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Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®)

RHIA icon

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. 


  • Manage people and operational units, participate in administrative committees, and prepare budgets. 
  • Interact with all levels of an organization—clinical, financial, administrative, and information systems—that employ patient data in decision-making and everyday operations. 
  • Manage patient health information and medical records, administer computer information systems, collect and analyze patient data, and use classification systems and medical terminologies. 

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Apply for the Exam

Apply to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam.  

Eligibility for Early Testing

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:

  • Students currently enrolled and in their last term of study
  • Students who have completed their course work but have not yet graduated
  • Graduates that are currently waiting for their official transcripts

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. 

About the RHIA Exam

Certified Professionals and Pass Rates

As of 12/31/2022, there were 14,770 certified RHIA professionals.

Year Exam # First-Time Testers Pass Rate First-Time Testers
2022* RHIA 918 58%
2021* RHIA 1,103 59%
2020* RHIA 1,044 68%

*U.S. and Canada results only

Exam Specifications

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.


Beginning October 01, 2023, candidates will have 3.5 hours to complete the exam. The total number of questions on the exam will be 150 (130 scored items and 20 pretest items). For more information on this change, view the crosswalk.


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 pretest questions randomly distributed throughout the exam. Pretest 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.


Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®) Previous Exam Content Outline Effective through 09/30/2023

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®) 2023 Exam Content Outline Effective 10/01/2023

In 2022, the American Health Information Management Association® (AHIMA) began a job task analysis for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®) professional certification. The purpose of the current job analysis study was to validate the current tasks that are in the content outline for the RHIA program as well as identify additional tasks that may be required for RHIAs in their current role. The result of the RHIA job task analysis study resulted in an updated Content Outline to ensure the most current state of practice is being tested in the examination. You can look at the new RHIA Content Outline as well as a “RHIA 2023 Content Outline Crosswalk” that shows and highlights the changes between the previous Content Outline and the new one.

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