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Healthcare Homeroom

A Students' Guide to Professional Associations in HIM

If you're exploring the health information management field and thinking about a possible career in HIM, the professional associations in the industry offer myriad resources. ADVANCE offers up a list of the popular professional associations of the HIM realm. If you're just getting your feet wet in HIM, here are a few acronyms to add to your list.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): Founded more than 80 years ago and home to 67,000 HIM professionals, AHIMA works to advance and promote the HIM field. They offer credentials, education sessions and communities or practice, along with several levels of membership.

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC): This association geared toward coders boasts 122,253 members worldwide, with 52,000 certified professionals. AAPC offers credentials, education and publications to help support the world of coding.

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI): AHDI came about in 1978 to help garner recognition for medical transcriptionists. AHDI advocates for the MT industry and offers the certified medical transcriptionists (CMT) and registered medical transcriptionist (RMT) credentials, along with educational materials and a variety of memberships.

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA): NCRA, with its more than 5,000 members, represents cancer and tumor registrars and offers the certified tumor registrar (CTR) credential. NCRA focuses on credentialing and education of cancer registrars throughout the world.

The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA): Offering certification to compliance professionals and working to promote compliance and ethics in health care, HCCA has 8,500 members and 3,500 individuals holding the certified in healthcare compliance (CHC) credential. HCCA offers credentials, education, and publications to support health care compliance professionals.

Adding It Up

The perks of joining a professional association may appeal to you, but you might still have some qualms about the cost. ADVANCE took a look at how joining will impact the width of your wallet.

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers memberships ranging from $70 for students to $125 for individual members. Corporate memberships are also offered through AAPC.

Students can join the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for $45. To be eligible for the discounted student membership rate a student cannot hold an AHIMA credential and must be currently enrolled in a formal certificate or degree granting program directly relevant to AHIMA's purpose, including, but not limited to, CAHIIM accredited or PCAP/ACCP approved coding programs.  New graduates can join AHIMA for $100. Active membership costs $185 with no AHIMA credential. If you hold an AHIMA credential please reference the chart that includes the credential recertification fee chart. 

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers a range of memberships. Students can sign up for $55, and new grads can join for $85. An individual membership costs $135.

Students joining the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) pay $40, while those who have an interest in promoting what NCRA has to offer can purchase a sustaining membership, which comes with a $200 price tag. An active membership, for those whose primary occupation is related to the cancer registry field, costs $105. An associate membership runs $90. Just as the costs vary, so do the benefits included with membership. Check association Web sites for more information on membership.

For more information on memberships, visit the AAPC Web site at, the AHIMA Web site at, the AHDI Web site at and/or the NCRA Web site at



I've completed the AAS of HIT program, joined AHIMA, and earned my credential (RHIT). All of that amounts to zero if I can not get the experience employers insist on having. How do the newly graduated get hired?

Darlene Dunbar RHITAugust 28, 2015

The problem is....... Experience in the field is required for credentialing......most facilities and practices WILL NOT even take a second look at you if you have no certifications; So explain that one to me.!!!!!!

Melanie Hersom NaMarch 11, 2015
Round Rock, TX

i am the secretary of a pvo/ngo based in zimbabwe-africa
there is a lot of ignorance about cancer in zimbabwe with most peiople associating it with wicthcraft and demons or being cursed
i am appealing for sponsorship to attend cancer management courses.the schlorships should cover everything including flights and course materials fees etc
if you can help or know of any organization which can help me please let me know

champion kudiwa,  secretary,  pvo/ngoMarch 26, 2013

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