Protection of patients and providers
Continuing education offerings must meet strict standards in order to be awarded AAMA continuing education units (CEUs) by the Continuing Education Board. By requiring successful completion (including receiving a passing score on the post-tests) of five, one-hour, online AAMA CEU courses in areas essential for accurate and efficient electronic order entry, the AAMA will help ensure that patients will have their EHRs handled appropriately. In addition, physicians and other eligible providers will receive a measure of assurance that their orders will be understood and appropriately transmitted.
Support of CMS and an important health initiative
Despite the ongoing controversies over the Affordable Care Act, most health policy analysts—regardless of political or ideological leanings—believe that transitioning American health records to an electronic system will reduce medical errors and will improve the well-being of all Americans. Providing an assessment-based recognition program in EHR order entry will show that the AAMA is concerned about the quality and effectiveness of the American health care system as a whole, and is willing to support the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and CMS in the EHR Incentive Programs. Also, offering this ABR-OE is a logical follow-up to the joint presentation given by Robert Anthony, deputy director of the Health Information Technology Initiatives Group of CMS, and me to the AAMA House of Delegates at the 57th Annual Conference in September 2013.
Solidifying the role of the AAMA as the recognized voice of medical assisting
Deputy Director Anthony's presentation spoke volumes about the high opinion that CMS has of the AAMA. Responding to an immediate need for a narrowly-targeted assessment-based recognition program in EHR order entry demonstrates that the AAMA can respond in a timely manner to the ever-changing dynamics of the allied health labor market. The AAMA will maintain the integrity of its CMA (AAMA) program by not diluting its eligibility requirements while providing a narrowly-niched ABR-OE in response to an urgent (but perhaps temporary) market need. These efforts demonstrate beyond question that the AAMA has both the foresight and the resources to lead the medical assisting profession throughout the 21st century.