Medical Administrative Assistants - what do they do?

Medical Administrative Assistants are healthcare specialized individuals who perform clerical duties in a medical surroundings. They are the first person we get to interact with at a physician's office, clinic, urgent care, etc. Medical administrative assistants are intermediaries between the patients, the medical provider, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers necessary for a complete patient care. The job responsibilities can vary depending on the size and specialty of the medical facility. Typical duties of an Administrative Medical Assistant include:

  • answering phones and taking messages,

  • scheduling and confirming appointments,

  • checking-in and checking-out patients,

  • managing medical records ,

  • verifying insurance coverage,

  • completing and submitting insurance claims,

  • performing medical coding and billing,

  • processing patients payments for medical services,

  • arranging for patients hospitalization,

  • providing customer service to patients.

Necessary Skills

Whether you work as an administrative assistant in a medical or corporate environment you should demonstrate exceptional skills in: organizing, multitasking, problem solving, teamwork, and time management.  Being detail oriented is definitely an advantage when working in a field where accuracy is of high importance. This is a very fast paced profession, therefore the ability to work under pressure is a must.The workday is filled with human interactions, therefore you must be a good communicator and a people person. Employers may ask you to complete a customer service assessment test during the application process.  

How to become a Medical Administrative Assistant

Although in some states there are no formal educational requirements most employers generally require administrative medical assistants to be graduated from a post-secondary educational program. Many have a high school diploma,  or equivalent and gain knowledge of their responsibilities at the workplace. High school students considering this profession should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy.  

Certification, in today’s world, is the fastest way to earn credentials necessary to start a new career, or to advance in a current one. Certifications are more specialized, than traditional education, and are focused on acquiring a particular set of skills . For employers it simply means that there is less on-the-job training required, which saves them time, resources, and money. The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a nationally recognized certification.

To be eligible to become a CMAA you have to be knowledgeable in : office administration, medical terminology, legal and ethical issues in medical practice (including HIPPA), communication with patients, medical coding, billing procedures, Electronic Health Records (EHR) management.

You can start your dream career, get promoted, and boost your earning potential in just a few months. Don’t settle, stand out, and advance your career by getting certified.

Pay And Job Outlook

The healthcare industry is in demand for highly trained office staff in: medical office administration, procedures, medical terminology and technology, medical law and ethics. Additionally managing health records and medical billing is becoming much more high-tech. Medical administrative assistants with electronic health records (EHR), medical coding and billing training are becoming the new standard. This is one of the fastest growing careers in the healthcare industry. CMAA’s can work at clinics, urgent care facilities, dental offices, nursing homes, chiropractic offices, hospitals, insurance companies.

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics:

"Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients. An increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities need support workers, particularly medical assistants, to complete both administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants work mostly in primary care, a steadily growing sector of the healthcare industry. In addition, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform, increasing patient access to medical care. Medical assistants who earn certification and have familiarity with EHRs may have better job prospects."

Average salary for CMAA as reported by