WHAT DO MEDICAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS DO?
According to NHA, medical administrative assistants primarily work in the “front office”
of a medical practice or healthcare facility. Their duties may include coordinating
practice correspondence, maintaining files and scheduling appointments.
DO MEDICAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS NEED CERTIFICATION?
The healthcare environment operates on the basis of professionalism, precision and
dedication to patient welfare. Medical assistant certification may be required for
many jobs. Earning a CMAA establishes a medical assistant as a caring, responsible
professional who has undergone a study and assessment program to validate their credentials.
IN WHAT FACILITIES DO MEDICAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS WORK?
Medical assistants commonly work in medical practices, such as physicians' offices,
outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities, according to the BLS.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND A MEDICAL BILLING AND
Essentially, these are two distinct skill sets used within a healthcare setting. However,
the responsibilities of a medical assistant may include medical billing, medical coding
or both. Similarly, medical billing and coding specialists may have their own job
titles or may have their title combined with a medical assistant or medical administrative
WHY SHOULD MEDICAL ASSISTANTS LEARN MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING?
The healthcare field offers one of the leading areas of opportunities for career growth
today. Within healthcare, specialized medical assistants are among the most in-demand
professionals. Matching office administration skills with medical billing and coding
opens up more opportunities in both general healthcare administration and specialized
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING CAREER?
Entry-level positions typically require completion of a certificate and passing one
of the certification exams or an associate degree program in medical billing and coding.
Additionally, medical billing and coding professionals must understand the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERTIFICATION EXAMS (CPC, CCA, AND CBCS)?
Obtaining a CPC, CCA, or CBCS certification implies that an individual has met competencies
in the field of medical billing and coding. Certification is invaluable to the student's
career goals. Students have an opportunity to make confident, informed decisions about
the national certification they prefer.
The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam is offered by the American Academy of
Professional Coders (AAPC). It is the gold standard entry-level coding certification
for physician, or professional fee, coders.
The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) is offered by the American Health Information
Management Association (AHIMA). It is an entry-level medical coding certification
across all settings--physician practices and inpatient hospital.
The Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) is offered by the National Healthcareer
Association (NHA) and is currently an entry-level medical billing certification for
physician practices. In the summer of 2021, the exam will transition to an entry-level
billing and coding certification, with the inclusion of ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS
Level II testing.
Nancy Smith has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Her clinical
experience includes working as a medical assistant for a network of rural health clinics,
and as a medical coder, insurance claims specialist, and medical records auditor.
She worked as a medical office manager for ten years, where she recruited and trained
all medical assistants. Nancy holds a bachelor's degree in vocational education and
has developed and taught medical assistant programs.
LaTisha Cottingham has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She
has six years of teaching experience in the field of medical billing and coding and
Medical Assisting. Currently she is employed as an HIM Analyst for a long-term care
establishment that is based out of Alabama.
Carline Dalgleish has worked in medical office administration for over 30 years. She
holds a bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems, a master's degree in Leadership,
and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Health Information Management. She is a Registered
Health Information Administrator and an AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer. Dalgleish
is the author
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