Our In Demand Career Spotlight Series focuses on careers in the medical and dental industries where demand for skilled workers outpaces supply. At ACI Medical & Dental School, you can be certified for these in demand careers in just four months, with the hands-on training, skills and credentials you’ll need for your new career.
In this blog post, we will be discussing the Medical Office Assistant position.
What Does A Medical Office Assistant Do?
Medical Office Assistants are responsible for ensuring that the medical office runs smoothly by performing basic office duties. The Medical Office Assistant also welcomes patients as they enter the office and takes down their information. Some of their everyday tasks include:
- Transcribing patient records and letters
- Billing patients
- Scheduling appointments
- Filing claims with insurance companies
- Gathering medical records and charts
- Answering the phone
- Updating patient records
In order to become an Office Assistant, individuals will need a high school diploma or equivalent General Educational Development tests. To become certified as a Medical Office Assistant, you will need to complete the CMAA certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). This shows that you are familiar with the following:
- Medical office procedures and administration
- Preparing and distributing bills, insurance, and accounting
- Medical software programs
- Risk management and audits
- Medical ethics & more
Important Skills for Medical Office Assistants
Medical administrative assistants must have strong interpersonal skills, since they work closely with healthcare professionals, patients, and other administrative professionals. Some medical office assistants will have to explain billing and fees to patients, as well as perform telephone debt collection when bills go unpaid. For medical office assistants who work in the front office, interpersonal skills are particularly important as they greet patients and lead them through the processes of filling out patient information forms and ensuring that their billing and insurance information is up-to-date.
In addition to being able to communicate information about medical records, billing, and insurance to patients in person and on the phone, medical administrative assistants must also possess strong basic writing skills in order to write clear, effective business letters and memos.
Medical administrative assistants must also have some technological skills; they will use computers to electronically transmit insurance claims, complete medical billing and coding, and maintain medical records on medical record software.
The Job Outlook for Medical Office Assistants
The job outlook for medical office assistants is positive. The overall expected growth for this position is high, with the demand predicted to increase 10% by 2029 according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is mainly because of the increasing need for elderly care. Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in this field are at a high advantage.
Necessary Knowledge for Successful Medical Office Assistants
A successful medical office assistant is a very knowledgeable member of the healthcare team in any medical office. Medical administrative assistants handle patients’ medical records, health insurance information and medical billing, and are therefore privy to confidential and sensitive information. In order to support healthcare professionals and their patients, medical office assistants must have a thorough knowledge of HIPPA regulations, and the ways in which commercial, HMO/PPO, federal, and state insurance plans work, as well as knowledge of medical law and ethical issues and responsibilities related to medical office practice.
Medical office assistants must have an understanding of medical terminology and common medical symbols, abbreviations, diagnostic tests and procedures so that they can properly complete medical coding. They must also understand the ethical standards for professional medical coding.
Finally, a medical administrative assistant must have a thorough knowledge of front office responsibilities, such as greeting patients, answering telephones, and keeping patient appointments on schedule.
What is The Average Salary For Medical Office Assistants?
According to Salary.com, as of March 2021, the average salary for medical office assistants in the United States is $37,403.
Interested in Medical Office Assistant Training in New Jersey?
By completing our Medical & Dental Administrative Program, students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to take on the responsibilities of a Certified Medical Office Assistant in just four months.