Sometimes we watch superheroes in awe, admiring their ability to handle all of the dependencies of mankind. But who protects superheroes? Who guides them and helps them manage all the hurdles of their vigilante profession? Depending on the character you'll get a variety of answers. What's important, however, is not that superheroes have a number of challenges to face, but rather that even superheroes admittedly have helping hands right there to aid them in their mission for justice.
Sometimes, we can equate a medical staff at an office or hospital with superheroes: their incredible machinery and talents for problem-solving seem to work miracles that we ordinary citizens just cannot produce on our own. Similarly, these real-life heroes rely on a whole team of administrators and managers to provide the essential services that make a medical practice run successfully. With an Associate's Degree in medical office administration and management, you'll be equipped to work in the world behind the heroes, providing physicians with the services they need to better help patients.
The idea behind medical office administration is that there are a wide range of tasks and needs in any organization, and the right administrator is there to ensure that the entire institution has what it needs to successful fulfill its obligations to patients. Since patient care is at the heart of what doctors are about, the doctors don't have the time and often not the skills necessary for successfully managing an organization. Administrators step in and actually run the office, including its personnel, equipment, and departments, so that everyone else can worry about their own specialized tasks.
In many ways, managing a medical office is similar to managing any kind of business. In addition to these general management skills, a medical office administrator is required to have strong knowledge of elements related to the medical field, including laws, insurance, and ethics. An Associate's Degree in medical office administration and management focuses on these particular aspects unique to the medical field and includes database management, medical terminology, healthcare applications, healthcare operations, insurance, ethics, management, and anatomy. This diverse range of courses equips students with the essential information they need to maintain the services a healthcare setting offers.
We don't have to think of a medical officer administrator in a general way all of the time. In many cases, students will earn a degree and obtain this exact position, responsible for all of the internal workings of a medical office. In many other cases, their degree will lead to job titles that include a medical office specialist, medical administrative assistant, medical records clerk, medical secretary, and admitting clerk. Also, although the word "office" is explicitly stated in this degree title, an Associate's Degree as a medical office administrator can be applied inside of offices, medical centers, nursing facilities, and hospitals alike. In fact, often an administrator will be working on a team of similar people. Instead of being a lead administrator, many individuals with an Associate's Degree are one of many in charge of a particular aspect of a medical office's department.
We watch superheroes in awe, but its doctors who we really depend on. And when we say we depend on doctors for our medical needs, we're really saying that we depend on the team of individuals that produce the entire medical setting that serves us. When you earn your Associate's Degree in medical office administration and management, you will obtain those skills that go into supporting the doctors and providing the patients with the care that they need. You will aptly run the various administrative responsibilities unique to the medical setting. So begin now and take advantage of the growing opportunities in this exciting and essential medical area.
As a medical office administrator you’ll have a lot of different responsibilities regardless of what type of medical facility you work at. The following are just some of the most common duties you’ll have to deal with on a daily basis.
Greeting Patients – One of the duties as a medical office administrator might be to handle the front office of a doctor’s office or hospital. You’ll learn to greet patients that come into the office as well as take their information in order to be seen by the doctor.
Appointments – Part of your role will be to handle and schedule all appointments at the medical office with other front office personnel.
Patient Records – Gathering, researching and even updating patient records is often the duty of the medical office administrator. During your Associate’s degree training you’ll get introduced to medical records both in paper form as well as electronic.
Medical Billing – If you want to become a medical biller full-time you’ll need to take a special program for that but many schools will cover a basic medical insurance or billing course during your Associate’s degree.
To receive your degree you’ll need to finish 60-70 credit hours of courses related to medical office administration. About half of the credits are what they call general education courses that often can be transferred in from another school, even credits you earned in high school. It will take you 2 years to complete your degree however some colleges do have fast track programs allowing you to graduate and enter the workforce earlier.
- Medical Coding Billing
- Medical Terminology
- Office Accounting
- Medical Office Management
- Telephone Scheduling
- Medical Office Environment
- Medical Insurance
- Medical Office Staffing
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Administrative Procedures
The National Healthcare Association (NHA) offers a certified medical administrative assistant credential called the CMAA. One of the advantages of receiving this certification is that it is nationally recognized in the US and employers often look for graduates who have this certification. If the school you are researching offers this certification it is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
A medical office administrator can work in a lot of different places that including those in doctors’ offices, hospitals, long term care facilities and specialized physician offices. Below are the additional areas to look into once you earn your degree and the titles of those positions.
- Medical Office Administration Assistant
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Medical Secretary
- Office Assistant
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Records Clerk
- Medical Insurance
- Retail or Medical Sales