5 Entry-Level Healthcare Administration Jobs to Start Your Career1 October 2019
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11 out of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are in healthcare. If this is a field you’ve been thinking of entering, you can expect an 18% growth in available jobs between now and 2026. It doesn’t matter if you can’t stand the sight of wounds or trauma injuries, there are a wide range of administrative positions in the field. You can effectively launch your career with one of these five entry-level healthcare administration jobs.
Administrative Medical Assistant
Also known as medical assistants or MAs, they do much more than greet and check-in patients at the front desk of a doctor’s office. They also work in hospitals and clinics and perform a wide range of administrative and clerical functions that help keep things running smoothly in a medical office or hospital unit. This can include patient scheduling, payment processing, ordering and communicating lab results, medical records maintenance and day-to-day office work. The educational path to becoming qualified for a medical assistant position is a relatively short one, so this is a good opportunity to quickly become part of the rapidly growing healthcare field.
Patient Access Specialist
With primary responsibilities revolving around patient pre-admission, admission and discharge processing, patient access specialists are an important link between patients and the doctors and clinicians providing their treatment.
This is a front-line position in a hospital setting that focuses on patient registration, identification, information gathering, and billing. You will also be dealing with family members, guardians and third parties who are involved in a patient’s care and treatment. Individuals who enjoy collaborating with others, building positive relationships and using their communication and interactive skills will find themselves well-suited to this position.
Medical Claims and Billing Specialist
This is a medical accounts receivable position and responsible for the timely, thorough and accurate submission of medical claims to Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance companies. A medical claims and billing specialist also performs a significant amount of follow-up work, such as ensuring payments are received within billing-cycle timeframes, researching denied claims and setting up patient payment plans.
In addition to requiring a working knowledge of medical terminology, insurance coding and accounting procedures, multitasking abilities and problem-solving techniques are valuable skills for this position.
This position helps assess blood donors’ suitability and assists in plasma donations. Donors’ medical histories are collected and the information is input into a document management system. Donor processors also set-up and maintain testing, collection, and monitoring equipment. Protein and hematocrit testing are performed on donors via finger stick collection, and pulse, respiration, and temperature are read and recorded.
Adherence to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and OSHA guidelines is an important part of a donor processor’s responsibilities. In addition to a need for accuracy and attention to detail, client-relations skills and the ability to build rapport with donors are highly desirable assets for this position.
Medical Records Technician
Although this position is not directly involved in providing or assisting in patient care, a medical records technician performs a vital function by making sure all patients’ records are well-maintained, updated as needed and in full compliance with healthcare coding requirements. Computer and database management skills are required, and a working familiarity with medical terminology, jargon and insurance coding round out the needed qualifications. Individuals who are comfortable spending most of their time in front of a computer will feel at home in this position. Many medical records technicians, who are also called health information techs, work in hospital settings that can require them to cover night shifts.
Where Your Career Path Can Take You
After some time spent in an entry-level position, you can progress in your healthcare career by moving into a position that brings much greater responsibility and managerial duties. Medical administrators, who may also be called health services managers or healthcare administrators, can often break into the $100,000+ salary range, particularly in large facilities such as hospitals. They may be required to hold certain certifications, licenses, and a field-related bachelor’s or master’s degree, but obtaining the additional qualifications can be well worth it.
What Does a Medical Administrator do?
In comparison to an entry-level healthcare administration position, the basic difference is the expansion of responsibility to include coordinating, planning and directing the various areas of a healthcare facility, which can range in size from a large clinic, hospital or nursing home to a small medical office. The position also entails implementing and managing the proper actions that will enable the facility to remain in compliance with changing healthcare laws and regulations. Keeping things in step with technological advances can be another important role that medical administrators and health services managers play.
Your time spent working at an entry-level healthcare administration position can provide the experience and insight that will help prepare you for the next step in your healthcare career. The first step is obtaining the degree, certification and specialized training that will enable you to get started in the entry-level healthcare position of your choice. Learn more about the specialized programs offered by Pioneer Pacific College and take the first step in your healthcare administration career path.