Press Releases

Below are past press releases announcing important AAMA news.

A list of sample press releases (for use by state societies, local chapters, and individuals) is available for download at the bottom of the page.

AAMA Representatives Elected to CAAHEP BOD
CMA (AAMA) Recertification Policy Change to Take Effect January 1, 2020
Excelsior College Approves CMA (AAMA) Certification for Credit toward Health Sciences Degrees
AAMA Joins Forces with Hundreds of Local and National Organizations to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings Rates across the Country
Medical Assistants Nationwide Honored in October
Medical Assistants Nationwide Gather in Cincinnati, Ohio
AAMA Releases New Assessment-Based Certificate in Geriatrics Program
Medical Assistants Nationwide Gather in Reston, Virginia
Certifying Board of the AAMA Achieves IAS Accreditation
AAMA to Partner with University of Nevada, Reno to Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Medical Assistants Nationwide to Gather in Portland, Oregon
AAMA Announces Creation of ABR-OE Program
Job Profile: Consider a Career as a Medical Assistant
Visiting the Doctor? Valuable Tips to Remember
Downloadable Sample Press Releases


 

AAMA Representatives Elected to CAAHEP BOD

 

CHICAGO, IL (April 2018)— The CEO of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, and former Chair of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) Jennifer Spegal, CMA (AAMA), MT, MEd, were elected to the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) at its annual meeting in Louisville this April. The term is three years.

The CAAHEP BOD, composed of 16 members, is the accrediting body that awards or denies accreditation after review of accreditation recommendations made by the Committees on Accreditation (COAs). It is also the primary governing body that oversees the business of CAAHEP and implements the mission and vision as adopted by the Commission.

The duties of CAAHEP BOD members include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Governing the organization by establishing broad policies and objectives
  • Making informed decisions on the accreditation status of education programs, as recommended by the Committees on Accreditation
  • Ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources
  • Approving annual budgets
  • Accounting to the stakeholders for the organization's performance

“I am looking forward to serving, and my presence on the CAAHEP BOD should be beneficial for the medical assisting profession and medical assisting programs,” states AAMA CEO Balasa.

Spegal is likewise enthusiastic, adding, “As an educator and administrator, I look forward to contributing to CAAHEP, serving the allied health professions, and advancing the mission of outcomes-based accreditation.”

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is a programmatic postsecondary accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and carries out its accrediting activities in cooperation with 23 review Committees on Accreditation. CAAHEP currently accredits more than 2,100 entry level education programs in 30 health science professions.

The Medical Assisting Education Review Board is a CoA of CAAHEP. MAERB is an autonomous unit within the American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment. The AAMA is a sponsoring organization of MAERB. MAERB makes accreditation recommendations for the status of accreditation of medical assisting programs.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

For more information, visit www.aama-ntl.org or call the AAMA directly at 800/228-2262.


 

CMA (AAMA) Recertification Policy Change to Take Effect January 1, 2020

 

CHICAGO, Illinois (April 2018)—The CMA (AAMA) has always set the bar for excellence. Now, to better ensure current competence and knowledge, and thus better protect patients, the Certifying Board of the AAMA has made the following change in policy regarding the time limit for recertifying the CMA (AAMA) credential by continuing education:

Recertification by Continuing Education Time Limit. Effective January 1, 2020, an individual whose credential has been expired for more than 90 days forfeits the right to reactivate the credential by continuing education and must sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination.

Candidates are allowed three attempts to sit for and pass the exam. If the candidate does not pass on the third attempt, the candidate is no longer eligible for the exam or to recertify the CMA (AAMA) credential. Payment of a $50 reactivation fee plus the current exam fee is required.

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA)—or CMA (AAMA)—credential represents a medical assistant who has been credentialed through the Certifying Board (CB) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)—the only medical assisting certifying body that has earned accreditation under ISO International Standard 17024, representing powerful evidence of quality, efficiency, and safety.

Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released. Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification—for both current and potential employees.

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants work predominantly in outpatient health care settings. Employers are seeking and recruiting these allied health professionals because of their uniquely diverse clinical and administrative patient-centered training.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

For more information, visit www.aama-ntl.org or call the AAMA directly at 800/228-2262.


 

Excelsior College Approves CMA (AAMA) Certification for Credit toward Health Sciences Degrees

 

CHICAGO, Illinois (October 2017)—Certified Medical Assistants (AAMA) are versatile professionals whose breadth of knowledge and skills make them well-suited for a number of roles. Advanced degrees can help those medical assistants take on such new roles. To that end, Excelsior College in Albany, New York, has recently approved 26 semester hours for CMA (AAMA) certification toward the following undergraduate and select graduate health sciences degrees offered by the school:

  • AS in health sciences
  • BS in health sciences (all emphases)
  • BS in public health
  • BS in health care management
  • BS in health care management/MBA dual degree track
  • BS in health sciences/MS in health sciences dual degree track

Excelsior College offers distance learning, meaning that these degrees will be available to all CMAs (AAMA) nationwide.

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA)—or CMA (AAMA)—credential represents a medical assistant who has been credentialed through the Certifying Board (CB) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)—the only medical assisting certifying body that has earned accreditation under ISO International Standard 17024, representing powerful evidence of quality, efficiency, and safety.

Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released. Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification—for both current and potential employees.

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants work predominantly in outpatient health care settings. Employers are seeking and recruiting these allied health professionals because of their uniquely diverse clinical and administrative patient-centered training.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

For more information, visit www.aama-ntl.org or www.excelsior.edu., or call the AAMA directly at 800/228-2262.


 

AAMA Joins Forces with Hundreds of Local and National Organizations to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings Rates across the Country

 

CHICAGO, Illinois (October 2017)—Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) has made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (a coalition cofounded by the ACS and CDC).

While colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped in the United States among adults 50 and older, it is nonetheless the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. However, it is also one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Through colorectal cancer screening, physicians can find and remove hidden growths, or polyps, in the colon, before they become cancerous.

The 80% by 2018 initiative is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) campaign in which hundreds of organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem. These organizations are working toward the shared goal of 80 percent of adults ages 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. The initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, nonprofit organizations, and patient advocacy groups, among others. If that 80 percent goal can be reached by 2018, 277,000 cases and 203,000 colorectal cancer deaths would be prevented by 2030.

As a primary point of contact for patients in the health care process, medical assistants are in an influential position to reduce barriers to screening through practice improvements and committed action. Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants work predominantly in outpatient health care settings. Employers are seeking and recruiting these allied health professionals because of their uniquely diverse clinical and administrative patient-centered training.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

For more information on the AAMA, visit www.aama-ntl.org or call the AAMA directly at 800/228-2262. For more information on colorectal cancer screening, visit www.cancer.org/colon.


 

Medical Assistants Nationwide to be Honored in October

 

CHICAGO, Illinois (October 2017)—Thousands of medical assistants across the country are being celebrated between October 16 and 20 in observance of Medical Assistants Recognition Week (MARWeek). Held every year during the third full week in October, MARWeek lauds the contributions of the profession at the heart of health care.

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers materials online to help celebrate the week. A feature article, poster, observance suggestions, the official MARWeek logo, and more are available for download through the AAMA website.

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants work predominantly in outpatient health care settings. Employers are seeking and recruiting these allied health professionals because of their uniquely diverse clinical and administrative patient-centered training.

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA)—or CMA (AAMA)—credential represents a medical assistant who has been credentialed through the Certifying Board (CB) of the AAMA, the only medical assisting certifying body that has earned accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS) Standard 17024, representing powerful evidence of quality, efficiency, and safety.

Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released. Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification—for both current and potential employees.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

For more information, visit www.aama-ntl.org or call the AAMA directly at 800/228-2262.


 

Medical Assistants Nationwide Gather in Cincinnati, Ohio

 

CINCINNATI, Ohio (October 2017)—Medical assistants from across the country will meet Oct. 6–9 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to discuss trends that affect one of the nation’s fastest growing careers. Sessions at the 61st Annual Conference of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) will cover the latest in patient care featuring administrative and clinical topics on audit compliance plans, phlebotomy techniques, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, colorectal screening, cyber security, team care, and more.

The AAMA Annual Conference will be held at Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. Medical assistants who have not registered for the conference may register at the door.

With more than 50 CEUs offered, attendees who are CMAs (AAMA) will have the opportunity to select from a variety of educational offerings and earn up to 22 CEUs that will count toward recertification of their credential.

In addition, AAMA leaders will meet and make decisions that will help guide the future of the association, and exhibitors will display the latest in medical assisting products and services. Throughout the conference opportunities for medical assistants to network and form connections with colleagues will abound.

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants work predominantly in outpatient health care settings. Employers are seeking and recruiting these allied health professionals because of their uniquely diverse clinical and administrative patient-centered training.

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA)—or CMA (AAMA)—credential represents a medical assistant who has been credentialed through the Certifying Board (CB) of the AAMA.

Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released. Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification—for both current and potential employees.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

For more information, visit www.aama-ntl.org or call the AAMA directly at 800/228-2262.


 

AAMA Releases New Assessment-Based Certificate in Geriatrics Program

 

CHICAGO, Illinois (September 2017)—The U.S. population continues to age at a considerable rate. By 2050, the number of adults ages 65 and older projects to be double what it was in 2012, according to An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States, a 2014 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. This change poses significant challenges for health care providers, who must adapt to meet the needs of the changing patient population.

To help providers address these challenges, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) has launched the Assessment-Based Certificate (ABC) in Geriatrics program. This program is meant to expand the health care professional's understanding of certain conditions that manifest themselves in older patients. To earn the certificate, individuals must take and pass assessments on the following four courses plus a final exam:

  • Course 1: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) in Geriatric Patients
  • Course 2: Cardiovascular Diseases: Stroke in Geriatric Patients
  • Course 3: Depression in Geriatric Patients
  • Course 4: Advance Care Planning for Geriatric Patients

While the benefits of this program are applicable to all health care professionals, medical assistants possessing CMA (AAMA) certification will be able to take the courses for a total of 16 continuing education units (CEUs) toward recertifying their credential.

The courses may also be purchased and taken individually, but then may not be used for achieving the ABC in Geriatrics.

More information on the assessment-based certificate program can be found at http://bit.ly/2w1vj4J.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

The CMA (AAMA) credential designates a medical assistant who has achieved certification through the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).


 

Medical Assistants Nationwide Gather in Reston, Virginia

 

RESTON, VIRGINIA (September 2016) — Medical assistants from across the country will meet Sept. 16-19 in Reston, Virginia to discuss trends that affect one of the nation’s fastest growing careers. Sessions at the 60th Annual Conference of the American Association of Medical Assistants will cover the latest in patient care featuring administrative and clinical topics on ovarian cancer, transgender teens, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Medicare audits, and more.

Medical assistants who have not registered for the conference may register at the door.

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medical assistants work predominantly in outpatient health care settings. Employers are seeking and recruiting these allied health professionals because of their uniquely diverse clinical and administrative patient-centered training.

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA)—or CMA (AAMA)—credential represents a medical assistant who has been credentialed through the Certifying Board (CB) of the AAMA.

The CB of the AAMA was awarded accreditation by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) under ISO 17024, the global benchmark for personnel certification bodies, thus ensuring the CMA (AAMA) represents a world-class certification.

The CMA (AAMA) Certification Program remains accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)—an accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Consequently, the CB and its CMA (AAMA) Certification Program are the only medical assisting certifying body and certification program (respectively) that hold accreditation under both IAS and the NCCA.

A rigorous credential, the CMA (AAMA) also is the only certification that requires postsecondary education. Only candidates who graduate from an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. The CMA (AAMA) must recertify every five years. The National Board of Medical Examiners—responsible for many national examinations for physicians—serves as test consultant for the examination. As a result, the reliability and validity of the CMA (AAMA) credential are of the highest order.

Certification status is a matter of public record and may be released. Every day the AAMA responds to more than 100 employer requests for CMA (AAMA) certification verification—for both current and potential employees.

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.


 

The Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants Achieves International Accreditation as a Personnel Certifying Body

 

CHICAGO—April 20, 2016—The Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants, Inc. (AAMA) has received independent recognition that its criteria and processes for earning the CMA (AAMA) credential meet ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2012, the global benchmark for personnel certification bodies, distinguishing it from other medical assisting certifications. The Certifying Board of the AAMA has earned accreditation for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons (AC474) from the International Accreditation Service (IAS).

“This recognition demonstrates AAMA’s commitment to ensuring that medical assistants with the CMA (AAMA) credential meet the highest standards,” says Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel of the AAMA. “It also further ensures the integrity of the CMA (AAMA) credential for medical assistants, their employers and patients.”

 

In order to receive accreditation the Certifying Board had to demonstrate that it operates in full compliance with the exacting requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2012. In so doing, the AAMA has established itself as the most respected and credible personnel certification organization for the medical assisting profession.

 

A rigorous credential, the CMA (AAMA) is the only certification that requires postsecondary education. Only candidates who graduate from an accredited postsecondary medical assisting program are eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. The CMA (AAMA) must recertify every five years. In addition to ensuring the CMA (AAMA) represents a world class certification, IAS accreditation also validates the credential as an internationally recognized certification, enabling CMAs (AAMA) to obtain similar positions outside of the United States.

 

Medical assisting is one of the nation's careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical assistants work in outpatient health care settings and perform both clinical and administrative patient-centered duties. They have knowledge of medical law and regulatory guidelines including HIPAA compliance. Clinical duties vary according to state law and may include taking medical histories, taking and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination and assisting the physician during the examination. The administrative duties may include maintaining medical records, including entering the provider’s orders into the electronic health record, managing insurance processes, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admission and laboratory services, and billing and coding.

The CMA (AAMA) Certification Program is also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a body that reviews and accredits certification programs that meet its Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. The NCCA is an accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), formerly called the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). 

For more information about CMA (AAMA) certification or to verify CMA (AAMA) credentials, visit http://www.aama-ntl.org/. 

About the AAMA

 

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered healthcare.

 

About the CMA (AAMA)

 

The CMA (AAMA) credential is awarded to candidates who pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination. The National Board of Medical Examiners—responsible for many national examinations for physicians—serves as test consultant for the exam. 

The CMA (AAMA) credential must be recertified every 60 months by the continuing education or re-examination method in order to use the CMA (AAMA) credential.

 

The CMA (AAMA) is the only medical assisting certification that requires graduation from a postsecondary medical assisting program accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Only graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.


American Association of Medical Assistants to Partner with University of Nevada, Reno to Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

 

RENO and CHICAGO—September 18, 2015—As part of a coordinated national effort to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Mountain Plains FASD Practice and Implementation Center (Mountain Plains PIC) of the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) will work collaboratively to prepare medical assistants to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancies and intervene with patients who engage in risky or hazardous alcohol use. The AAMA/Mountain Plains PIC partnership is supported by grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities. The term fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is used to define the range of physical, mental, behavioral and/or learning disabilities that can result from prenatal alcohol exposure. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

 

The Mountain Plains PIC works with national medical societies, professional organizations, and other CDC-funded university-based PICs to develop, deliver, disseminate, and evaluate fetal alcohol spectrum disorders training and practice implementation programs for medical professionals. The goal of the Mountain Plains PIC program is to enhance awareness and change practice behaviors of medical assistants with regards to providing alcohol screening and brief interventions to patients to reduce risky and hazardous alcohol use. The AAMA will help the Mountain Plains PIC achieve these goals by contributing to the development and dissemination of training materials and practice resources.

 

Speaking about the decision to partner with the AAMA, Mountain Plains PIC Project Director, Nancy A. Roget, MS, MFT, LADC, said, “The AAMA was chosen as the designated national partner for the Mountain Plains PIC because they are the leading certifying and accrediting body for medical assistants in the United States, with over 82,000 CMAs (AAMA). This innovative partnership will result in better preparation for medical assistants to routinely screen for and intervene with women and men who engage in unhealthy alcohol use.”

 

AAMA Chief Executive Officer and Legal Counsel, Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, says the partnership will demonstrate the important role medical assistants play in advancing the goals of this national health initiative. “CMAs (AAMA) are the key communication links between patients and providers, and are uniquely positioned to motivate patients to avoid or stop dangerous alcohol consumption. The AAMA is fully committed to this initiative, and is honored to partner with Mountains Plains PIC and the CDC to combat fetal alcohol spectrum disorders,” said Balasa.

Funding for the AAMA partnership with the Mountain Plains PIC begins September 30, 2015, and both organizations look forward to an impactful collaboration to reduce fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. for medical and allied health care professionals to impacting health care practice at the systems level and focusing on prevention opportunities.


 

Medical Assistants Nationwide to Gather in Portland, Oregon

 

PORTLAND, OREGON—July 2015—Hundreds of medical assistants and CMAs (AAMA) are scheduled to attend the 59th Annual Conference of the American Association of Medical Assistants held this September 18 to 21 in Portland, Oregon, at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland. Attendees can choose from over 30 continuing education sessions on administrative and clinical topics, including maxillofacial prosthodontics, medical marijuana, the ICD-10 coding set, cataracts and glaucoma, and ethical issues in death and dying.

Medical assistants may pre-register before August 21, 2015 by calling 800/228-2262, or visiting the AAMA website at www.aama-ntl.org. They may also register at the door.

 

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to enable medical assisting professionals to enhance and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professionalism required by employers and patients; protect medical assistants’ right to practice; and promote effective, efficient health care delivery through optimal use of the multiskilled CMA (AAMA).

 

The CMA (AAMA) credential is awarded to candidates who pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination. The National Board of Medical Examiners serves as test consultant for the exam. The CMA (AAMA) credential must be recertified every 60 months by the continuing education or re-examination method in order to use the CMA (AAMA) credential in connection with employment.

 


 

AAMA Announces Creation of Assessment-Based Recognition in Oder Entry Program

 

Program completion qualifies medical assistants to enter orders for the CMS EHR Incentive Programs

 

CHICAGO—On January 1, 2014, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) created an Assessment-Based Recognition (ABR) in order entry program for electronic health records (EHRs). Individuals who are granted the ABR in order entry meet the “credentialed medical assistant” requirement under the September 5, 2012 rule of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Medical assistants who hold a current CMA (AAMA) credential also meet the CMS “credentialed medical assistant” requirement.

 

As leaders of the medical assisting profession, the AAMA Board of Trustees believed it necessary to provide a means of meeting the CMS requirement for working medical assistants who may not be eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination administered by the Certifying Board of the AAMA. The ABR program provides such a pathway, and grants assurance to both patients and providers that EHRs will be handled appropriately.

 

Candidates for the ABR must meet certain knowledge and experience requirements and pass five, one-hour, online AAMA continuing education courses, which have met the strict standards of the AAMA Continuing Education Board.

 

The AAMA continues to emphasize the importance of the CMA (AAMA) credential, writes Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, AAMA Executive Director and Legal Counsel:

 

The AAMA remains firmly committed to proving, advocating for, and defending the fact that the CMA (AAMA) is the premier credential for medical assistants. There has been no change in the AAMA’s position that the CMA (AAMA) remains the superior and unmatched way of demonstrating knowledge of, and competency in, all facets of the medical assisting profession, through meeting these main requirements:

 

  • Graduating from a postsecondary academic medical assisting program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Passing the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination
  • Maintaining currency of the CMA (AAMA) credential by recertifying

 


 

Job Profile: Consider a Career as a Medical Assistant

 

January 2012—The last time you visited a physician’s office, you may have encountered a medical assistant. Perhaps it was the person who scheduled your appointment or who greeted you when you checked in. It could have been the person who escorted you to the exam room to ask routine health questions or to record your vital signs. A medical assistant may have helped you understand an item on your physician’s bill or called in a prescription to your pharmacist.

Those who enter the medical assisting profession enjoy contact with patients, experience a wide variety of responsibilities, and thrive in the fast-paced environment of a medical practice or clinic. Medical assistants also benefit from job security due to a growing and aging population. They perform a wide array of clinical and administrative duties with physicians of all specialties, including family practitioners, pediatricians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and optometrists, among others. Most medical assistants work a regular 40-hour work week—some work part time, evenings, or weekends.

 

Responsibilities vary depending on office location, size, and specialty. In small practices, medical assistants usually perform both clinical and administrative functions, reporting to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. In larger health care settings, medical assistants may specialize in one specific area, such as billing (administrative only) or clinical procedures (which may vary by state law).

 

Medical assistants answer telephones; greet patients; update and file patient medical records; fill out insurance forms; schedule appointments; arrange for hospital admissions and laboratory services; and handle correspondence, transcribing, and bookkeeping. They may take medical histories, explain treatment procedures to patients, prepare patients for examination, and assist the physician throughout the exam. Medical assistants also collect and prepare laboratory specimens or perform basic laboratory tests. They instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, draw blood, prepare patients for X-rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings.

 

Most employers prefer to hire graduates of formal programs in medical assisting. Such programs are offered in postsecondary vocational schools, community and junior colleges, and in colleges and universities. Postsecondary programs usually last either one year, resulting in a certificate or diploma, or two years, resulting in an associate degree. Courses cover anatomy, physiology, and medical technology, as well as computer applications, transcription, record keeping, accounting, and insurance processing. Students learn laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmaceutical principles, medication administration, and first aid. In addition, medical assisting students study office practices, patient relations, and medical law and ethics.

Earning the CMA (AAMA) credential is one way a medical assistant can demonstrate knowledge in the field and commitment to professionalism. Those who graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to sit for the national CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Like other professional designations, the CMA (AAMA) is evidence of competence in a demanding field.

Quick Facts

 

According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, by embarking on a career as a medical assistant, you will be:

 

  • In demand: Medical assisting is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. Each year, more than 7,000 candidates earn the CMA (AAMA) credential.
  • Paid competitively: Medical assistants earn $20,810–$40,190 per year depending on location and experience, based on a 2010 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for medical assistants is $28,860 with some medical assistants earning up to $19.32 per hour.
  • Helping others: Medical assistants work side by side with physicians and other skilled practitioners making a difference in the lives of the patients they serve.

 


 

Visiting the Doctor? Valuable Tips to Remember

 

July 2010—Today, thousands of doctors and members of the medical community nationwide rely on the CMA (AAMA) to enhance the patient’s office visit. If you’ve recently been to the doctor’s office, you certainly encountered a medical assistant—taking your vital signs and patient history, drawing blood and administering medications, listening to your concerns, or scheduling your next appointment. The CMA (AAMA) represents a medical assistant who has been certified by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

The AAMA has compiled the following tips from CMAs (AAMA) across the nation to help patients have a positive experience during their next doctor’s visit:

  1. Before your appointment, write down a list of questions or concerns you want to share with the physician. Put the most important ones first to make sure they get addressed up front.
  2. Always remember to bring along any medications you are currently taking (or a list of medicines with dosages and strengths) including dietary supplements, vitamins, or herbal treatments. Speak up if you are having any complications.
  3. Bring your personal calendar with you to make it easy when scheduling your follow-up appointment.
  4. Provide the most up-to-date copy of your insurance card to the office so you minimize billing questions or issues.
  5. When the medical assistant records your recent medical history and vital signs, make sure to speak up if you’ve had any changes in symptoms or health history that the doctor should know about.
  6. If you’re having blood drawn, ask the medical assistant or health professional when you can expect a call with your lab results.
  7. If you have questions about a physician’s orders, a medical assistant can assist by explaining them to you.
  8. Call your physician’s office back if your symptoms get worse or if you have problems with any prescribed medication.

Medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the growing number of physicians’ offices and outpatient care facilities. Medical assistants often work side by side with physicians and other skilled practitioners, making a difference in the lives of patients they serve. All CMAs (AAMA) have passed a national certification exam and share a common commitment of providing a caring patient experience.


 

Sample Press Releases

 

These press releases serve as examples to use when creating an announcement. Tailor the samples to suit your needs and distribute at will (e.g., through social media, to state and local newspapers or an online newswire service, and employers and colleagues).

 

Award Recipient

Event Organization

Excel Awards Recipient

Job Announcement

Meeting/Workshop Announcement

Medical Assistants Recognition Week