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ACHCA: report on two pilot exams.

Results from the American College of Health Care Administrators' launch into assisted living and subacute care certification

This May, the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) conducted its first Certification Exams for Assisted Living and Subacute Care Administrators during its Annual Convocation in Minneapolis, MN. The exam room was packed with 185 health care administrators representing the full continuum of care. As a result, 24 administrators were privileged to be among the first group of nationally-certified Assisted Living Administrators, and 47 are in the charter group certified in Subacute. (An additional 33 nursing home administrators were certified through the revised Nursing Home Administrators exam.)

"With the pass rates on the pilot exam being 56% for the Subacute Exam, 53% for the Nursing Home Exam and 44% for the Assisted Living Exam, we are confident that ACHCA's certification exams truly reflect an advanced level of competency," says Karen S. Tucker, CAE, President/CEO of ACHCA.

Certification is different from licensure in that licensure tests for entry-level competency. ACHCA's certification programs are more difficult by design, and draw on knowledge gained through experience. For an administrator with several years of experience, the exam can serve as a tool for assessing professional development. The exams were developed with the viewpoint that an administrator must keep on top of the industry and what is going on at the national level by reading and attending seminars. Some of the questions on the exams reflect this philosophy.

The Subject Matter Experts who participated in the exam development identified subjects that are important for every top administrator to know. One example was the inclusion of questions relating to the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' (JCAHO) standards. While not every administrator has experienced the accreditation process, every top administrator should have knowledge of these standards, associated throughout the health care field with quality and excellence.

As for more specific information on the pilot examinations:

Assisted Living Administrators' Certification

In developing a national certification exam for assisted living administrators, ACHCA has been able to identify the common practice areas and the role of an assisted living administrator at the national level. Identification of these common domains is essential since the definition of assisted living varies from state to state. Although the National Association of Boards of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators (NAB) is developing a national licensure exam to be completed in 1998, until the launch of ACHCA's Certification, there were no means for assisted living administrators to quantify their abilities at the national level. With the confusion surrounding what constitutes assisted living services, consumers must have a way to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities of those responsible for managing those services. The mark of a Certified Assisted Living Administrator will serve as a critical piece of information, as consumers consider residence in an assisted living facility.

ACHCA has shown its awareness of the diversity of individual backgrounds in the assisted living industry by providing a number of combinations of education and experience in the eligibility requirements.

Subacute Care Administrators/Managers' Certification

With evolving changes in health care delivery, it becomes more important for consumers, payers, health professionals, regulators and physicians to evaluate the credibility of a subacute program. Knowing that an organization has the necessary elements to operate as an accredited organization is necessary, and JCAHO and the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredit those facilities meeting its high standards. Similarly important is knowing the ability of the administrator who oversees subacute services. Administrators across the subacute spectrum participated in the ACHCA Pilot Exam - ranging from hospital administration, home care and nursing home administration, to ambulatory and respiratory care, nursing and more. ACHCA's Subacute Certification has been endorsed by the American Subacute Care Association and the National Sub-acute Care Association.

Nursing Home Administrators' Certification

ACHCA revised the nursing home administrator's exam following a job analysis conducted in January 1997. Administrators cite a variety of reasons why certification is important. Some view it as a personal accomplishment. Others see certification as an enhancement to the profession and one's professional status as perceived by residents, the community, universities and other health care professionals. More and more employers are encouraging their employees to become certified and look for certified individuals to hire.

According to Caryl Hall, CNHA, Administrator of Manor Pines Convalescent Center, "Certification gives administrators an opportunity to prove their dedication to the industry and to show that they are highly motivated. Certified administrators are the type of individuals we seek to hire in our organization, and have in the past."

Says James Iverson, CNHA, Fellow of ACHCA and Administrator of Bethel Lutheran Home in Madison, SD, "I took the Pilot Exam for Nursing Home Administrators to test myself and evaluate where I am professionally. Just because you're licensed does not mean you are performing at the top level. Since I was licensed in 1978, I wanted to test myself by becoming certified."

Currently 11 states grant licensure reciprocity to CNHAs. ACHCA is currently seeking approval for endorsement/reciprocity from additional state boards.

All three exams will be conducted again on October 13 and on February 21 in cities nationwide. To receive more information, call (703) 739-7900 or (888) 88-ACHCA.

Certified Assisted Living Administrators Certified from May 2, 1997 Pilot Exam(*)

Susan E. Anagnostou, CNHA, CAS, CALA Sheila J. Atchley PhD, CALA Elaine M. Bastl, CALA Mary M. Clancy, CALA Daniel James Fair, CALA Andrew L. Fennelly, CALA Linda J. Gardner, CALA Keith L. Gendreau, CNHA, CALA James Genrich, CALA W. Bruce Glass, CALA Tina S. Glenn, CNHA, CALA Ronald C. Glick, CALA Julie A. Grogan, CALA Joseph B. Kuyoth Jr, CNHA, CALA Mary Ellen Lind, CALA Linzi Malmstrom, CALA Christian A. Mason, CNHA, CALA James Mertz, CALA Stephen J. Musser, CALA Karen O'Toole, CALA Margaret Owens, CALA Theodore B. Podkul Jr, CNHA, CALA Jerry Roethemeyer, CALA Judith A. Sandmann, CALA John W. Schmidt, CNHA, CALA Jane M. Smith, CNHA, CALA Patrick A. Smith, CNHA, CALA Wesley Sperr, CNHA, CALA Kalman Wenig, CALA David C. Williams, CALA Jon R. Zemans, CNHA, CAS, CALA

* This list includes those Item Writers who were grandfathered

Certified Subacute Care Administrators Certified from May 2, 1997 Pilot Exam(*)

Susan E. Anagnostou, CNHA, CAS, CALA Anna Bojarczuk-Foy, CAS Mary K. Caldeira, CAS Carol C. Carey, CNHA, CAS William L. Carter Jr., CAS Damie U. Castle, CAS Edna M. Connors, CNHA, CAS Clay F. Crosson, CNHA, CAS Anne R. Dougherty, CNHA, CAS Leann Engelken, CAS Mary P. Flynn, CNHA, CAS Maureen Gartland, CNHA, CAS Sandra S. Grant, CNHA, CAS Cheryl J. Guyman, CNHA, CAS Sandra Hackenmueller, CAS Timothy C. Hager, CNHA, CAS Norman E. Harper, CAS James W. Hawkins, CAS Terry L. Hollinger, CAS Ben Howard, CAS Laura Hyatt, CAS J.S. Parker Jones IV, CNHA, CAS Ann Keillor, CAS Mary E. Koch, CAS Paul L. Kocsis, CNHA, CAS Lynn A. Lancaster, CNHA, CAS Douglas L. Malin, CNHA, CAS William J. McGinley Jr, CNHA, CS Louis Milite, CNHA, CAS Carole P. Napolillo, CAS Rick Oros CNHA, CAS Jackie C. Ortelli, CAS, CNA Judith A. Passerini, CNHA, CAS Eli Pick CNHA, CAS Joyce E. Plourde, CNHA, CAS Allene P. Reese, CNHA, CAS Jan Ricchio, CAS Joan C. Sorteberg, CAS Jeffery Sprinkle, CAS James D. R. Steven, CNHA, CAS Ruth A. Vital-Hebert, CNHA, CAS Andy Whitener, CAS Thomas Widney, CNHA, CAS Richard Wilson, CAS Garry Woessner, CAS David G. Wolf, CNHA, CAS Jon R. Zemans, CNHA, CAS, CALA

* This list includes those Item Writers who were grandfathered

Certified Nursing Home Administrators Certified from the May 2, 1997 Pilot Exam

Susan E. Anagnostou CNHA, CAS, CALA Debora M. Bartsch RN, CNHA Patricia A. Behrendt, CNHA Barbara Campbell, CNHA Benjamin C. Delmonico, CNHA Connie Ducklow, CNHA Maureen Dunn, CNHA Douglas W. Frihart, CNHA Bradley D. Groseth, CNHA Layne Gross, CNHA H. Sandra Hugg, CNHA James T. Iverson, CNHA Robert Jenkins, CNHA Karenlouise Johnson-Page, CNHA Kevin H. Larson, CNHA Shawn T. Litten, CNHA Norma J. Morgan, CNHA M. Sue Mortensen, CNHA Sandra Nutten, CNHA Dana M. Orr, CNHA Neil Ostlie, CNHA Gary Porter, CNHA Mary C. Rosch, CNHA Mary Ruyter, CNHA Juliane M. Saxon, CNHA Julie B. Schenkel, CNHA James B. Small, CNHA Helen F. Smith, CNHA Jeffrey A. Smith, CNHA Charles E. Sutton, CNHA Thomas A. Syverson, CNHA Clara W. Warren, CNHA Walter R. Zimmermann, CNHA

Michelle L. Anderson is Certification Programs Manager for the American College of Health Care Administrators, Alexandria, VA.
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Title Annotation:American College of Health Care Administrators' certification exams for assisted living and subacute care administrators
Author:Anderson, Michelle L.
Publication:Nursing Homes
Date:Jul 1, 1997
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