Skip to main content

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 retest waiting period for all AHIMA certifications exams is now 90 days.

The new RHIA certification exam will be released on January 1, 2021. All exams scheduled on or after January 1, 2021 will be based on the new exam content outline.

The new exam is the result of a recent job analysis and consists of new exam items aligned to the new exam content outline. The new content outline can be found on the RHIA certification page.

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); and 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 un-opened 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 Continuing Education Provider Program is designed for companies interested in providing continuing education units (CEUs) to AHIMA credential holders. For more information, visit the Continuing Education Provider Program page or contact  priorapprovals@ahima.org.

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 Acclaim, a Pearson Company, to develop a platform that issues digital badges to visually display your accomplishment(s) on social media sites, in your e-mail 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 e-mail 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) will discontinue 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.

If your recertification cycle ends prior to December 31, 2020, you must still complete your 2019 and 2020 self-reviews. We strongly encourage you to complete the self-reviews prior to January 1, 2021 due to upcoming pricing changes:

  • Currently, the 2020 self-reviews are available for free and will remain free until December 31, 2020. The 2020 self-reviews will be available for purchase for $15 between January 1-March 31, 2021. After March 31, 2021, the fee will increase substantially from $15.
  • Similarly, the 2019 self-review fee will substantially increase from $15 after December 31, 2020. If you still need to complete the 2019 self-review, please do so at your earliest convenience.

 

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. Complete your mandatory annual coding self-reviews (self-assessments), if applicable.
  3. Participate in accepted and qualified CEU activities.
  4. Enter your CEUs on time.
  5. Keep all CEU certificates and activities documented for auditing purposes.
  6. 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 completing mastery-level coding credentials or baccalaureate-level (or higher) HIM credentials, it is no longer necessary to earn CEUs and pay recertification fees for the lower level credentials.

AHIMA members pay their recertification fees in addition to their annual membership renewal. If membership status is not retained for both years of the two-year recertification cycle, you are required to pay the non-member recertification fee.

For more information, visit the Recertify page.

The 2020 CCA, CCS, and CCS-P coding self-reviews are now available to coding credential holders in your CEU Center. To access:

  1. Log in to your MyAHIMA account.
  2. Go to the CEU Center under Education & Certification.
  3. The self-review will appear below your coding credential. Once you have completed the checkout process, you can access your self-review in the Education & Certification section of your MyAHIMA account by clicking Self-Reviews. If applicable, 2020 self-reviews must be completed by December 31, 2020, or before the last day of your current recertification cycle (whichever date comes first), to avoid a late fee/penalty.  

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 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
Appeals Email: CertificationAppeal@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
Refunds for exam applications ONLY Emails: Refunds@ahima.org 
Transcripts Email: CertificationTranscripts@ahima.org

Cookie Notice

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on this website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.
Back to top