Fully online associate's programs in medical administration assisting are available, though a field-based internship is often required. Students may explore subjects in typing and transcription, common medical procedures, billing steps and proper medical records handling. Graduates can go on to work as medical office assistants, coders or transcriptionists. The program may also prepare graduates for professional certification exams.
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Medical Administration Assistant Associate's Degree
Individuals with an interest in medical office management and technology can enroll in an online administration assistant associate's program. Students learn professional skills like medical report transcription, classified document management and patient-provider communication.
Program Information and Requirements
Associate's degree programs are offered in a hybrid format. Because audio and video applications are used to deliver course content, a computer with Internet access is necessary. Lectures and class notes are often stored on a school's private server and may be accessed at a student's convenience. A typical online associate's program can be completed in two years.
List of Common Medical Administration Assistant Courses
General education requirements include English composition, small group presentation and computer spreadsheet courses. The majority of a program's curriculum is devoted to topics in medical administration.
Introduction to Healthcare Administration
Medical office assistants are responsible for understanding the laws and regulations pertaining to patient documentation. In this course, students discuss information management, workplace ethics and confidentiality.
Medical Coding Procedures
Students learn how to use the International Classification of Diseases system (ICD-9-CM) to code diagnostic sheets and patient exam records.
Terminology in Healthcare
This course serves as an introduction to the technical language of medicine. Emphasis is placed on memorization of physiological conditions, medical procedures and body systems.
Students examine the specialized techniques used to manage patient information. Topics include written documentation procedures, electronic filing and records storage.
Career Information for Graduates
Recipients of a medical administrative assistant associate's degree may find entry-level work as office assistants, medical coders or transcriptionists. As of 2016, medical office assistants earned between $20,949 and $36,663, while medical coders made between $25,684 and $52,380, as reported by Payscale.com. Medical transcriptionists earned between $20,389 and $44,995.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants will increase by an estimated 23% between 2014 and 2024. Employment of medical records and health information technicians is projected to grow by 15%, and transcriptionist employment is expected to decrease by 3% during the same timeframe.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals who attain certification in their administrative sub-field may have more opportunities for employment than those who don't. Associate's degree program graduates are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) exam or one of the multiple coding certification exams offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) certification to individuals who pass a level-1 transcription exam.
While the coursework for an associate's degree in medical office administration is entirely online, students usually need to complete a field-based experience in order to graduate. These programs can lead to entry-level employment in medical transcription, coding or office assisting. Graduates are also prepared for numerous certifications, which can boost job prospects.