Medical Office Support

Student filing records

Medical Office Support - Certificate

 

Train for a career as a medical receptionist, medical records specialist or health insurance specialist, through the Bellingham Technical College’s Medical Office Support program. Students will gain a broad base of knowledge in general medical office skills including: patient scheduling, medical insurance, medical records management, EHR documentation and medical office regulatory compliance policies. Medical Office Support program graduates typically find jobs at hospitals, physician offices, insurance companies, extended care facilities and home health care organizations.

Note: BTC has not made a determination that the Medical Office Support curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification outside of Washington State. We encourage students who plan to work out-of-state to check relevant local licensure/certification requirements.

Employment Information

$42,578 starting annual wage2
$48,506 average annual wage2
$61,672 potential annual wage2
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Entry

When Can I Start?

Students interested in the Medical Administration program should apply to the college and contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with getting started at BTC. A college application and your score on assessment testing and/or previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence.

Students are typically offered enrollment in the Medical Office Support Program full-time once a year or in the part-time program at the start of each quarter on a space available basis. Some required courses are only offered once a year; full-time students who do not begin Fall quarter will not be able to complete the program in three (3) quarters.

This program is an open enrollment program; students may start in any quarter; however, some courses are only offered once per year.

This program typically begins in the Fall Quarter.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and minimum grade of C/2.0 for required courses.

Early Program Course Requirements

These requirements are for the Certificate.

  • ACCUPLACER Classic Reading Comprehension 71 or higher OR ACCUPLACER Next Gen Reading 247 or higher OR RDG 085 with a C or higher.
  • ACCUPLACER Classic Sentence Skills  71 or higher OR ACCUPLACER Next Gen Writing 245 or higher OR ENGL 092 with a C or higher.
  • ACCUPLACER Classic Arithmetic 38 or higher OR ACCUPLACER Next Gen 230 or higher OR ABE 050 with a C or higher.

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 43

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • HT 100Fundamentals of Medical Terminology5 CR
  • HT 103Diseases of the Human Body5 CR
  • HT 121Essentials of Anatomy Physiology5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • HT 120Introduction to Medical Insurance Billing5 CR
  • HT 122Medical Office Procedures5 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • HT 131Introduction to Medical Coding5 CR
  • HT 132Medical Records Management5 CR
  • HT 135Pharmacology for the Medical Office3 CR

Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this certificate program, graduates will be able to:

  • Perform front office tasks using simulated electronic health records software including scheduling appointments, registering patients, and documenting patient health information using correct medical terminology and editing skills.

  • Identify and apply the concepts of medical insurance billing reimbursement policies, practices and industry guidelines

  • Identify and describe medical coding systems and structure

  • Identify the governing bodies at the Federal, State and Local levels and analyze their impact on medical office operations

Jobs

Jobs & Employment

Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to grow much faster than the average due to rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be increasingly scrutinized by third-party payers, regulators, courts, and consumers.

Computers are greatly simplifying the billing process and reducing the need for billing clerks, companies are putting greater emphasis on getting bills out faster in order to get paid more quickly. In addition, the fact that most billing clerks work in the fastest-growing sector of our economy (the health care sector) will generate more jobs for billing clerks in the future.

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

The average annual wage in this field is $43,472, with an earning potential of $54,288 annually.

Many jobs are in hospitals and the rest are mostly in offices of physicians, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, and home healthcare services. Insurance firms that deal in health matters employ a small number of health information technicians to tabulate and analyze health information. Public health departments also hire technicians to supervise data collection from healthcare institutions and to assist in research.

 

Faculty & Support

Laura Doss has been at BTC for 10 years in the roles of Academic & Career Advisor, Student Navigator, Instructor, Completion Coach and now College Navigator for the Allied Health Programs. Laura earned her Bachelor of Science while serving in the US Army and stationed in Germany and her Master of Education while stationed at Fort Sill, OK. Her initial education and training was in the mental health field before moving into education. Outside of work, Laura likes to spend time with her four kids, walking the trails, cuddling with her tiny dog and reading a ton of books!

Shelley Walker has been an instructor at Bellingham Technical College since 2014. She brings to BTC over 18 years’ of experience working in the healthcare field. Shelley’s educational background includes a B.S. in Psychology and an M.B.A. degree.