AHIMA certifications are maintained through a required recertification process. Recertification ensures that certified professionals stay up to date in the constantly evolving HIM field. Through recertification, AHIMA-certified individuals demonstrate their continued competency and current qualifications in today’s changing and challenging healthcare environment.
To be recertified, individuals must earn a specified number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during a 2-year certification cycle. (A 3-month grace period is added to the 2-year cycle.)
For information on recertification status categories, see the Recertification Status Categories tab.
CEUs must be earned within your recertification cycle and must be relevant to the HIIM field as presented in the HIIM domains to be eligible for CE credit. Eighty (80) percent of all CEUs must be earned within the HIIM domain. The remaining twenty (20) percent can include participation in continuing education activities on topics not included in the HIIM domains, but relevant to the credential holder’s professional position.
Listed below are activities that qualify for the 20 percent of CEUs not related to HIIM domains.
Detailed information concerning continuing education activities can be found in AHIMA’s Recertification Guide.
CEUs can be earned by attending an AHIMA event, completing an AHIMA online education program, completing an AHIMA journal quiz, completing an e-assessment, as well as through other accepted AHIMA activities. By earning CEUs through AHIMA-approved programs, credentialed professionals can have confidence in the integrity of the content and know in advance the confirmed number of CEUs. In addition, CEUs are more easily submitted when they are earned through an AHIMA-approved program.
Find AHIMA Prior Approved Education Programs – Log into your MyAHIMA account, go to Education and Certification, and click on Search Prior Approvals. Use Advanced Search to find programs according to format, topic, location, date, number of CEUs, and company name.
Calculation of CEUs is based upon clock hours. 0.5 CEUs are given for every thirty (30) minutes of attendance or participation that is fixed in length. A session lasting 30-44 minutes will be accepted for 0.5 CEU credits; a session lasting less than 30 minutes will not be accepted for CEU credit. CEU credit should be calculated according to the following method:
0-29 minutes (0-0.49 hrs)
30 - 44 minutes (0.50-0.74 hrs)
45 - 89 minutes (0.75-1.49 hrs)
90 - 104 minutes (1.50-1.74 hrs)
105 – 149 minutes (1.75-2.49 hrs)
150 – 164 minutes (2.50-2.74 hrs)
165 – 209 minutes (2.75-3.49 hrs)
210 – 224 minutes (3.50-3.74 hrs)
225 – 269 minutes (3.75-4.49 hrs)
The initial recertification cycle for newly credentialed individuals (individuals who have earned their first credential) is the 2-year period beginning on the day the exam was passed. Even if the individual has completed an HIIM program in addition to passing the certification exam, the initial recertification cycle begins on the day the exam is passed. (See below to learn how to determine the recertification cycle if you have earned more than one credential.)
A credential is awarded when a candidate:
There is a 3-month Grace Period that begins at the end of the Recertification Cycle, during which individuals may complete their recertification requirements to avoid being assigned Inactive Status. (See Recertification Status Categories for more information.)
Exam Pass Date:
Transcript Approval Date
Recertification Cycle is:
*certification not officially granted until transcript is received
The recertification cycle for subsequently obtained credential(s) begins with the start of the next cycle date for the initial credential earned. The subsequent credential will remain in a sync cycle with no recertification requirements (except annual self reviews for coding credentials) until the start date of the next full recertification cycle.
If existing credential is:
Current cycle is:
The new cycle for both credentials is:
CCS on 6/8/2018
Effective January 1, 2019, AHIMA will no longer be mailing recertification stickers. To obtain an updated certificate please log into your CEU center in MyAhima.
This ten-minute video reviews the AHIMA CEU Center in depth, explaining how to navigate the CEU Center and track your CEU recertification requirements for each cycle. It also provides a refresher on current CEU recertification policies for AHIMA credential holders.
If You Have A(n)…
You Must Earn…
RHIA, CHPS, CHDA, CDIP
CCA, CCS, CCS-P
20 CEUs, including two mandatory
annual coding self-reviews*
*Each mandatory annual coding self-review is worth five (5) CEUs toward the total CEU requirement of a coding credential.
If you have more than one AHIMA credential, you must earn ten (10) additional CEUs per credential during your two-year recertification cycle, up to a maximum of (50) CEUs. These CEUs may not be duplicated or used for more than one credential.
If You Have A(n)…
You Must Earn…
CCS and CCS-P
CHPS with RHIT
RHIA with CHDA
RHIA with CDIP
RHIA with CCS and CCS-P
CHDA with CCS, CHPS, and CDIP
RHIA with CCS, CCS-P, CHDA, and CDIP
All credential-related activity should be completed by logging into your CEU Center. Paper CEU Forms, Self-Review Answer Forms, and Reinstatement Forms will no longer be accepted by mail, e-mail, or fax.
Effective January 1, 2019 AHIMA will no longer be mailing recertification stickers. To obtain an updated certificate please log into your CEU center.
You can enter your CEUs throughout your recertification cycle by logging into your MyAHIMA account and visiting your “CEU Center” located under the “Education and Certification” section.
There is no need to report CEUs at the end of your cycle! On the last day of your two-year recertification cycle, your account will automatically be reviewed and will roll over to your next two-year recertification cycle if all recertification requirements have been met. For more information, please download the Recertification Guide.
CEUs can be entered throughout your two-year recertification cycle and must be entered no later than three (3) months past your cycle end date to avoid penalty.
Individuals whose credentials have been revoked can apply for reinstatement. Individuals must meet reinstatement requirements detailed on the Application to Reinstate to reactivate a credential to Active status.
The CCHIIM provides two ways to reinstate a credential (up to one year following the end of the CE cycle):
Option A: Reactivate by Continuing Education
Option B: Reactivate by Exam
After one year following the end of the CE cycle, the only way to be reinstated and returned to active status is to retake the applicable certification exam.
An individual whose credential is reinstated will be officially notified by the CCHIIM that recertification requirements have been met. Upon official notification, the individual’s credential will again have Active status and their subsequent two-year recertification cycle will begin.
Each year a percentage of recertification report forms are randomly selected for audit. Individuals selected for audits will be notified in writing and required to submit verifiable documentation (for example, certificates of attendance or similar materials) for each activity listed on the CEU Report Form by the due date specified on the audit notification material.
Verifiable documentation can include certificates of attendance, program materials, or other information provided by the program sponsor that verify program date, length, and subject matter (that is, agenda, program outline, handout, meeting summary, or meeting transcript). It is therefore recommended that participants in CEU programs retain records and program documents in their files for at least one year following their recertification cycle end date.
Individuals who fail to respond to an audit request by the specified due date or are found to have submitted false information on their recertification form may be denied recertification.
CCHIIM may for good cause waive or reduce the CEU requirement. Credential holders may request a temporary waiver by submitting a written request to the CCHIIM for consideration.
—CCHIIM may temporarily waive recertification requirements due to extenuating circumstances or hardships (for example, financial hardship, illness, unforeseen circumstances, and natural catastrophes). Temporary waiver requests must be done in writing. Requests must include documentation showing why the recertification requirements could not be met. Examples of documentation can be an unemployment letter, obituary or death certificate, or medical records. Requests and documentation must be submitted to Certification@ahima.org. Please be advised, all requests can take up to 30 days to be processed. You will be notified via e-mail with a decision.
CCHIIM may grant an Extension of time to complete the number of CEUs required for a CE cycle. An extension of time shall not relieve the applicant of the responsibility for completing of the CEU requirements for the CE cycle in which the extension period falls.
Individuals whose credential has been revoked or whose application for reinstatement has been denied may appeal to the CCHIIM. For more information, see Appealing Revoked Credentials under the Contact Certifications tab.
Credential holders who are AHIMA members pay their recertification fees during their annual membership renewal (this includes the mandatory annual coding self-review fee for coding credentials).
Please note that if a credential holder does not pay membership dues for both years of the two-year recertification cycle, they are required to pay the non-member recertification fee.
Pay the appropriate late fee based on your membership status:
If you hold one credential, that is, either the CCA, CCS, CCS-P, RHIT, RHIA, CDIP, CHDA, or CHPS, your recertification fee is $218.
If you hold more than one credential, your annual recertification fee is $218, plus $50 for each additional credential. Note that “one credential” means the highest level credential that you hold in either coding or HIM.
Please note that upon completing mastery-level coding credentials or baccalaureate-level (or higher) HIM credentials, it is no longer necessary to earn CEUs and pay recertification fees for the lower level credentials.
Sandra holds the RHIT and the CCS-P credentials. In 2020, she passes the RHIA exam and is awarded the RHIA credential. Sandra does not need to earn CEUs and pay recertification fees for the RHIT credential, as she has earned the mastery level credential that supersedes the RHIT. Sandra must earn CEUs and pay recertification fees to recertify for the CCS-P credential.
Hint: Sandra recently earned the RHIA credential, and she does not have to earn CEUs nor pay a recertification fee for the current 2020 RHIA recertification cycle.
*Please note: CEUs and recertification fees are not required for the new credential during the current recertification cycle.
Credentialed individuals will hold the status of Active, Revoked, Retired, or Voluntary Relinquished, depending on factors listed below.
Active: Active status is based on meeting the recertification requirements within the two (2) year recertification cycle. A three (3) month Grace period is allowed after the two (2) year recertification cycle, during which the individual may complete their requirements and avoid going on Inactive status.
Inactive: Inactive status is based on failure to complete the recertification requirements within the two (2) year recertification cycle and three (3) month Grace Period following the end of the recertification cycle. Inactive status lasts for a three (3) month Inactive Period, after which status moves to Revoked if recertification requirements are not met (see details of Revoked status below).
For coding credential holders, inactive status is based on failure to complete the annual coding self-reviews required within the two (2) year recertification cycle and three (3) month Grace Period following the end of the recertification cycle.
The credential(s) may not be used during the period of inactive status. To reactive a credential to Active status, credential holders must meet original recertification requirements and pay a late fee.
Revoked: Credentials are revoked after failure to complete recertification requirements and report CEUs within the two (2) year recertification cycle, three (3) month Grace Period, and three (3) month Inactive Period.
For coding credential holders, Revoked status is based on failure to complete the annual coding self-reviews required within the two (2) year recertification cycle, three (3) month Grace Period, and three (3) month Inactive Period. Credential holders who do not complete their self reviews by the end of their Inactive Period will have their credential(s) revoked.
Revoked status can also be based on decisions by the CCHIIM Appeals Committee or AHIMA Professional Ethics Committee regarding misconduct.
Individuals may not use their applicable credential(s) once they have been revoked. Individuals must meet reinstatement requirements detailed on the Application to Reinstate to reactivate a credential to Active status.
Retired: Retired status is based on a voluntary request of a fully retired individual who is no longer working in the field of HIIM. The individual may retire and begin work in a field unrelated to HIIM so long as he or she no longer holds any HIIM responsibilities. The individual’s credential must be active and in good standing at the time of the request. In order to re-activate a retired credential, the certification examination must be passed again if one full recertification cycle has passed while in Retired status.
An individual falling under the Retired status must use the term “Retired” following his or her credential in order to differentiate from the Active status credential, e.g. John Smith, RHIA (Retired).
Credential holders who are retired or disabled may continue to maintain recertification requirements and uphold an active credential, if they so choose.
Voluntary Relinquished: This status is based on a voluntary request of an individual who no longer wishes to maintain his or her credential and voluntarily withdraws from the recertification process. The individual’s credential must be active and in good standing at the time of the request. In order to re-activate a voluntarily relinquished credential to Active status, the certification examination must be passed again if one full recertification cycle has passed while in Voluntary Relinquished status.
Individuals may not use the applicable credential(s) once the credential has been voluntarily relinquished.