see pp. 5 and 28-29 for information on the CCA credential and exam)
CCA Exam Content Outline
2010 CCA Job Analysis
Certification Exam Pass Rates
The CCA exam is only offered outside the U.S. at specific times during the year. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Exams will be offered outside the U.S. during these timeframes:
Event Testing Dates for 2020:
After reviewing the requirements below for international exams, please refer to the other CCA pages for information about materials allowed in the testing center, identification required, and other information.
Retest Policy (For testing outside the US only):
Candidates who have taken and failed the examination must wait a minimum of 165 days before applying to take the exam again. To retake the exam, candidates must resubmit an application with appropriate exam application fee.