Students will be prepared for entry-level work in clerical positions as medical secretaries in several healthcare settings when they take an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in medical administration. Although coding is usually covered in medical administration programs, it may not always be offered as an official degree option in programs.
A.A. Programs in Medical Office Administration
Students enrolled in Associate’s degree programs in medical administration are trained to seek clerical occupations positions as medical secretaries in various healthcare work environments. Schools may not offer programs with emphasis on medical coding as a degree option. However, coursework in medical administration programs typically includes coding. Students usually take about two years to complete these programs that require them to complete about 70 credit hours of coursework. Schools may offer medical administration as a focus area of study within a broader office administration program or as a standalone degree program. In certain instances, schools may offer both day and evening courses. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.
Apart from general education coursework, various subject areas related to healthcare environments and the clerical duties they may entail are taught to students enrolled in medical office administration programs. Such coursework may include imparting of real-world experience through co-op work experiences on the watch of professional medical office employees and classes involving the simulation of office settings. Coursework in medical coding may commonly include both procedure and diagnostic coding and can also cover topic areas such as:
•Medical billing and insurance
•Medical office transcription
Job and Wage Outlook
Typically, a graduate of medical office administration program may become a secretary working in a medical setting, such as a physician’s office, hospital, insurance company or medical supply company. A job growth of 27% has been projected for these experts during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).
Various agencies, including the Board of Medical Specialty in Coding, the American Academy of Professional Coders and the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists, offer coding credentials to these professionals. Graduates can enhance their job opportunities with work experience in medical secretary positions and seek supervisory or administrative positions.