About Scribing

What is Scribing?

  • Scribing is the dynamic, real-time recording of verbal communication from the physician, and patient-provider interaction, at the point of service while under the constant supervision of the medical clinician.
  • The method of documentation can include handwritten or electronic documentation using blank or structured data templates.

What are the categories related to Medical Scribes?

  • Based upon experience and completion of Medical Scribe Certification and Aptitude Test (MSCAT) Assessments, there are 4 categories related to Medical Scribes:
  • Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS)
  • Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA)
  • Medical Scribe (MS)
  • Virtual Scribe (VS)

What is a Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS)?

  • A Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS) is a credential issued by the The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS). A CMSS serves as a clinical assistant to the physician or mid-level clinician ( i.e., Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner)
  • Certified Medical Scribe Specialists are trained and continuously assessed. A person holding the CMSS credential has met 200 hours of unassisted clinical workload documentation or has completed a 50-hour clinical training program.
  • A CMSS is responsible for real-time transcribing of physician notes, organization of objective health care data, enhancement of the electronic health record, and point-of-service collections and patient tracking.
  • A CMSS meets both pre-clinical and clinical training requirements, has mastered MSCAT certification, and maintains certification with 3 hours of Continuing Medical Education annually and payment of the annual certification renewal fee.
  • A CMSS is responsible for real-time transcribing of physician notes, organization of objective health care data, enhancement of the electronic health record, and point-of-service collections and patient tracking.
  • The minimum requirements for a CMSS includes a high school diploma (or GED) plus 200 hours of clinical experience.
  • If you have less than 200 hours of clinical employment experience, you will be recognized as a Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA). When 200 hours are fulfilled, full award of the CMSS credential will be provided.
  • If you possess certification or licensure status as a Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, Paramedic, Certified Medical Assistant, Registered Medical Assistant or graduate from a clinical training, you will only need to successfully complete 50 hours of clinical experience and will have full recognition of CMSS.
  • The CMSS credential is focused on nurses, pre-med students, and other aspiring allied healthcare personnel who aspire to medical careers requiring higher education. Physician/CMSS Teams are the future of 21st Century Healthcare. Medical workers or students who do not aspire to positions requiring higher education do not reflect the same caliber, depth, and professional trajectory of healthcare.
  • Note: for applicants with no knowledge or experience related to healthcare, additional training programs are available at additional cost.

What is a Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA)?

  • A Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA) is an ancillary staff member that is an assistant to the physician or mid-level clinician.
  • A CMSA is an individual that has successfully passed MSCAT certification, and either lacks the 200 hours of clinical experience or has not graduated from a medical scribe training program with the 50-hour clinical training built in.
  • When the minimum hours of experience have been achieved and the CMSA submits the required hours of attestation, he or she is then credentialed as a Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS).
  • A CMSA meets pre-clinical training requirements, has successfully passed MSCAT certification, and maintains membership with 3 hours of Continuing Medical Education annually.

What is a Medical Scribe?

  • A Medical Scribe, different than those of Certified Medical Scribe Specialist practitioner designations, are a non-clinical ancillary staff member who functions in a role like that of a Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA). The central difference is that a scribe lacks the standardized training, certification, and continual education afforded to a Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS).
  • Scribes are regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, recognized for Meaningful Use by physicians or mid-level clinician using Certified Medical Scribe Specialists. Accordingly, the function, skill level, and experience varies greatly between hospitals and scribe programs.
  • The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists sets minimal performance standards in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Meaningful Use (MU) criteria.

What is a Virtual Medical Scribe?

  • A Virtual Medical Scribe is a non-clinical off-site assistant who documents remotely with the use of visual and audio technology.Given the remote access, a VMS may work from any location worldwide.

What credential does ACMSS offer?

  • ACMSS offers the “Certified Medical Scribe Specialist” (CMSS) credential. A person holding the CMSS credential is certified to have the required education and training required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to serve as a “credentialed medical assistant” to meet requirements for electronic health record incentive payments under federal law.

How are persons holding the CMSS credential more valuable than assistants or scribes who lack the credential?

  • A medical clinician who uses non-credentialed medical assistants or scribes will be unable to use those personnel in attesting compliance with the Medicare and Medicaid EHR (Electronic Health Records) Incentive Programs.  CMSS credential holders are qualified to perform the whole breadth and depth of all medical and EHR-related workflows.





About Certified Medical Scribe Specialist Training, Assessment, Certification and Renewals

What you should know about the ACMSS Training process

  • ACMSS provides comprehensive training solutions through partnerships pertaining to prepare persons for CMSS and CMSA credentials via Certification & Compliance
  • The Training portion of Certification & Compliance is delivered as an online, self-paced learning environment.
  • Internet access is required.
  • The training is available for both PC and Apple computers.

What you should know about the ACMSS Assessments process

  • In order to take the Certification Assessment, an affidavit is processed on the ACMSS website to confirm that you are ready to take the Certification Assessment.
  • The MSCAT Certification & Compliance is the assessment tool that allows up to three (3) attempts to satisfactorily complete the Certification Assessment with minimum score of 80%.
  • If required, additional Certification Assessment attempts are available at additional cost.

What you should know about the ACMSS Certification process

  • When the applicant successfully completes the Certification Assessment, the ACMSS Certification Team will be notified and all appropriate certification documentation will be available, including a Meaningful Use Compliance and Certification Number and issuance of 12-months Certification of Credentials will be created and sent, via email, to the applicant.

What you should know about the Annual Renewals

  • Re-certification meets and adheres to the federal EHR regulatory requirements and standards and maintain clinical CMSS credentials to keep your validation and certification credentials current.
  • The Recertification Fee is $85/year.
  • In addition to the $85 annual recertification fee, documentation of 3 hours of Continuing Medical Education units are required annually through CMS.
  • If the annual recertification fee is not received in a timely fashion, your credentials will lapse and will be shown as expired. It may be necessary to retake MSCAT Certification if not maintained.
  • A notice of your recertification requirement and subsequent status will be sent to you and your employer of record for use for clinicians CMS Attestation Report. ACMSS provides clinicians with secure and proprietary account resource documents and audit compliance attestation documentation, maintained ongoing.





About Continuing Medical Education

What you should know about ACMSS Continuing Medical Education (CME)

  • Certified Medical Scribe Specialists need to complete 3 hours of CME each year from date of certification.
  • All CME units are taken through CMS Continuing Medical Education courses to further professional development as a Certified Medical Scribe Specialist, meet national goals, and improve clinical practice improvement activities and advancing care information initiatives under Meaningful Use.
  • ACMSS provides ongoing and current information and resources of products and materials that satisfy national standards and requirements.
  • ACMSS maintains new educational resources and pathways, ongoing. Additionally, further inforamtion may be found at https://theacmss.org/learning-modules/.
  • Certification compliance is the responsibility of the physician, healthcare or corporate administrators, educators, training programs, career boards, or the individual managing audit and compliance and procedural processes. ACMSS assists all clinicians in meeting federal regulatory EHR requirements.
  • The first-year program through ACMSS includes all materials. Subsequent years require recertification compliance, enabled through the $85/individual professional licensure and certification fee, along with completion of 3 Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours annually. Individuals may remit over 3 hours of approved Continuing Medical Education; however, ACMSS requires a minimum of 3 hours of CME must be sought through CMS annually.
  • Each individual and/or practice administrator or physician will receive an active 12-month CMS Compliance Certificate and issuance of Credentials, which include valid Meaningful Use attestation personnel number.
  • ACMSS has partnered with CMS on Continuing Medical Education. Continuing Medical Education recognized towards 3 hours include attended CMS calls, events, webinars, and web-based training courses as programs that may be used to meet the Continuing Medical Education requirement for ACMSS credential holders. ACMSS will request copies of these if you are selected for verification of the CEUs listed on your renewal form per CMS request.
  • Any certificate (including Certificate of Completion) for a CMS/MLN training will be accepted.
  • For more information on the CMS CME program, go to: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNGenInfo/CE-Associations-List/ACMSS.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=ascending
  • For the CMS Continuing Medical Education Association page go to: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNGenInfo/Continuing-Education.html
  • Registering for a National Provider Call to Obtain Credit. You must register for a call through the Medicare Learning Network registration website if you plan to request credit from your professional association. Click on the following links to view the CMS list of recent and upcoming National Provider Calls & Events and other CMS Training for Credit at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/NPC/National-Provider-Calls-and-Events.html
  • For more information about what you need to do to obtain credit from ACMSS, visit the ACMSS CMS Certification and Compliance Program page at https://theacmss.org/store/acmss-volume-packages/, or email info@theacmss.org





About Business and Legal Issues related to Certified Medical Scribes Specialists

What are the Scribe Credential Issues Regarding Medical Practices and Institutions?

  • All personnel entering electronic information must meet a minimum skill set and educational base, as structured according to the 2015 Final Rule and CEHRT regulatory framework.
  • A clinician who has non-credentialed medical assistants or scribes will need to meet the minimum educational and proficiency standards, as set forth by the 2015 Final Rule, meeting personnel compliance and attestations.
  • For additional information on electronic medical record documentation, please refer to CMS website at CMS.gov or visit CMS Quality Payment Program. For more information, please visit https://qpp.cms.gov/

May a clinician, on their own, issue credentialing for compliance with the Medicare & Medicaid Quality Payment Program?

  • No – Clinicians cannot internally certify under the regulatory framework found through the 2015 Final Rule.
  • The MACRA Final Rule issued in October 2015 provides that an assistant may be credentialed to perform the duties of a medical assistant only by a third-party credentialing body.
  • The nationally recognized CMSS credential from ACMSS meets the third-party certification compliance requirements.

May medical clinicians delegate work in the EHR, including Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), to a person without the required credentialing requirements?

  • No – clinicians must meet minimum federal regulatory framework and attestations ongoing to ensure maintained compliance and patient safety protocols. The Final Rule requires minimum attestations in entering and delegating clinical documentation and clinical duties to credentialed persons. Documentation and Personnel Compliance attestations are subject to routine CMS audit proof and compliance. Clinicians are required to ensure proper certification, credentialing and compliance, ongoing.

Why should a person holding a CMSS credential be considered more valuable than assistants or scribes who lack the credential?

  • CMSS credential holders are qualified to perform the whole breadth and depth of all clinical, medicolegal, and clinical documentation CEHRT, or EHR-related workflows, as determined and delegated by the clinician.

What certification, credentialing, and compliance records need to be maintained

  • ACMSS provides each licensed clinician with secure account management and access to appropriate documentation compliance. CMS has specifically asked clinicians and practice administrators to retain a copy of CMSS compliance certificate document on file for attestation, just as they would any other documents in case of compliance audits.

What does CMS request for EHR audit compliance:

  • A copy of your CMS/MLN certificate, or documentation of the contact hours spent in the training
  • CMS Meaningful Use Personnel Audit Compliance Document(s)
  • In meeting EHR compliance with CMS, ACMSS will request copies of those documents if you are selected for verification of the CEUs listed on your renewal form. Any certificate (including Certificate of Completion) for a CMS/MLN training will be accepted. You do not need a CEU certificate.

May clinicians delegate work in the EHR, including order entry, to a person without the required credential?

  • No – If the clinician wants to receive incentive payments, the clinician must meet minimum attestation and compliance requirements of personnel as found in the 2015 Final Rule.

May a clinician or medical scribe training program issue self-credentialing for compliance with the Medicare & Medicaid Payment Program?

  • No – The MACRA Final Rule issued in October 2015 states that professional personnel must meet minimum attestations of a clinical assistant credentialed to perform the delegated and designated duties of a medical assistant by a credentialing body other than the employing clinician. Clinicians cannot internally certify their own personnel, under the law and the regulatory framework. The CMSS credential meets independent third-party certification and clinical attestation requirements.





About the American College of Medical Scribe Specialist

Who is the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS)?

  • ACMSS (The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists) is a 501(c)(6) Non-Profit Organization. Its website address is https://TheACMSS.org.
  • ACMSS is a recognized CMS Stakeholder that provides national accreditation services using criteria established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for MACRA Measures, Objectives and Reporting Criteria. ACMSS represents the medical scribe industry through certification, credentialing, continuing medical education, advocacy, government relations, and employment and personnel resources.
  • ACMSS credentials personnel as Certified Medical Scribe Specialists who meet educational, professional, and examination standards.
  • ACMSS is a personnel certification and credentialing organization that offers academic-to-certification and employment-to-certification programs.

What Professional Credential does ACMSS provide?

  • ACMSS administers the certification and examination criteria to credential clinicians with appropriately designated Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) credential.
  • A person holding the CMSS credential is certified to have the minimum proficiencies and required education and training as set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and to serve as a highly skilled, valuable and functioning member of the clinician’s team./li>

What other services does ACMSS offer?

  • Implementation and Compliance Consulting
  • Credential Training for MSCAT and Assessment (exam)
  • Administration of National Medical Scribe Certification Examination
  • Administration and maintenance of CMSS clinical credentials
  • Administration of required Continuing Medical Education (CME)
  • ACMSS enables certification via the Medical Scribe Certification Examination.

What individuals should know about the cost

  • Each Medical Scribe Certification & Examination includes clinical credential training and certification. Each examination is sold individually for $285 US, presently discounted to $160 US.
  • The first-year program through ACMSS includes all materials. Subsequent years require recertification compliance, enabled through the $85/individual professional licensure and certification cost, along with completing 3 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours annually.
  • Clinical Medical Scribe Certification Examination package includes:
    • Clinical MSCAT Examination Manual CTCMS/HIPAA/HITECH, QPP training information
    • MSCAT Examination. Each individual is licensed a 1-year access. Examination allows for 3 attempts and
    • 12-months issuance and appropriately maintained personnel CMSS certification and compliance credentials for the 1st Year
    • Volume Discount programs may be available. Contact ACMSS Accounting Services for more detail

What you should know about Special Programs

  • ACMSS offers special programs that may be of interest to you.
  • These programs include:
    1. Volume Discount Pricing,
    2. Pre-requisite pathway for CMSS clinical credential,
    3. Career resources towards becoming a career Certified Medical Scribe Specialist
  • For more information about CMSS clinical credentialing, phone ACMSS at (800) 987-3692, x103 for Accoungint Services or x101 for Executive Director
  • Certification compliance is the responsibility of each healthcare enterprise and is often covered through either the physician, healthcare enterprise, administrators, educators, or the individual themselves managing their audit and compliance program, policies, procedures, and processes.
  • ACMSS assists clinicians in meeting federal regulatory requirements.
  • Each individual and/or practice administrator or physician receives a 12-month issued CMS Compliance Certificate with valid Meaningful Use attestation personnel number.
  • For all certification types, when submitting a CMS completed training to ACMSS as part of your recertification, CMS has requested the following:
    • A copy of your CMS/MLN certificate, or
    • Documentation of the contact hours spent in the training
    • CMSS Certification and Credentialing licensure document(s)
    • Re-certification CMSS Certification and Credentialing licensure document(s)