Dear AAMA community: 

The AAMA headquarters continues to be temporarily closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and has limited staff available. This is an unknown situation, so we will notify you as soon as we have returned to the office.

In the Atlantic March 10th piece, “Cancel Everything,” on the importance of social distancing during this pandemic, Yascha Mounk writes, “Anyone in a position of power or authority, instead of downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus, should ask people to stay away from public places, cancel big gatherings, and restrict most forms of nonessential travel.” 

So, what now? Please review the answers to anticipated key questions below:

Can I mail things in to the AAMA still? Yes, but expect delays.

​With the shelter-in-place order for Chicago beginning March 21, 2020, AAMA staff will have limited access to the AAMA's mail. So expect delays. For faster turnarounds, choose an online submission method instead:
  • CMA Today CEU tests: Take the test online in the e-Learning Center; your transcript will be updated automatically.
  • CMA (AAMA) recertification by continuing education applications: Submit your application and documentation electronically via the Apply to Recertify by CE webpage. See below for details on the extension given to all those with CMA (AAMA) credentials originally set to expire on March 31, 2020, April 30, 2020, and May 31, 2020.
  • CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam applications: Submit your application electronically via the Apply for the Exam webpage.

Otherwise, fax or email the appropriate AAMA department (see the Contact webpage for details). For completed self-study tests, fax 312/899-1259 or email copycenter@aama-ntl.org instead of mailing ​the tests (for faster delivery).

Expiring Certifications Extended to August 31, 2020. In light of the AAMA office and Prometric test centers closing due to COVID-19, those with certifications that were updated to expire on June 30, 2020 and those with certifications expiring July 31, 2020, will be extended to August 31, 2020. The AAMA will be contacting those with certifications expiring in the above time frames with updated certification information. You do not need to do anything further.

Candidates for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Can Test as Early as May 1, 2020. As medical assistants are vital during these challenging times, the AAMA has been deemed an organization that offers an essential services program by Prometric. As such, testing will be available in certain states after May 1, 2020, for CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam candidates.

Note: Prometric must cancel some exam appointments to implement the required social distancing measures. Impacted candidates will be contacted by the AAMA and/or Prometric and can reschedule following the procedures below.

  • For those with existing exam appointments: Prometric will be taking every precaution for the safety of testing candidates by thoroughly cleaning the test centers and enabling every other seat for testing in order to provide the recommended social distance between test takers. Review Prometric’s North America Center Resumption—Social Distancing Testing Procedures. Face masks will be required in order to test at the test centers.
  • For those who prefer to reschedule their exam: Reschedule by following the procedure below an unlimited number of times until the end date of your eligibility window. Reschedule at least one week prior to the rescheduled exam date to avoid any fees. Note that fees only apply to changing a rescheduled exam appointment and do not apply to any appointment canceled by Prometric.

To reschedule an existing CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam appointment that is taking place after May 1, 2020, go to the Prometric website and click on Reschedule/Cancel. Provide the confirmation/tracking number that Prometric emailed to you after you scheduled your initial appointment.

Eligibilities Temporarily Extended an Additional Six Months. Due to the pandemic, the AAMA will be temporarily extending exam eligibilities an additional six months to allow ample time for candidates to sit for their CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam. This addition will be temporary only and will no longer be applied after a certain point.

Need to Recertify by Continuing Education Before 90 Days Go By? The 90-day credential expiration policy has been extended to August 31, 2020, for those with expired credentials who are no longer able to recertify by continuing education after March 31, 2020. Thus, if your credential previously expired and you had until March 31, 2020, to recertify by continuing education, you now have until August 31, 2020, to recertify by continuing education.

The Certifying Board will continue to monitor and evaluate these policies. We have only limited staff available to meet the high demand of certifying and recertifying CMAs (AAMA), so your patience is most appreciated.

Need CEUs? Continue to earn your CEUs online through the e-Learning Center! Your transcript will be updated instantly. Note: Limited products are available in the AAMA Store for sale but shipping services ​will be delayed (to an unpredictable degree) once Chicago's shelter-in-place order goes into effect March 21, 2020.

AAMA State Conference Coming Up? Check back with the State Society Conferences webpage for information on which conferences are canceled or postponed. We will post info as soon as we have it. If nothing is said about your conference, email your state president for more information.

Have More Questions? Email us! A full list of department email addresses is on the Contact webpage. Note: We will not be answering the phones during this headquarters closure.

Thank you for your patience during this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and post updates to the AAMA website as they become as available. Please refer to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for information on COVID-19.

Donald Balasa, JD, MBA

AAMA CEO and Legal Counsel

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Under the laws of most states medical assistants are permitted to work as “unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP)” in inpatient settings. 

Also, medical assistants are considered “clinical staff” for certain purposes under various regulations of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Therefore, in certain situations licensed providers are permitted to delegate to appropriately educated and credentialed medical assistants the verbatim conveying of information authorized by the delegating provider. See the March/April 2020 Public Affairs article and the March/April 2018 Public Affairs article in CMA Today.

Direct questions to CEO and Legal Counsel Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, at dbalasa@aama-ntl.org.

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Read this important update from Prometric: https://www.prometric.com/corona-virus-updateAll U.S. test centers for essential services programs resumed in a limited capacity on May 1, 2020. The AAMA is considered an organization that offers an essential services program. Test centers in North America will be operating under strict social distancing guidelines. For a full list of these procedures, see Prometric’s North America Center Resumption—Social Distancing Testing Procedures. Any candidates impacted by the closures and social distancing measures will be contacted by Prometric and/or the AAMA.

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