A medical administrative specialist serves a key role in medical office, clinic and hospital settings. Learn more about the profession, how to become certified, and employment information.
A medical administrative specialist must have a sincere desire to help people and a willingness to learn the complexities of the health care industry. They must be outgoing, patient and have an attention to detail. Also, this individual must be willing to learn new procedures, laws and insurance filing forms. Read on to learn how to become a medical administrative specialist and about the outlook for this career.
What Does a Medical Administrative Specialist Do?
A medical administrative specialist is a multi-skilled professional who is competent in medical records management, insurance processing, coding and billing, management of practice finances, information processing and fundamental office management tasks. A medical administrative specialist is very familiar with clinical and technical concepts required to coordinate administrative office functions in the health care setting.
Some of the duties performed by a medical administrative specialist include:
- Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
- Schedule appointments and update event calendars
- Arrange staff meetings
- Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
- Prepare memos, invoices or other reports
- Edit documents
- Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
- Perform basic bookkeeping
Where Do Medical Administrative Assistants Work?
Medical administrative specialists work most of their time in the front office of a physician’s office, clinic or hospital.
The Path to Becoming a Medical Administrative Specialist
Medical administrative assistants must meet certain education, training and, in some cases, certification requirements.
Medical Administrative Specialist Education
A medical administrative specialist must have a high school diploma or GED with acceptable training. Many colleges, career schools and technical schools offer medical administrative assistant, medical office assistant or medical secretary programs. Graduates from these programs will receive either a certificate or diploma depending on the program. Graduation from a school that is accredited makes it easier to apply for certification.
Each individual state decides the scope of practice for medical administrative specialists. Certification by a recognized organization enables medical administrative specialists to be promoted faster as well as earn a higher pay. Employers prefer to hire experienced workers and many prefer certified applicants who have passed a national examination by a recognized professional association, such as the American Medical Technologists (AMT), indicating that the medical administrative specialist meets certain standards of competence.
Choosing a certifying body is just as important as choosing a school or program. When you choose a certification that is rigorous and practical, you are showing employers that they can trust your skills and knowledge. To get certified through AMT, you must meet certain eligibility criteria and pass an exam. Those who meet the requirements have an excellent chance of passing the certification exam.
The examinations supporting the certification programs are intended to assess the knowledge underlying the competent performance of primary tasks typically required of healthcare practitioners at entry into an occupation. AMT’s CMAS certification is targeted at individuals who are completing their education as well as those who already work in the field but are not yet certified. We target entry level practitioners across all states in the US and through our eligibility criteria identify those who qualify to be certified by AMT. If you are interested in becoming certified through AMT visit our Medical Administrative Specialist page to see if you are eligible.
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Medical Administrative Specialist Job Outlook
According to the Department of Labor, medical administrative specialists held about 611,200 jobs in 2020. Employment is projected to grow 10 to 15 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population will have increased demand for medical services. As a result, medical secretaries will be needed to handle administrative tasks related to billing and insurance processing.
Medical Administrative Assistant Salary
The earnings vary depending on experience, education and skill level. Median annual wages for
medical administrative specialists in 2021 was $37,450.
Want To Learn More?
Check out our blog post on an insider’s view of AMT exams.