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Degree Overview: Associate in Specialized Business Degree in Medical Office Administration

Majors Overview June 19, 2014

Receive information about the Associate in Specialized Business degree program in Medical Office Administration and its coursework, job and wage outlook, certification, and continuing education choices.

Associate in Specialized Business Programs in Medical Office Administration

Students enrolled in the Associate in Specialized Business program in Medical Office Administration are trained to seek entry-level business occupations in the medical service field. The program is devised to impart knowledge to graduates about bill collections, billing, insurance coding, medical record management, and medical transcription among other things.

Students enrolled in the program, which lasts 18 to 24 months, are taught to perform the functions of medical secretaries, including scheduling of patient appointments, coordination of patient care, and relaying of messages among staff, patients, and doctors.

There is no need for students to have any prior office or medical experience in order to seek admission into this degree program, whose admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in this program is devised to develop basic computer and office skills. Students will be taught physiology, anatomy, and medical terminology, which will help in their communication with patients and colleagues. Many students enrolled in these programs are expected to participate in internships devised to give them practical, hands-on experience. Coursework may include the following topic areas:

•Pathology
•Medical terminology
•Accounting basics
•English composition
•Computer fundamentals
•Medical transcription
•Medical law
•Basic clinical assisting

Job and Wage Outlook

A faster-than-average job growth rate of 41% has been predicted for medical secretaries during the period of 2010 to 2020 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). This optimistic projection is based on the assumption that the social assistance and healthcare industries will expand and there would be a greater need for healthcare services and, in turn, for medical administrative professionals owing to an aging population. In 2011, medical secretaries took home an average annual wage of $33,140 (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

On-the-job training helps medical secretaries learn new skills (BLS); the majority advances in their careers via promotions and assume roles that entail great responsibility. In order to ensure career advancement, these professionals can choose to join the National Healthcare Association (NHA) or a similar organization and benefit from the continuing education programs such organizations offer. The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) designation is also offered by the NHA to professionals that satisfy experience and education standards and pass an exam.

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