The healthcare field is growing quickly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects about 1.9 million new healthcare jobs by 2028, a rate of growth far above and beyond what most other fields will see. If you’re looking to start a career, it’s a great field to be in.
You don’t even have to work in direct patient care. Medical office administration skills are also in high demand, and they’ll be even more so in the coming years. It’s an important field and a rewarding way to have a career—not just a job.
How Do You Qualify as a Medical Office Assistant?
Medical office administration isn’t the kind of job that explicitly requires certification. Practices and hospitals are free to hire anyone they feel to be qualified, though you’re unlikely to be considered if you don’t at least have your high school diploma or GED.
Although you technically don’t need a medical office certification to land a job like this, having one will make you a more qualified candidate. Also, as you work toward your certification, you’ll learn the medical-specific office skills that you wouldn’t get somewhere else, such as:
Regulations and ethics of the medical field, including rules related to HIPAA (the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health)
Scheduling needs of the medical office
Verification of insurance coverage
Filing and organization of medical records
Administrative use of medical terminology
Several different certifications incorporate these skill sets, each of which is offered by a particular credentialing body.
What Types of Certifications Are Available?
As in any field, there are healthcare admin certifications for almost every level and subset of professionals.
Medical Administrative Assistant
A medical office assistant certification will teach you all of the administrative skills you need to maintain an office, including those listed above.
Some programs are focused more on office management and are geared toward those who aspire to supervisory positions. Others, like the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), credential from the National Healthcareer Association, give you a comprehensive skillset so that you’re ready to work solo, as part of a team, or at the head of that team.
Health Information Technician
If you’re looking to work in healthcare and have an interest in tech, consider a certification in health IT. There’s a lot of demand today for people who know how to work with complex patient records systems, in all their technical detail and intense compliance requirements.
There are at least a half dozen different certification programs out there for health IT. Some are specific to medical coding, while others, like those offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), have more to do with medical records analysis and verification.
These certifications have a lot of upward mobility attached, but you might have to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree going in.
Higher-level professionals can get certified in healthcare administration. This certification, like the more advanced health IT credentials, are typically add-ons to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Why Choose a CMAA?
A credential like the CMAA can get you working in healthcare without having to earn a post-secondary degree. It’s a convenient way to up your earning potential and land a job that will launch a career.
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