Individuals who want to work in hospital registration can pursue certificates or associate's degrees, which are offered at many schools. These programs may go by various names, such as hospital registration, medical information technology, or medical office administration. Students must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Certificate programs usually require a semester to complete and prepare students for entry-level employment. Associate's degree programs generally call for about two years of study. They require general education courses in subjects such as composition, mathematics, and the humanities/fine arts. Graduates with an associate's degree can go to work in hospital registration or continue their studies toward a bachelor's degree. Both types of programs usually require internships in a healthcare facility or medical office. In addition, online programs and courses are available.
Undergraduate Certificate in Hospital Registration
Individuals who are interested in working in medical transcription, billing, and insurance might consider enrolling in an undergraduate certificate program in hospital registration. Similar certificate programs include those in medical information technology or hospital admissions clerking.
Students in these programs should learn how to interview patients, collect medical information, enter patient data into a computer system and process insurance claims. They can also learn about the applicable laws and ethical issues within the healthcare system.
The focus of the curriculum for an undergraduate certificate program in hospital registration is often primarily based around a student's development of medical office skills. As a part of the curriculum, students might complete coursework in technology, including medical office software applications and computer literacy. Course topics covered throughout the program may include:
- Language of medicine
- Healthcare reimbursement
- Healthcare delivery systems
- Customer service skills in a healthcare setting
- Medical office terminology
- Medical records and data management
Associate Degree in Medical Office Administration
Throughout this program, students often develop administrative skills so that they may eventually pursue a management position within a medical office setting. For example, they might learn basic accounting, report writing, general office procedures, scheduling, file maintenance and oral communications. Upon program completion, students might also be able to perform applicable software functions such as data entry, spreadsheet creation, and word processing. In addition, the program often results in a student's familiarity with the rules of insurance, billing practices, and patient intake procedures.
Throughout the program, students often complete computer technology courses, such as keyboarding, word processing and formatting. In addition, the curriculum for such a program typically includes a variety of medical-based courses. Course topics included in an associate's degree program in medical office administration might include:
- Medical terms
- Medical coding
- Billing & insurance
- Medical legal issues
- Medical office transcription
- Records management and legal implications
Popular Career Options
Upon program completion, students may pursue an entry-level career in hospital registration where they will prepare medical reports, communicate information to other employees and prepare patients to be admitted. In addition to hospital registration, students might consider a career as a patient registration representative in a variety of medical settings, including:
- Physicians' offices
- Surgery centers
- Long term care facilities
- Urgent care centers
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median wage for medical assistants was $33,610, as reported in 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also expects 154,900 job openings for medical assistants from 2018-2028; a 23% growth.
Continuing Education Information
Students who are interested in advancing their studies in the field of medical office administration might consider a bachelor's degree program in healthcare management or healthcare administration. In addition, students may also earn an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in Healthcare Management.
Through certificate programs in hospital registration and associate's programs in medical office administration, students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to collect and process medical documentation and billing information for a healthcare office. Students can continue their education through a bachelor's or master's degree program after graduation.