Medical offices have protocols in order to run efficiently. From check-in to the exam room, there are likely a few people who greet patients before the physician opens the door.
Medical office assistants perform critical duties for those people who want to work in health care but do not want to be medical care provider, said Wendi Williams, Student Services Director at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Chickasha Campus.
CV Tech will launch a new program next fall called Business and Medical Administration. Skills taught include scheduling appointments, checking in patients, compiling medical records and charts, filing insurance and performing coding procedures. Routine patient inquiries often are also included in the job description.
Nearly 4,000 people work doing billing and coding in Oklahoma right now, Williams said.
“In Chickasha alone, there are many healthcare facilities that support demand for employment of certified medical insurance coders, medical office assistants and billing/coding specialists,” she said.
Graduates, she said, will have the opportunity to work in a variety of medical facilities including corporate-owned hospitals and medical centers, small independent facilities, home health/Hospice, clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, dialysis clinics and dental offices.
Students will learn the basics of popular software titles, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access. Medical curriculum will include medical office procedures, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical insurance, medical billing, diagnostic and procedural coding and electronic health records.
Project-based learning is intended, Williams said. Students will be given one-on-one instruction as needed. Group lectures will occur periodically.
Currently, starting pay for a certified medical assistant is $11 per hour, she said. A certified medical insurance coder starts at $15 per hour, while a certified medical billing and coding (ICD-10) specialist will begin at nearly $25 per hour, she said.
Job growth is expected to be at least 8 percent, which is much faster than average for other occupations, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Prospective students may apply online at cvtech.edu, or call Career Counselor Traci McNeff at (405) 224-7220 for more information. Tuition is free for area high school students. Adults under age 24 also qualify for free tuition using the Next Step Scholarship. Requirements include proof of in-district residency and a diploma or equivalent. Books and applicable fees may also apply.