The Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) is a critical link between care providers, payers, and patients. The RHIA:
RHIAs serve in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry, including hospitals, multispecialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The profession also has expanded into non-patient care settings such as managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies.
Before applying to take the RHIA exam, you must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
Please Note: Specific documentation must be submitted when applying to take the RHIA Exam. The type of documentation that must be submitted varies according to how the applicant has met the above requirements for eligibility. See details about supporting documentation you will need to provide to AHIMA. The academic qualifications of each candidate will be verified before a candidate is deemed eligible to take the examination.
CAHIIM Accredited Programs
All currently CAHIIM-accredited programs can be found on the CAHIIM Program Directory page, including currently approved Certificate of the Degree4 programs. Check the appropriate box to find the type of program you seek.
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 webstore. 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.
CCHIIM has approved a Master’s degree eligibility pathway for CAHIIM-accredited HIM Master’s level programs utilizing the 2014 curriculum and the minimum core competencies which have been outlined by AHIMA. See a list of currently approved Master's programs.
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:
• Have at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or nationally recognized accreditor; and
• Have received their RHIT credential on or before December 31, 2018; and
• Have complied with the Standards for Maintenance of the RHIT credential.
Earlier this year AHIMA began taking steps to better protect your data and improve the security and privacy of customer information. As part of this effort, effective November 1st we will no longer accept paper exam applications. In addition, after December 1 we will no longer accept paper checks.
We will be transitioning to an ACH system at the beginning of 2020, which will allow you to pay via electronic fund transfer. Until we make this transition, we will only accept credit cards.
You can complete an online application at https://my.ahima.org/certification/getcertified
If you have questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Before submitting an application, carefully review the information contained in the candidate guide. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure eligibility before submitting the application. Applicants who are determined to be ineligible and submit an ineligible application or request withdrawal of their application, will receive a refund of the application fee minus a $75 processing fee.
Applicants may register online.
Please Note: Each eligibility type has varying requirements of documentation that needs to be submitted during the application process. Click here for details on what supporting documentation you will need to provide to AHIMA. The academic qualifications of each candidate will be verified before a candidate is deemed eligible to take the examination.
If this option is available through your school, please contact your school for vendor information. Transcripts must be received directly from the vendor i.e. national student clearinghouse, parchment, etc., and sent electronically to: email@example.com
Candidates submitting official transcripts from a CAHIIM-accredited program, please mail official transcripts (unopened/sealed in a school envelope) separately to:
Attn: Certification Transcripts
233 N. Michigan Ave., 21st Fl.
Chicago, IL 60601
Official Transcript Estimated Processing Time Frame
Premier Member Price: $217.55
Member Price: $229
Non-member price: $299
A candidate’s eligibility period is defined in the Authorization to Test letter (ATT) as a four-month window in which candidates are required to schedule their exam appointment. Candidates who fail to schedule an examination appointment within their eligibility period indicated in their ATT will forfeit their application fee. A complete application and examination fee are required to reapply for the examination.
Candidates arriving at the test center 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment will not be allowed to test and will forfeit the testing fee. A complete application and examination fee are required to reapply for the examination.
Organizations who purchase exams or order exams in bulk, complete the following steps:
BULK ORDER FORM
Organizations who DO NOT purchase Exams
If you do not purchase exams for your students or staff the above instructions do not apply. Students now have the capability to upload their completed Early Testing Form (if applicable) to the early testing section of the application. This form should be uploaded at the time of the application.
**PLEASE NOTE** Submission of official transcripts and certification of completion attestation are not affected by this change, and the normal process should continue.
To fully prepare for the RHIA exam, candidates may find it helpful to become familiar with the following information.
The exam is timed for 4 hours. It consists of 180 multiple-choice questions. Of the 180 questions, 160 are scored and 20 are pretest questions that are not scored. The pretest questions are administered to evaluate the question for possible inclusion as a scored question in future exams. Pretest questions are interspersed throughout the exam and cannot be identified by the candidate. Whether answered correctly or incorrectly, they do not affect the candidate's score.
AHIMA certification examinations are based on an explicit set of competencies. Competencies for the RHIA exam were determined through a job analysis conducted with practitioners.
Competencies for RHIAs fall into five domains. Each domain accounts for a specific percentage of the questions on the certification exam, as shown below. Download the RHIA Exam Content Outline for information about the competencies within each domain. The exam tests candidates only on content pertaining to the competencies shown.
Domain 1 – Data Content, Structure, and Standards
Domain 2 – Information Protection: Access, Disclosure, Archival, Privacy, and Security
Domain 3 – Informatics, Analytics, and Data Use
Domain 4 – Revenue Management
Recommended Resources for Study
Candidate Guide (see pp. 4 and 23-25 for information on the RHIA credential and exam)
RHIA Exam Content Outline (Effective July 1, 2014)
HIM Statistics and Coding Question Examples
Certification Exam Pass Rates
The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) has amended the eligibility criteria to sit for the RHIA certification exam for individuals who hold the RHIT. Individuals who have the RHIT will be eligible for the RHIA exam starting July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2021, if they have received a baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally-accredited institution or nationally-recognized accreditor (official sealed transcripts must be sent to AHIMA for verification); and received their RHIT credential on or before December 31, 2018; and have complied with the Standards for Maintenance of the RHIT credential.
These time-limited criteria are a provision of the HIM Reimagined initiative, which aims to prepare HIM professionals for the jobs of the future. (See HIM Reimagined)
Four hour, 180 four-option, multiple-choice question examination consisting of 160 scored questions and 20 pretest questions.
A candidate's score is based on the number of scored questions on the examination. The pretest questions do not affect a candidate's score.
Pretest questions are included in order to evaluate them for possible use as scored questions on future examinations. The pretest questions are placed throughout the examination and cannot be identified during the examination.
A certification examination is based on an explicit set of competencies. These competencies have been determined through a job analysis study conducted of practitioners. The competencies are divided into domains and tasks as shown in the tables below. Examinations test content only pertaining to the following competencies.
RHIA Exam Content Outline (Effective July 1, 2014)
RHIA Exam Crosswalk
Candidates are provided all of the appropriate information to answer a question on the exam. Therefore, commonly-used hospital statistical formulas are provided if a question requires calculations that go beyond basic rates and percentages.
Note: Additional tools and supportive resources will be added to this page periodically. Be sure to check back often.