AAHAM Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist

Intended Audience

This exam is intended for revenue cycle staff with responsibilities in patient access, billing, account resolution, denial management, collections, cash posting, customer service, and self-pay collections. The exam focuses on knowledge required in revenue cycle functional areas including registration (front desk), billing, and credit & collections.

Although Specialist Certification is not a pre-requisite for Professional level certification, it is designed as a rung on the AAHAM certification ladder to the Professional certification for those interested in pursuing the next level in their career path.

Exam Overview

The CRCS-I/CRCS-P is a two (2) hour, online, proctored exam that requires working knowledge within focused areas of the revenue cycle, including relevant regulations and acronyms, and are comprised of three multiple-choice sections. AAHAM offers two types of Specialist Certification; one focused on the revenue cycle within an institutional (hospital, health system) environment, and the other focused on the revenue cycle in a professional (physician, clinic) environment.


The CRCS-I/CRCS-P exam is available to individuals involved in the management of healthcare patient accounts. Membership in AAHAM is not a requirement, although it is encouraged. One-year employment in the healthcare revenue cycle is recommended to successfully complete the exam.

CRCS-I/CRCS-P Sections

Sections included in the exams include:

CRCS-I Sections

CRCS-P Sections

  1. Patient Access
  2. Billing
  3. Credit & Collections
  1. Front Desk
  2. Billing
  3. Credit & Collections

Exam Format

Examinees must initially sit for all three (3) sections, which contain questions in a multiple choice format. Each section of the CRCS exam is graded separately and all three (3) sections must be passed with a score of 70% or greater in order to earn the CRCS certification. If only one (1) section is failed, a retake of that section is permitted. If more than one (1) section is failed, a retake of the full exam is required.

Dual Certification

Individuals who currently hold a CRCS-I or CRCS-P certification designation may take an eighty (80) minute exam to obtain dual certification. Both sections of the dual CRCS-I/CRCS-P examination must be successfully passed (70% correct) to earn a dual designation. If both sections are not passed successfully, a retake of both sections must be completed. Upon successful completion, all designees receive a certificate.

Exam Retakes

Exams for failed sections must be retaken within twelve (12) months of the initial exam date.

Exam Refunds and Postponements

CRCS-I/CRCS-P applications are non-refundable, and non-transferable. No postponements are allowed.


Grading is immediate upon completion of the exam. Results will be provided online.

Exam Frequency

The exams are held three times a year; March, July and November.

Exam Preparation

AAHAM certification examinations require hands on working knowledge of patient account management as it relates to national governmental regulations and policies that govern revenue cycle registration, billing and collection procedures. Working experience is not sufficient; candidates will need to enhance and refresh their knowledge through independent and group study programs. Participation in study opportunities provided by your local chapter and/or the national organization is highly recommended.

Study opportunities include:

  • A downloadable CRCS-I/CRCS-P study outline included in the CRCS exam fee.
  • A comprehensive CRCS-I/CRCS-P Exam Study Manual is available for purchase. The manual is designed to assist you in studying for the CRCS certification as chapters correspond to each section of the exams, with material targeted and geared toward exam questions. It features knowledge checks (practice questions) to help gauge your progress.
  • Training and coaching opportunities are offered by local AAHAM chapters.
Professional Study Sessions will be conducted by Leanna Marshall (434/293-8891), Virginia Chapter Certification Chair.  Leanna is available to hold study sessions in person, at the University of Virginia Medical Center, Department of Patient Financial Services building located at 4105 Lewis & Clark Dr. Charlottesville, VA 22911, or via telephone conference.


To retain the CRCS-I or CRCS-P certification designation, two (2)options are available:

  • Option One - Retake and pass the entire exam every three years.
  • Option Two - Join as a national member prior to your certification expiration date and earn continuing education units (CEUs). Please note that that your CEUs begin to accumulate starting the date you join as a National member, therefore any CEUs earned before joining AAHAM as a member aren’t eligible. Members must earn and report thirty hours of prior to their certification expiration date. Fifteen of the CEUs must be obtained from attendance at AAHAM related educational programs. If membership and CEUs are not maintained, the designation will be revoked and can no longer be used.

To see detailed information on recertification reporting and requirements, click here.