Medical office administration is exactly what it sounds like. Whether at a hospital or a doctor's private practice, medical office administration jobs are about keeping the company's staff and office running smoothly. Medicine is an industry and doctor's offices and clinics are businesses. Just like any business, they need someone to handle the paperwork, the billing and other mundane matters. A medical office administration degree can give you your start.
Studying for Your Degree
A medical office administration degree is an associate degree, rather than a four-year bachelor program. If you're going to college full-time, it takes about two years to get your degree. Common courses in such programs include:
- Medical terminology.
- Human resources management.
- Health insurance systems.
- Keyboarding, AKA data entry.
- Legal issues in health care.
- Medical coding, which turns details of diagnoses and treatments into an alphanumeric code for filing records.
- Billing and insurance.
- Medical transcription.
- Office administration.
- Computer courses in software such as Word or Excel.
Some colleges offer faster, more limited training, such as a medical coding and billing certification after two semesters of study.
Office Admin Responsibilities
There are a wide variety of health office administration jobs and responsibilities. Medical offices range from small practices with one office staffer to massive hospitals with a sizable administrative department. The exact responsibilities for an office administrator will vary with the size of their employer and their staffing needs, but could include:
- Transcribing doctors' dictation.
- Recording medical histories.
- Arranging for patients to be hospitalized.
- Ordering supplies.
- Scheduling appointments and meetings.
- Preparing insurance forms.
- Organizing the office files.
- Communicating by phone, mail and email.
- Keeping the office accounts.