Best Healthcare Administration Certifications (2020)

Professional certifications demonstrate the competency of a job candidate in certain skills.

In such a dynamic field as healthcare administration, certifications are especially important.

The foundation of healthcare administration is the combination of technology, business, policy, and medicine.

With the development of each of these sectors, the rules in the field change as well.

With a professional certification in a certain area of healthcare administration, not only can the holders prove they are competent in a particular area but also demonstrate the commitment to professional networking, continuing education, and the best practices recognized by the industry.

Healthcare administration is a rapidly growing and evolving field, so professional certifications are the best way to showcase yourself as an excellent healthcare administrator.

Every certification in healthcare administration is a little different and emphasizes a certain focus.

However, many benefits of each certification overlap.

With this certification, one can build a better resume, increase their earning potential as well as integrate with a wider professional community.

Healthcare Administration Certifications in Compliance & Risk Management

Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)

The HCCA (Health Care Compliance Association) provides the CHC certification through the Compliance Certification Board (CCB).

This certification proves that a professional is dedicated to staying updated and taking a proactive approach to healthcare compliance.

Those who seek further specialization can also check the Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC) and Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC) certifications available through the HCAA.


To become eligible for this designation, applicants should have either a year of full-time work in healthcare compliance or 1,500 hours of job duties in direct compliance within the last two years along with 20 continuing education units (10 should be of live training) in the previous year.


Candidates eligible for the CHC take a 100-question exam that lasts for two hours and covers the following areas:

  • Policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Screening and evaluation of employees, physicians, vendors, and other agents.
  • Compliance program administration.
  • Monitoring, auditing, and internal reporting systems.
  • Discipline for non-compliance.
  • Investigations and remedial measures.
  • Communication, education, and training on compliance issues.

Fees & Renewal:

HCCA members have to pay $275 exam fees while non-members pay $375.

The recertification process requires 40 CEU with 20 of them coming from live training.

Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)

The American Hospital Association (AHA) offers the CPHRM designation, which is the top certification in healthcare risk management.

It is also a requirement for many top jobs in the field.

The certification tests the candidates for competencies in several areas of healthcare risk management.

To get assistance in preparing for the certification, applicants may turn to the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM).


To be eligible for the certification applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, have five years of experience in a healthcare setting, and 3,000 hours of experience in healthcare risk management within the previous three years.


Eligible candidates should pass the CPHRM exam that covers the principal concepts of healthcare risk management, including:

  • Risk financing.
  • Clinical/patient safety.
  • Claims and litigation.
  • Healthcare operations.
  • Legal and regulatory issues.

Fees & Renewal:

AHA members pay $275 and non-members, $425 in exam fees.

The CPHRM holders should renew their certification every three years by completing 45 contact-hours of CEU.

Healthcare Administration Certifications in Finance

Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CFHP)

The CFHP is offered through the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

It is designed for clinical leaders, financial professionals, and others who need a deep understanding of the financial aspects of healthcare for their jobs.

The certification verifies the candidate’s understanding of financial strategy, collaboration, business, and future trends in healthcare finance.

Eligibility & Testing:

To earn the CFHP, candidates should complete two modules.

Module one is a self-paced course, covering the business of healthcare.

Candidates will spend at least 14 to 20 hours to complete it, and 90 minutes to take the final exam.

Module two is an exam on operational excellence that lasts for three hours.

It consists of eight case studies, each of them includes seven questions.

Fees & Renewal:

All fees for the modules are reserved for HFMA members.

The holders of CFHP can maintain their credentials by being an active member of HFMA in good standing as well as completing 60 contact-hours of CEU every three years.

Certified Revenue Cycle Executive (CRCE)

The CRCE certification is offered through the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM).

It’s available for all executive and senior leaders in revenue cycle management.

Earning a CRCE demonstrates the candidate’s mastery of the subject.

According to the AAHAM, the certification is similar to an accountant getting their GPA or a lawyer passing the bar.


Candidates should meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • AAHAM membership.
  • Four years of experience in a healthcare-related area (two of them can be substituted with an associate degree).


Candidates should pass the exam that takes eight hours and covers the following subjects:

  • Billing.
  • Patient access.
  • Revenue cycle management.
  • Credit and collections.

Fees & Renewal:

The fees for the exam sum up to $299, which includes the CRCE study outline.

CRCE holders have to renew their certification every two years by completing 40 hours of CEU, 20 of which should come from events sponsored by AAHAM.

Healthcare Administration Certifications in IT & Informatics

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)

Healthcare administrators who wish to verify their knowledge and skills in informatics can obtain the RHIA certification available through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).


To become eligible for this certification, candidates need a bachelor’s degree or higher in health information management.

The program providing it should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Also, they can be eligible if they hold AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification.


RHIA candidates should pass a 180-question examination lasting for four hours.

The exam covers:

  • Information protection.
  • Data content, structure, and standards.
  • Revenue management.
  • Informatics, analytics, and data use.

Fees & Renewal:

Both members and non-members of AHIMA pay $299 for the exam.

The recertification is needed every two years and is done through the completion of 30 CEU.

Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS)

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is one of the most active and largest professional organizations for health informatics leaders.

Their CPHIMS certification is designed to demonstrate that candidates meet the international standards of professional competency in a variety of healthcare information and management systems areas.


To be eligible for this certification, one needs a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in information and management systems.

Three of them should be in a healthcare setting.

Alternatively, they may have a graduate degree and three years of experience in information and management systems with two of them in a healthcare setting.


Candidates should pass an online exam that includes 100 questions.

HIMSS provides a candidate handbook to prepare for the exam.

Also, with the help of the Competency Gap Assessment, candidates can determine which areas they need to work on.

Fees & Renewal:

HIMSS members should pay $405 for the exam while non-members are charged $525.

Certification holders will have to complete the recertification process by either retaking the certification exam or completing 45 CEU.

Of those 45, 25 should be obtained through HIMSS.

Healthcare Administration Certifications in Management

Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)

The gold-standard of board certification for healthcare administrators is offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) through its FACHE program.

The holders of this certification can demonstrate an in-depth comprehension of the fundamental competencies required to lead and excel in the healthcare management field.


Candidates for the FACHE certification should have a master’s degree, be a member of ACHE for three years, have five years of experience in executive healthcare management.

Also, they need 36 hours of CEU in healthcare management, two examples of civic/community engagement activities within the last three years, and two examples of healthcare-related engagement activities within the last three years.

Additionally, they need a character reference interview with an active FACHE-holer as well as a character reference from an executive in their organization.


Candidates should sit for the Board of Governors Exam.

Various resources to prepare for the examination are available on the website of ACHE.

Fees & Renewals:

The fee for the exam is $250.

Those who pass the exam earn the FACHE designation.

They have to be recertified every three years, during which 36 hours of CEU in healthcare management should be completed with 12 of them being ACHE Face-to-Face Education.

Candidates who seek recertification should also participate in community/civic engagement and two healthcare-related engagement activities.

Certified Medical Manager (CMM)

Those who seek a management certification less intense can obtain the CMM designation through the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM).


The eligibility requirements for this certification are not as strict as for others, but the CMM exam is not that easy.

Candidates should be proficient in 18 medical practice management areas.

They need to have two years of experience in healthcare in a clinical environment or medical practice.

Additionally, they need 12 college credits in healthcare-related courses or business management.


Candidates should pass the CMM examination that includes 200 questions and lasts for three hours.

The exam covers various topics of medical practice management, including:

  • Risk management.
  • Revenue management.
  • Finance.
  • Contract management.
  • Human resources.
  • Clinical performance reporting.
  • Technology and data management.
  • Business management.
  • Patient clinical education.
  • Practice marketing.

Fees & Renewals:

PAHCOM members pay a total of $385 or the exam while non-members pay $770.

Holders of the CMM have to recertify every two years.

The recertification requires 24 hours of CEU.

Healthcare Administration Certifications in Quality Assurance

Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

The CPHQ is offered by the National Association for Healthcare Quality.

This designation is the industry standard for healthcare quality certification.

There are over 12,000 CPHQ-holders.

The designation verifies their competency in information management, leadership, quality measurement, and patient safety.


While eligibility requirements aren’t as strict, candidates are recommended to have a minimum of two years of experience in healthcare quality.

Candidates can use the NAHQ candidate handbook to evaluate their level of readiness.


The CPHQ exam is designed for executives with at least two years of experience.

It covers four principal areas:

  • Health data analytics.
  • Patient safety.
  • Organizational leadership.
  • Performance and process improvement.

Fees & Renewals:

For NAHAQ members, the exam fees are $423, and $529, for non-members.

Candidates have to recertify every two years by completing 30 CEU hours that adhere to NAHAQ standards.

Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM)

The CHAM designation is offered by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) for patient access managers.

These professionals meet the highest standards of the profession.

It is based in the Certified Healthcare Access Associate (CHAA) designation and is designed for those who wish to become leaders in the field.


To qualify for the CHAM examination, candidates need two years of management experience in finance or healthcare.

They should also hold a bachelor’s degree in business, healthcare, or related field.

Additionally, one signature from a current CHAM holder and one signature from a course instructor or supervisor are necessary.


Eligible candidates should pass a competency exam, covering three areas:

  • Pre-arrival.
  • Arrival.
  • Access management.

Fees & Renewals:

For NAHAM members, the exam fees are $200 and $400, for non-members.

CHAM holders have to renew their certification every two years.

The recertification requires them to complete 60 contact hours, with 10 from sources approved by NAHAM as well as 1,500 hours of relevant work experience.

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