Most medical office administration degree programs include courses in medical terminology, coding, billing, transcription, and office administration. This specialized training can lead to jobs in medical offices, clinics, laboratories, home health care agencies and hospitals. Insurance claims processors, health departments and medical supply manufacturers also hire medical office administration graduates to perform a range of administrative tasks.
Medical Office Assistant
Medical office assistants maintain patient records, assist with transcription, bill patients and insurance companies, answer phones and perform other administrative duties. They may also record patient histories, prepare reports, order supplies, and prepare patients for laboratory procedures or hospital admissions. Medical office assistants need to understand medical terminology, insurance and billing practices, laboratory procedures and patient confidentiality rules. A two-year medical office administration degree program should provide the training you need to work as a medical office assistant.
Medical coders, also known as coding specialists, review, organize and maintain patient records. They assign clinical codes for data analysis, reimbursement and insurance purposes. Medical coders often work as a liaison between health providers and billing offices. An associate degree in health information technology, medical office administration or a related field is required to work as a medical coder. Though not required, medical coding certifications can be earned through the AAPC.
Cancer registrars review and maintain cancer patient records. They assign classification codes to diagnosis and treatment reports, compile records for research purposes, conduct patient follow-ups and help to maintain a database of cancer patients. An associate degree in health information technology, medical office administration or a related field is required to work as cancer registrar. Certification is needed in some states. Certification requirements and prerequisites vary by state.
Medical transcriptionists listen to physician voice recording and transcribe what they hear into written medical documents that become part of a patient's permanent medical file. They must be familiar with medical terminology, grammar and punctuation, and word processing programs. A two-year medical office administration degree program should provide the training you need to work as a medical transcriptionist. Though not required, certification through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity can demonstrate expertise and increase employment opportunities. Two certifications are available: the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) designation, which for recent graduates with two years of experience or less, and the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) designation, which is for established professionals with experience in transcription in several medical specialties.