Backlash Against the AHIMA 40% Requirement: Reversal Sparks Relief

AHIMA State Affiliations and Members Opposed

Since the announcement in fall 2023, state AHIMA affiliations and their members have been opposed to the CCHIM requirement stating that 40% of CEUs must come directly from AHIMA. When announced, the change was set to take effect on January 1, 2024. Negative feedback prompted AHIMA to postpone the requirement to take effect on January 1, 2025. The justification for the extension was explained by AHIMA in a LinkedIn post stating the organization is “aimed at providing you with ample time to understand and plan for the upcoming changes, ensuring a smoother transition.”  Still, many state organizations strongly opposed this change, fearing it would significantly impact their members and the fiscal sustainability of all Component Associations (CAs).  

NDHIMA and OHIMA are just two of the several CAs that initiated petitions to halt this new rule. Lori Kudrna-Blees, the president of NDHIMA, voiced her concerns on the organization’s website, stating, “Many members believe that this requirement may limit their ability to explore a diverse range of educational opportunities and may place an undue financial burden on them.” Many medical coders struggle to afford the cost and upkeep of their certifications, often paying out of pocket for these expenses. Numerous users on the “r/MedicalCoding” Reddit community even considered letting their credentials expire due to this new regulation. Staying up to date in this ever-changing industry is crucial for skill enhancement and ongoing education. 

Fortunately, in response to widespread backlash and concerns from members of the health information community, AHIMA retracted their statement on April 22nd. Read below to see the full message from AHIMA: 

Update on Recertification Requirements and Policy Changes 

We want to provide you with an update on the recent changes to the recertification requirements for AHIMA certifications. After a thorough review and discussion among the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM), the AHIMA board of directors, and AHIMA leadership along with your feedback, additional information, and other industry factors, CCHIIM made the decision to adjust certification requirements.   
Beginning January 1, 2025, 40% of the CEUs needed in a 2-year recertification period must come from AHIMA and/or the Component Associations (CAs). As an AHIMA member, you will still receive complimentary CEUs annually as part of your membership benefits designed to support your credential maintenance while reducing out-of-pocket expense; these CEUs count towards fulfilling the 40% requirement. 

Moreover, you still have the flexibility to earn an additional 60% of CEUs from Approved Continuing Education Program®(ACEP) providers, or alternative sources. The ACEP program offers third-party providers the opportunity to award AHIMA credit hours for their continuing education products. This will allow you to explore a broader range of learning opportunities and enhance your professional development. To add value and flexibility, up to 20% of any additional CEUs earned from AHIMA, CAs, or ACEP providers in the last three months of a recertification cycle can be carried over to the next one.   
The updated recertification policy aims to enhance the relevancy, authority, and validity of AHIMA certifications, demonstrating a strong commitment to competency for Health Information (HI) professionals. It ensures ongoing competence among certified professionals and provides employers with confidence in the rigor and quality of AHIMA certifications.  
As a reminder, AHIMA offers numerous ways for you to earn the required CEUs, including newly improved complimentary CEUs for Professional and Professional Premier members, and an annual quarterly member-exclusive webinar series.   
The new CEU options implemented in January 2024 enable you to excel further, providing increased value, flexibility, and professional growth opportunities in your certification journey. They include: 

  • Earning additional AHIMA certifications 
  • Earning an AHIMA Microcredential 
  • Being an author in a research journal or educational article in a professional or trade journal 
  • Serving as an AHIMA/CA volunteer 
  • Serving as an AHIMA volunteer in an industry-relevant, non-AHIMA professional or trade association  

These resources facilitate compliance with recertification requirements for HI professionals like yourself, ensuring up-to-date knowledge in the field without having to spend a substantial amount of money, if any.  
We are dedicated to supporting you throughout the recertification process, ensuring a seamless transition to the new requirements. You can find more information on our recertification page.   
Warm regards,  
Mona Calhoun, AHIMA Board President and Chair  
Linda Williams, CCHIIM Chair 

In conclusion

State affiliations are thankful for being included in this change, but are you satisfied with the update? Let us know in the comments below.  

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