You don't always need a master's program to break into health IT. These non-degree programs offer viable options for many job seekers.
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American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA) Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management oversees eight distinct certification programs, including one for the new Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP) credential. This program is intended to help healthcare organizations achieve the goals of Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor audits, the Meaningful Use EHR incentive program, and other healthcare quality-improvement initiatives.
Other AHIMA professional certifications include:
-- Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) for executive-level health information specialists.
-- Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), suitable for all levels of healthcare organizations.
-- Certified Coding Associate (CCA) and Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) for coding professionals. Another credential, Certified Coding Specialist--Physician-based (CCS-P), recognizes those proficient in outpatient clinics, group practices, and other physician-centric settings.
-- Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA), which signifies expertise and experience in data analysis.
-- Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS), recognizing competence in designing, implementing, and administering privacy and security programs.
All except RHIT, CCS, and CCS-P require at least an associate's degree and relevant professional experience.