A certificate program in medical administrative assisting is the most common and enables students to enter the medical assisting field quickly; however, an associate's program can be useful for career advancement and provides more flexibility for the future. A certificate program usually takes two semesters, while an associate's degree can be completed in as little as 18 months.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistant employment, which includes administrative medical assistants, will grow at a very fast pace in the coming years. Graduates of a program in administrative medical assisting can find employment in physicians' offices, outpatient care centers, health practitioners' offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Typical subjects in your classes are as follows:
- Medical law
- ICD-9 and other codes
- Medical word roots
- History of health insurance
- Signs and symptoms
- Customer satisfaction
List of Courses
Medical Office Administration Course
This course reviews the procedures that are typically performed by a medical office administrator, including responsibilities like answering telephones, scheduling appointments, working with basic medical office equipment and managing medical records. Basic skills required to assist with patients, such as gloving and gowning procedures, patient draping and taking universal precautions, are also covered.
Computer Office Skills Course
This is an introductory course covering basic computer, Web and Internet use. Students can learn how to use office applications like word processing software, spreadsheets, graphics packages and presentation software. The legal and ethical considerations related to medical documentation may also be reviewed.
Medical Terminology Course
This course provides students with a basic vocabulary of general medical office terminology, including major body systems and organs, diagnosis and clinical lab procedures and imaging options. Students can learn how to pronounce and spell medical terms. Some courses may include the study of word structures, such as prefixes and root words.
Medical Office Insurance and Billing Procedures Course
This is an in-depth survey of medical documentation management, including insurance claim processing, privacy regulations, patient billing and collections. Students can study Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes used for identifying procedures and services for billing. Other common course topics include third party insurance procedures and policies, workers' compensation and disability insurance.
Business Communication Skills Course
This course covers both written and oral communication. Students can learn how to strengthen their professional image in the health care industry. Skills development focuses on preparing e-mail communications, memos, letters, reports and presentations. Library and research skills may be introduced as part of creating and writing reports.