The Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) has specific policies regarding the use of the Certified Medical Assistant® (CMA) credential. Note the following language from the AAMA Disciplinary Standards and Procedures for CMAs:

I. Grounds for denial of eligibility for the Certified Medical Assistant® (CMA) credential, or for discipline of Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs)

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J. Violation of any policies, procedures, and regulations of the American Association of Medical Assistants Certifying Board, including regulations governing the use of the CMA credential.

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III. Possible sanctions

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C. Probation

D. Reprimand

E. Temporary revocation of the Certified Medical Assistant® (CMA) credential

F. Permanent revocation of the CMA credential

I.

The purpose of professional credentialing is protection of the public. In keeping with this purpose, the AAMA Certifying Board permits only those individuals whose certification is current to use the CMA credential in the workplace. Note the following CB policy:

The recertification program is a mandatory program. To better assure patients and employers that CMAs are currently competent and knowledgeable, the CMA credential must be recertified every five years to remain current. All Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) employed or seeking employment must have current status in order to use the CMA credential.

If your CMA status is not current, you must not use the CMA to find a job, or use it on the job. If you do, you will be subject to the sanctions set forth above.

II.

All working CMAs, even those employed in an administrative or managerial capacity, must be able to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in emergency situations. The Certifying Board, therefore, has established the following policy, which is currently in effect:

A CMA must maintain current CPR certification at all times. A CMA must submit proof of provider level current CPR certification from an entity whose provider level CPR certification course meets or exceeds the provider level course offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association in order to recertify either by continuing education or retesting. CMAs with physical limitations preventing them from performing CPR shall be exempt from this requirement. Such limitations must be documented by a statement signed by a physician.

A CMA who meets all the requirements for recertification except the CPR provision is not eligible to recertify until the CPR requirement is met.

III.

To recertify by continuing education, a CMA must have at least 60 recertification points. Points toward recertification are valid only if earned after initial certification or after the most recent recertification. In addition, credits must be earned in the calendar year in which the application is submitted and/or in the six calendar years prior.

As of January 1, 2007, CMAs recertifying by continuing education must have at least 10 recertification points in the general category, 10 in the administrative category, and 10 in the clinical category. The applicant may accumulate the remaining 30 points in any of the three content categories.

As of January 1, 2007, at least 30 of the required 60 recertification points must be accumulated from AAMA-approved continuing education units (CEUs). If desired, all 60 points may be AAMA CEUs. In other words, effective January 1, 2007, a maximum of 30 recertification points may be accumulated from sources other than AAMA CEUs (e.g., college or university credit, physician CME credits, and contact hours.)

IV.

Under the laws of New Jersey and North Dakota, Certified Medical Assistants must be current to be delegated certain types of injections. In North Dakota, CMAs can be disciplined by the state if they are administering injections and their CMA credential is not current.

Any questions about this article can be directed to AAMA Executive Director and Legal Counsel Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, at dbalasa@aama-ntl.org or 800/228-2262.

Questions? Contact Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, at dbalasa@aama-ntl.org or 800/228-2262.