Promoting Your Professional Development with acmpe

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  • Explain the steps to becoming a Certified Medical Practice Executive
  • Review the Body of Knowledge
  • Exam tips
  • Practice exam

How well do you understand ACMPE and the steps in the process?

  • I don’t know anything, what is this ACMPE you speak of?
  • I have heard of ACMPE before and I’m interested in certification but want more information.
  • I understand the steps to become certified and just need a push in the right direction.

An achievable goal

  • Your experience is already preparing you for the exams.
  • Certification exams are designed to evaluate knowledge, skills, and competencies that an individual has already acquired.
  • Some Nominees attain certification in less than a year, others complete it within 2-3 years.
  • ACMPE provides resources, support and camaraderie along the way.


  • The Body of Knowledge for Medical Practice Management, 3rd Edition
  • ACMPE forum representative program
  • Knowledge Assessment, 3rd Edition
  • Certification Exam Workbook
  • Additional tools on the website at

General competencies

  • Professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills

Body of Knowledge domains

  • Operations Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Organizational Governance
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Risk and Compliance Management

Step 1: Are you qualified?

  • Eligibility to enter the certification program:
  • Current National MGMA membership
  • Two years experience in healthcare management, including six months supervisory experience

Step 2: Submit your application

Step 3: Take a multiple-choice exam

  • 175-item, multiple-choice test
  • Tests knowledge and understanding of medical practice management principles and issues
  • 3 hours and 15 minutes in length
  • Passing score: 500 on a scale of 200 to 800
  • Review the exam tip sheet

Step 4: Take an essay exam

  • Three-question essay exam
  • Based on critical incidents that require you to assess a situation and prescribe a course of action
  • Tests in-depth knowledge, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and the ability to communicate in writing
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes in length
  • Passing score: Composite score
  • of “B” or better

Purpose of the Essay Exam

  • The essay exam tests:
  • In-depth knowledge of medical practice management principles and issues;
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills;
  • The ability to communicate in writing.
  • Essay questions are based on critical incidents that require you to assess a situation and prescribe a course of action.
  • Questions are open-ended, allowing for multiple approaches to solving a problem. Therefore, there may be many correct answers.
  • Essay grading:
  • Essay grading is accomplished by teams of three ACMPE Fellows each.
  • Your responses are sent to the graders anonymously (identified by number only).
  • Each team grades one question, giving a total of nine individuals involved in grading your essay exam.
  • All nine grades are averaged together to arrive at a final score.
  • Passing grade = B (B– is not a passing grade).
  • You will receive your exam results approximately eight weeks after taking the exam
  • Essay feedback:
  • If you do not pass the essay exam, you can request written feedback which will summarize each question and the corresponding graders’ comments.

Essay Exam Tips

  • Read each question very carefully and make sure you understand what it is asking you to do. Don’t miss important information. Underlining or highlighting key parts helps.
  • Make sure you understand what the question is asking you.
  • If the question contains multiple parts (notice the “and” in the last question), make sure to answer all component parts. One of the most common reasons for not doing well is not answering all the questions asked.
  • If appropriate, specify any assumptions upon which you are going to base your answer. This may not be necessary, but could help in some situations. For examples, have participants discuss possible assumptions. “Frame” your answer.
  • Develop a quick outline prior to writing your final response, demonstrating a depth of knowledge along with good problem-solving and decision-making skills. Do not include your outline in your completed essay.
  • The response must be written in formal essay style with complete sentences and paragraphs. Spelling, grammar and punctuation does influence the flow of your response. Do not use abbreviations except on subsequent uses. Avoid using personal statements [“in our practice, we always…”].
  • For those taking the written exam [as opposed to the computerized exam] write clearly. Use black ink. Do not write in the margins. Comments outside of the margin will not photo copy.

Sample Template

    • Paragraph I
      • Demonstrate you knowledge of what the question actually is.
      • Set the parameters/Assumptions and frame your answer.
      • Highlight what key elements you’re going to provide in you answer.
    • Paragraph II
      • Fact gathering
      • People and resources that you would go to
        • Staff
        • Written Materials
        • Policies & Procedures
        • Attorneys
        • Consultants
      • Who is appropriate to bring into the conversation [might check Policy/Procedure]
      • Internal
        • Staff, HR Director, Medical Director…
      • External
        • CPA, Attorney…
    • Paragraph III
      • Bring those individual and facts together, either individually or at the same time.
      • Make sure all the facts are reviewed and everyone has a chance to interpret those facts.
      • Get all individuals on the same page [not necessarily agreeing on all the facts]
    • Paragraph IV
      • Get a game plan / strategy together
      • Include all possible scenarios [avoid focusing on one possible outcome]
      • Implementation/executions of the strategy
    • Paragraph V
      • Analyze the success of the strategy implementation
        • Did it resolve or address the issues or does more work need to be done.
    • Paragraph VI
      • Summary & Conclusion
        • Documentation
        • Review existing policies / procedures for any possible changes or updates to avoid this situation from occurring again
        • Training or retraining the staff

Step 6: The Board confers your credential

  • Upon completing the three requirements, you will earn:
    • Board certification in medical practice management; and
    • The Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) designation.
  • To maintain your status, you must:
    • Continue yearly national MGMA membership; and
    • Keep current with the 50-hour continuing education maintenance requirement every three years.

Body of Knowledge Domains

Operations Management

  • Process improvement plan
  • Strategic planning
  • Purchasing and asset management
  • Facilities
  • Outsourced services
  • Information technology
  • Marketing and communications
  • Productivity and compensation standards
  • Monitoring physician conduct and performance

Financial Management

  • Understanding the revenue cycle
  • Managing cash flow
  • Accounts payable, accounting systems and reconciliation
  • Managing payroll
  • Creating and managing a budget
  • Audits and internal controls

Human Resource Management

  • The staffing plan
  • Directing and managing retention of clinical and non-clinical staff
  • Training and development staff and understanding employment law
  • Developing and implementing staff compensation and benefits plans
  • Managing and evaluating staff performance

Organizational Governance

  • Organizational governance and corporate structure
  • Change management and upholding the corporate mission

Patient Centered Care

  • Patient centered care – an overview
    • Adjusting to a state of change
    • Meeting the triple aim
    • Work flow, patient flow
    • Patient communication
  • Quality initiatives and measurement
    • Standards of care
    • Population health management
    • Data analytics

Risk and Compliance Management

  • Risk management for a safe work environment
  • Policy and procedure development to minimize the impact of adverse events
  • Develop, implement, and maintain a compliance program in line with federal, and state laws
  • Comply with accreditation and licensure requirements

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Which of the following is an example of a variable cost?
  • Property tax.
  • Medical supplies.
  • Malpractice insurance.
  • Equipment leases.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Which of the following describes the requirements for protecting employees through the use of specified equipment and/or clothing?
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • An independent practice association (IPA) refers to which of the following?
  • A. A legal form of solo practice.
  • B. Physicians who have joined together to provide medical services for managed care contracts.
  • C. A national association limited to those in private practice.
  • D. A means of networking physicians in professional corporations.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Which of the following laws enables medical practices to own and operate ancillary services?
  • A. Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
  • B. Stark II
  • C. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
  • D. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Licensing guidelines for clinical personnel are governed by which of the following?
  • A. Local government.
  • B. Federal government.
  • C. State government.
  • D. Professional associations.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • . The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments resulted in which of the following?
  • A. Moderately complex laboratories no longer allowed in physician practices.
  • B. Standards for personnel, proficiency testing and quality control.
  • C. A simplification of laboratory regulations.
  • D. Expanded lab services within physician practices.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Which of the following is NOT included in the strategic plan?
  • A. Objectives for the medical practice
  • B. Environmental assessment.
  • C. Long-term goals for the medical practice.
  • D. Annual budget.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Income taxes are deducted from which of the following sources of capital?
  • A. Bank loans.
  • B. Line of credit.
  • C. Operating leases.
  • D. Retained earnings.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to:
  • A. All United States employees who work for a company with more than 50 employees.
  • B. Any employee who works for a United States company.
  • C. Employees who work for a company with 50 or more employees and who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.
  • D. All United States employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • What is the role of mission, vision and values in organizational change?
  • A. To influence change in policy and procedure throughout the organization.
  • B. To explain company culture to patients, external stakeholders and prospective employees.
  • C. To provide understanding of change to staff, physicians and stakeholders.
  • D. To maintain alignment among staff, physicians and stakeholders.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • What level of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate is needed to perform tests that pose little risk of harm if they are done incorrectly?
  • A. Provider Performed Microscopy.
  • B. Accreditation.
  • C. Waiver.
  • D. Registration.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Which data set would NOT be needed to prepare a revenue budget?
  • A. Conversion factor.
  • B. Payer mix.
  • C. Provider productivity.
  • D. Overhead rate.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Studies have shown that the majority of medical practice errors and business office errors arise from which of the following?
  • A. Work processes and systems.
  • B. Negligence of individual employees.
  • C. Physician burnout.
  • D. Precertification errors.

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Owner’s of what type of entities do NOT have limited liability for entity-level debt and other obligations?
  • A. C corporations.
  • B. Partnerships.
  • C. S corporations.
  • D. Limited liability companies

Sample multiple choice exam questions

  • Which of the following would typically NOT be part of an agreement between participating physicians and a preferred provider organization?
  • A. Referral policies.
  • B. Utilization review guidelines.
  • C. Favored nation reimbursement.
  • D. Universal enrollment access

Sample essay exam questions

  • You are the administrator of a medical practice. The practice has lost revenue in the past year due to a reduction of managed care contract rates. The physicians in the group have suggested converting the practice to a cost-based fee schedule as a way to increase revenue.
  • Discuss how you would evaluate this idea and describe your recommendations to the physicians.
  • Questions?
  • Tracy Bird, FACMPE, CPC, CPMA, CEMC, CPC-I
  • Medical Practice Advisors, LLC
  • President, Owner
  • 27243 W. 231st
  • Spring Hill, Ks 66083
  • 913-856-0181
  • 913-660-8566

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