Frequently Asked Questions
Medical Administrative Assistant FAQs
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 CODING SPECIALIST?
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 professional designation.
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 medical services.
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.