What is CAHIIM Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

In a rapidly evolving field like health care informatics, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) ensures the quality and relevance of degree programs. CAHIIM accreditation gives you confidence that you will receive a comprehensive education that meets industry standards. It enhances your job prospects and equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your career.  Employers also benefit from CAHIIM accreditation since it reduces onboarding time and ensures a skilled workforce that can adapt to emerging technologies and industry trends.

Advantages of CAHIIM Accreditation

Graduating from a CAHIIM-accredited program is a prerequisite to take certain exams, including the RHIA, which is a required credential for many health information management (HIM) positions. Moreover, graduating from a CAHIIM-accredited program will give you a competitive edge in the job market. Accredited programs feature curriculums that are continuously reviewed and updated to reflect the evolving field, providing you with the latest knowledge and skills. This allows you to adapt to emerging technologies and industry trends.

Employers value the rigorous training and expertise accredited programs provide, making graduates more desirable candidates for employment. When they hire professionals from these programs, they can be confident in their skills and knowledge, reducing training time. Furthermore, CAHIIM accreditation signifies that a program meets industry standards, ensuring graduates are well-prepared to tackle the complex challenges of health care information management.

Job Opportunities for Graduates from CAHIIM-Accredited Programs

The job prospects for graduates from CAHIIM-accredited programs are diverse and exciting. According to UMass Lowell’s graduate coordinator, Sandra Guy, there are over 180 professions open to those interested in a HIM career. As a graduate, you will find employment opportunities in the public and private sectors at hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and government agencies. Roles may include health informatics specialist, data analyst, clinical informatics manager, health information manager and more. You can also explore opportunities in consulting firms, software companies and health care technology startups.

The health care informatics field is experiencing rapid growth, with a high demand for skilled professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Employers actively seek out graduates from accredited programs, recognizing the value they bring to their organizations. As such, HIM professionals are well-compensated, with entry-level salaries for graduates from CAHIIM-accredited master’s programs in the six-figure range. Labor analytics firm Lightcast reports that the average median earnings for HIM professionals in New England will be $111.4K in 2023.

How CAHIIM Accreditation Ensures Quality Education

CAHIIM accreditation ensures that health information management degrees adhere to the highest education and training standards. Programs undergo a rigorous evaluation process. This evaluation assesses multiple factors, including curriculum, faculty qualifications, resources, student support and outcome measures.

Accredited programs must demonstrate that they meet the core competencies outlined by CAHIIM, which cover areas such as data management, information governance, health information systems, leadership and ethics. These competencies ensure that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for the challenges of the health care informatics field.

FAQs about CAHIIM Accreditation

Q: Are CAHIIM-accredited programs more expensive?

A: Tuition for CAHIIM-accredited programs varies depending on the university. UMass Lowell offers the first CAHIIM-accredited master’s degree from a public institution in New England. Hence, the tuition rates for our programs are significantly lower than CAHIIM-accredited programs offered at private schools.

Obtaining your degree from a CAHIIM-accredited program is an important and worthy financial investment. There are significant long-term benefits associated with accreditation, including a higher return on investment. Graduates will gain greater career opportunities and earning potential.

Q: Can I transfer credits from a non-accredited program to an accredited program?

A: Each institution has unique policies regarding credit transfers. While credits may be transferable, it depends on the institution’s evaluation of the courses and their alignment with program requirements. It’s advisable to contact the institution directly to determine if your credits are transferable.

Q: Is CAHIIM accreditation recognized internationally?

A: Yes, CAHIIM accreditation is internationally recognized. Some international institutions seek accreditation from CAHIIM or other accrediting bodies to ensure their programs meet global standards. It’s advisable to research and verify the accreditation status of international programs.

UMass Lowell’s Accredited Online Programs Meet the Highest Standards of Education

The fully online CAHIIM-accredited master’s degree programs at UMass Lowell will provide you with enhanced job prospects, salary potential and the high-quality education required to keep up with the evolving field of health care informatics.

Learn more about our Master of Science in Health Information Management with options in Health Informatics or Health Service Management.