The Health Information Technician Certification Process

Certification to work in the Health Information field is not required. However, we recommend our graduates become certified as a way to enhance their resume and provide additional validation of the knowledge they have gained. Our Health Information graduates are eligible to sit for a variety of certification exams offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Certification sets one apart from employment competition, in addition to demonstrating an additional level of proven skills and achievement.  The timeframe that each graduate takes to complete the certification process is in the graduate’s hands.

For graduates who are interested in pursuing certification, please visit the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to register for the certification examination. You can also download (with a fee) study materials. After passing the examination, certification is valid for two years. There are three different options for certification:

  • CCA-Certified Coding Associate
    • The CCA certification demonstrates coding proficiency in both hospital and physician practice settings.
  • CCS-Certified Coding Specialist
    • The CCS certification demonstrates similar skill competency to the CCA certification, but with more emphasis on skills required for the hospital setting.
  • CCS-P-Certified Coding Specialist-Physician Based
    • The CCS-P is a credential for coding practitioners who work to handle coding procedures in physician-based environments

Health Information students can also obtain certification through the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). There are three different options for certification:

  • CPC-Certified Professional Coder; Professional services performed by physicians and non-physician practitioners
  • PC-H-Certified Professional Coder-Hospital; Outpatient facility services
  • Various Specialty Coder Certifications; Inpatient facility services (acute hospital care)

For any additional questions or clarification regarding the certification process, graduates are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their Program Director or Career Services Advisor. 

How much will each step cost?

The Certification Examination pricing through American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for each option is:

  • CCA – $299
  • CCS/CCS-P – $399

The Certification Examination pricing through American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) is:

  • CPC – $300
  • CPC-H – $300
  • Various Specialty Coder Certifications – $245

The certifying body will determine on a case-by-case basis whether the applicant will be allowed to receive their license or sit for their certification exam if the applicant has any felonies or misdemeanors.

Arizona College provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to become a certified Health Information specialist. Fill out a form today to learn more about our Health Information programs.