CCCC prepares students for health care market

Sanford, NC — Central Carolina Community College is responding to the rapidly changing health care environment with curriculum that ready students for the administrative and managerial positions of the future.

Office Administration, Medical Office Administration, and Health Care Management Technology are three administrative areas in which the latest skills and technologies are demanded. CCCC’s Office Administration and Medical Office Administration programs prepare students to work in modern medical and professional offices that require computer applications, decision-making ability, and leadership capability.

Medical Office Administration focuses on areas like medical terminology, transcription, coding, billing, and insurance, as well as legal issues in the medical field. Medical Office Assistants (MOAs) perform highly specialized work, including transcribing dictation, recording medical histories, arranging for patients to be hospitalized, and ordering supplies. MOAs also need to be familiar with insurance rules, billing practices, and hospital or laboratory procedures. In addition, they serve as an information manager for an office, schedule appointments and meetings, prepare insurance forms, organize and maintain paper and electronic files, manage projects, and provide information via the telephone, mail, and e-mail. Graduates receive an Associate of Science degree and are eligible to work in a number of settings, including medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.

Health Care Management Technology prepares students for health care business and financial operations. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of management principles as they apply to the health care environment. The curriculum emphasizes planning, organization, and direction and control of tasks related to health care organizational objectives, including the legal and ethical fields. Students develop effective communication, managerial and supervisory skills, and receive an Associate of Science degree. Graduates are eligible to sit for various certification exams upon completion of the degree with a combination of a minimum of two years administrative experience. Eligible certifications include, but are not limited to, the Professional Association of Healthcare Office Managers, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Certified Patient Account Manager, and the Certified Manager of Patient Accounts examinations.

The Medical Office Administration and Health Care Management Technology fields are among the fastest growing job sectors in the U.S, with jobs expected to grow by 75 percent within the next five years, especially in the Central Carolina area and nearby counties where major medical centers are located. Starting salaries vary from between $30,000-$38,000 annually. Positions are available in doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals. Additional employment opportunities can be found with insurance claims processors, medical laboratories, home health care agencies, health departments, and manufacturers of medical supplies and hospital equipment.

These three programs also include a co-op/work experience that is one semester long — normally 16 weeks, and the student must complete 160 hours in the field.

Maryann Aucompaugh

Maryann Aucompaugh (right), Program Instructor for Medical Office Administration and Health Care Management Technology, visits with former student Angelique Wallace, an employee of Pine Ridge Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine in Sanford.

According to Program Instructor Maryann Aucompaugh, the co-op/work experience is a real asset when seeking employment.

“A lot of our students are displaced workers through no fault of their own,” said Aucompaugh. “This is a curriculum that allows them to get in on the ground floor of a booming industry in the area.

“Right now, there is a high demand for medical office administration and management employees. The new health care reform created by the Affordable Care Act has given millions of people access to health care who did not have access before, and the development of new health care facilities in the area, such as Harnett Central Hospital, offer many new avenues of employment. We’ve had several students graduate from one of these programs and go right to work for the company where they interned.”

One of these students is Angelique Wallace, who is employed by Pine Ridge Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine in Sanford. Wallace, who currently holds the position of Front Office Coordinator, is in the process of being trained to assume the management role for one of the practice’s new offices.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College’s Medical Office Administration and Health Care Management Technology programs, contact Maryann Aucompaugh at 919-718-7464 or e-mail her at .