Practice managers are responsible for the daily performance of a medical clinic or practice. A CMPE certification is an excellent way to show your expertise in management and help you stand out professionally.
What Does It Mean to Be CMPE Certified?
The Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) certification is a professional standard that validates your understanding of successful medical practice management. It verifies that you have extensive healthcare experience and understand how to apply management principles to real-life scenarios.
The CMPE is also a benchmark of credibility and skill that helps you boost your standing within your network. It shows your commitment to upholding professional standards, and it increases your personal branding, reputation, and earning potential.
What Is the Difference Between ACMPE and CMPE?
ACMPE and CMPE are both practice management certifications, but with a few key differences. Where CMPE is a general term for practice management certification, ACMPE is a designation from the American College of Medical Practice Executives. It means you are a board-certified CMPE.
The College provides the only board certification and Fellowship in practice management in the United States through the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). While anyone can become certified in practice management, only those that pass the MGMA-ACMPE exam and meet the requirements can use the ACMPE designation.
Specialized ACMPE Certificates You Can Get and Their Cost
The basic ACMPE certification program is the Principles in Practice Management (PPM). It covers the foundational concepts of running a medical practice and leads to a general ACMPE designation. The PPM course costs $999 for MGMA members and $1500 for non-members.
You can continue your studies and earn an added specialty credential in certain practice domains. These specialty certificates are stackable, so you can take topics one at a time or take them in a combined program and earn one overall certificate. They can also be combined with board certification and Fellowship.
The Financial Management program helps you master the concepts of healthcare finances. It covers four areas, including:
- Payer contracting
- Revenue cycle management
- Cash flow, accounts payable, and payroll management
- Financial reporting and budgeting
Once you complete this program, you will earn a Financial Management Certificate (FMC) and designation from the ACMPE board. The course is $999 for MGMA members and $1400 for non-members. You can also take each course separately, which ranges from $149 to $399 for members and $180 to $540 for non-members.
The Operations Management Certificate (OMC) program is another specialty certificate in practice management. It covers the principles of day-to-day details, including strategic planning, policies and procedures, process improvements, and much more.
The program has six parts, including:
- General practice operations
- Project management and strategic planning
- Healthcare data analytics
- Supply chain, asset, and facility management
- Information technology and cybersecurity
- Communications, marketing, and community relations
The program is 14 hours and leads to an OMC certificate and designation from the ACMPE. The course is $999 for MGMA members and $1500 for non-members. Only the healthcare data analytics and project management sections are available as individual courses.
The Human Resources Management Certificate (HRMC) program provides a specialty certificate in managing and leading people. It includes best-practice concepts in recruitment, hiring, training, and retention in the healthcare workplace.
The program looks at how to:
- Create a staffing needs assessment
- Evaluate strategies for staff training and retention
- Analyze and critique company policies and procedures
Once you complete the program, you’ll earn an HRMC certificate and designation from the ACMPE board. The program is seven hours and costs $599 for MGMA members and $999 for non-members.
Transformative Healthcare Delivery
The Transformative Healthcare Delivery Certificate (THDC) program is a specialty certificate in organizational models and current payment and care best practices. The program covers ways to manage risk while delivering value-based care.
The program includes nine sessions as follows:
- Transformative healthcare delivery overview
- Federal policy and advancing value-based care initiatives
- Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participation
- Accountable care organizations
- Clinically integrated networks
- Commercial value-based contracting initiatives
- Participating in commercial value-based models
- Data and IT infrastructure for transformative healthcare delivery
- Telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM)
The nine-hour program leads to a THDC certificate from the ACMPE board. The program is $749 for MGMA members and $1149 for non-members.
ACMPE Board Certification Requirements and Cost
Once you complete your program, you can apply for board certification. However, there are several additional requirements and qualifications you must meet.
Education and Experience
Healthcare education and experience are critical elements of practice management and key components of board certification. Not every applicant has the same experience or educational background, so the College provides three pathways to your board certification.
To be eligible under the first pathway, you must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or 120 hours of college credit hours
- Have 2 or more years of healthcare experience
The second pathway is designed for students and those in the early stages of their careers. To qualify, you must:
- Be currently completing your bachelor’s degree or have 120 college credit hours with less than 3 years left to complete
- Be currently completing 2 or more years of healthcare experience
The third pathway is for those without a college education and includes:
- 6 or more years of healthcare experience, four of which must be in healthcare leadership or management
Application and MGMA Membership
Once you choose your pathway, the next step is to purchase and fill out your application and your membership. There are a few different application options for individuals, groups, students, and military members.
The MGMA membership is $399, and the application is $250. However, you can combine your fees and get a discount. The types of applications include:
- MGMA membership with application — $599
- Application only for existing members — $250
- Student board application — $187.50
- Veteran board application — $187.50
- Active duty board application — Free
It’s important to note that you will still need an MGMA board membership if you submit only an application.
The ACMPE board will examine your application and verify your eligibility. Once accepted, the next step is to take your board exams. You can register to take them in a physical testing location or through live remote proctoring.
There are two exams, and you must purchase, take, and pass both. These include:
- Multiple choice exam — $167
- Scenario-based exam — $167
You have three years from your application purchase date to take your exams and fulfill other requirements.
The final step to your board certification is to complete 50 hours of continuing education (CE). You can complete these anytime during the three years.
Of your 50 CE hours, 20 can come from studying in your practice management field. University courses, training from a practice management organization, or distance learning programs count.
The remaining 30 hours must come from studying with MGMA through national, state, or local articles, webinars, surveys, or presentations. However, 12 of those 30 hours must come from live MGMA training, like live webinars, in-person events, or teleconferences.
Once you complete all of your requirements and pass your board exams, you are board-certified. To keep your membership and certification in good standing, you'll need to renew your membership every year or every two years and complete an additional 50 CE hours.
Benefits of Becoming a Certified Medical Practice Executive
A certification can propel you toward a fulfilling career with higher earning potential. A certification helps you gain respect from your peers and gives you an advantage during the job application process or during consideration for promotions.
Average CMPE Salary
A junior CMPE in the United States earns an average salary of $66,000 annually. Of course, numbers vary depending on the state and range from $39,000 to $112,000 per year.
A senior practice manager commands a higher salary, averaging $176,000 annually. Across the States, a senior CMPE can earn anywhere from $106,000 to $300,000 per year.
CMPE Exam Tips and Sample Questions
When you’re ready to take your exams, review the course content and exam format in advance. The multiple-choice exam has 175 questions about the principles of practice management. You have roughly three hours to take the test.
The scenario-based exam is shorter at 90 minutes and includes 18 to 25 multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, or multiple-select questions. You’ll answer questions based on problem-solving, decision-making, and principles and issues in practice management.
You might see questions like these on the exam:
- According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, how long should you retain employment documents?
- What is the most important factor in assessing demand for a new medical service?
- What is accrual accounting?
While preparation may feel stressful, the MGMA has plenty of study resources to help you. Check out the exam guide and review the keywords and topics listed. If you struggle with any subjects, consider purchasing the review course to strengthen your knowledge.
You can also take the prep course or purchase the practice exam to assess your knowledge. Then review the areas where you struggle. The MGMA community is also an option to ask questions and connect with your peers.
Ultimately, you’ll do best with the resources that match your learning style. After your exam, your results will be available online, and you’ll be on your way to certification and career growth.