Individuals interested in becoming a medical administrative assistant must meet certain requirements to qualify for this specialized administrative assistant position. Medical administrative assistants or medical secretaries may engage in the following duties during the course of their jobs:
- Transcribe Dictation
- Prepare Correspondence
- Assist Physicians with Speeches
- Assist Physicians with Reports
- Assist Physicians with Articles
- Assist Physicians with Conference Proceedings
- Record Medical Histories
- Order Supplies
- Know Insurance Rules
- Aware of Billing Practices
- Know Hospital and Laboratory Procedures
Most medical administrative position require or strongly desire candidates that have complete a degree or certificate program in a health related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
Duties and Responsibilities
While these responsibilities are specific to medical administrative assistants, there are other responsibilities of administrative assistants that a medical administrative assistant must know prior to performing their jobs. They must know how to use fax machines, scanners, photocopiers, videoconferencing equipment, and telephone systems. Administrative assistants must also know how to create spreadsheets, manage databases, create presentations, and compose correspondence.
Administrative assistants should be able to negotiate contracts with vendors regarding supplies and other necessary equipment in the office. Medical administrative assistants may also be in charge of any medical libraries, in addition to answering telephones and word processing. Their responsibilities are varied. Therefore, they must know their superior’s responsibilities and scheduling to perform the job adequately.
Medical Administrative Assistant Training and Education Requirements
Medical administrative assistants must undergo specialized training in order to teach the students medical jargon and specialized billing techniques. The courses may also teach certain aspects of transcription, book keeping, website design, project management skills and computer technology programs. Students who enroll in a program of study may learn medical terminology, medical law and ethics, medical laboratory procedures, medical records systems, accounting, business, office automation, and customer service. These skills may be obtained through 4 year programs, a community college, or online training. Medical administrative assistants working with senior hospital executives may be required to have a 4 year degree.
Many medical administrative assistants will learn their skills through on-the-job training or an internship. As new technologies are introduced, the hospital or physician will arrange for ongoing training to remain abreast of the new technologies introduced in the field.
Medical Administrative Assistant Salary and Wages
In 2008, over 471,000 jobs were available for medical administrative assistant positions. The field of administrative assistants in general is a growing field. The field was expected to experience 36% growth between 2000 and 2010. Experts expect this field to grow faster than most professions until the year 2018. Because medical administrative assistants are a part of a highly specialized field, it is not growing as fast as the other administrative assistant positions. However, the field is experiencing relative growth. Individuals who cannot find jobs in the medical profession may be able to fill one of the nearly 4 million other administrative assistant positions available.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
In 2008, medical administrative assistant earned annual wages of $29,680. The highest earning medical administrative assistants earned over $42,660. The middle 50% of medical administrative assistants earned between $24,530 and $36,090. The cost of living in the state or the hiring hospital are determining factors in the income level of the medical administrative assistant.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Medical Administrative Assistant Certifications
A medical administrative assistant may prove their skills by passing an examination offered by the National Healthcare Association. Successful completion of the examination will qualify the individual as a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). The exam will contain questions related to medical billing and the insurance claim process. Students will also be required to know all pertinent medical terminology and the Anatomy and Functionality of the human body.
Some offices may also require the medical administrative assistant become a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist. This certification is also offered by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). The examination will cover questions about administrative procedures, such as medical billing, insurance claim processing, transmitting billing claims, appealing claims, tracing claims and submitting claims.
Certification may also be achieved by taking an certification examination offered by the AAMA Certifying Board in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. The examination is offered several times throughout the year by computer at several testing centers in the United States. Medical Administrative Assistants may also qualify as Registered Medical Assistants by the American Technologists agency. However, this is a voluntary credential that medical administrative assistants may obtain.
Medical Administrative Assistant Professional Associations
Medical administrative assistants may become members of several professional associations. The American Association of Medical Assistants is open to those medical administrative assistants who complete the certifications. The National Healthcare Association is also available to medical administrative assistants. The International Association of Administrative Professionals is another organization that medical administrative assistants may find resources in their profession. This particular association is one of the oldest of its type and has chapters all over the world. The National Association of Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants is another general association that may provide resources and advice for those seeking to enter the profession of medical administrative assistants.