CMRS Information for medical billing certification

CMRS Information for medical billing certification

Purpose of the CMRS Exam

The purpose of this certification is to promote ethical and professional medical billing through certification of qualified individuals. This voluntary credential formally recognizes a medical biller’s competency and proficiency, encourages continued professional and personal best development, and provides a national standard assessment based on industry knowledge.

Exam Overview

Created in 2000, it is the longest standing and most thorough exam for professional medical billers. Other exams offered to medical billers are newly released, offer a fraction of the questions, are sometimes more expensive, and are offered by associations that primarily focus on medical coding, a separate industry from medical billing.

The CMRS designation is awarded by the Certifying Board of the American Medical Billing Association (CBAMBA). Currently, no state or Federal requirements exist stating a medical biller must be certified to practice medical billing. However, most providers are requiring their billers be certified. Your certification demonstrates to physicians and employers that you are proactive in advancing your education and skills.

Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists (CMRS) facilitate the claims paying process, from the time a service is rendered by a health care provider, until the balance is paid. CMRS Billers play a critical role in a health care provider's daily business operations.

Why Certification

Certification provides knowledge and credibility to the biller, potential health care providers, and employers. It demonstrates your commitment and dedication in providing the highest standards possible in Claims Management and Medical Billing. Certification presents solid confirmation of your desire to offer qualified services in an industry that is complex and demands specialized training. Certification provides verification of competency and assurance of continued education to maintain the credential.

CMRS testing is provided on a global level. Our credential allows billers to empower themselves by taking steps to improve confidence and enhance value to the industry and the doctors they work with.

Physicians and other healthcare providers are looking for certified professionals that understand regulatory and business issues that affect their practices. CMRS's have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be more effective in increasing revenue, preventing fraud and abuse, and researching and finding information that helps practices succeed in today's environment and economy.
CMRS Information

The exam has 16 sections (see list below), requires 710 answers, and a cumulative score of 85% to pass and earn the CMRS credential designation.

  • 85% of the exam is covered in the CMRS Study Guide
  • 10% covers coding and can be found in your current year’s ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCs Coding books or a subscription to AMBACode.
  • 5% can be found online

Breakdown by Section:

Exam SectionNumber of Questions
Anatomy and Physiology 82
Medical Terminology 81
Information Technology and Computers 48
Web and Information Technology 29
ICD-10-CM Coding 55
CPT Coding 63
EDI Transactions and Clearinghouses 28
CMS 1500 Claim Form 64
Insurance 22
Insurance Carriers 46
Acronyms and Terms in Common Healthcare Use 51
Compliance and HIPAA 27
Managed Care 23
Fraud and Abuse 18
General 41
Case Study 32

The CMRS Exam is taken online through our secure Learning Management System. We are not concerned with a student retaining every detail in their memory. A biller must be able to utilize all of their resources to find solutions, and we expect the same utilization during the testing process. For example, a biller must know how to search the OIG’s exclusion list to answer why a person/company is excluded from Medicare and Medicaid programs. Also, a biller should be able to research an insurance carrier’s website for policy provisions and payment information. Our exam covers both of these topics, and a multitude of others, that a biller will have to face on the job.

You'll have 45 days access to complete the exam and it is "open-book."

Each section can be reviewed before submission. Upon submission, a grade for that section will be provided. Once you have completed the exam, your final score is available immediately. CMRS Certificates are mailed upon completion and arrive in about 3 to 4 weeks. They are valid for one year from the date you complete the exam. A new certificate is sent each year to the credential holder after the recertification process is complete.

Three free retakes are allowed with a mandatory 30 day waiting period between retakes (but not more than 60 days).

  • In order to take the exam, you must be a member of AMBA.
  • You must have access to the current year’s HCPCS, CPT, and ICD-10 codes. You can get these codes on of two ways:
    • Subscription to AMBACode. AMBACode includes all three sets of codes plus more. Get a 28 day free trial. Using this software would replace the need for you to purchase code books.
    • Purchasing the current year's HCPCS, CPT, and ICD-10 Code Books. 10% of the exam material can be found in the coding manuals or with a subscription to AMBACODE ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS.
  • You should have experience in billing or have a good foundation of knowledge in medical billing to successfully pass the exam. You are required to have a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to sit for this exam.

CMRS Study Guide
The CMRS Study Guide is optionally available through the AMBA in .pdf format that will assist you in taking the exam. The study guide is $199 and is available through our online store. This is an automatic download. The Study Guide follows the exam layout listed above and covers about 85% of the questions on the exam. It also includes actual test questions after each section to give you an overview of how our exam is laid out and the questions that are included. This guide can be searched easily to assist you while you are taking our exam.

Schools and teaching facilities that would like to make our exam available to their students can be set to easily administer the exam from our secure management system. Special discounted package rates are available that include the exam, study guide and a year membership to AMBA. Contact Larry Weston 580-369-2700 for more information.

In order to take the exam, you must be a member of AMBA. You will be required to maintain an annual membership to AMBA. The cost of membership is $99, annually. You will also be required to obtain 15 continuing education units (CEUs) each year. Fifty percent of your annual CEUs should come through the association. You can earn all 15 for FREE by completing AMBA Webinars.

If you need directions on how to complete FREE CEUs please call us.

If you have a product you would like to submit to AMBA for prior CEU approval consideration or know of one please let us know.

To apply for the CMRS Exam, complete the Registration Form and mail or fax it to our office along with your payment, or purchase the exam and membership online at

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