As of January 1, 2013, only "credentialed medical assistants" (in addition to licensed health professionals) have been permitted to enter medication, radiology, and laboratory orders into the electronic health record (EHR) and have such entry count toward meeting the meaningful use thresholds under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
Working medical assistants who have not graduated from a CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting program are not eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and therefore have had no way of meeting the CMS requirement through the AAMA in the past.
Consequently, as the leaders of the medical assisting profession and the AAMA, the Board of Trustees (BOT) realized it was incumbent on them to provide a way for these non-CAAHEP or ABHES medical assistants to demonstrate knowledge of electronic order entry and meet the CMS requirement.
The BOT concluded that the best way to assist these medical assistants would be by awarding an assessment-based recognition to those who meet certain knowledge and experience requirements and complete five AAMA continuing education courses covering key knowledge elements of electronic order entry.
—Adapted from "Assessment-Based Recognition in Order Entry: Why the AAMA Created the Program," by AAMA Executive Director and Legal Counsel Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, published in the January/February 2014 issue of CMA Today.