If you’re already enrolled in a medical assisting program, you’ve made a wise career choice. If not, you might want to consider becoming a medical assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expecting to add nearly 4 million jobs by 2026 – about one-third of all jobs. Many of those jobs will be held by medical assistants, who help doctors in private practice, hospitals and outpatient clinics perform a number of clinical and administrative duties. That’s great news as you look down the road toward career advancement in clinical industry occupations.

Getting the proper training is essential and should include a mix of traditional classroom learning and hands-on experience. Enhance your studies and improve your readiness for the workshop when you participate in an externship. This is an opportunity to spend time working and learning in a real-world setting before you ever graduate. For schools with a comprehensive medical assisting program, like MTI College in Sacramento, it is a requirement for graduation.

MTI requires you to complete a 160-hour off-campus, unpaid externship program in a professional healthcare facility setting. The experience you get will be invaluable.

Get firsthand experience in the field.

Your externship might have you helping out in a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, rehab facility, retirement home or one of many other places. Depending on the location, you may be tasked with doing a particular job, such as recording patient information or drawing blood, or a combination of clinical and/or administrative duties.

Administrative duties may include:

  • Welcoming patients and answering the phone
  • Setting appointments
  • Overseeing patients’ medical records
  • Supervising patients’ insurance information
  • Organizing necessary information, such as hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Handling correspondence

Clinical duties may include:

  • Preparing patients for medical examinations
  • Drawing blood
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings
  • Performing basic laboratory exams
  • Writing down medical histories
  • Assisting the doctor during exams
  • Instructing patients about medications and special diets they may need

When you’re working in an actual healthcare facility, you will likely “shadow” (follow) a professional who is already working in the field. This might be a doctor, nurse, lab technician or even another medical assistant. This is an opportunity to observe, take notes and apply what you learned in school in a real-world situation – working on real patients. Don’t worry; your supervisor will be there to guide you. You may also be invited to attend staff meetings and/or conferences. All told, you’ll learn about all aspects of the business and what goes on in healthcare facilities.

Practice professionalism.

During your medical assisting classroom training, you’ll learn many things that will provide a solid background as you participate in your externship, including:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical protocol and procedures in clinics and laboratories
  • Front-office practices, including coding and billing procedures
  • Patient relations
  • Medical law and ethics

Those things are all critically important, but as you apply what you’ve learned in the classroom in a real-world situation, you need to be professional with patients and co-workers. That means you should show up on time, appear neat and clean, show respect to your patients and colleagues, and follow through on all assigned tasks.

Evaluate potential future work locations.

While you are working in the field, you’ll have a chance to get to know the facility. If your externship lands you in a hospital and you decide it’s too busy, then you know that it’s not the ideal workplace for you. As you shadow various working professionals, you may discover you are drawn to a particular specialty. Maybe you’ll enjoy interacting with patients more than anything, so you might decide to focus on a job that offers that opportunity – a retirement home, for example.

Find a mentor.

During your externship, you will be working among industry professionals. Observe them. Listen to them. Ask questions. They can be valuable resources for you who can provide a wealth of information and practical advice. They’ll also teach you about protocol to follow in various real-life situations and can offer techniques to help you do your job more easily and effectively.

Take advantage of networking opportunities.

Having an externship could lead to your first job after graduation. If you do a good job, show enthusiasm and volunteer to do as much as you can you may be asked to come back for a permanent position after you graduate from your medical assisting program. In addition, if you forge relationships with some of the people you’ll be working with they may have contacts who can help in your job search.

Participating in an externship can really tie together all that you’ve learned in the classroom and in your hands-on training with real-world experience. Take full advantage of all that you can learn.

If you are considering a career in medical assisting, check out the comprehensive program MTI College in Sacramento offers. As a graduate of the medical assistant program at MTI, you will be prepared to go out into the workforce in less than a year.

Additional benefits of studying medical assistant at MTI include:

  • The flexibility of a new program that allows you to take classes just three times a week
  • Preparation for the National Certification for Medical Assisting (NCCT). Test can be taken during regular class hours on campus.
  • Access to MTI’s job placement assistance after graduation

Graduates of the medical assistant program at MTI College will have proficiency in the skills needed to perform diverse duties in the healthcare field and can look forward to an in-demand career. Contact MTI College today to enroll.

Medical assistants play vital roles in today’s healthcare industry, helping doctors perform a number of clinical and administrative duties. These include administering medications, checking vital signs, drawing blood, removing sutures, noting patient medical histories, processing insurance claims and more. As you might imagine, medical assistants work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics, but they are needed in other locations that might surprise you.

Here are five places where medical assistants can apply their versatile skills in the healthcare industry:

Retirement facility

Medical assistant jobs are in demand, partially because of a rapidly aging U.S. population. As people age, they usually need more medical care. A logical place to put the skills of a medical assistant to use is a retirement facility – nursing home or assisted living facility. Many of the residents are not sick; they are just elderly and need assistance. In many cases, medical assistants can administer their medication, give injections or check vitals. They may also assist residents with their daily hygiene, help them get around in wheelchairs and with walkers, provide first aid and handle basic physiotherapy sessions. In addition, because many retirement facilities have their own on-staff physicians, medical assistants can be a big help to them.

Palliative care facility

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may effectively eradicate some or all of the disease, but both come with side effects (pain, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, insomnia, etc.) and disrupt quality of life. Palliative care helps relieve the symptoms and helps patients and families live the best way possible for as long as possible. Medical assistants who work in a palliative care facility can assist cancer patients with their daily care, administer medication, change dressings and lend support. They are also an excellent resource for families of patients because they can keep them up to date on the course of treatment, handle administrative tasks and offer emotional support.

Home healthcare

A medical assistant who enjoys (or requires) schedule flexibility might decide that working in home healthcare is a good option. Many people who need regular health monitoring choose to stay in their homes rather than in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility. Others may need post-hospitalization follow-up care. In these cases, a medical assistant can provide care in the patient’s home. Some of the duties may be similar to those required in an assisted living facility, such as checking vitals, helping with mobility issues and providing medical social services.

Insurance companies

A medical assistant is critically important to the smooth operation of a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic, and his or her duties are split between administrative and clinical responsibilities. If you choose to work for an insurance company, you will use more of the administrative skills you’ve learned. You will be able to understand patient medical records and be adept at organizing hospital admissions, lab services and insurance claims. Because you will know medical terminology and basic medical care, you would be a valuable resource to an insurance company.

Military

Four branches of the U.S. military – the Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard – need medical assistants to help on bases and on the battlefield. Depending on the branch of the military you choose, you may be expected to complete additional training, including basic training that all personnel are required to take. As a medical assistant enlisted in the military, you would work with various teams of healthcare professionals in clinics on land or aboard ships. If you are deployed overseas, you would work in a mobile field hospital. If active military duty is not for you, perhaps work for the Veterans Administration (VA) in a hospital, outpatient clinic or rehab facility.

How to become a medical assistant

Medical assistants require comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. MTI College prepares students for a career in medical assistance in less than a year with impressive coursework that encompasses:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical protocol and procedures in clinics and laboratories
  • Front-office practices, including coding and billing procedures
  • Patient relations
  • Medical law and ethics

Additionally, a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting that gets you ready to hit the ground running.

Studying to become a medical assistant at MTI College offers additional benefits, including:

  • The flexibility of a new program that allows you to take classes just three times a week
  • Preparation for the National Certification for Medical Assisting (NCCT) exam. Exam can be taken on campus during class hours
  • Access to MTI’s job placement assistance after graduation

Once you complete your medical assistant program at MTI College, you should be proficient in the skills needed to perform diverse duties in the healthcare field and can look forward to an in-demand career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the medical assistant field on the national level is expected to increase by 24 percent through 2024.

Contact MTI College today to study for a career as a medical assistant, a role that is critically important in the healthcare industry.

If you’re like 75 percent of Americans, you have a smartphone. You are probably an app user and keep in touch with friends, check the weather or your bank balance, and maybe even watch the latest hit on Netflix. If you wear a fitness tracking device, you have an app linked to it to monitor your steps, heart rate and more.

Technological improvement has made healthcare apps a reality. Apps have transformed the healthcare industry, benefiting both providers and patients. Currently, more than 318,000 healthcare apps on the market are helping to aid communication between patients and providers, reduce costs and increase the efficiency of delivering patient care.

Doctors can hold video conferences with their patients or colleagues across the globe on tablets and smartphones. They can access drug information, EHRs, research and studies instantly because the information is available on their personal devices. There are apps that show X-rays and CT scans, help with stress management, monitor insulin levels, remind you to take your medication and even detect cancerous tumors.

Healthcare apps can do some amazing things.

Apps to help patients stay in control of their healthcare

When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is get dressed, go to the doctor’s office and wait in a room with a number of other sick people. Thanks to some innovative apps, you may be able to avoid that scenario and still get the treatment you need. Others let you monitor your illness.

  • Medici – Patients can text a doctor, describe their symptoms, send pictures if needed (of a rash, cut, burn, etc.) and possibly cut out unnecessary doctor visits, all while providing info on an app that is HIPAA compliant.
  • ZocDoc – There’s nothing worse than needing to see a doctor and being told you have to wait three months for an appointment. This app helps you instantly schedule an appointment to see a doctor within 24 hours.
  • Talkspace – This is online therapy via messaging with a psychologist. You pay a weekly subscription fee, which is usually less expensive than insurance co-pays and in-person visits, and a therapist is specifically matched to help you deal with your issues.
  • PediaQ – The only thing worse than going to the doctor when you’re sick is having to take your infant or child to the doctor when he or she is sick. With PediaQ, you contact a nurse practitioner who makes house calls for urgent pediatric care.
  • Sugar Sense – Diabetics can record their sugar levels throughout the day with this app that also gives an estimate of your HbA1C levels.
  • Pill Pack – The app user receives prescriptions by mail, which is not new. However, the packaging is.
    Pills come in date- and time-stamped individual packets in a dispenser so that you can take them in the proper order.
  • Epocrates – The number-one medical reference app among U.S. physicians, it details clinical practice guidelines and lists medical billing codes and drug information.
  • Patient Keeper – Through this Computerized Patient Order Entry (CPOE) app, a physician can order labs, radiology services, medications and other services or procedures for patients. A handy “favorite” feature allows the doctor to mark certain often-used procedures and medications to save time.
  • AmWell – Think of this as a virtual waiting room, allowing doctors and patients to connect remotely. Doctors can e-prescribe and accept patient payments in one app.
  • Medigram – An easy, secure way for the app user to go paperless, this app provides image sharing of scans and lab or test results.

Apps to help medical assistants or those in a medical assistant (MA) program

A medical assistant is critically important to the smooth operation of a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic, and his or her duties are split between administrative and clinical responsibilities. Many healthcare apps are available to help the beginning medical assistant or MA program student.

  • Epocrates – The number-one medical reference app among U.S. physicians and medical workers, it details clinical practice guidelines and lists medical billing codes and drug information.
  • Nursing Central – This app allows frontline medical personnel, such as medical assistants and nurses, do their jobs more efficiently. It’s not inexpensive, but it provides a database filled with drug information, a medical terminology dictionary and tools that assist in interpreting test results.
  • Medscape – This handy reference guide features drug names and drug interference information, 129 medical calculators and additional resources for patient care.
  • Medical Assisting Pocket GuideIdeal for newbies and students, it offers step-by-step procedural guides, help with building communications and clinical skills, and information on legal issues.
  • CMA Test Prep – This gives students in medical assistance programs a preview of what taking the CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) exam will be like and provides more than 2,000 multiple choice questions.
  • Visual Anatomy – An interactive reference tool, Visual Anatomy allows the app user to view high-resolution images that show each body part, with 3D models of the organs.

Smartphone apps to help doctors treat patients – at home and on a global scale

Telehealth is making medical care more convenient, preventive and less expensive. It helps physicians make better use of their time and have all the information they need (medical history, drug info, codes, anatomy charts, etc.) with them at all times. For doctors in third-world countries who don’t have the resources to treat all the patients who may need them, smartphone apps and mobile technology are making quality healthcare possible. In China, for example, more than 100 million people suffer from rheumatic disorders, yet there are only 5,000 doctors to treat them. An app developed by Smart System Disease Management (SSDM) lets patients connect with physicians via online consultations that are far less costly than traveling to a doctor for an in-person consultation.

More help needed in healthcare industry

The future is now in terms of medical technology and mobile healthcare apps. Medical assistant jobs are in demand. With new technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them.

MTI College prepares students for a career in medical assistance in less than a year with comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. Additionally, a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. For those more interested in technology, MTI College offers a medical billing and coding program that focuses on computer skills and electronic health records (EHR).

Contact MTI College today to begin your MA program.

If you live in Sacramento and are thinking of registering for a medical assisting (MA) program, you’re in the right place. According to TalentWorks, a job recruiting agency, Sacramento is one of the best cities for finding a job as a medical assistant, with a monthly demand of 270 jobs.  The best news is that demand for skilled MA students is only going up – regardless of where you live.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the medical assistant field on the national level is expected to increase by 24 percent through 2024. One reason for the increased demand for medical assistant degree holders is the rapidly aging population – the baby boomers. With technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them. In addition, there is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increasing elderly population.

There is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increase in mature patients. Why, though, is Sacramento leading the way in job demands to serve those facilities?

Sacramento’s need for skilled MA students

With new key healthcare businesses moving into Sacramento, such as RxTE Health, new jobs will be created. There are already 100 biotechnology and medical device companies in the region, and the healthcare industry is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the total payroll for the region’s workforce. In addition, in recent years, more than $18 million has been spent on expansion projects at Kaiser, Mercy, Sutter and UC Davis. Whenever a facility expands, it needs more personnel to operate.

This year, in particular, the widespread flu outbreak is requiring even more trained medical assistants.

The roughest flu season in years

This year’s designer flu, the H3N2 strain, is claiming the most victims nationwide since the swine flu of 2008–09.

The death rate among people younger than 65 in California already hit 97 by the third week of January – and that doesn’t include the elderly, who are at greater risk. The flu can be especially devastating to the following groups of people:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 5 (and especially younger than 2)
  • People over the age of 65
  • Those with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Many of those who show symptoms of flu activity (cough, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, body/muscle aches, runny or stuffy nose, fever) are making outpatient visits or are being hospitalized. The CDC says the number is higher than in the past five flu seasons. Medical assistants are needed to help with the influx of patients who harbor infection, helping physicians who are extra busy and who need to focus on diagnosis and treatment. The medical assistant can be a lifesaver to a doctor or medical facility, performing the following tasks:

  • Welcoming patients and surveying the situation
  • Filling out patient charts
  • Overseeing patients’ medical history
  • Supervising patients’ insurance information
  • Organizing hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Preparing patients for medical examinations
  • Collecting fluid samples
  • Taking vital signs
  • Drawing blood
  • Assisting the doctor during exams

When there is a shortage of trained healthcare professionals, as there is in Sacramento, patients can suffer from a lack of speedy and quality care.

Trying to keep up with industry demands

Unfortunately, the Sacramento region does not have enough trained graduates to keep up with its significant job growth – especially in the healthcare field – according to Sanjay Varshney, chief economist of the Sacramento Business Review. That supports TalentWorks’ report that indicates Sacramento has a 10-percent “unmet” demand for medical assistants, indicating that companies are having a difficult time filling medical assistant jobs.

Fortunately, MTI College at Sacramento offers a certified medical assistant degree program that prepares you for a career in medical assistance. You receive comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures, and a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. With the flexibility of MTI’s MA program, you can be on your way to that important first career opportunity by going to school just three times a week.

If home and family obligations require you to work while you earn your medical assistant certification, the MTI College program is ideal for you. In as little as one year, you can graduate and be ready to take your California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. From there, it’s on to your first job and a career with many opportunities for advancement.

When you start your career as a medical assistant, it opens the door to more choices down the road. You will have a versatile portfolio of skills that you can take with you wherever you go.

Help Sacramento catch up with its rapidly growing healthcare job market. Contact MTI College today to start your  MA program.

When you graduate from the medical assistant program at MTI College, you will have the background needed for an entry-level position with many possibilities. You will work with doctors, helping to perform a variety of administrative and clinical duties in a career that is increasingly in demand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the medical assistant field on the national level is expected to increase by 24 percent through 2024. With the flexibility of the program at MTI College, you can be on your way to a career in medical assistance by going to school just three times a week in a fast-forwarded course. If you are currently working – or want to work part-time while earning your medical assistant certification – this is ideal for you.

Take a look at this overview of what a medical assistant does and whether it’s a career path you would like to follow.

Why are medical assistants in such demand?

Medical assistant jobs are in demand partially because of a rapidly aging U.S. population. As people age, they usually need more medical care. With technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them. In addition, there is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increasing elderly population.

What are the duties of a medical assistant professional?

A medical assistant is critically important to the smooth operation of a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic, and his or her duties are split between administrative and clinical responsibilities.

Administrative duties may include:

  • Welcoming patients and answering the phone
  • Setting appointments
  • Overseeing patients’ medical records
  • Supervising patients’ insurance information
  • Organizing necessary information, such as hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Handling correspondence

Clinical duties may include:

  • Preparing patients for medical examinations
  • Drawing blood
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings
  • Performing basic laboratory exams
  • Writing down medical histories
  • Assisting the doctor during exams
  • Instructing patients about medications and special diets they may need

Why choose the medical assistant program at MTI College?

MTI College prepares students for a career in medical assistance with comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. Additionally, a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. Students who study in the MTI medical assistant program learn:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical protocol and procedures in clinics and laboratories
  • Front-office practices, including coding and billing procedures
  • Patient relations
  • Medical law and ethics

As a graduate of the medical assistant program at MTI, you will be prepared to go out into the work force in less than a year.

There are additional benefits of studying medical assistance at MTI, including:

  • The flexibility of a new program that allows you to take classes just three times a week
  • Preparation for the California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Preparation for the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam that can be taken on campus
  • Access to MTI’s job placement assistance after graduation

Graduates of the medical assistant program at MTI College will have proficiency in the skills needed to perform diverse duties in the healthcare field and can look forward to an in-demand career. Contact MTI College today to begin your studies in January.

If you’re already in the medical assisting program at MTI College, you’ve made a smart career choice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expecting to add nearly 4 million jobs by 2026 – about one-third of all jobs. That’s great news as you look down the road toward career advancement in clinical industry occupations.

If you’re considering becoming a medical assistant, MTI College offers you flexibility with a program that requires you to go to class just three days a week. That way, you are in charge of your time management while preparing for an in-demand career opportunity as a medical assistant.

Regardless of how far along you are on your chosen study path, you can benefit from knowing more about becoming a medical assistant and how to advance in your career.

Recent growth in the medical industry

Medical assistants play vital roles in today’s healthcare industry. They help doctors in private practice, hospitals and outpatient clinics perform a number of clinical and administrative duties, including administering medications, checking vital signs, drawing blood, removing sutures, noting patient medical histories, processing insurance claims and more.

The rapidly aging population of baby boomers partially explains the increased demand for medical assistants. Baby boomers will continue to need preventive medical services, and doctors will hire more medical assistants to perform routine clinical and administrative procedures. That way doctors will be able to see more patients. In addition, more outpatient clinics and other medical facilities are being built to accommodate more patients, and they will need to be staffed.

Why a medical assistant program is important for your career

Even though a medical assistant does not require the same amount of training as a physician or nurse, a comprehensive education is necessary. The medical assisting program at MTI College includes training in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, protocol and procedures, and front-office procedures. A required hands-on externship gives students the practical experience needed when choosing medical assistant as a career opportunity. In addition, MTI’s job placement service can help you find your first career opportunity.

A medical assistant can be a lifesaver to a physician, who is often extremely busy and needs to focus on diagnoses and treatment. The extensive training received in a medical assisting program prepares the assistant to serve a variety of functions:

  • As the first point of contact, a medical assistant uses customer service skills to welcome a patient and to survey the situation.
  • As a clinician, the medical assistant performs routine duties, such as collecting fluid samples, taking vital signs and drawing blood so the doctor can focus on making a diagnosis and suggesting treatment.
  • As a multitasker, the medical assistant can switch hats to coordinate the administrative process involved in a patient’s care, including organizing charts and documentation, communicating with insurance companies on behalf of the patient, and scheduling additional appointments and tests.

Recent technological advances that enhance a medical assistant’s job

Depending on where you work – small or large private practice, clinic or hospital – your duties could vary. Most likely, you’ll perform a combination of clinical and administrative duties. As in other industries, technology has improved processes, increased efficiency and transformed the medical industry.

Technological advances have improved the way a medical assistant works. Take a look at these examples:

  • Electronic medical records make it easier to track patient data, share information among attending physicians and medical facilities, and generally have quick access to test results and other data.
  • Mobile devices are helping patients connect with healthcare professionals, such as the medical assistant, by offering “telehealth” apps that track and record health information, fitness goals and sleep quality that patients can then share.
  • Software is being developed to help with diagnosis and, ultimately, disease control; medical assistants will be expected to enter data into the program.
  • Remote patient monitoring can help rural patients or those unable to travel to a medical facility, and tech-savvy medical assistants will be in demand to assist in this area.
  • Data analytics is being integrated into both the clinical and administrative sides of healthcare, affecting the many responsibilities of medical assistants.

A medical assistant who can easily adapt as technology changes will be vitally important in the healthcare field. Keeping up with new technology and learning to use new software and tools can increase a medical assistant’s chance of career advancement.

How to become a medical assistant if time management is a priority

With the flexibility of the medical assisting program at MTI College, you can be on your way to that important first career opportunity by going to school just three times a week. If time management is a concern because you must work while you earn your medical assistant certification, the MTI College program is ideal for you. In as little as one year, you can graduate and be ready to take your California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam.

When you start your career as a medical assistant, it opens the door to more choices down the road. You will have a versatile portfolio of skills that you can take with you wherever you go.

Contact MTI College today and begin your medical assistant training program in January.

Interested in pursing a career in the healthcare field? Watch this short infographic where you will learn about the benefits of becoming a Medical Assistant at MTI College. Discover how this field gained increasing popularity and find out if this career path is right for you! According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, MA’s are constantly in demand and the growth within the field will only continue to increase from now until 2024. So what is stopping you? Find out why you should be an MTI College student today!

[youtube url=https://youtu.be/kkBQX9FDMRI&rel=0&h=400]

 

Many health care trends today involve America’s aging population of baby boomers, and those in the medical assistant profession can look forward to increased responsibilities. If you are contemplating your career choices, it is an ideal time to enroll in a medical assistant program, such as the one offered by MTI College in Sacramento.

As the population ages, the number of patients increases. The trends in the medical industry indicate that new ways of providing care, charging for care and organizing medical records will be needed. Having well-trained, versatile medical assistants will be critical. A medical assistant learns to assist with medical exams, checks temperature and blood pressure, and often performs office laboratory procedures.

In addition to clinical duties, those in the medical assistant profession handle multiple administrative tasks, such as filing, admitting patients and taking medical history information. Depending on where the medical assistant works, he or she may even perform medical billing and coding functions.

The health care industry is changing, and a medical assistant’s duties are ever-evolving. These are some of the medical industry changes that impact the medical assistant profession:

Technology

Data analysis is being integrated into health care operations to improve record keeping, prevent waste and boost efficiency. The medical assistant must constantly update his or her skills to keep up with technology, especially as it is used more often for specific diseases and disorders. Doctors and nurses count on medical assistants to update data so they have the information they need to treat patients.

In addition, those who have entered the medical assistant profession must be technically savvy to use new software programs and devices (such as tablets) to gather and record patient history and pharmacological data. Since technology updates often, it is important that medical assistants stay up to date with advances.

Multitasking ability

Perhaps more so than any other type of medical employee, one in the medical assistant profession must be an expert at multitasking, due to the ever-changing nature of the health care industry. Medical assistants are now performing many of the duties previously done by doctors and nurses, such as coordinating patient care, and communicating with patients and insurance companies. A medical assistant who can adapt to change, communicate well and take on additional responsibilities will have an advantage.

Treatment facilities

According to the American Medical Student Association, the number of people over the age of 65 will have increased by 73 percent between 2010 and 2030. These older Americans will make up the majority of patients who will need health care – in many cases, specialized care. Baby boomers are expected to have higher rates of hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes and will increase health care costs. Many of them will be treated in outpatient care facilities rather than in hospitals. This means that more sick patients will be released to their homes or rehab facilities, and medical assistants will be needed to work in these facilities.

Specialization

Because of the growing rate of elderly Americans, employers are looking for medical assistants with specialized training in geriatric care and obesity issues. It they are bilingual in Spanish and English, experienced in pediatrics and trained in electronic medical records, they will be even more valuable.

Choosing the best medical assistant certification training program

If you are excited about health care trends and look forward to a career in the medical assistant profession, choose the best medical assistant certification training program to give you the training you need to succeed. MTI College gives you the education and job placement support you need to begin your health care industry career.

As a student in the MTI Medical Assistant program, you will learn medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology to help in your clinical work, as well as proper protocols and procedures. A required 160-hour unpaid externship provides hands-on experience. Once you’ve successfully completed your training – which could take as little as a year – you have access to MTI’s job placement assistance program. With advice from MTI’s expert staff, you could soon be on your way to helping physicians during medical exams, collecting and preparing specimens for the lab and preparing patient records.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for medical assistants is faster than average. Your training from MTI College could put you in an entry-level position in a rewarding health care career. Contact MTI today to train to become a certified medical assistant.

Medical coding is the heart of the healthcare industry. It keeps doctors and nurses on track and organized, and shows in clear terms a patient’s medical history. One slip-up with an improper code could be big trouble for a patient. You wouldn’t want to mistakenly code a lymphoma (cancer) for lipoma (benign fatty tumor) because you didn’t know the difference. This is just one example of why it is essential for a person with a medical coding job to have a sound understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology.

When you study in MTI College’s Medical Billing and Coding certification program, you learn the important skills you need to work as a healthcare professional – including the basics of anatomy and physiology. A requirement for a medical coding job is receiving an ICD-10-CM/PCS certification. Here’s why you need to have a basic medical background.

ICD-10 universally classifies and codes all diagnoses, symptoms and medical procedures. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), is an organized way of telling the entire story of a patient’s care and encounter with a doctor and/or hospital. According to the World Health Organization, which created the ICD in 1948, it is the gold standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. The universally accepted codes that you, as a medical coder, use make it easy to share and compare patient medical information among various hospitals, regions and providers. They also ensure that the procedure that is billed makes sense with the diagnosis. For example, if you code a bee sting diagnosis as a justification for an x-ray, it’s likely the claim would be rejected. You don’t want a clerical error on your part to result in patient harm. If you indicate that a patient with a known allergy to penicillin received that drug for an infection rather than Bactrim, it could prove disastrous.

Various codes correspond to various bodily systems and procedural locations. You need to understand anatomy, physiology and pharmacology so that you can accurately enter the codes that apply to specific procedures, diagnoses and treatments. These codes are so highly detailed that they even indicate on which side of the body the procedure is being done. In addition, your understanding of basic anatomy and physiology will help you categorize the different bodily systems (e.g., respiratory, muscular, skeletal, circulatory, etc.) involved.

Medical coding is extremely specific. In addition to learning ICD-10 codes, you must know CPT® codes as well. The five-character Current Procedural Terminology codes are the U.S. standard for the way medical professionals document and report medical, surgical, laboratory, radiology, anesthesiology and E/M (evaluation and management) services. Some procedures are straightforward, but others can be confusing. Take a lipoma, for example. A lipoma’s depth into the tissues varies, but its coding depends on exactly where it is located. Coders need to not only know what a lipoma is, but also what the difference is between subcutaneous and intramuscular tissue, as well as the size of the excision to remove it.

Deciphering a doctor’s scribble is important.  When a doctor is writing patient notes, the coder needs to understand it. He or she is likely to be in a hurry and writes down a diagnosis, a treatment plan, a prescribed medicine and maybe a follow-up procedure. For someone doing medical coding, that needs to be transcribed into standard code to record the patient’s medical history and to submit it all to insurance for billing. If you misinterpret the notes or just don’t understand, it could cause confusion and delays in paying insurance claims, or even result in a denial of coverage.

Your medical coding expertise is essential to patient care. We live in a data-driven world, and that’s critically important in health care. Listing symptoms, diagnoses and procedures, and sending reports to an insurance company to request reimbursement, is not enough. Every time a person visits a doctor for an illness, for example, there are symptoms. They are recorded, along with the procedures performed and medicines prescribed. Maybe it’s a fever and sore throat. The doctor might order a strep test. If strep throat is the diagnosis, an antibiotic is generally prescribed. That’s rather straightforward. What if the patient sees the doctor because she is pregnant? She needs regular testing, ultrasounds, blood work, abdominal measurements, special vitamins, etc. Then what happens if there is a complication? More documentation is required. It gets very complicated, and your responsibility increases for accurately recording data that you first need to understand. You don’t want to mistake gestational diabetes for Type 2 diabetes, or preeclampsia for edema.

As a medical coder, you do not make diagnoses or treat patients, but you do need a basic understanding of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology to ensure that health information is documented accurately. Medical coders are in demand, and jobs are expected to rise much faster than average. MTI College offers the training you need to enter this high-growth field..

Partially because of a rapidly aging U.S. population, healthcare jobs are in demand, because as people age, they usually need more medical care. Medical billers are needed to handle insurance and patient claims.  MTI College offers a Medical Billing and Coding Professional Diploma Program that can prepare you to enter this in-demand field. You could be working alongside doctors and nurses in a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, nursing home or other medical facility using your skills to provide much-needed assistance.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for medical records and health information technicians (billers and coders) is growing much faster than the average rate for other occupations. Because more people have access to health insurance these days, claims on behalf of patients are going to increase. If you have a medical billing job, you will be the one to submit the bills for insurance reimbursement.

Does this sound like a job you would enjoy? Find out what a medical biller is responsible for on a day-to-day basis and learn whether it is a good career choice for you.

What is the job of a medical biller?

The medical biller plays a vital role in the relationship among medical providers, patients and insurance companies. Although the medical biller is not responsible for patient care, he or she should have a good understanding of medical terminology to be able to discuss medical bills with both insurance carriers and patients. These are a few duties of a medical biller:

  • Audit and submit claims to insurance companies for patient procedures and treatments.
  • Obtain insurance referrals and pre-authorizations for patient procedures.
  • Verify insurance eligibility and benefits.
  • Understand insurance guidelines, including those for HMO/PPO, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Review patient bills for accuracy and fill in any missing information.
  • Check payments for accuracy.
  • Research and appeal denied claims.
  • Talk with insurance companies about payment discrepancies.
  • Set up payment plans for patients.
  • Collect delinquent accounts.
  • Answer phone inquiries from patients and insurance companies.
  • Use medical billing software to perform job duties.
  • Update software with rate changes.
  • Know Fair Debt Collection Practices.

As a medical biller, you may not perform each of these duties every day, but they are all considered responsibilities of the job.

Is a medical biller the same as a medical coder?

When you train at MTI College, you train for both positions. If you work in a small office, you may also perform the duties of a medical coder, a person who applies industry-standard codes that relate to specific medical diagnoses, treatments and procedures to patient health records. The medical biller then takes the coded information and submits the bill. However, if your job is for a larger organization, you may just do medical billing.

What personal skills are helpful to have if you want to be a medical biller?

A medical biller’s job is very important to the financial cycle of a provider, and you need to always strive for accuracy.

These are some other skills you should possess if you want to be a medical biller:

  • Attention to detail. You’ll always need to check bills for accuracy and identify discrepancies.
  • Excellent communication ability. Much of your job will involve phone conversations with patients and insurance companies.
  • Good customer service. Remember that the bottom line is a person’s healthcare management, and it can be an emotional topic for some people. You need to speak diplomatically, compassionately and accurately to answer questions.
  • Computer knowledge. Since you will be using medical billing software, you should know how to use a computer and the Internet.
  • Accounting and bookkeeping. An understanding of the basics can be very helpful since you will be sending out billing statements and will need to reconcile them as payments come in.
  • Medical terminology. Your MTI training will cover this, but you need to keep up to date to be able to converse with patients, providers and insurance companies.
  • Problem solving. Sometimes there will be discrepancies or inconsistencies, and knowing how to go about solving the problem is necessary.
  • Being comfortable with teamwork. Since you will interact with other medical staff members, you should enjoy working as part of a team.

MTI College’s Medical Billing and Coding Training Program gives you the background you need to enter the exciting, busy world of healthcare. Contact MTI College Sacramento today to jump-start your medical billing career.

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