Why become certified? The certification process itself has become much easier in the last several years.  Until a few years ago, you had to take two exams, gather signatures on an application, get that application notarized, and then send that application into HFMA national with an additional fee.  Now the process boils down to passing two online modules and you become a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP).

So what’s the catch?  Certainly experience helps, but the two modules don’t necessarily measure your experience in the industry.  The focus is on the ability to learn, not necessarily what you already know.  The first module is in a more traditional study material format with an exam at the end.  The second module is a series of case studies that is intended to take what you learned in the first module and test your ability to apply that knowledge. 

Certification Information: 
You can access Certification Information here.   This should give you guidance.

What if my employer won’t pay for this certification?  Should you need reimbursement for the CHFP modules that your employer or other source would not provide; your Maryland chapter will reimburse the cost of one set of the current materials for our chapter members upon proof of successfully becoming a CHFP.

Will this certification require additional education or upkeep?  Once you successfully become a CHFP, there is a continuing education requirement of 60 hours within a three-year period. 

These 60 hours need to be related to at least one of the following six areas:

    • Revenue Cycle
    • Disbursements
    • Budgeting/Forecasting
    • Internal Controls
    • Financial Reporting
    • Contract Management

However, with all the programs offered here as part of the Maryland chapter and HFMA National (especially the webinars), it’s quite easy to meet this requirement.

After certification, are there other growth opportunities?  Becoming a CHFP should be considered the first step in becoming a Fellow of HFMA (FHFMA).  In addition to being a member of HFMA for five years and holding a college degree, there is a volunteer requirement.

The volunteer requirement is, let us say, anything but onerous.  For the required two founders points in two consecutive years, you can join a committee.  For helping out in a committee in two consecutive years, you will meet the volunteer requirement. 

So what’s the catch with becoming a FHFMA?  Well, there is also a minimal one-time fee.  But now, in addition to having a strong knowledge base in your chosen career, you’ve become involved and given back to make our organization even better.

There are many reasons to seek certification:  Recognition, more likely for promotions, more dollars in the paycheck.  All these are important, but not necessarily the best reasons.

Become certified for yourself.  What you learn from the process of preparing for the exam, along with your continuing education, can do nothing but aid in your self-confidence in your chosen career. 

 If you have further questions, please contact our chapter certification contact Linker Mills at linker.s.mills@medstar.net or 443-777-7949.