Body of Knowledge
Assess and develop your expertise in medical practice management.
Group practice management is unique, and the profession’s nuances make it unlike any other. That’s why the Body of Knowledge (BOK) for Medical Practice Management is so essential to success. It serves as a repository of industry knowledge, a guide to practice management, an assessment of competency and a learning tool.
The BOK also serves as the exam blueprint for MGMA members who are pursuing certification and Fellowship through the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE), the certification and standard-setting entity of MGMA.
Domain exam percentages
|Human Resource Management
|Risk and Compliance Management
|Transformative Healthcare Delivery
See what it takes to become a successful medical practice executive — select a domain to see the performance objectives the BOK can put you on track to master.
The BOK domains
The medical practice management profession has always and will continue to evolve and change. To ensure that board certification continues to be the most effective, and contemporary assessment of skills and abilities, the ACMPE exam blueprint has been updated. These changes will be reflected starting with the December 2020 exam window.
Psychometric standards dictate that the content standards for the exam be determined by conducting a Job Analysis Survey. This study uses healthcare administrator professionals to identify and prioritize the critical tasks of a profession. This data was then used to calculate the relative proportions of each subject area, or domain, and reviewed and compiled by subject matter experts.
While the exam content will contain common information, the organization of the information and the level of emphasis will change, as well as added areas of study and more concise tasks.
Download the Examinations Guide
Download Full FAQs
Download 2013 and 2020 Comparison
Download New Framework
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to update the Body of Knowledge for Medical Practice Management (BOK) and exam standards now?
The psychometric standards upon which ACMPE Board Certification is built require that testing materials be rooted in a contemporary study of the state of the profession. Industry standards dictate that exam blueprints be updated approximately every five to seven years. Much like the current update, changes consisted largely of increased or decreased emphasis on functions based on practice management trends.
Without appropriate maintenance and attention and updates to the BOK, the standards that we are assessing become less valuable to the industry and to the professionals who seek them out.
In recent talks with large medical practice and hospital systems, it became evident to staff members and leaders that these institutions are increasingly seeking out ACMPE certification as a way to verify necessary knowledge to ensure successful, consistent oversight of their physician services and to ensure these employees can adapt and position their practices for future success. We all recognize that the profession has been, and will continue to be, dramatically affected by the changes to the way healthcare is delivered and administered. Now more than ever, we must ensure ACMPE board certification is keeping pace with the evolving environment.
What has the BOK revision process been?
Psychometric standards dictate that the content standards for the exam be determined by conducting a Job Analysis Study. This study uses subject matter experts to identify and prioritize the critical tasks of a profession.
In 2019, a group of subject matter experts were interviewed to begin to delineate the field of healthcare management. A representative sample of professionals in the field of healthcare management in varying roles and demographics outlined the job analysis study based off the group’s delineation of the field. The work of the panel was then validated through a survey of all MGMA members and customers. Using this information, the new test specifications for the certification examination were developed. The ACMPE Certification Commission voted unanimously in approval of the updated exam blueprint.
To ensure we evolve on a continuous basis, we will take the new specification and update exams throughout the year, as well as update any detailed resources that cover the BOK framework.
What is a Body of Knowledge?
Every profession possesses a body of knowledge representing the sum total of information about that profession. Every book that’s written, every article published, every change in legislation -- they all add to the body of knowledge. A formal, documented body of knowledge undergoes a continuous, rigorous review and validation by members of that profession. It’s one way for professionals to establish their claim to an expertise that deserves recognition. Its contents are based on extensive studies by ACMPE, which engaged hundreds of group practice management professionals to identify and validate the role of the medical practice executive and the knowledge and skills required for competent performance.
The BOK helps to set the standards that preserve our profession’s integrity and promote its growth. The 2020 version of the BOK will initially be composed of two major deliverables. The first is an exam blueprint, which will provide a legally defensible basis for certification exams. The second deliverable will be a set of learning resources that are derived from the role delineation study and can be used by MGMA as a framework for educational activities. Other tools may be developed to expand the suite of BOK materials as time goes on and will be reviewed throughout each ear going forward.
Changes to the BOK indicate the profession’s vibrancy. It provides a living, breathing continuing-education platform that changes as the profession evolves.
What MGMA members/leaders were involved and how were they chosen?
As referenced earlier, this process was driven by the ACMPE Certification Commission. The Commission appointed a committee of members to review the current BOK and recommend updates to reflect current industry practices. These leaders were chosen based on guidance from a psychometric consultant and current MGMA demographics, with differing locations and employment types were selected from members of MGMA. The group contained both members who were newer to the field and understood the eligibility requirement of at least two years’ experience, as well as experienced members who have been part of the profession for many years. Other members included a liaison from the ACMPE Certification Commission, members from the ACMPE Examinations Committee and a member of the 2013 update.
The members were:
Lee Ann Webster (Committee Chair and 2013 Representative)
Robert Karam (Committee Chair)
Tracy Bird (ACMPE Certification Commission Liaison)
Breanna Wong (Student Representative)
And the BOK Resource Subcommittee has driven and created all exam resources to be used directly for the preparing for the exams (not BOK specific).
What does this mean for professionals who are currently pursuing certification or Fellowship?
The essential content is more up to date with today’s industry, including the domain for Transformative Healthcare Delivery. However, some nominees may feel more comfortable taking the exams with the current blueprint.
With that in mind, for individuals currently pursuing certification, we will provide an updated examination guide online to gauge their level of ability for each knowledge domain and task for both the current and the new exam blueprint as well as released the new exam specifications. This will allow those pursuing certification to decide which blueprint they feel more comfortable with and, as a result, adjust their timeline to take their exams accordingly.
For those pursuing Fellowship, there is no change in your course. However, we encourage you to utilize the BOK to help you through the process.
What if I have already taken the exam(s)?
The current requirements to advance to CMPE status are: pass the scenario-based exam, pass the multiple choice exam and log 50 continuing education credits on your transcript following the continuing education specifications (in no particular order). It does not matter if your exams were taken and passed using the 2013 exam blueprint or the 2020 blueprint. You do not need to retake an exam you have previously taken and passed to become certified if your application is still active.
What does this mean for my existing credential?
In a broad sense, it means your existing credential will continue to be regarded as the most contemporary assessment of proficiency for the medical practice executive profession. It also means that as a Board Certified member or Fellow, you will receive continuing education from MGMA that is relevant and directly tied to competency.