CCA Frequently Asked Questions

Why has AHIMA created this credential?

AHIMA recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater-and this need is expected to continue for some years to come. By creating an entry-level coding credential based on job analysis standards and state-of-the-art test construction, AHIMA aims to increase the number of qualified new coders. The result? A larger pool of qualified coders for employers to choose from; certified coders doing a better job managing health information; and recognition for AHIMA members as industry experts and leaders in clinical coding.

With plenty of jobs available, why does a new coder need the CCA?

New coders who earn the CCA will immediately demonstrate their competency in the field, even if they don't have much job experience. Earning a CCA demonstrates a commitment to coding even for those who are new in the field. CCA holders will also distinguish themselves from non-credentialed coders and those who hold credentials from other organizations that do not require the higher level of expertise necessary to earn AHIMA certification.

How does the CCA compare to the CCS and CCS-P?

The CCA should be viewed as the starting point for an individual entering a new career as a coder. The CCS and/or CCS-P exams demonstrate the mastery level skills that the CCA would strive for to advance his or her career.

How does the CCA compare to the RHIA and RHIT credential?

CCA holders will have demonstrated only their knowledge related to coding. In contrast, RHIA or RHIT holders (who must hold a baccalaureate or associate degree, respectively) have demonstrated their expertise in a full range of HIM areas-from data management, privacy, compliance, and other supervisory and managerial roles-as well as coding.

If I currently hold an RHIA or RHIT, do I need to also hold the CCA to demonstrate my coding knowledge?

No. Both exams test an entry-level knowledge of coding. By holding the RHIA or RHIT, you have already demonstrated your ability to code at the entry level. To demonstrate a higher level of coding expertise, consider taking the examination for the CCS and/or CCS-P credentials.

I already have a CCS or CCS-P credential and experience in the field. How does the creation of the CCA help me?

If you have a CCS or CCS-P credential, you'll benefit from even better positioning in the HIM industry. Your credentials will be more quickly identified with your advanced expertise and no longer confused with entry-level credentials from other organizations.