Medical Office Specialist Certification and Training Program Info

Students enrolled in a medical office specialist certificate program develop basic computer, keyboarding, business and filing skills. They also learn about various medical diseases and treatments, medical terminology, patient intake procedures and medical recordkeeping techniques.

Essential Information

Medical office specialists work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations. Their duties include keeping medical records, greeting guests, handling billing procedures, and maintaining the front office. There are many different names for medical office specialists, including medical billing and coding specialists, medical office assistants, and medical secretaries. Individuals who aspire to the profession can enroll in a medical office specialist certificate program. Most programs offer training in medical coding, which allows individuals to transform medical procedures into codes for billing and insurance purposes. Voluntary certification is available in this field.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; Some schools require English language proficiency and keyboard skills.

Certification in Medical Office Specialization

Certificate programs for aspiring medical office specialists and medical office assistants often contain courses that are practical in nature and provide specific step-by-step training in medical coding, recordkeeping, and filing procedures. Some specific examples of common courses include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Medical billing procedures
  • Medical coding
  • Law and ethics in medicine
  • Business communication
  • Medical diseases and treatments

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Physicians' offices, medical hospitals, dentists' offices, and outpatient care centers employed 516,050 medical secretaries and office specialists in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). These jobs were predicted to grow 312% from 2012-2022. The BLS reported that the mean annual salary for professionals in the field was $33,530 in May 2014.

Continuing Education

Certification is not required. However, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding and the American Academy of Professional Coders both offer credentials in medical billing and coding. Such certifications can be useful to individuals who hope to work their way up to positions as health information technologists or health information managers.

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