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Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry (ABR-OE)

As of January 1, 2013, only "credentialed medical assistants" (in addition to licensed health professionals) have been permitted to enter medication, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging orders into the electronic health record (EHR) and have such entry count toward meeting the meaningful use thresholds under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Working medical assistants who have not graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program are not eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and therefore have had no way of meeting the CMS requirement through the AAMA in the past.

Consequently, as the leaders of the medical assisting profession and the AAMA, the Board of Trustees (BOT) realized it was incumbent on them to provide a way for these non-CAAHEP or ABHES medical assistants to demonstrate knowledge of electronic order entry and meet the CMS requirement.

The BOT concluded that the best way to assist these medical assistants would be by awarding an assessment-based recognition to those who meet certain knowledge and experience requirements and complete five AAMA continuing education courses covering key knowledge elements of electronic order entry.

—Adapted from "Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry: Why the AAMA Created the Program," by AAMA Chief Executive Officer and Legal Counsel Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, published in the January/February 2014 issue of CMA Today.


The Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry (ABR-OE) indicates that the holder meets the requirements of the definition of "credentialed medical assistants" under the September 5, 2012, rule of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (Incentive Programs).

Eligibility and Application Policies

Those who are students in a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program or meet the eligibility requirements for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination are not eligible to participate in the ABR-OE program. Also, those who at any point in time have held the CMA (AAMA) credential (or its predecessor credential, CMA) are not eligible for the ABR-OE.

The ABR-OE is granted by the Continuing Education Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) to applicants who meet the following eligibility criteria and submit the required documentation with the completed application:

Letter of Documentation  |  Renewing applicants need not include this documentation (see Renewal Policies below). For initial applicants, the following documentation must be attested to on corporate letterhead and signed by the applicant's current licensed health care supervisor:

Knowledge Areas. Provide a statement of verification of the applicant's knowledge in the following areas:

I hereby attest to the applicant's proficiency in EHR order entry as demonstrated by the applicant's knowledge in the following areas:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Basic laboratory values
  • Critical thinking
  • Electronic health records
  • Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology

Employment Experience. Provide a statement of verification that the applicant has been employed for a minimum of 24 months during the last 36 months in a health care facility under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

Supervisor Credentials  |  Renewing applicants need not include this documentation (see Renewal Policies below). For initial applicants, provide a copy of the license of the attesting health care supervisor.

Continuing Education  |  An applicant must successfully complete (including receiving a passing score on the post-tests) the AAMA continuing education unit (CEU) courses listed under "Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry Qualifying Courses" in the e-Learning Center.

Go to the AAMA e-Learning Center to register for the courses.

Application and Fee  |  The new or renewing applicant must submit the completed application and a $25 application fee. Renewing ABR-OE holders who let their recognition lapse will be required to pay an additional $50 late fee to renew.

Expiration Policy

A letter indicating that an applicant has been granted the ABR-OE will be issued to the successful new or renewing applicant and will expire 24 months from the date awarded by the AAMA.

Verify ABR-OE status.

Usage Policy

The ABR-OE is an official recognition of the holder's qualifications to enter medication, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging orders into the EHR under the CMS rule and is based on an assessment of the holder's knowledge and experience. Holders of this ABR-OE can refer to themselves as having an assessment-based recognition in order entry that meets the CMS definition of "credentialed medical assistant," but are not permitted to use any suffixes or initials after their names in reference to this recognition program.

Renewal Policies

The following policies apply to all renewals:

  • Renewing ABR-OE holders are required to pay a $25 application fee by their renewal date. If their recognition has lapsed, an additional $50 late fee will be assessed.
  • Renewing ABR-OE holders will not be required to submit a verification letter from their employers.
  • The date of the renewal is 24 months from the date of the initial recognition or the most recent renewal. If the ABR-OE holder chooses to renew early, the next renewal date will be 24 months from that early date. Renewing ABR-OE holders may renew up to 90 days prior to their expiration date.
  • Renewing ABR-OE holders must pass the five current Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry Qualifying Courses and then complete the application and submit the $25 fee.
  • No refunds will be allowed for new applications and renewals.

Apply or Renew Now

Apply or Renew for the Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry program.