Certified Medical Assistants and Assessment Based Recognition

Certified Medical Assistants and Assessment Based Recognition

On August 23,2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ruled that only "credentialed medical assistants" including CMA's (AAMA) would be allowed to enter medication, laboratory, and radiology orders into the computerized provider order entry system for meaningful use purposes for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. Medical Assistants that are not certified cannot participate in entering orders into the EHR. for meaningful use purposes.

CMA Certification/Recertification Policies

The CMA (AAMA) must have current status to use the credential, including for qualifying to enter orders for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Effective January 1, 2010, all newly certified and recertifying CMAs (AAMA) will be current for 60 months from the end of the calendar month of initial certification or most recent recertification. CMAs (AAMA) may choose one of two ways to recertify: By Examination or by Continuing Education.

Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry

As of January 1, 2013, only "credentialed medical assistants" (in addition to licensed health professionals) have been permitted to enter medication, radiology, and laboratory orders into the electronic health record (EHR) and have such entry count toward meeting the meaningful use thresholds under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Working medical assistants who have not graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program are not eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and therefore have hadno way of meeting the CMS requirement through the AAMA in the past.

The ABR was created as a way for medical assistants to demonstrate their knowledge of electronic order entry, thus fulfilling the CMS requirement. The ABR in order entry is not a certification and not to be used as a credential. The ABR is an official recognition of the holder's qualifications to enter medication, laboratory, and radiology orders into the EHR under the CMS rule and is based on an assessment of the holder's knowledge and experience. Holders of this ABR in order entry can refer to themselves as having an assessment-based recognition in order entry that meets the CMS definition of "credentialed medical assistant," but are not permitted to use any suffixes or initials after their names in reference to this recognition program.

For more information on maintaining or gaining your CMA designation or your ABR please refer to our "Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Certification/Recertification and ABR in Order Entry" document in our Website Forms Section.