Individuals in medical office management programs typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in a certificate program. They may also need to complete a keyboarding course if they have no prior experience using one. Some schools may require that students complete an associate's degree program in medical assisting. These 1-year programs are typically available at community colleges and technical schools; some are available online.
Certificate in Medical Office Management
Certificate programs in medical office management cover business applications, communications and medical topics. Students may take classes in word processing and spreadsheet software. Students are taught effective communication and organizational skills. Program courses may include:
- Medical terminology
- Records management
- Medical billing and coding
- Insurance procedures
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical and health service managers is expected to increase 17% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). This above-average increase is due to an overall expansion of the health care industry, requiring more managers in medical offices, according to the BLS. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the annual median income of medical and health service managers was $94,500.
Program graduates may seek professional credentials to demonstrate their knowledge and competency after gaining a few years of work experience. The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers the Certified Medical Manager (CMM) certification (www.pahcom.com). Applicants for this certification must have three years of experience in the medical field and 12 hours of course credit in business management or health care. Some requirements may be waived if applicants have additional industry experience. Certification lasts for two years.
Individuals may also seek the National Certified Coding Specialist certificate exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org). Applicants do not need work experience, but it is recommended they have at least three years of medical coding experience and have completed coursework in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and pathophysiology. Certification is valid for two years, and applicants must complete a specific number of continuing education credits for recertification.
Students pursuing medical office management can look into certification programs offering training in patient records, insurance forms, and related billing documentation. Professional credentials can also be attained by graduates to boast their knowledge to employers. This field is expected to experience strong growth over the next decade.