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Certified Credentialing Specialist: Education and Certification Info

Aspiring credentialing specialists looking to gain certification can pursue an associate's degree program in medical staff services. There are currently no degree programs available that are specifically focused on credentialing specialist training.

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Essential Information

Students in a medical staff services program learn to work with hospitals and health care organizations to make sure operations are compliant with the rules of regulatory agencies. Programs also provide them with a basic understanding of the laws by which health care organizations must operate and can qualify them for certification. Additionally, many programs prepare students to sit for the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) certification examinations.

A high school diploma or GED is required for applicants in a medical staff services program, as are certain GPA requirements. Internships may also be included in the curriculum.


Medical Staff Services Associate in Applied Science

Students in medical staff services associate degree programs learn about the laws and polices regulating the practice of doctors, nurses and other health care workers. They also learn how to verify these professionals' credentials and maintain the documentation necessary to ensure they are up-to-date. In addition to competing coursework in general medical office organization and compliance, students in these programs brush up on their computer and word processing skills. Common course topics include the following:

  • Principles of management
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical staff law
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Quality management

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of these programs can work as medical staff credentialing specialists or coordinators in a number of settings, including hospitals, group practices and ambulatory care organizations, to name a few. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't have information specific to these professionals, it does report that a 5% job growth was projected for human resources, training and labor relations specialists, a category which includes credentials coordinators, from 2014 to 2024. These professionals made a median wage of $58,350 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Graduates of medical staff services associate degree programs can qualify for professional certification through the NAMSS. The Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) designation validates specialists' ability to maintain regulatory compliance and collect accurate data. Candidates must have three years of related experience within a five-year period. Additionally, candidates must provide proof of employment for the previous 12 months. Passing scores on a written exam are also required.

The Certified Professional in Medical Services Management (CPMSM) designation is for those who are responsible for creating credentialing processes and policies. Candidates for this credential will need a minimum of five years of experience in the previous eight years. This includes employment for a year prior to taking the written exam. Candidates can complete both CPCS and CPMSM examinations to achieve dual certification.

Credentialed individuals must complete the recertification process every three years. NAMSS requires that candidates for single recertification complete 30 continuing education credits. Candidates for dual recertification must complete 45 continuing education credits.

An associate's degree in medical staff services provides the training that aspiring credentialing specialists need to ensure health care workers are credentialed and that hospitals and other health care facilities are compliant with regulations. Various professional certifications are available to graduates of associate's degree programs in medical staff services that are specific to their desired employment.

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