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Online Medical Receptionist Certification Information

Although certification exams for medical receptionists cannot be taken online, candidates can typically access study materials via the Internet. Read on for more information about certification options for medical receptionists.

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Medical Receptionist Certification Overview

Certification specifically for medical receptionists does not exist; however, individuals may consider becoming a certified medical assistant or certified medical administrative assistant. These credentials are offered through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Certification eligibility guidelines vary depending on credentialing organization.

Certification Options

American Association of Medical Assistants

The AAMA offers the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) designation, which requires students to pass an exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions covering areas such as administrative procedures, medical terms, healthcare law and anatomy. The AAMA provides online study aides, including an exam content outline and practice tests. The National Board of Medical Examiners verifies and approves the content of this exam.

Certification Requirements

Certification is available to individuals who complete medical assistance programs at schools accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The exam must typically be taken within a certain amount of time following graduation. Recertification is necessary every 60 months as of 2014.

National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

The NHA offers the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) credential. Its exam tests candidates on their medical receptionist skills, such as patient communication, scheduling and recordkeeping. Individuals who register for the certification exam may download study materials, including sample tests and questions. Those who don't register may pay a nominal fee for an electronic study guide delivered via e-mail or through traditional mail service.

Certification Requirements

Candidates must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Then, they must either complete an NHA-approved certification training program within a year before taking the exam or have at least one year's experience in medical reception. Recertification is necessary every two years.

Career Information

Medical receptionists work in hospitals, physicians' offices, clinics and other medical facilities. They greet patients, schedule appointments, keep medical records and check patients' insurance coverage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for receptionists and information clerks, including medical receptionists, were expected to increase 14% from 2012-2022. On the other hand, employment of medical assistants was predicted to grow 29% during the same time frame (BLS).

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