Medical Practice Exam
To advance your career or have an edge in the job market, it is an excellent idea to obtain some form of certification in medical practice management. Several reputable institutions offer medical practice management certifications. Their exams are similar and are all designed to demonstrate that the certified individual has the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to effectively manage a medical practice. Many practices will not consider hiring individuals without certification, so it is well worth the time to look into certification and determine if it is right for you.
The Physician Office Managers Association of America (POMAA) offers an exam to be designated as a Certified Practice Manager (CPM). This exam covers most areas of medical practice management, including health care and business law, human resources management, budgeting and accounting, leadership management, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements. Obtaining a CPM ensures employers that you are prepared to effectively and efficiently run their medical practice. Although there is no experience required for taking the test, POMAA "highly recommends" that individuals have at least one full year of experience as a medical office/practice manager before taking the exam.
For those without work experience, certain educational experiences may suffice, such as a degree in medical practice management from an accredited school. Additionally, POMAA offers those with other types of medical practice management certifications reciprocity, wherein certification is granted with proof of a valid medical office management certificate from another professional organization. The CPM certification examination may be taken live at a local conference facility or online in the comfort of your home. The online versions can be attempted at any time of day, making it extremely convenient for any schedule.
Another valid medical practice management certification is the Certified Medical Manager (CMM). The CMM is offered by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM). PAHCOM created the certification process as a means for providing recognition to office managers having the up-to-date knowledge, skills, and experience required to successfully manage medical practices. It is nationally recognized and valued by employers in the medical field. The exam is designed to test knowledge in 18 areas of medical practice administration, including billing and collections, conflict management, health care law, managed care, and medical accounting. Candidates for the CMM exam must possess a minimum of three years’ experience in health care management positions, at least twelve college credits in healthcare or business management, and be a PAHCOM member in good standing. At present, the CMM exam is not available online.
Within the field of medical practice management there are unique certification exams available designed to show expertise in specific areas. For example, exams exist to become a Certified Medical Coder (CMC), Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM), Certified Medical Compliance Officer (CMCO), or a Certified Medical Insurance Specialist (CMIS). These certifications are designed for those specifically overseeing a particular area of medical practice management or to prove general competence in effectively managing the specific area. Many medical practice professionals choose to earn certifications such as these to show their commitment to the profession and to validate their professional expertise.