Overview of Online Healthcare Compliance Certification Programs
There are a couple of different healthcare compliance certifications available to students, including the Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) designation from the Compliance Certification Board (CCB), which is a part of the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), and the Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) credential from the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Eligibility for these certifications varies but may include education, experience, and/or continuing education units (CEUs) in the field. Although some of these organizations may provide online preparation courses and study resources for the certification exam, there are a number of certificate programs in healthcare compliance that help students meet eligibility requirements for certification and/or prepare them for the exam.
Typically, these certificate programs can be completed fully online and some may be offered in a part-time format. Students can complete some of these certificate programs in as little as 1 semester, while others may take students 1.5 years, or about 3 semesters, to complete.
Some of these certificate programs are designed to meet the eligibility requirements of a specific certification, such as a CCB exam, or they may help prepare students for and include the cost of the CPCO exam. Healthcare compliance certificate programs are generally offered at the graduate level and therefore require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree and may ask for a minimum GPA.
Requirements for Online Healthcare Compliance Certificates
Online healthcare compliance certificate programs are designed to equip healthcare professionals with the skills to ensure their organization is meeting state and federal regulatory requirements. Students in these programs study legal knowledge concerning compliance, as well as topics in privacy, risk management, and monitoring change within an organization.
Online certificate programs in healthcare compliance may require students to complete between 12 and 15 credits. Usually, this consists of around 5 core courses, although some programs may allow students to take a couple of mandatory courses and then pick from a list of courses in the subject to fulfill credit requirements. After the completion of the certificate program, students may pursue certification in healthcare compliance. Certification typically needs to be renewed every 2 years after the initial certification, usually through CEUs.
Students may take one or more courses in healthcare compliance that examine various laws and regulations within the field of healthcare. These courses are also designed to help prepare students for a career in healthcare compliance by training them in the best practices of compliance and the development of plans used to fulfill compliance.
Courses in these programs often touch on patient privacy, particularly the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Students in these courses learn about the technology needed to ensure privacy under the act, as well as the training and enforcement involved with the law.
Courses in regulations and regulatory compliance examine statutory and regulatory principles specific to healthcare. Some of these courses may examine the different ways that organizations meet compliance with a variety of laws and regulations.
Career Outcomes with a Certificate in Healthcare Compliance
Earning a certificate or certification in the field of healthcare compliance may be beneficial for a number of administrative positions within the field of healthcare. Students who have completed these certificate programs and/or earned certification in healthcare compliance are usually equipped to help their organization address legal issues and plan, operate, and monitor compliance programs. They're also typically in charge of making sure their organization is following all the laws and regulations that govern them.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2019, medical and health services managers made a median annual salary of $100,980. The BLS also reported that the profession had a job outlook of 18% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the national average of 5%. This above-average job growth may be due to the growing need for healthcare services.
Students can complete an online certificate in healthcare compliance to help prepare for professional certification in the field. These certificate programs take fewer than 2 years to complete and professional certification typically has to be renewed every 2 years.