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What's New at AAMA!



Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry

As of January 1, 2013, only "credentialed medical assistants" (in addition to licensed health professionals) have been permitted to enter medication, radiology, and laboratory orders into theelectronic health record (EHR) and have such entry count toward meeting the meaningful use thresholds under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Working medical assistants who have not graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program are not eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and therefore have had no way of meeting the CMS requirement through the AAMA in the past.

Consequently, as the leaders of the medical assisting profession and the AAMA, the Board of Trustees (BOT) realized it was incumbent on them to provide a way for these non-CAAHEP or ABHES medical assistants to demonstrate knowledge of electronic order entry and meet the CMS requirement.

The BOT concluded that the best way to assist these medical assistants would be by awarding an assessment-based recognition to those who meet certain knowledge and experience requirements and complete five AAMA continuing education courses covering key knowledge elements of electronic order entry.

—Adapted from "Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry: Why the AAMA Created the Program," by AAMA Executive Director and Legal Counsel Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, published in the January/February 2014 issue of CMA Today.

The Assessment-Based Recognition (ABR) in order entry indicates that the holder meets the requirements of the definition of "credentialed medical assistants" under the September 5, 2012, rule of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs (Incentive Programs).

Eligibility and Application Policies

Students or graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accreditation Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are not eligible for the ABR in order entry. Also, those who at any point in time have held the CMA (AAMA) credential (or its predecessor credential, CMA) are not eligible for the ABR in order entry.

The ABR in order entry is granted by the Continuing Education Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) to applicants who meet the following eligibility criteria and submit the required documentation accompanied with the completed application:

Letter of Documentation  |  The following documentation must be attested to on corporate letterhead and signed by the applicant's current supervising licensed health care provider:

Knowledge Areas. Provide a statement of verification of the applicant's knowledge in the following areas:

I hereby attest to the applicant's proficiency in EHR order entry as demonstrated by the applicant's knowledge in the following areas:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Basic laboratory values
  • Critical thinking
  • Electronic health records
  • Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology

Employment Experience. Provide a statement of verification that the applicant has been employed for two of the last three years in a health care facility under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

Provider Credentials  |  Provide documentation of the current credentials and licensure of the attesting health care provider.

Continuing Education  |  The applicant must have successfully completed (including receiving a passing score on the post-tests) the following five, one-hour, online AAMA Continuing Education Unit (CEU) courses:

  1. Clinical Laboratory Testing
  2. Disease Screening
  3. Legal Aspects of Patient Care Documentation
  4. Lost in Translation: Eliminate Medical Errors
  5. Medical Records: A Vital Wave

Go to the AAMA e-Learning Center to register for the courses.

Application and Fee  |  The applicant must include the completed application and payment.

Expiration Policy

A letter indicating that an applicant has been granted the ABR in order entry will be issued to the successful applicant and will expire 24 months from the date awarded by the AAMA. (The requirements for obtaining a new letter after expiration of the original ABR in order entry will be established by July 1, 2014.)

Usage Policy

The ABR in order entry is not a certification and not to be used as a credential. The ABR is an official recognition of the holder's qualifications to enter medication, laboratory, and radiology orders into the EHR under the CMS rule and is based on an assessment of the holder's knowledge and experience. Holders of this ABR in order entry can refer to themselves as having an assessment-based recognition in order entry that meets the CMS definition of "credentialed medical assistant," but are not permitted to use any suffixes or initials after their names in reference to this recognition program.

Apply Now

Apply Online for the Assessment-Based Recognition in order entry program.

Or, download the application and apply by mail.


Welcome New Members

Kara R. Romero

FAQs on Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the ABR in order entry program.

For more details, review the ABR in order entry application.

On November 12, 2013, the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) directed the AAMA Continuing Education Board to establish the Assessment-Based Recognition (ABR) program in order entry for electronic health records (EHRs). Individuals who are granted this 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 (Incentive Programs). The following are questions and answers about this assessment-based recognition program.



Here is some exciting information to share with CSMA


ü The AAMA website has new tutorials available to assist in navigating the site. The link can be found in the upper right hand corner of the home page. The direct link is


ü Recertify Online with AAMA CEUs  |  If all of your CEUs appear on your AAMA CEU Transcript and it is within 30 days prior to your certification expiration dateApply Online.


ü Recertify by Phone with AAMA CEUs  |  If all of your CEUs appear on your AAMA CEU Transcript, you do not need to fill out the application:

     Call the AAMA Continuing Education Department at 800/228-2262. Have      your credit card handy. (Recertification status will not be determined at   the time of your call. As with mail-in applications, processing may take up           to 30 days.)


ü The quickest way to join or renew your membership with AAMA is online at


ü While our two main fax numbers (312/899-1259 and 312/899-8391) still are in operation, we now also have some direct fax numbers to expedite some of the items you are sending.

o   Program Approvals – 312/635-3363

o   Attendance Forms – 312/635-3364


ü Rosters and labels can be requested from the website under the volunteer button drop-down menu. Marketing materials can be ordered through the website store. Both can be accessed 24/7, when it’s convenient for you.


ü How members are placed into chapters. Zip codes for chapters are provided to the national office by the state society president.  Staff does not place members into chapters. The computer system automatically places members according to the zips provided by the state president. We suggest that state societies audit their zip codes periodically. If you would like to request a listing of the zip codes for your state the state president can email us a request. Our team will make the changes you provide to us. If a member does not have a chapter near enough for a zip code assignment, they will be members-at-large within the state. Members can always call the national office and ask to be assigned to another chapter. The chapter reassignment will be locked in until another change is indicated by the member.