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Old 08-11-2009, 07:22 PM
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CarolLR CarolLR is offline
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Default RHIT vs. RHIA

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between RHIT and RHIA?

I am debating about seeking an RHIT or RHIA certification. I know nothing about the requirements for obtaining these certifications and have been searching the forums here at AAPC looking for information.

I have been unemployed for over two years now and am hoping that the additional certification will open more job opportunities for me.

I have 81 credits toward a bachelors degree in Psychology, but have not been in school for almost 12 years now. ( I'm showing my age!) I would consider finishing my degree which would also help my job situation. But, financially and time wise, I'd prefer to go a different route if at all possible.

I'm off to the AHIMA site to try to get more information.

Thanks for any input you have!
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:50 PM
GR8CPC GR8CPC is offline
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Default Rhit/rhia

Hi Carol, these are credentials that are offered by AHIMA. RHIT is Registered Health Information Technologist and you can register for this exam with an associate degree in HIT/HIM and the RHIA is Registered Health Information Administrator and for this exam you need at least a Bachelors degree to sit for exam. It appears that you need your RHIT before you can get a RHIA I am told by my fellow Coders. You can also get your Coding certifications from AHIMA also. Avail are CCS (Certified Coding Specialist) which is in-patient coding or CCS-P (Certified Coding Specialist- Physician based. ) I personally hold a CPC from AAPC and a CCS and CCS-P from AHIMA. I find BOTH organizations to be satisfactory! Good Luck!
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:34 AM
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Hmmm, that's some good information that I didn't know. Sounds like an RHIT may be out of my grasp and an RHIA is probably out of the question.

What is the difference between the two in the job market? I'm assuming the RHIA is more desirable?
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:42 AM
Anna Weaver Anna Weaver is offline
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Default Rhit vs rhia

What I have found is that if you are planning on going into the administration end, you will need the RHIA. At our facility, the Director of HIM must have the RHIA certification.. We have several coders with RHIT, CCS, and CPC, but none are qualified for the position of Director without RHIA. As stated, this is a 4 year degree and then test. RHIT must have 2 year and then test. It's a difficult test I hear, I have two co-workers who each sat twice for RHIT before passing. It's not just coding, but chart, rules, regulations, everything medical records.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:15 AM
kevbshields kevbshields is offline
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In addition to all things "medical records," the RHIT also tests on items such as data management, structure, retrieval and collection. You may also expect health care accreditation items, statistics, knowledge of tumor registry programs, health informatics (to some extent), aspects of healthcare delivery and healthcare compliance. There is also expectation that the RHIT-eligible candidates will have an understanding of departmental funding and some human resource exposure.

I only share this because I'm presently in an academic program for the RHIT and want to touch on some additional nuances important to understanding the credential.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion. Regardless, good luck to you in choosing what's right for your career path.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:45 AM
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I think I'm going to start by looking into how many of my 81 credits will transfer/count toward the necessary credits to acquire the required Associates degree for the RHIT. If I feel it's a reasonable goal after that, then I'll probably proceed with the RHIT. After that, if I have acquired enough credits to add to my 81 to put me within reach of a bachelors, then I might as well go all the way!

I believe the RHIT requires an Associates in associated Science. Does anyone know what kind of Bachelors is required for the RHIA?
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:57 AM
kevbshields kevbshields is offline
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The bachelor's must be from a CAHIM-accredited school. There are a variety of names for these, they include HIM, HIA and in some cases healthcare admin with a focus in HIM.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:14 PM
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I'm still looking into this...

I'm trying to sort out all these acronyms!

GR8CPC stated above that the RHIT is awarded by AHIMA. Is it only available through AHIMA? Is there no one else who will test for the RHIT and certify?

Where does CAHIIM come into play here? As said above,CAHIIM dictates which schools are approved, but I'm not sure that I understand for what the schools are approved?

How are AHIMA and CAHIIM linked?

Does CAHIIM offer RHIT testing and certification or is a candidate required to go through AHIMA for the testing and certification?

I'm extremely confused here! Please help!
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:54 PM
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CAHIM is the accrediting body associated with RHIT and RHIA programs. The RHIT and RHIA are only available through AHIMA, just as the CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P and CIRCC are only available through AAPC.

Visit www.ahima.org and poke around the student website (link embedded there) to answer some of your questions. I promise the information there is the official source and should cover everything you can think of.

Good luck to you.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:41 PM
Rachel_Nelson Rachel_Nelson is offline
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And one thing to add to the wonderful information that Kevin gave is that if you do decide to get your Associates or Bachelors and are eligible to sit for RHIT/RHIA exam, AHIMA does not require you to be a member to hold your certification. I recommend obtaining membership because you get discounts on the test, CE's as well as can utilize their CoP but in case you find the all of the fees a bit too much at the time, you can just keep up with CE's and report them to keep your certification, but again, don't have to be a member.

Also, you don't have to be a RHIT to become a RHIA because you can just go straight for your Bachelors but some may prefer to get their RHIT so that they can work first and gain knowledge and later do a progression program to get their Bachelors so that they can sit for their RHIA. As stated before, the HIA is geared more toward Management/Administration while the HIT is more towards application of.

I personally have a RHIA and I am very proud of the career choice that I have made. I will be taking my test for the CPC very soon and also will sit for my CCS-P (AHIMA) soon afterwards. I believe that it will only enhance the knowledge that I currently have. AAPC and AHIMA are both great organizations to be a part of and they both have tons of members who are knowledgeable in all sorts of areas.


Good luck to you in whatever road you decide to take.
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