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News | Revenue Cycle

Nearly 64% more members enrolled in HFMA certification courses during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the same six-week period last year

News | Revenue Cycle

Nearly 64% more members enrolled in HFMA certification courses during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the same six-week period last year

  • Between March 13 and April 27, 2020, 2,171 members passed an HFMA certification exam.
  • In 2019, there were 311 members who earned certifications during that time period.
  • The number of overall enrollees to HFMA certification courses during those weeks of 2020 was 2,644 while the number of certification enrollments during those same weeks in 2019 was 1,613.

When HFMA Colorado Chapter Member Anne Hicks, CTP, CHFP, started working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to study for the Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR) certification offered by HFMA.

“Staying relevant in the new normal is important to me, and continuing my education is a passion of mine,” said Hicks, the national director of healthcare liquidity, specialty banking at NBH Bank. “I enjoy learning something new, the challenge and being someone that is knowledgeable in my field.”

She had been thinking about getting the CRCR designation for a while and began researching the program’s requirements in early March. Hicks quickly decided to go for it even though working from home is challenging for everyone.

“My challenges are three dogs and slow internet access,” she said. “But I was determined to stay the course and complete the program.”

Certification completion numbers soar

Hicks’ determination paid off. She is among the 2,171 members who passed an HFMA certification exam during the six-week period between March 13 and April 27.

That’s nearly seven times the number of people who passed HFMA certification exams during the same time frame in 2019, according to Shirley Heavlin, certification operations administrator. In 2019, there were 311 people who earned certifications during that time period, according to Heavlin.

“We think many of our members decided to take advantage of all the downtime due to stay-at-home directives of the past couple of months,” Heavlin said. “Because education and earning certifications are benefits for HFMA members, it makes sense that so many of our members used the recent extra time at home wisely.”

Total number of certification enrollees also increases

The number of HFMA certification enrollees between March 13 and April 27 increased by 64% over the number of enrollees during the same time frame in 2019, according to Heavlin:

  • 2,644 members enrolled in HFMA certification courses during that time frame in 2020
  • 1,613 members enrolled in HFMA certification courses during that six-week period in 2019

As far as Hicks is concerned, earning the CRCR designation was well worth the effort.

“I know I will definitely use it in my day-to-day conversations with clients and prospects,” Hicks said.

4 study tips for an HFMA certification

Before taking the final exam, Hicks said she went back through all four sections of the CRCR training. Here are other tips she shared:

  1.  Read the online material.
  2.  Reread your notes.
  3.  Review the checkpoint questions because they are key to helping you understand the central concepts. 
  4.  Don’t memorize definitions. It is more important to understand what the material is trying to say about the revenue cycle concepts and activity behind the processes.              

Additional information

Helpful information about HFMA certifications for members to know includes:

  • HFMA Certifications Community group: The HFMA Community hosts an HFMA Certifications group in which members can ask questions related to HFMA certification programs, network with peers and share ideas and best practices. 
  • Digital badges: Members who pass an HFMA certification also receive a digital badge to be used in an email signature, with an electronic resume and on their LinkedIn profile.
  • Maintenance grace period: During this unprecedented time, HFMA is committed to meeting the needs of its certified individuals and has implemented a temporary certification maintenance grace period. The maintenance deadline for all HFMA certifications will be extended from May 31, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2020. Email your questions about the grace period.                      

About the Author

Deborah Filipek, HFMA Senior Editor,

is a content editor with HFMA. 

Sign up for a free guest account and get access to five free articles every month.


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