As the healthcare field continues to grow, the demand for medical administrative assistants (CMAAs) rises with it. Job opportunities in the field are expected to increase by 23% by 2028, which is why so many professionals are seeking a CMAA certification to boost their resumes and advance in their careers.
So if you're considering a career as a medical administrative assistant, this guide will cover all the basics to help you get started.
Medical administrative assistants play a valuable role on any healthcare team, often handling a variety of organizational tasks that help with patient flow. Not only will you provide necessary administrative assistance to professional healthcare workers, but you'll also work directly with patients on a regular basis. Because CMAAs play such an integral role in the smooth functioning of the facilities they serve, they are among the most in-demand professionals in the healthcare industry.
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers a distinguished Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Certification that provides recognition of your skills and an advantage when applying for jobs. To earn your CMAA certification, you must pass the NHA Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) Exam.
Passing the exam signals to employers that you have mastered the following:
Multitasking as it relates to scheduling appointments, processing insurance requests, maintaining records, and corresponding with patients;
Best financial practices for a medical center;
Fundamentals of medical terminology and ethical best practices; and
Basics of working with medical documents and medical billing.
Since it's a specialized field, you'll need to meet some foundational criteria before you can sit for the CMAA exam. To be eligible for certification, applicants must have:
A high school diploma or GED/high school equivalency
Plus ONE of the following:
Completed a medical administrative assistant preparation program within the last five years
One year of supervised work experience in the medical administrative assistant field within the last three years
The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam is a credential that allows professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the administrative role of healthcare organizations. The CMAA exam is administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Communication and Professionalism
Medical Law, Ethics, and Compliance
Billing and Revenue Cycle
Medical Practice Administrative Procedures and Logistics
This measures your grasp of baseline concepts to navigate your regular duties, such as types of healthcare organizations, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology.
Administrators must be excellent communicators and exemplary team players. Therefore, this section covers everything from communication styles and active listening to how to manage difficult patient interactions.
Medical administrators must have a strong understanding of medical laws and appropriate workplace ethics. This domain assesses knowledge around HIPAA, requirements for storing and retaining medical records, and performing duties within a legal scope of practice.
One of the most crucial duties of medical administrative assistants is scheduling appointments, diagnostic tests, and procedures. CMAA candidates must be familiar with types of appointments, telehealth platforms and technology, insurance eligibility, benefits verification, and how to follow protocols for missed or canceled appointments.
CMAAs must thoroughly understand how to collect and manage patient intake information, including demographics, insurance, and more. This domain also assesses knowledge of welcome procedures, identity verification, and referral protocols.
CMAAs must effectively help manage the revenue cycle at their medical facility. Therefore, this section tackles topics like phases of the revenue cycle, the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, and how to prepare documentation for billing.
Finally, the last section assesses knowledge of logistical tasks and duties that a CMAA will be expected to perform at their medical facility. That includes managing filing systems, facility opening and closing procedures, inventory management requirements, and managing medical records.
The CMAA exam can be taken in two formats: at a Pearson VUE testing center or online. To register, applicants must visit the NHA website and create an account. They will then receive instructions on how to select their preferred test format. MedCerts students get to skip the fee (it's included in your tuition)—everyone else must pay the exam fee of $117. After registering, candidates will receive confirmation of registration.
In this role, you'll put your CMAA skills to use by interacting directly with patients and helping to create a positive experience as you help them navigate verification, payment, appointments, and paperwork.
From answering phone calls and confirming appointments to handling billing issues and checking patients in, you'll be in charge of running medical facilities and supporting the team of healthcare professionals.
The face of the clinic, you'll be responsible for greeting patients and helping them navigate the check-in process. You may also handle scheduling, verify insurance coverage, and answer patient inquiries.
If you're looking to fast-track your way into a career as a CMAA, then our 100% online CMAA certification course will help prepare you. Under the MedCerts Certified Medical Administrative Assistant program, successful students receive a National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification.
MedCerts training programs are some of the most competitively priced ways to start a new career.
All exam fees, books, and materials are included in your tuition.
100% of classes are online and accessible to you at any time.
Gain access to personal advisors and become job ready in just 3-6 months.
Yes, a CMAA certification can be worth it if you're looking to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in medical administration. In addition, employers consider certified CMAAs more desirable because it proves your competency in the field.
For students who want to work in the medical field but aren't interested in performing clinical tasks, the CMAA certification is the better choice. In addition, the CMAA certification is a good starting point for someone interested in pursuing a career as a billing and coding specialist or EHR specialist.
Candidates must obtain a score of at least 360 on a scale of 0-500. In other words, you don't have to get every question correct to pass—you just need to demonstrate competency in the content areas.
The NHA CMAA exam is made up of 110 scored questions, as well as 25 unscored pretest items.
If you did not pass the exam, you could attempt the CMAA test three more times after waiting 30 days or more between attempts. You must register and pay for each attempt on the NHA website. After failing three times, you must wait one year before retaking the exam.
The fee for the CMAA exam is $117. However, MedCerts students get to skip this fee as it's already included in their tuition.
Becoming a CMAA proves that you're willing to go above and beyond for your role — a trait employers love. With MedCerts' CMAA certification course, you'll gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed while saving time and money.
You'll also have access to our advisory and career resources, giving you that extra boost of confidence when it comes time for job hunting. So what are you waiting for? Get on track to earn your CMAA today.