ACMSS Applauds House Passage of VA Medical Scribe Pilot Act; Urges Credentialed ‘CMSS’ Certification

ACMSS Applauds House Passage of VA Medical Scribe Pilot Act; Urges Credentialed ‘CMSS’ Certification

ACMSS Applauds House Passage of VA Medical Scribe Pilot Act; Urges Credentialed 'CMSS' CertificationFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ACMSS Applauds House Passage of VA Medical Scribe Pilot Act; Urges Credentialed ‘CMSS’ Scribe Certification

President/CEO, American College of Medical Scribe Specialists

ORANGE, Calif., September 6, 2017. The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) applauds the passage last Friday of a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to create a pilot study in Veteran’s Administration hospitals to determine whether using Medical Scribes to assist physicians will help shorten the VA’s notoriously long wait times and ease other patient service problems. ACMSS only asks that the Senate modify the language in the bill to ensure the VA employs only Certified Medical Scribe Specialists.

The purpose of The Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017 (HR 1848), introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), is to create a two-year medical scribe pilot program under which VA will increase the use of medical scribes at ten VA medical centers, employing 30 scribes in all. It is hoped that the use of medical scribes in the program will reduce the amount of time physicians spend on daily documentation so that they may increase the number of patients physicians can see and the amount of time physicians are spending with each patient. Every 180 days during the two-year program the VA will be required to report to Congress the programs effect’s on provider satisfaction, provider productivity, patient satisfaction, average wait time and the number of patients seen per day.

After the bill’s passage, Roe, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and a physician, released a statement on the purpose of the legislation. “Since the VA waitlist scandal broke three years ago, I’ve examined several ways to improve patient care for veterans, and one that came up repeatedly in discussions was cutting down on the time physicians spend entering data,” Roe said. “Many private-sector physicians report the use of medical scribes has a positive and meaningful impact on their ability to see patients. Scribes can help input patient data and allow physicians to focus on patient care and use their time more efficiently. That’s why I introduced legislation to start a pilot program to examine whether or not the use of medical scribes would have similar positive effects in the VA.”

ACMSS agrees with all of the elements contained in the Act, but is sending a letter to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, asking for one change before the bill goes to the Senate for a vote. “If this legislation is approved in the Senate and the program goes forward, employing Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) to assist physicians at the VA will undoubtedly improve efficiencies and have the positive effect the bill proponents desire, and more,” said ACMSS Executive Director Kristin Hagen. “In approving the language, ACMSS urges the Senate to insist that only CMS-recognized Certified Medical Scribe Specialists be used in the program. Certified Medical Scribe Specialists provide real-time documentation and increase practice efficiencies in a great number of areas outside of clinical documentation, but they must be appropriately certified and credentialed, meeting 2015 EHR Incentives Program Final Rule.”

ACMSS is a 501 (c) 6 non-profit entity certifying and working in compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to meet national regulatory requirements of 2015 EHR Incentive Programs Final Rule, and Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and its Merit-Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS). Certified Medical Scribe Specialists meet the physician documentation compliance aspect of who may document in CEHRT, perform clinical care, and assist with the design and infrastructure to support ongoing transformative care and change.

The ACMSS certification program meets current and proposed CMS certification requirements toward use of EHRs through its Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT). In addition to the overall certification exam, ACMSS provides specialty certifications in vascular medicine, dermatology, oncology, primary care, internal medicine, emergency medicine and general patient care, enabling access to all across the specialties.

“Employing Certified Medical Scribe Specialists is the best way that care providers get can ensure they get back the time and attention they need to join the evolution of the outpatient healthcare industry into a patient-centered system that focuses on integrative medicine, prevention, disease reversal and wellness,” Hagen said.

Please contact ACMSS directly at, visit our website at, or phone 800-987-3692 if you have any questions regarding the ACMSS program and/or materials.



To view the Press Release, click here.

Join Us: ACMSS hosts Open Meaningful Use Webinars: The Future is Here Now! (Friday 4/22 at 11 PST)

Hand with card-12-2015



MU Webinar! Join us Friday, April 22! 11 PST/2 EST

Open Town Hall Q&A ACMSS will speak on Evolving Systems Design, Preventive Medicine, Meaningfully Using Clinical Documentation, Spurring Innovation to MIPS/MACRA, Collaboration to Research & Outcomes, and, most notably, the Career Choice for Certified Medical Scribes. Register Today!

Let us help you answer key questions towards innovating our 21st-Century Healthcare System. Let’s meet Meaningful Use together!

Please register for ACMSS Meaningful Use – Townhall Webinar on Apr 22, 2016 11:00 AM PDT at:

Next webinar: April 27, 11 PST.

We look forward to “meeting” you and speaking with you soon!

ACMSS Certifies Medical Scribes to meet CPOE Meaningful Use Measure. Certify in “General” or “Specialty” Exam

ACMSS releases certifications across healthcare to assist in meeting personnel certification of CPOE towards meaningful use measure.   Medical scribes meet meaningful use via CMS FAQ 9058 and Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT). Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) meet the highest designation, with clinical experience attained with a minimum of 200 hours.

To certify, Medical Scribes select certification pathway of General, or specialty specific.  Specialty certifications available for:

  • General certification
  • Ophthalmology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Urgent Care
  • Vascular Dermatology

Become Scribe Certified today!  For more information, email:

The Ultimate Preparatory Vocation Towards Becoming A Physician Assistant: Medical Scribe

As a new Physician Assistant student this year, I continually am thankful for the incomparable experiences medical scribing that have brought me here. I graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology.  When I discovered the Physician Assistant career shortly thereafter, I fell in love with and quickly began working to build my application. During this time I focused on the main aspects of the CASPA application: (1) completing prerequisite courses with strong grades; (2) completing the GRE; (3) obtaining patient care experience; (4) obtaining letters of recommendation; (5) completing my personal statement.

The two of these I found myself immediately struggling with were obtaining patient care experience and letters of recommendation. How was I supposed to obtain experience when I had none to start with? And how will I find three people who know me well enough to write me strong letters?

Through networking I was fortunate enough discover the exact type of experience I needed: Emergency Room Scribing. The position was fast paced, exciting and an unbelievable learning experience. In a matter of just a few weeks I found medical terminology, aspects of medical decision making, and nuances of patient interaction were already becoming second nature to me. When you start school, professors will tell you how learning medicine is like learning a new language. Think of this as a study abroad program.

Like I said, I did a lot of research on schools when I went about this application process. With almost 200 physician assistant schools across the US, you have a lot of options and a lot of information in front of you. Some easy ways I found that helped me effectively narrow these down were to input key information (required hours, GPA requirements, course requirements, etc.) into an excel sheet and fill in the blanks using information from individual school websites as well as the PAEA website which has this information summarized for you if you subscribe to them.

In general, hours of experience are key in applying to most Physician Assistant programs across the United States. Based on my research last year, these requirements varied from none (but strongly preferred) to up to 4,000 hours. On average most programs want approximately 2,000 hours of direct patient care experience by the time of application. The term “direct patient care experience” can in fact include medical scribing experience especially now as the scope of our experience is becoming more widely known. However, for those programs still unfamiliar with what a scribe does (which was a concern for me applying last cycle but not so much for you now), it is important to indicate on your CASPA application exactly what the position entails. Some key descriptors that I used in the “duties” section included : accompany attending from beginning to end of physical exam, diagnoses, treatment and discharge; accompany practitioner to patient’s bedside to assist through direct verbal contact and track patient histories / health complaints ; prompt clinicians to follow up on patient cases that meet certain conditions ; completed over 120 hours of training prior to assisting in the ED ; monitor progress of imaging studies, lab results, exams, and procedures  to evaluate patient visit records and help create treatment plans.

Unique to other means of gaining experience, scribing alone will allow you to make a wage without first requiring some sort of certificate or outside training. The other common means of direct experience such as emergency medical technician, licensed vocational nurse, medical assistant ,medical technologist, military medical corpsman, nursing assistant, paramedic, psychiatric technician, radiologic technician, or respiratory therapist all require outside training and certification.  Also, the fact that scribing experience is paid is valuable for more than just the obvious reasons. Most programs will look at the fact that your experience is paid and do prefer such experience. With adequate explanation in my CASPA application and illustration of the wide scope of the scribe experience during the interviews, the validity of my scribing was not questioned in my case.

Also, note that volunteer experience falls under a different category entirely on the CASPA application. Anything you do that is not a paid position will be looked at as volunteer or shadow experience. This is not to say that your volunteer hours are not important because many schools do want these hours in addition to your patient care experience. But these hours do not contribute to the patient care hours most programs are looking for.

I cannot stress this enough. I cannot believe how invaluable this experience has been. I liken the experience of medical scribing to a residency. During my interviews, my illustration of my experiences spoke for themselves.   Even those programs unfamiliar with what a scribe is were impressed at my medical fluency and the scope of my experience.  Just like on the CASPA, it is important to illustrate this during your interviews. For some programs, by the end of the interview I was even asked for advice on how to incorporate scribes into their practices (a great thing to indicate in your thank you letters that you would be happy to assist with upon acceptance).

Now that I am in a program, on a daily basis, my fluency in medical language has created a foundation helping me during exams, seeing practice patients, and understanding new material. Of the 40 students in my program, about a quarter of the students are previous scribes. I am continually noticing that even a few months removed from scribing, I have an advantage because of the foundation of knowledge my experience has given me. I grasp material quickly because terminology and even general intuition regarding patient care is already there. While many of my classmates have one specific expertise based on their past positions, scribing has given me a background in many aspects of the patient care process. This was a benefit my professors now tell me factored into my admission in the first place.

I chose the Physician Assistant field because of my desire to be part of a collaborative team. I knew this was one of my strengths and my experiences as a Medical Scribe helped me fine tune the personal skills needed to do this. After a year and a half of Medical Scribing, I had gained nearly 2,500 hours of direct verbal patient contact, been given not only three but six glowing letters of recommendation from providers that had spent many hours working directly with me,  and gained a network of colleagues that I look forward to working with again once I graduate. Moreover, now that I have begun my PA program I am grateful for what this opportunity has done for me and look forward to soon becoming part of the healthcare team.

Deanna Shah
Physician Assistant Student

Scribes, Scribes, Scribes: New Career Board Launched into the Industry – “All Things Scribe!”

ACMSS releases exclusive Job Board into the industry for Medical Scribes/Clinical Information Managers and Clinicians/Hospitals/Facilities alike to find the best candidate of choice they are seeking.  Browse through ACMSS’s Career Center, Register as a User, track listings and apply, or simply list with ACMSS to fill HR needs across the healthcare spectrum.  Become a certified Scribe today – stand apart from the rest!  ACMSS – the only professional association “all things Scribe!”  Contact:  1.832.224.6911;

Interested in Medical Scribe? ACMSS & MDS of Kansas Present Webinar 2/5/13 @ 7 EST – Register today!

Join tomorrow’s live webinar, 2/5 at 4 PST/7 EST, to learn about exciting educational and career opportunities for medical scribes as MDS hosts.  ACMSS Executive Director, Kristin Hagen, will discuss the industry certification pathway for medical scribes and schools alike.  Medical Scribes are in HOT demand!  Register to attend today!  Contact MDS of Kansas at (866) 777-7264.

Webinar Information:
Date:   February 5, 2013
Time:  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST
Location:   205 South Hillside
Wichita, Kansas  67211

Program InformationContact:

MDS of Kansas


ACEP weighs in on distinct advantages of Medical Scribes (ACEP Publication: 3/2012)

American College of Emergency Physicians, a non-profit association representing nearly 31,000 emergency department physicians, released their take on the valuable benefits to be gained through implementation of medical scribes.  Read the full published article here.

American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) maintains and sets minimal industry standards for certifying, credentialing, and deploying medical scribe educational programs, online or university-driven academia.   For more information, please contact ACMSS at 832.224.6911 or 83.ACMSS.911.



Medical Transcription Lawsuit Exposes Inherent Dangers to “Care-then-Document” Model

 Article Publication:  Baldwin County jury hands down $140M settlement

This case exposes the liability of documenting after the physician patient encounter, which is the historical practice of medical transcription companies. The case also underscores the federal government’s assertion that widespread EHR use will result in a decrease in medical errors by virtue of the inherent safety measures within the EHR workflow that would have prevented this patient’s death. For example, orders do not get seen by nursing staff, let alone executed, unless they are signed by the doctor. Unfortunately, it is well known that EHRs slow doctors down, thus impeding the doctor’s ability to document in real time, which as this lawsuit implies, was a significant mistake with the hospital’s process.

Additional patient protection is afforded by the proper use of scribes since the typical scribe workflow is to document contemporaneously with the physician-patient encounter. Thus, the medical record is completed and signed by the doctor, prior to patient discharge. Proper scribe use adds another patient safety feature that, unlike doctors whose dictation may sound muffled or unintelligible by the medical transcriptionist who is listening on the other side,  doctors who work with medical scribes can be immediately queried by the scribe at the point-of-service. This dynamic dialogue is a compelling safety feature of the physician-scribe model that physicians using medical transcription, do not have.  Real time, onsite medical scribe documentation, alongside the physician, adds to increased operational productivity and patient safety protocols within the EHR environment.

For the Record Article: “Medical Scribes Make Their Presence Felt” (Vol. 24 No. 21 P. 14)

Considering a career in healthcare? Looking to combine education with transformed clinical solutions?

Medical Scribes are the entry point of clinical documentation and seeing through the professional lens of healthcare workflow efficiencies, cost-saving measures, enabling real-time clinical documentation solutions, and most importantly, working hand-in-hand with physicians for quality patient-centric care. Many medical scribes enter this competitive position to distinguish themselves, building education, towards their clinical career goals – albeit physician, nursing, mid-level providers, therapists, emergency services to name a few.

Medical scribes experience opens up a multitude of opportunities within a competitive career landscape, clinical documentation management, leadership, and operational scribing in a multitude of healthcare settings, rural or urban.  Contact ACMSS for more information on certified medical scribe, including educational opportunities, pre-clinical/clinical training, Certification/Credentialing, history of scribes, benefits of certified scribes, and becoming a Member/Corporate Sponsor Email: Phone:  1.832.224.6911 (1.83.ACMSS.911).

Read the online magazine article here from For the Record:  Medical Scribes Make Their Presence Felt

November 19, 2012
Medical Scribes Make Their Presence Felt , By Mary Anne Gates
For The Record Magazine
Vol. 24 No. 21 P. 14
For The Record Online Article:

ACMSS Attending American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Scientific Assembly (10/8-10/10)

American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) will be onsite at this year’s ACEP conference held in Denver, CO, October 8-12. ACMSS advocates on behalf of the medical scribe industry, setting minimal performance standards of practice and certifying medical scribes and scribe programs.

Executive Director, Kristin Hagen, will be attending ACEP and networking with colleagues regarding the importance of performance standards and certification of medical scribes as they aid clinicians with workflow efficiencies and clinical documentation. Medical scribes assist clinicians in real time, at the point-of-care with supervised data collection and entry into the EMR. For more information, or to arrange a meeting onsite, please direct inquiries to:  or contact ACMSS at 1.832.224.6911.

ACMSS looks forward to an eventful educational event and networking with industry colleagues!

About ACEP

ACEP’s 2012 Scientific Assembly will have an exciting array of educational programming and social events, and new venue, this year’s Assembly has been one of the most anticipated emergency medicine conferences.

Special features this year include

•Over 300 world-class educational sessions
•A return of the popular pre-conference Cadaver Lab
•Summaries and commentary of the articles chosen by ABEM for its current LLSA tests
•More hands-on skills labs added to the program
•New 30 Minute lectures •ACEP’s Research Forum – tomorrow’s news today – included in 4-day registration fee

Add to that, the largest exhibit program in the specialty to view the latest equipment and products, and one of the best opportunities to network with your colleagues from across the nation.

New Changes in Store for MCAT in 2015. Be Informed and Prepared!

New changes in store for MCAT for 2015. Be informed and prepared!

Healthcare requirements and education continue to evolve to meet the needs of medical schools selecting the best applicants into medical school. In addition to restructure of the MCAT, Medical College Admissions Test, a well-prepared student will gain benefit through first-hand experience as a medical scribe. Specifically those who have certified as a Clinical Information Manager (CMSS), will also present credentials, enabling minimal standards of education to the US Healthcare System to ensure data integrity. CMSSs also meet minimal training requirements, work performance , and maintain a commitment to continuing education. ( Certified Medical Scribes often receive a letter of recommendation from the rapport built in close-working relationship with physicians. Distinguishing and balancing oneself through education, experience, growth and connecting to national initiatives through designated professional associations are key attributes that open doors to enable oneself to “stand out from among their peers in candidacy!”

The Association. of American Medical Colleges announced in February the first revisions to the Medical College Admission Test in 21 years. Starting in 2015, the exam will include:

■ A new “Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior” section to test what is typically taught in introductory psychology, sociology and biology courses.
■ A new “Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills” section to reasoning ability by having students analyze, evaluate and apply information provided in passages from a range of social sciences and humanities disciplines.
■ Two natural sciences sections to test concepts typically taught in introductory biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics.
■ No writing sample.

Additional information linked below:


US News


ACMSS Launches National MSCAT Medical Scribe & HIPAA Certification Exams

The American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) has Officially Launched the Clinical Information Manager Certification and Aptitude Test (MSCAT) and HIPAA Scribe Certification Program

Caldwell, NJ, February 23, 2012

The American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) announced today the launch of the nation’s first certification exams for the clinical information management professional.

The ACMSS was established to advance the profession through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning and has long recognized the need to develop a certification examination that targets clinical information management professionals who are qualified by their training and experience to achieve industry-level certification.

“Medical scribe employment is clearly on the rise and employers require a minimum level of documentation performance and knowledge of the clinical boundaries of scribe utilization. Given the rapid growth of the medical scribe industry, a standardized approach to quality and accurate point-of-care documentation will enable physician workflow efficiencies. These operational improvements as a result of medical scribe use allow the physician to examine additional patients, spend more time at the patient’s bedside, and circumvent the physical barrier imposed by Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) in the physician-patient interview. We believe medical scribe use is cost effective and leads to additional patient safety. In a field as highly regulated as the healthcare industry, it is only a matter of time before medical scribes will need to demonstrate their credentials,” says Kristin Hagen, Executive Director of the ACMSS.

The MSCAT is a comprehensive certification exam that verifies the medical scribe possesses the skill set of a credentialed Certified Medical Scribe (CMS). CMS’ must demonstrate fluency in medical terminology, visit level assignment, medicolegal risk mitigation, accountability measures, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and in navigating the Electronic Health Record (EHR).

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) course and exam ensures the medical scribe documents the physician-patient medical encounter in a federally compliant manner with respect to the Privacy Rule.

“Helping our graduates achieve industry certification and gain employment is our primary focus,” says Peter Reilly, President and CEO of the American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group. “Partnering with the ACMSS in the development and delivery of these certification exams ensures our medical scribe training program will culminate in industry certification for our graduates just like our medical transcription editing training and medical billing and coding training programs currently do.”

To learn more about the MSCAT certification exam and other ACMSS exams, please visit the MSCAT page.

The American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACMSS) is the nation’s preeminent professional society representing Certified Medical Scribes (CMS) professionals. The ACMSS is committed to advancing the CMS profession through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning. ACMSS certification and membership is sought and earned by Clinical Information Managers on a voluntary basis. To learn more about the ACMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at

The American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group (AHDPG) is a leading training and workforce development company focused on the healthcare documentation industry. AHDPG was the first employer owned training organization approved by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP), a joint committee established by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). AHDPG provides online training in the areas of medical transcription editing, medical billing and coding and clinical information management (medical scribe) delivered in a supportive environment. Students graduate ready to take their respective certification exams and gain employment in the healthcare documentation industry. For more information about AHDPG, please visit our website at

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