Provisional Credential (CDT-P) Option

We have received inquiries from practice managers who are understandably concerned about newly-hired medical assistants who have not yet completed 6 months (or 1000 hours) of on-the-job experience necessary to receive the Certified Dermatology Tech® (CDT) credential. As you know, CMS now requires medical assistants to be “credentialed” in order for their order entry activity to meet Meaningful Use criteria. Those earning the Certified Dermatology Tech® credential do fulfill this requirement, as do those holding current certification through either the AAMA or AMT. But what about new hires who aren’t AAMA or AMT certified, and don’t yet have the experience required to receive the full CDT credential?

The “credentialing” issue seems to revolve around CMS wishing to ensure the knowledge base of those entering orders into the electronic health record. As stated on page 53986 of the Federal Register (Vol. 77, No. 171), CMS has expressed concern “that the person entering the order could be required to enter the order correctly, evaluate CDS [Clinical Decision Support] either using their own judgment or through accurate relay of the information to the ordering provider, and then either make a change to the order based on the CDS intervention or bypass the intervention. We do not believe that a layperson is qualified to do this…”.

After viewing all of our online video modules – including those specifically reviewing medications and prescription order entry, we believe that our course participants will have acquired a fundamental knowledge base which is well beyond that of a “layperson”. Therefore, we will offer the option to request the Certified Dermatology Tech – Provisional (CDT-P) credential.

To receive the provisional credential, course participants must:

1) Watch all video modules and pass all post-tests.
2) Submit a completed Provisional Certification Skills Check-List.

We respectfully ask course participants and practice managers to understand that…

  • The CDT-P is a transitional credential only and is only intended for those who are in the process of earning their 6 months (or 1000 hours) of “hands-on” assisting experience.
  • We will not be providing a formal “certificate” for this credential. Instead, we will provide email confirmation only. 

We ask practice managers to keep in mind that nearly everyone in our course is enrolled at the $99 level offered to those purchasing multiple enrollments. At this price point, we operate at extremely slim margins. We offer this CDT-P credential as a courtesy to address the requirements of CMS, but we simply cannot devote significant resources to processing these transitional credentials. Hence our decision to only offer email confirmation of CDT-P status rather than formal delivery of a “certificate”. It is later (after completing all course requirements, including submission of the full certification “skills sheet“) that we then fully process each account and provide the Certified Dermatology Tech® (CDT) credential and certificate.

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