How to obtain CHCQM-PHYADV certification?

Do you want to further your career as a Physician Advisor?

Are you interested in doing chart reviews and work from home?

Then, read further. 

One does not need a certification to become a physician advisor.

But, if you are interested in furthering your career as a physician advisor, CHCQM certification may help boost your career.

You can just get CHCQM certification or you can get a sub-specialty specific CHCQM-PHYADV certification.

There are two basic physician advisor roles you can take. One is in CDI [Clinical Documentation Improvement] and the other is in Utilization Management. Additionally, Physician Advisor can take up any health care leadership role. 

In CDI, you check the charts and look for opportunities to improve documentation. Once you identify those opportunities, you teach the physicians how to improve documentation.

In UM, you review the charts and advise the doctors whether Observation or In-patient status is more appropriate. Once you identify those opportunities, you reach out to the doctors and ask them to adjust the status.

Most of the status determinations are done by UM nurses. Those patient cases which are not straight forward to determine the status will be forwarded to you.

The easiest way to become a physician advisor is to look for opportunities in your own institution.
These days most hospitals have their own UM departments.

If you do not have UM department in your hospital, I guess getting certified in CHCQM may help to find opportunities elsewhere.

If you are already a physician advisor, getting certified in CHCQM-PHYADV may help boost your career to become Medical Director of UM department either in your own institution or in insurance companies.

To become CHCQM-PHYADV, one needs to quality or be eligible to take the certifying examination.

If you are not currently doing UM work, you should have had an experience in advising other physicians in a leadership role. I was a team leader for 4 years so I got qualified as I advise other physicians as part of my job.

If you are in UM work already for a few months, you may qualify to take this exam.

First step is to see if you own hospital has an UM department. If yes, find out who is the Medical Director and reach out to him/her and express interest.

Make an updated CV.

Go to for more details. This is the organization that conducts this certification exam.

Reach out to ABQAURP’s program coordinator Barbara Thomas at and tell your interest to get certified. She will ask for your CV to determine if you are eligible for taking the exam. The eligibility for CHCQM is easier than CHCQM-PHYADV eligibility.

You will need 20 CME in related field which can be easily obtained in their website ABQAURP.ORG by doing questions with CBK.  These CME questions are very important. 

The exam is conducted from August 15th to October 15th of each year. You should have all your application essentials ready by June 25th.

Once Barbara Thomas [program coordinator] tells you that you are eligible, you can first take membership at This is American College of Physician Advisors. This membership will give you discounts in ABQAURP website. Physician Advisor Handbook is free with this membership. An easy to read book. 

Then I took the membership. You don’t need the membership if you just want to get the certification.
Go through the ABQAURP 2020 exam brochure. This brochure has exam application too.

I bought the following from ABQAURP website to finish the exam.

Application fee: $150

Exam fee: $500

Physician Advisor Sub Specialty exam fee: $100 [for CHCQM-PHYADV], remove this if you just want CHCQM.

Core Body of Knowledge CME and Exam material: $395

CBK or Core Body of Knowledge is 12 modules and is the syllabus. It has CME that you can finish to be qualified for the exam.

HCQM Certification examination is given in a 4-hour time block and consists of 175 multiple choice questions. This exam is conducted at a Prometric testing center near you just like our board exam. 

Lot of questions are common sense. You can answer them if you have been practicing for a few years. CBK has lot of information.

The whole process takes a month or more. But not stressful. I read CBK 12 modules twice. 12 modules together make approximately 250 pages I guess but very easy to read. I printed them all and made a folder. 

I spent $1145 on ABQAURP website for membership, material, exam fees etc. $265 for ACPA membership. All from CME money of course.

The program coordinator Barbara Thomas helps you a lot with every step.

Preparation for the exam: I prepared from Core Body Of Knowledge which is from ABQAURP. You have to buy these 12 modules of CBK to get required CME and also to prepare for the exam. I downloaded and printed all the modules. I made a folder and read all the modules twice. A few questions are directly from this material but most questions in the exam are from your experience and common sense with our background knowledge. 

Please tell my name “Chandrasekhar Dinasarapu” if they asked how you knew about this in both ABQAURP and ACPA. It may pay part of my renewal membership fee. It’s ok if you can’t say my name. 

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