Spring 2011 | HOME

Welcome to Certification Connection

Welcome to Certification Connection, created exclusively for HIM certified professionals. Each quarterly issue contains information on professional development, industry news, continuing education, announcements, upcoming events, and other tools for your success—all designed with you in mind.

If there is a certified professional whom you feel should be receiving this newsletter, please forward this to him or her to subscribe. Look for the next issue of Certification Connection in July.

The Time is Now: Take the 2011 CCS and CCS-P Exams with New Item Types

As HIM professionals know, coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Mastery level coders like AHIMA’s Certified Coding Specialists (CCS) and Certified Coding Specialists-Physician Based (CCS-P), are the most experienced and most desirable to employers.

The CCS and CCS-P credentials are the industry’s gold, and with the increasing importance of certification in the coding field there has never been a better time to take the exam.

On June 30, the CCS and CCS-P exam will launch in their 2011 forms. The 2011 versions of the exam will contain new alternate item types. The new item types were carefully tested in a usability study planned by Pearson VUE in collaboration with AHIMA.

The exam will consist of single response multiple choice, multiple select, and quantity fill in the blanks. While the first of these item types is familiar to AHIMA candidates, the other two represent new exam approaches. In the multiple select item type candidates are prompted to enter two or three responses, rather than only one. The final item type, multiple quantity fill in the blank items will be used within a medical case record.

Read more.

Test Development by CCHIIM

You have probably seen The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) on the AHIMA Web site, in the Recertification Guide, or even on your certificate. But what is CCHIIM and what does it do?

CCHIIM is an AHIMA commission dedicated to assuring the competency of professionals practicing health informatics and information management (HIIM). This standing commission of AHIMA is empowered with the sole and independent authority in all matters pertaining to both the initial certification and ongoing recertification (certification maintenance) of HIIM professionals.

CCHIIM has several important duties, but its most crucial role is overseeing the test development for all AHIMA certification exams. AHIMA certification exams are valid, reliable, and legally defensible assessment instruments. The exams are designed to measure the competency of potential certificants against a codified and relevant body of health informatics and information management competencies. CCHIIM is tasked with the great responsibility of ensuring that they do just that.

Read more.

AHIMA’s Online Practice Exams

Are you taking a certification exam? Are you considering registering for an exam but not sure if you are ready? AHIMA’s RHIT, RHIA, and CCA online practice exams are the perfect tool for you! The computer-based practice exams allow you to measure your skills and general readiness to sit for the test. The exams feature questions from domains of the exam blueprint, written by the same item writers who developed questions for the official exam. At the end, you will receive a score report that shows your greatest strengths, and where you need to bulk up your knowledge. Then, you can use that information to determine your next steps in the exam preparation process. Take it before you register or take it close to your exam date to gain the confidence that you need to succeed!
Other outstanding features:

  • Computer-based testing experience—Test at home, the office, or anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • Simulate the testing experience—avoid surprises on exam day!
  • Scores are broken down according to domains—discover your strongest and weakest   points.
For more information, please visit here or call Customer Relations at (800) 335-5535.

Validate Your Coding Knowledge

The demand for coders has never been greater—and this need is expected to continue for some years to come. The CCA distinguishes coders by exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices. The CCA is the only HIM credential worldwide currently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The CCS and CCS-P are mastery-level credentials for highly experienced coders specializing in hospital settings or physician practice settings, respectively.

Find info about the CCA accreditation, AHIMA exams, and exam prep products at AHIMA's Certification site.

New CCA beta exam launched on March 31

The Certified Coding Associate exam (CCA) re-launched with a new exam blueprint in a beta period on March 31. Candidates now receive a test completion notice and will have their official score reports sent via U.S. mail. An announcement will be made once immediate scoring is available.

Also, CCA exam candidates are now required to use 2011 codebooks. Candidates will not be able to test without the correct codebooks. For information on the CCA beta exam, the new exam blueprint or 2011 codebooks, please visit AHIMA's Certification site.

Featured Publication


Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P) Exam Preparation

Whether you’re still a student or already on the job, Certified Coding Specialist—Physician-based (CCS-P) Exam Preparation provides the direction, skills, and knowledge you need to successfully prepare for the exam. The book’s practice exams are based on and organized by the CCS-P competency statements and provide a simulation of the testing experience.

Paired with the AHIMA publications ICD-9-CM Diagnostic Coding and Reimbursement for Physician Services and Procedural Coding and Reimbursement for Physician Services: Applying Current Procedural Terminology and HCPCS, Certified Coding Specialist—Physician-based (CCS-P) Exam Preparation offers everything you need to prepare for the CCS-P exam.

Key Features

  • Three practice exams and additional practice questions and medical cases
  • CD-ROM contains three timed, multiple choice practice exams that can be run in practice or exam
    simulation mode
  • Answers include explanations and references to enhance learning
  • Includes CCS–P exam competencies and Part II coding procedures
  • Written by HIM experts and educators

Note: Beginning on June 30, CCS-P exam candidates will be required to use 2011 codebooks. Candidates will not be able to test without the correct codebooks.

Order Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P) Exam Preparation here.





May 2-20
Polls open for AHIMA Election

May 18
Leadership Academy- Unleashing Talent in HIM

May 19
Expediting Payment and Increasing Revenue in Physician Practices
Virtual Meeting

May 23-25
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Coeur D’Alene, ID

June 1-3
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Raleigh, NC

June 8-10
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Virginia Beach, VA

June 13-14
2011 Long-Term and Post-Acute Care HIT Summit
Baltimore, MD

June 15
Leadership Academy- How Great Leaders Inspire Trust

June 15-17
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Nashville, TN

June 15-16
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis Coding
Baltimore, MD

June 22-24
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Little Rock, AR

View a complete listing of all AHIMA events and audio seminars/webinars

Upcoming AHIMA Convention & Exhibit Dates and Locations

October 1–6, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT


The Communities of Practice is a benefit of AHIMA membership. If you are already a member, click here. For information on becoming a member, click here.