Becoming certified in healthcare compliance is not just some letters after your name; it validates your expertise and dedication to upholding the laws, regulations, and ethical standards that govern healthcare practices.
In this post, we’ll navigate through the different types of certifications, the organizations that offer them, and the step-by-step process of obtaining professional healthcare compliance certification. Whether you’re new to the field or looking to solidify your credentials, understanding how to get certified is the cornerstone of a successful compliance career.
Types of Healthcare Compliance Certifications
As you develop your career in healthcare compliance, there are several avenues you can take. Consider the different types of certifications and choose one that aligns with your interests. Healthcare-related certifications you can choose from are:
Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC): Granted by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB), the CHC is a respected credential that signifies a thorough grasp of the legal and ethical frameworks governing the healthcare sector. Those with the CHC are well-prepared to tackle the intricate compliance issues that arise in healthcare.
Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP): Targeted at those who manage compliance and ethics initiatives in multiple sectors, including healthcare, the CCEP certification validates one’s extensive knowledge in compliance, ethics, and risk management. It is particularly pertinent for healthcare compliance positions.
Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP): Offered by organizations such as ECFC, the CHP designation is tailored for those responsible for aligning healthcare operations with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), focusing on the confidentiality and security of patient information.
Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO): Provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders, the CPCO certification is designed for leaders in compliance program management and addresses various healthcare regulations, including those related to fraud prevention and ethical medical coding.
Certified Medical Compliance Officer (CMCO): The Practice Management Institute offers the CMCO certification. This designation concentrates on compliance issues prevalent in medical offices and clinics, preparing professionals to effectively navigate compliance within healthcare service delivery.
Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC): Also from the CCB, the CHPC certification zeroes in on privacy issues within healthcare, encompassing regulations like HIPAA and equipping holders to safeguard patient privacy and confidentiality.
Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC): Provided by the HCCA, the CHRC certification caters to those overseeing compliance in healthcare research, addressing the distinctive compliance and ethical standards necessary for conducting healthcare research.
What Are the Steps To Getting Certified in Healthcare Compliance?
While the exact steps on how to get certified in healthcare compliance will vary depending on the certification itself and its regulatory board, there are six basic steps that universally apply.
- Meet the Eligibility Requirements: Certification bodies often require a certain level of education, such as a bachelor’s degree, and relevant work experience in healthcare compliance or a related field.
- Complete Any Required Training: Some certifications may require you to complete specific training programs or courses that cover healthcare compliance laws, regulations, ethical standards, and best practices.
- Apply for Certification: Once you meet the prerequisites, you can apply for the certification exam. This may involve submitting documentation of your qualifications and paying an application fee.
- Prepare for the Exam: Utilize study materials, attend review courses, or engage in self-study to prepare for the certification examination. Some organizations offer specific review courses and materials to help candidates prepare.
- Take the Exam: The certification exam typically includes a variety of questions that test your knowledge and understanding of healthcare compliance issues. You’ll need to schedule and successfully pass this exam.
- Maintain Your Certification: After passing the exam and obtaining certification, you must maintain it through continuing education and adherence to professional ethics. There will likely be a requirement for continuing education units (CEUs) and a renewal process every few years to keep your certification current.
Ready, Set, Start!
A certification in healthcare compliance benefits both the individual professionals and organizations that employ them. Locations that employ certified healthcare compliance professionals set themselves apart in a competitive industry, while the employee can level-up in their profession. Get your game on and start your journey now by familiarizing yourself with a comprehensive compliance platform — one that truly supports compliance initiatives.