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Medical Office Administration Schools and Training Programs

Medical office administrators typically do not treat patients, but they play a vital role in the health care industry -- medical facilities could not run without them. These professionals' duties may overlap with related careers such as medical secretary, health services manager, health information manager or medical records technician. If you want to work in health services, but not necessarily provide direct care, medical office administration could be a good career choice for you.

Careers in Medical Office Administration

For administrative assistants and administrators in medical offices or clinics, daily tasks and responsibilities vary depending on the type and size of facility. In smaller facilities, medical office administrators handle diverse day-to-day operations that could include book-keeping, processing patients' health information, or medical billing and coding.

Administrators with supervisory roles in physicians' practices or clinics typically manage personnel and facility operations, as well as finances and record-keeping. Large medical facilities usually employ a range of health care managers and technicians who may work in a certain specialty or clinical area, such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records or health information.

Another related career is the clinical health care manager; these are medical professionals who have become administrators, responsible for activities such as ordering supplies, planning work schedules and supervising employees. For health care administrators of the non-clinical nature, such as health information managers, duties are more behind-the-scenes. These professionals are responsible for organizing and managing patient data, while assuring security, confidentiality and accuracy.

Training for Medical Office Administration

Degrees are preferred in this field, and specific educational requirements vary according to the position you are seeking. Medical records and health information technicians usually have associate degrees, and a professional credential is favored, although it may also be possible to find employment in physicians' offices and other smaller facilities without a degree. A bachelor's or master's degree or specialized certifications can offer opportunities for career advancement.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) also outlines recommended training for related management careers in health care:

  1. Health information managers need a bachelor's degree in a field such as health information management.
  2. Medical or health care managers typically hold a master's degree, although a bachelor's degree may be adequate for small medical offices. For specialized or advanced positions, you may need relevant experience as well.

Medical office administration training programs vary by school and degree level, and courses may include the following:

  • Billing and coding
  • Customer service
  • Financial management
  • Health information management
  • Insurance processing
  • Medical terminology

Employers often prefer some form of professional licensure, such as the Registered Health Information Technician, or RHIT, credential from the American Health Information Management Association. Office managers may seek the Certified Medical Manager, or CMM, certification, which is maintained by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management; the required exam covers 18 areas of medical practice administration.

Employment Prospects in Health Care Office Administration

Between 2008 and 2018, the bls.gov expects employment to increase by 20 percent for medical records and health information technicians and by 16 percent for health services managers. The aging population and an increasing focus on medical accountability contribute to the anticipated job growth. The bls.gov records these 2010 median salaries for related positions:

  • Medical records and health information technicians: $32,350
  • Health services managers overall: $84,270
  • Medical managers in physicians' offices: $91,820

While medical office administrators typically work in physicians' practices or clinics, related careers also are found in hospitals, nursing homes, home health care services, outpatient care centers and insurance carriers. The bls.gov projects a positive job outlook for health care administration, especially for information technicians who are familiar with medical office software.

Additional Information for Professionals Searching for Medical Office Administration School:
Medical Assistant Training Schools
Medical Office Administration Career Information

Additional Resources for Individuals Seeking a Medical Office Degree:
American Health Information Management Association
Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
Medical Group Management Association

Campus and Online Medical Office Administration Schools

 
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Platt College

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Programs:
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San Joaquin Valley College

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Capella University

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GWU-Pub Health

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Grand Canyon University

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UEI College

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Regis College

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Liberty University

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Brightwood College

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Colorado State University-Global Campus

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National Career College

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New England College

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California College San Diego

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Saint Xavier University

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American University

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