Health Information Management

Membership Update: Are you eligible for CCDS certification?

CDI Strategies, July 23, 2015

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The Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) exam hit a pretty big milestone last weekend: on Saturday, the 2,500th person to pass the exam took the test and received their certification. So, how do you become certified? If you’re serious about pursuing certification, here are the requirements that you must meet.

Certification eligibility requirements

Candidates who apply for the examination must cite their concurrent documentation specialist experience on their application. Applications may be audited to verify work history and educational background. Candidates must have at least two years of experience as a documentation specialist. Once a candidate has accumulated the time, it does not expire. All work experience must be met at the time the application is submitted.

Candidates must demonstrate that they meet one of the following requirements:

  • An RHIA®, RHIT®, CCS®, CCS-P®, RN, MD or DO and two (2) years’ experience as a concurrent documentation specialist.
  • An associate’s degree (or equivalent education) in an allied health field and three (3) years of experience as a concurrent documentation specialist. The education component must include completed coursework in medical terminology and anatomy and physiology.
  • Formal education (accredited, college-level course work) in human anatomy and/or physiology, plus medical terminology, and disease processes, and a minimum three (3) years’ experience as a concurrent documentation specialist

Please note: there are no substitutions for these requirements. If you do not demonstrate or meet the requirements as listed in one of these bullet points—including the minimum number of years’ required experience as a concurrent documentation specialist—you are not eligible to take the exam.

For more information about the CCDS exam and general certification requirements, please read the Exam Candidate’s Handbook. We advise all applicants and potential applicants to read this resource thoroughly, as it contains helpful information about the exam content and preparation. We also suggest checking out the information on the Certification page on the ACDIS website. There we’ve provided everything you need to know about the certification, eligibility, how to apply to take the exam, and more.

Recertification requirements

The goal of recertification is to assure continuing competence of each CCDS and maintain the standard of professionalism in clinical documentation improvement. Those applicants who become a CCDS will be eligible for recertification every two years for a $200 fee ($100 for ACDIS members).

Individuals are responsible for knowing when their certification expires, and for submitting the required forms and fees. Additionally, 30 CEUs are required. Recertification does not require a CCDS to retake the certification examination.

Continuing education hours will consist of activities including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Listening to audio conferences/webinars
  • Submitting article summaries
  • Attending annual conferences
  • Taking e-learning courses

For more information or to submit your CEUs for recertification, please visit our recertification page.



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