School and Ranking Information
There are about four schools in the Atlanta region with medical office management programs. Lanier Technical College, Westwood College - Northlake and Chattahoochee Technical College all offer associate's degree programs in closely related fields, such as health care management technology and healthcare office administration. Based on such considerations as program offerings, graduation rates and tuition costs, these colleges were ranked as the top institutions in the area for aspiring medical office managers:
- Winner: Lanier Technical College awarded the highest number of degrees relevant to the field of study and had the highest graduation rate among the schools profiled. This school also had the lowest tuition costs of all three schools.
- Runner-Up #1: Westwood College - Northlake is located in Atlanta and offers the only program focused specifically on medical office management, making it the 1st runner-up. Its online program availability was also a factor.
- Runner-Up #2: Chattahoochee Technical College offers two relevant programs and had the second lowest tuition costs of the three schools.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Lanier Technical College||Westwood College - Northlake||Chattahoochee Technical College|
|Location||Oakwood, GA (about 41 miles from Atlanta)||Atlanta, GA||Marietta, GA (about 15 miles from Atlanta)|
|School Type||2-year, public||4-year, private for-profit||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$2,246 in-state,
|$14,520*|| $2,289 in-state,
|Medical Office Management Programs Offered||Associate's degree||Associate's degree||Diplomas and associate's degrees|
|Medical Office Management Degrees Awarded in 2011-2012||6*||0*||N/A|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time)||35% (for students starting in 2009)*||31% (for students starting in 2006)*||12% (for students starting in 2009)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator
Winner: Lanier Technical College
- Program takes six semesters to complete
- Many required courses are offered in online and on-campus formats
- A medical coding specialist certificate is also available
Lanier Technical College offers a 74-credit healthcare management technology associate's program. To gain admission, prospective students must complete the pre-healthcare management concentration and the health care science certificate program. The curriculum includes medical law, advanced coding and healthcare statistics, and students must complete a health care management internship. Graduates of this program may seek work as office managers, departmental supervisors or medical records clerks.
Runner-Up #1: Westwood College - Northlake
- 100% of first-time beginning students received some form of financial aid in 2011-2012, per the NCES
- Program can be completed in 17 months
- This program may also be completed online
The medical office management associate's degree program at Westwood College - Northlake can be completed in less than two years. Students enrolled in this program study computer applications, accounting and insurance procedures. Additional required courses include medical terminology, patient relations and health information technology. Graduates may pursue a career in medical insurance or medical office management. Westwood College - Northlake offers related diploma and associate's degree programs in medical assisting as well.
Runner-Up #2: Chattahoochee Technical College
- Medical administrative assistant courses are available on campus and online
- 90% of all first-time freshmen received some kind of financial aid for the 2011-2012 school year, according to the NCES
Chattahoochee Technical College offers a diploma and an associate's degree in medical assisting at its Austell location and its Appalachian campus in Jasper. A medical administrative assistant diploma is also available at the North Metro campus in Acworth. These programs can lead to employment in medical offices, hospitals and laboratories. All applicants are required to enroll in the school's health care assistant certificate program and complete prerequisite courses. In addition, admission to the medical assisting diploma or associate's program requires completion of the Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test.
Students in the medical administrative assistant diploma program take courses in billing and coding, office procedures and practice management. The curriculum also includes an externship, and the entire program can be completed in 4-5 semesters.
The medical assisting diploma and degree programs cover some of the same topics as the administrative assistant program, though students also learn how to assist physicians, collect fluid samples, administer medication and check vital signs. Students may complete either the 61-credit diploma program or the 70-credit associate's program in three semesters.