Recertifying? Get ready for future policy changes

Recertifying? Get ready for future policy changes

The Certifying Board(CB) of the American Association of Medical Assistants continues to better protect patients and provide employers with CMAs with current skills and knowledge. What follows are new policies the board has approved and its rationale for implementing these changes.

In 2005, CMAs must maintain current CPR certification.

Effective January 1, 2005, a Certified Medical Assistant® (CMA) must submit proof of current provider-level CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification from the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the American Safety and Health Institute or the National Safety Council in order to recertify either by continuing education or retesting.

CMAs with physical limitations preventing them from performing CPR shall be exempt from this requirement. A statement signed by a physician must document the limitation.

RATIONALE: This requirement will ensure that all CMAs, even those employed primarily in administrative capacities, are prepared to give CPR. It provides a way for CMAs to better serve America during critical times. The Continuing Education Board (CEB) made a comparative analysis which verifies that CPR certifications provided by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the American Safety and Health Institute or the National Safety Council are essentially equivalent.The CB agrees with the CEB’s findings.

In 2007, CMAs will need 10 points for each category.

Effective January 1, 2007, applicants for recertification by continuing education must accumulate at least 10 (currently 15) recertification points in each content category:

General: 10 points

Administrative: 10 points

Clinical: 10 points

The applicant may accumulate the remaining 30 points in any of the three content categories to satisfy the total 60 recertification point requirement.

RATIONALE: Because of the growing distinctiveness and uniqueness of the medical assisting profession, it is in the best interests of patients, employers, and CMAs for recertificants to be able to allot time as needed for continuing education in their practice specialty.

In 2007, 30 of the 60 points must be AAMA approved.

Effective January 1, 2007, at least 30 (currently 20) of the 60 recertification points must be American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) CEUs for applications for the basic CMA credential.While all 60 recertification points may be AAMA CEUs, a maximum of 30 recertification points may be accumulated from sources other than AAMA CEUs.

Such sources may include CEUs acquired outside the AAMA; college or university credit; physician CME credits and contact hours. (Note: A contact hour is defined as a typical 50-minute classroom instructional session, or its equivalent.)

RATIONALE: As medical assisting continues to become a distinctive allied health profession with unique continuing education needs different from those of other professions, it is necessary to increase the number of AAMA CEUs required for recertification to ensure that the continuing education obtained by a CMA is directly related to the current knowledge and skills required by employers and patients.

The October CMA

Certification/Recertification Exam has been rescheduled.

The Certifying Board is offering a third exam on October 29, 2004 (a change from the previously scheduled October 22, 2004 date).The deadline to apply for the exam is July 1, 2004. As soon as the application is available, it will be posted on the AAMA website.

Copyright American Association of Medical Assistants Mar/Apr 2004

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