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Overview of Medical Administration Associate Degree Program

Majors Overview February 20, 2014

Receive information about an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in medical administration and its coursework, career choices, certification and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Medical Administration

Graduates of an associate’s degree program in medical administration can expect to develop administrative, interpersonal, technical and organizational skills. They are specifically trained in running a medical office successfully, including the performance of medical transcription among other tasks. A capstone requirement in transcription and coding may also be required in some programs. It takes two years to complete most associate’s degree programs that are offered at community colleges and technical schools. An online option is offered by some schools. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

General education requirements augment core coursework in associate’s degree programs in medical administration. Most of the core coursework focuses on knowledge of the medical industry in addition to word processing applications. Coursework may typically include topic areas such as:

•Medical billing and insurance
•Health office administration
•Keyboarding
•Medical terminology
•Medical coding
•Pathophysiology

Career Choices

Training in transcription can enable program graduates to seek to join the workforce immediately, with entry-level occupations in outpatient care centers, nursing care facilities, hospitals or physicians’ offices, in positions such as:

•Medical transcriptionist
•Medical secretary
•Medical administrative assistant

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of an associate degree program in medical administration could opt to pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration. In a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, coursework of the associate’s degree program is built on and areas, such as healthcare administration and economics, are included. In the 2-year master’s degree program, additional topics such as personnel management, marketing and finance are covered. These professionals can volunteer for certification offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, among other agencies. Years of work experience in the field will enable medical transcriptionists to pursue the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) or the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) designation.

These certifications can be obtained through the passage of an exam and require renewal every three years; renewal requirements can vary. The Certified Compliance Technician (CCT), Certified Clinical Account Technician (CCAT), Certified Patient Account Technician (CPAT), Certified Clinical Account Manager (CCAM), and Certified Patient Account Manager (CPAM) are among the certifications offered to medical assistants. Those employed in hospitals can pursue the CPAM and CPAT while those who work for physicians or clinics could opt for the CCAM and CCAT. Professionals with compliance responsibilities would be best served by the CCT certification.

Passage of an online exam is mandatory for those interested in obtaining CCAT, CPAT, CPAM, or CCAM certifications; renewal of certification requires 40 hours of continued education during the two-year validity period of the credential. No continuing education is necessary for the re-validation of the CCT, though candidates are required to retake the CCT exam every three years in order to obtain re-certification.

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