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Overview

AHIMA certifications are maintained through a required recertification process. Recertification ensures that certified professionals stay up to date in the constantly evolving HIM field. Through recertification, AHIMA-certified individuals demonstrate their continued competency and current qualifications in today’s changing and challenging healthcare environment.

To recertify, individuals must earn a specified number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during a 2-year certification cycle. The initial recertification cycle for newly credentialed individuals (i.e., individuals who have earned their first credential) is two years beginning on the day the exam was passed.

If you took an exam as an early tester or you have multiple credentials, then your recertification cycle will be impacted. Please check your CEU Center for your recertification cycle.

 

Earning CEUs

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) must be earned within your recertification cycle and must be relevant to the HIIM field as presented in the HIIM domains to be eligible for CEU credit. Eighty (80) percent of all CEUs must be earned within the HIIM domain. The remaining twenty (20) percent can include participation in continuing education activities on topics not included in the HIIM domains, but relevant to the credential holder’s professional position.

These activities qualify for the 20 percent of CEUs not related to HIIM domains:

  • Participation in educational program on topics relevant to HIIM
  • Participation in formal education programs of study that address HIIM-relevant subject areas
  • Publication and presentation of material relevant to HIIM
  • Independent study activities relevant to the HIIM profession
  • Participating in AHIMA exam item writing
  • Oversight and involvement of directed clinical practice on behalf of CAHIIM-accredited programs
  • Facilitating for an AHIMA Engage Community
  • Activities defined by the Certification Guidelines for approval of CEU programs for state, local, and regional HIM associations
  • Exceptional events recognized by CCHIIM

Detailed information concerning continuing education activities can be found in AHIMA’s Recertification Guide.

AHIMA-Approved Continuing Education Programs

CEUs can be earned by attending an AHIMA event, completing an AHIMA online education program, completing an AHIMA Journal quiz, completing AHIMA e-assessments, as well as other accepted AHIMA activities. By earning CEUs through AHIMA-approved programs, credentialed professionals can have confidence in the integrity of the content and know in advance the confirmed number of CEUs. In addition, CEUs are more easily submitted when they are earned through an AHIMA-approved program.

To find AHIMA Prior Approved Education Programs:

  1. Log into your MyAHIMA account.
  2. Go to Education and Certification then select Search Prior Approvals.
  3. Use Advanced Search to find programs according to format, topic, location, date, number of CEUs, and company name.

 

Calculating CEUs

Calculation of CEUs is based upon clock hours. 0.5 CEUs are given for every thirty (30) minutes of attendance or participation that is fixed in length.

A session lasting 30 to 44 minutes will be accepted for 0.5 CEU credits; a session lasting less than 30 minutes will not be accepted for CEU credit. CEU credit should be calculated according to the following method:

Session Length CEU Credits
0–29 minutes (0-0.49 hrs) 0 CEUs
30–44 minutes (0.50–0.74 hrs) 0.5 CEUs
45–89 minutes (0.75–1.49 hrs) 1 CEU
90–104 minutes (1.50–1.74 hrs) 1.5 CEUs
105–149 minutes (1.75–2.49 hrs) 2 CEUs
150–164 minutes (2.50–2.74 hrs) 2.5 CEUs
165–209 minutes (2.75–3.49 hrs) 3 CEU 

 

CEU Requirements

If you have one AHIMA credential, you must earn either 20 or 30 CEUs per recertification cycle. See table below:

If You Have A(n)... You Must Earn...
CCA®, CCS®, CCS-P®, or RHIT® 20 CEUs
CHPS®, CHDA®, CDIP®, or RHIA® 30 CEUs

If you have more than one AHIMA credential, you must earn ten (10) additional CEUs per credential up to a maximum of (50) CEUs.

  • If you have a 30 CEU requirement (CHPS, CHDA, CDIP, or RHIA) per cycle certification your base CEUs is 30 and each additional credential is 10 CEUs up to 50 CEUs per cycle.
  • If you have only 20 CEU (CCA, CCS, CCS-P, or RHIT) per cycle certifications your base CEUs is 20 with each additional credential is 10 CEUs up to 50 CEUs per cycle.
  • These CEUs may not be duplicated or used for more than one credential.

For example:

  • CCA (20 CEUs) plus any 1 of the following (CCS, CCS-P, or RHIT) = 30 CEUs per cycle
  • CDIP (30 CEUs) plus 1 other credential = 40 CEUs per cycle

 

Entering CEUs

When to Enter CEUs

CEUs can be entered throughout your two-year recertification cycle and must be entered before the end of your two-year cycle to avoid penalties. We strongly suggest you enter your CEUs as you earn your CEUs during your recertification cycle.

On the last day of your two-year recertification cycle, your account will automatically be reviewed. If all required CEUs have been entered and approved and the recertification fee has been paid, you will roll over to your next two-year recertification cycle.

If your requirements have not been met by the end of the two-year recertification cycle your account will become inactive. Please review recertification statuses and the Recertification Guide for additional details.

 

How to Enter CEUs

You can enter your CEUs throughout your recertification cycle by logging into your MyAHIMA account and visiting your “CEU Center” located in the “Education and Certification” section.

  1. Go to the CEU Center tab.
  2. Choose the source where the CEU was earned.
  3. Complete the required fields.
  4. Submit CEU documentation (e.g., CEU certificate or unofficial transcripts). This is optional but you should retain documentation for future audits.
  5. Enter only your required CEUs. Additional CEUs cannot be carried over to the next recertification cycle.

Self Reviews

Coding credential holders must complete a mandatory self review each year of their recertification cycle. Self reviews must be completed electronically to receive the 5 CEUs. This can be done by logging into your MyAhima account and clicking on the CEU Center option. Self reviews that are submitted via email, mail or by fax will not be accepted.


Recertification Fees

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.

 

Recertification Checklist

  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.

Recertification Statuses

Credentialed individuals will hold the status of Active, Revoked, Retired, or Voluntary Relinquished, depending on factors listed below.

Active status is based on meeting the recertification requirements within the two (2) year recertification cycle.

Inactive status is based on failure to complete the recertification requirements within the two (2) year recertification cycle following the end of the recertification cycle. Inactive status lasts for a 6-month Inactive Period, after which the status moves to Revoked if recertification requirements are not met (see details of Revoked status below).

The credential(s) may not be used during the period of inactive status. To reactive a credential to Active status, credential holders must meet original recertification requirements and pay a late fee.

Credentials are revoked after failure to complete recertification requirements and report CEUs within the two (2) year recertification cycle and six (6) months of the Inactive Period.

Revoked status can also be based on decisions by the CCHIIM Appeals Committee or AHIMA Professional Ethics Committee regarding misconduct.

Individuals may not use their applicable credential(s) once they have been revoked. Individuals must meet reinstatement requirements detailed in the Recertification Guide to reactivate a credential to Active status.

Retired status is based on a voluntary request of a fully retired individual who is no longer working in the field of HIIM. The individual may retire and begin work in a field unrelated to HIIM so long as he or she no longer holds any HIIM responsibilities. The individual’s credential must be active and in good standing at the time of the request. In order to re-activate a retired credential, the certification examination must be passed again if one full recertification cycle has passed while in Retired status.

An individual falling under the Retired status must use the term “Retired” following his or her credential in order to differentiate from the Active status credential, e.g. John Smith, RHIA (Retired).

Credential holders who are retired or disabled may continue to maintain recertification requirements and uphold an active credential, if they so choose.

This status is based on a voluntary request of an individual who no longer wishes to maintain his or her credential and voluntarily withdraws from the recertification process. The individual’s credential must be active and in good standing at the time of the request. In order to re-activate a voluntarily relinquished credential to Active status, the certification examination must be passed again if one full recertification cycle has passed while in Voluntary Relinquished status.

Individuals may not use the applicable credential(s) once the credential has been voluntarily relinquished.

Policies and Procedures

Each year a percentage of credential holders are randomly selected for an audit. Individuals selected for audits will be notified in writing and required to submit verifiable documentation (for example, certificates of attendance or similar materials) for each activity listed in their CEU center by the due date specified on the audit notification material.

Verifiable documentation can include certificates of attendance, program materials, or other information provided by the sponsor that verify program date, length, and subject matter (e.g., agenda, program outline, handout, meeting summary, or meeting transcript). It is therefore recommended that participants in CEU programs retain records and program documents in their files for at least one year following their recertification cycle end date.

Individuals who fail to respond to an audit request by the specified due date or are found to have submitted false information in their CEU center may be denied.

 

The Commission may grant an extension of time to complete the number of CEUs required for a recertification cycle. An extension of time shall not relieve the applicant of the responsibility for completion of the CEU requirements for the recertification cycle in which the extension period falls. Requests must be submitted to recert@ahima.org.

CCHIIM may temporarily waive recertification requirements due to extenuating circumstances or hardships (for example, financial hardship, illness, unforeseen circumstances, and natural catastrophes). Temporary waiver requests must be done in writing. Requests must include documentation (e.g., unemployment letter, obituary or death certificate, or medical records) showing why the recertification requirements could not be met. Requests and documentation must be submitted to recert@ahima.org. Please be advised, all requests can take up to 30 days to be processed. You will be notified via e-mail with a decision.

The Commission may for good cause waive or reduce the CEU requirement. Credential holders may request a temporary waiver by submitting a written request to the Commission for consideration.

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.

CCHIIM provides two ways to reinstate a revoked credential (up to 6 months once the credential status has changed from Inactive to Revoked):

Option A: Reactivate by Continuing Education Units

  1. Log into your CEU Center.
  2. Obtain the required number of CEUs. CEUs must be earned during the second year of the recertification cycle up to the date of reinstatement.
  3. Once the CEU requirements have been met, the system will prompt you to pay the reinstatement fee.
  4. Your credential will be placed in the next subsequent recertification cycle within 72 business hours.

Option B: Reactivate by Exam

After one year following the end of the recertification cycle, the only way to return to an active status is to retake the certification exam and successfully pass.

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