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How to Pass the CHAM Exam

Everything you need to know about the Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM) exam

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In the dynamic and evolving landscape of healthcare, the role of a Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM) stands as a beacon of excellence and compassion. As healthcare access becomes increasingly complex, the CHAM plays a vital role in ensuring that patients receive seamless and efficient care. With their extensive knowledge of healthcare regulations, patient advocacy, and organizational systems, CHAM professionals champion the cause of patient access, acting as guides and advocates throughout their healthcare journey. By coordinating and streamlining the access process, they empower individuals to navigate the intricacies of healthcare with ease, ensuring timely and equitable access to quality care. The CHAM certification signifies dedication to excellence, empathy, and the pursuit of patient-centered healthcare access, making CHAM professionals indispensable pillars in the healthcare system.

In this article, we’ll cover various aspects of the Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM) exam, including eligibility criteria, how to register for the exam, tips on how to study effectively, along with highlights of the subjects and procedures covered in the CHAM exam. Additionally, we’ll explore educational and training options available to prepare for the CHAM exam and the process for renewing the CHAM certification.

Read how to become a Medical Office Administrator if you want to learn more about the responsibilities, educational requirements, job outlook, and salary* of medical administrators.

What is the CHAM Exam?

How Long is the CHAM Exam and What Does it Cost?

The National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM) certification promotes the highest standards of patient access services through the credentialing of those working as patient access managers. CHAM candidates have experience in patient access services, including admissions, registration, patient finance, guest relations, or other related services.

For NAHAM members, the fee for the exam is $225.00 dollars, and for non-members, the fee is $450.00.

CHAM Exam Eligibility

To be eligible for CHAM certification, candidates must have at least two (2) years of management experience in the healthcare or finance industry. Also, they must have either a High school diploma or GED equivalent plus 90 professional development contact hours earned within the past three (3) years or a four-year degree from an accredited institution in healthcare, business, or a related field.

How Do I Register for the CHAM Exam?

To register for the CPC exam, visit the website of The National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM). The National Association of Healthcare Access Management establishes best practices and subject matter expertise; provides an array of networking, education, and certification opportunities; and enables members to influence and promote high-quality delivery of Patient Access Services.

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How Do I Study for the CHAM?

Sample Multiple Choice Questions You Might Find on the Exam

1. Which of the following is an example of a primary purpose of healthcare access management?
a) Ensuring patient satisfaction
b) Maximizing revenue for the healthcare organization
c) Streamlining administrative processes
d) Facilitating timely and appropriate patient care

2. Which federal law mandates that hospitals must provide emergency medical treatment to individuals, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status?
a) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
b) Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)
c) Affordable Care Act (ACA)
d) Medicare Modernization Act (MMA)

3. In healthcare access management, what is the purpose of pre-registration?
a) Verifying insurance coverage and benefits
b) Collecting patient demographic information
c) Scheduling appointments for patients
d) Obtaining informed consent for medical procedures

4. What is the primary purpose of a financial clearance process in healthcare access management?
a) Determining patient eligibility for government assistance programs
b) Estimating and collecting patient financial responsibilities
c) Facilitating coordination of benefits between insurance plans
d) Resolving billing and coding discrepancies

5. What is the role of a healthcare access manager in the revenue cycle process?
a) Coordinating patient admissions and discharges
b) Managing patient appointments and scheduling
c) Ensuring accurate and timely billing and coding
d) Conducting clinical assessments and documentation.

Remember, these are just examples, and the actual CHAM exam questions may differ in content and format. It is essential to thoroughly study the CHAM Exam content and the recommended reference materials provided by NAHAM to ensure you are well-prepared for the exam.

How Do You Pass the CHAM Exam?

Educational and Training Options to Prepare for the CHAM Exam
What is the Passing Score?

Preparing for the NAHAM Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM) exam requires a combination of understanding the exam content, studying relevant materials, and practicing test-taking strategies. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the exam:

  1. Review the Exam Content Outline: Start by familiarizing yourself with the exam content outline provided by NAHAM. This outline outlines the key knowledge areas and competencies tested in the exam. Use it as a guide to structure your study plan.
  2. Gather Study Materials: Obtain study materials recommended by NAHAM, such as textbooks, reference guides, or online resources specifically designed for the CHAM exam. These resources should cover topics such as healthcare access management, revenue cycle, patient financial services, regulatory compliance, and customer service.
  3. Create a Study Plan: Develop a study plan that allows you to allocate sufficient time for each topic. Consider your available study time and break down the content into manageable sections. Setting specific goals and deadlines will help you stay on track.
  4. Use Practice Exams: Practice exams are valuable tools for gauging your knowledge and identifying areas that need further improvement. Look for CHAM practice exams provided by NAHAM or reputable study guides. Analyze your performance on these practice exams and use the results to guide your study focus.
  5. Attend CHAM Exam Preparation Courses: NAHAM periodically organizes CHAM Exam Preparation Courses that provide structured guidance and instruction to help you prepare for the exam. These courses may be offered online or in-person and cover key exam topics, test-taking strategies, and practice questions.
  6. Utilize Online Resources: Explore online resources such as forums, study groups, and websites dedicated to healthcare access management. These resources often provide study materials, practice exams, and discussion platforms where you can interact with other exam takers and professionals in the field.
  7. Practice with Sample Exams: NAHAM may offer sample exams or practice questions that simulate the format and content of the CHAM exam. Engaging in these practice tests can help you become familiar with the types of questions asked and identify areas where you may need further study.
  8. Attend Workshops or Webinars: Look for workshops, webinars, or conferences related to healthcare access management. These events often cover relevant topics and allow you to learn from industry experts and network with professionals in the field.
  9. Review Regulatory Guidelines: Familiarize yourself with key regulatory guidelines, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act). Understanding these regulations will help you answer questions related to compliance and privacy.
  10. Develop Test-Taking Strategies: Familiarize yourself with test-taking strategies to improve your efficiency during the exam. Learn techniques such as time management, process of elimination, and focusing on keywords in questions.

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Remember, the key to success is consistent and focused study. Allocate regular study time, stay organized, and track your progress to ensure you are adequately prepared for the CHAM exam. To successfully pass the exam, candidates must achieve an overall minimum score of 70% (140 of 200 questions correct) with a minimum passing score of 50% on all sections.

Subjects and Procedures Covered in the CHAM Exam

Pre-Arrival (30%)

Admission and transfer services

  • Manage intra- and inter-facility referrals/transfers
  • Comply with contractual, legal, and regulatory requirements


  • Assess expectations and special needs of the patient
  • Arrange and schedule location, equipment, and/or staff (resources)
  • Identify service-specific requirements prior to scheduling service
  • Comply with requirements based on physician orders and protocols
  • Inform patients of financial prerequisites and comply with contractual limitations.


  • Create patient account
  • Perform financial clearance

Arrival (30%)

Patient Check-in, Admission, Registration

  • Validate order/referral
  • Provide and explain patient registrations forms
  • Review and obtain signatures on required documents (e.g., HIE, MOON, COA, IMM) 4. Validate ordered levels of care (e.g., inpatient, observation, and outpatient, status
  • Perform point-of-service collection
  • Notify the insurance of patient admission

Patient and Family Experience

  • Deliver quality services and customer satisfaction
    Facilitate internal and external way-finding (e.g., transportation, parking, and drop-off
  • Identify information to provide to patient and family (e.g., room number, visiting hours)
  • Manage patient directory exclusions 5. Employ service recovery measures.

Billing and Collections

  • Capture data elements necessary for accurate billing
  • Collaborate with other departments (e.g., clinical support, health information, billing)
  • Mitigate denials
  • Manage self-pay process

Information Technology

  • Demonstrate competency executing daily tasks and utilizing all systems and applications, including electronic data interfaces and transactions
  • Outline impact of patient management system transaction (e.g., electronic data interface, electronic medical records and ancillary systems)
  • Demonstrate on system downtime process and recovery

Access Management (40%)

Statistical Reporting

  • Determine benchmark processes to improve outcomes
  • Facilitate process improvement and project management
  • Examine trending areas (e.g., patient flow, and denials)
  • Develop, review, and refine key performance indicators (KPIs), best practices

Patient Experience and Management

  • Protect patient confidentiality
  • Analyze patient satisfaction surveys (e.g., Press Ganey, Gallup, etc.)
  • Manage patient/customer expectations

Professional Development and Competency

  • Develop and set performance standards
  • Manage quality metrics
  • Provide mentoring/coaching for performance threshold

Leadership and Management

  • Collaborate with human resource management
  • Demonstrate effective communication
  • Drive strategic planning
  • Adhere to laws, regulations, and guidelines
  • Participate in disaster preparedness
  • Participate in business continuity planning and execution (e.g., remote work, pandemic)
  • Manage financial and workforce performance (e.g., forecasting, budget)
  • Foster employee engagement and development (e.g., conflict resolution, reward)
  • Guide change management
  • Manage onboarding and continuing education requirements

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How Many Times Can You Take the CHAM Exam?

Renewing CHAM Certification

If you do not pass the examination on your initial attempt, you must wait until the next test window to re-take the examination, as you may only take the examination once per testing window. Candidates that do not pass the exam may re-apply and re-take the exam at a discounted rate in a subsequent testing window if the candidate paid the full exam price in their most recent attempt. If the candidate does not pass their second attempt, they will be required to pay full price for the exam again on their third attempt before receiving a second re-take discount.

The Certified Healthcare Access Manager credential requires renewal every two years.  Individuals holding the CHAM credential are required to participate in the Certification Maintenance Program by earning a minimum of 60 educational contact hours and obtaining 1,500 hours in a position relevant to Access Services during the two-year cycle.

Learn more on how to become a Medical Office Administrator and explore educational programs, such as the Medical Office Administration program at Brookline College to gain the relevant skills and knowledge to pursue a career in dental assisting. In addition, check out the best entry-level medical jobs to see all the available options for a career in the healthcare profession.