Each year at the Fall Presidents meetings, chapter leaders bring us questions and comments on a wide variety of topics. Some questions we can answer on the spot, some spur action within the Regional Executive Council, and some we bring back to various departments within HFMA to get definitive responses. Over the next few months we will feature questions from the FPMs. This month we address certification questions.

Q: Would HFMA consider sponsoring a healthcare finance masters degree program that includes CHFP certification?

A: HFMA’s Education Department is currently working on a curriculum. The difficulty with incorporating the CHFP exam into a masters program is the students' potential lack of field experience.

Q: Why don’t the Certification exam sections correlate with the sections in the study guide or the practice exam?

A:  The Certification exam weightings are aligned with the self-study guide, but the sample test is simply random practice items that give participants a flavor of the style and format of the exam questions, not the content or weighting of the questions.

Q: Will HFMA do more to promote certification by promoting certification to recruiters, employers, and university professors? Would HFMA run testimonials in hfm? Ask companies to include it in job postings in hfm?

A: HFMA holds Certification webinars for chapter leaders, has prepared copy for chapter newsletter articles, and is working with the Business Development Department to encourage job postings in hfm to include language that certification is preferred.

Q: Why don’t chapters earn DCMS hours and CBSC Certification credit for the CRCR certification?

A: Most who sit for and earn the CRCR are not HFMA members and most of the education is arranged through organizational sales. However, DCMS hours are awarded to HFMA members who take the online CRCR course. 

Q: Why did HFMA stop sending Certification certificates to the chapter so they can track and recognize those who pass?

A: Some newly certified members were unhappy at the length of time it took them to receive their certificate. They were anxious to display it as quickly as possible. To better serve the members, the testing company automatically issues the certificate upon passing the exam. Chapters are notified of newly certified members monthly in an email to the certification chair and president and the names are also posted to the web in the Members Earning Certification list on the Certification Chair Toolkit.

Q: Will HFMA create a communication to clearly express the need for field experience to pass the certification exam?

A: The copy on the website strongly recommends field experience:

Please note: The HFMA Board of Examiners strongly recommends that candidates have a minimum of 3–5 years healthcare provider management experience. This is not required to become a CHFP, but management experience is the primary preparation for the exam.

Chapters are encouraged to use this wording in their communications.

Comment: Certification testing sites aren’t always available when people want to take the test.
A: Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage candidates to schedule early.

Comment: The Certification Exam is more difficult than previous exams.

A: Self-study can be difficult. Many chapters sponsor preparation courses and HFMA offers seminar and onsite programs as well. For information about certification courses, contact Marie Bass, Director, Education Resources, ext. 336.

Publication Date: Friday, March 29, 2013