RHIAs are a critical link between care providers, payers, and patients. The RHIA has a comprehensive knowledge of medical, administrative, ethical, and legal requirements and standards related to healthcare delivery and privacy of protected patient information.
RHIAs work in multiple settings in the healthcare industry, including hospitals, multispecialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. They can also work in non-patient care settings such as managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies.
Eligibility Requirements: Before applying to take the RHIA exam, you must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
¹ Students interested in obtaining a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Certificate of Completion, or Transfer of Credits information must contact the CAHIIM-accredited program in which they wish to enroll regarding their institutional policies. Please visit the CAHIIM program directory for a list of CAHIIM-accredited programs.
² AHIMA and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA); Korean Medical Record Association (KMRA); and Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) shall permit a graduate of a program in HIM at the baccalaureate degree level to apply to write the appropriate certification examination consistent with the academic level achieved and given independently by the aforementioned associations. The graduate must meet the educational competencies for certification as a technician or administrator established by the association to which the application is made.
³ Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) who meet the following eligibility requirements will be eligible to sit for the RHIA examination during the timeframe of July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021:
4 Candidates with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university AND a certificate of the degree from a CAHIIM-accredited HIM program are eligible to sit for the RHIA exam. Graduates of programs that have closed or are no longer accredited, but were accredited at the time the person graduated and received their certificate of the degree, are also eligible to sit for the RHIA exam.
Students in CAHIIM-accredited HIM academic programs may be eligible to apply for and take the RHIA or RHIT certification exam early. Students who meet the following requirements are eligible for early testing:
To apply to take the exam early, purchase the exam through the AHIMA Store. Complete the online exam application, select the early testing options and upload the completed application for early testing. Please be sure to only submit your exam application with the completed application for early testing, otherwise your application will not be approved.
Candidates who apply for early testing and successfully pass their exam will have their credential granted once official transcripts that include the graduation date are received and verified. Recertification requirements are the same as for others who pass the exam. The exam date will serve as the official date the credential is granted.
Certified Professionals and Pass Rates
As of 12/31/19, there were 16,562 certified RHIA professionals.
|Year||Exam||# First-Time Testers||Pass Rate First-Time Testers|
*U.S. and Canada results only
The RHIA is a timed exam. Candidates have four hours to complete the exam. The total number of questions on the exam range between 170 and 200 total items. The exam is given in a computer-based format.
AHIMA exams contain a variety of questions or item types that require you to use your knowledge, skills, or experience to select the best answer. Each exam includes scored questions and pre-test questions randomly distributed throughout the exam. Pre-test questions are not counted in the final results.
The passing score for the RHIA is 300.
Competencies for RHIAs fall into five domains. Each domain accounts for a specific percentage of the total questions on the certification exam. See the Exam Content Outline below for greater detail.
2021 Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Exam Content Outline (Effective 3/1/21)
See below for 2021 Exam Content Outline.