MEDICAL OFFICE TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Monday, March 2, 2009
6:00 PM ~ 8:00 PM
Scarpelli Hall Conference Room
Carol Courtney, Committee Chair Consultant
Diana Morris, RHIA Southwest Washington Medical Center
Barbara Persinger Family Physicians Group, PS
Vanessa Wright Clark College Student
John Clausen, RHIA Medical Office Tech Instructor
Chris Wilkins BTEC Division Chair
John Maduta Advisor
Ms. Carol Courtney, Committee Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:10 PM.
There were no revisions to the Agenda.
Review of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting:
Ms. Diana Morris said the minutes of October 22, 2008 lists The Vancouver Clinic as her
employer but she said she would like to have the minutes show Ms. Morris representing
Southwest Washington Medical Center. Also, Vanessa Wright is shown as “Clark
County Student” but this should read “Clark College Student”. After reviewing the
minutes, a motion was made to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was
seconded and unanimously approved.
Report on the MA Graduate Survey:
John Clausen said that he is reporting on the process of doing the survey. John said that
the committee that issues the requirement said we are not meeting the AMA requirement
of feedback on students finding jobs in the medical assistant field. The advisory
committee made several suggestions on how to conduct the survey at a previous meeting
and John said several different methods were tried to reach the graduates. Mailing – he
got one response back. Email – got back 5 more responses. John said that he and Mary
Klatt called, and out of 21 students called, they made 17 contacts. John said that
telephone calls were the most effective method to reach graduates.
Discussion on AAMA Requirement that Students Sit for Certification Examination:
John said he would like some input from the committee. John said there is a requirement
set by the AAMA that students sit for certification examination, and that 80% of the
students sit for the national exam. John said that there is no control over that, the exam
costs a lot, and students can get jobs without getting the CMAs. AAMA want to make it
a requirement that you can’t pass the program until the students sit for the national. John
confirmed with the members that most employers don’t base their hiring decision on
whether an applicant has a CMA or not. Ms. Diana Morris suggested John poll the area
community colleges to see how many of their students completed the MA program and
how many actually sat for the AAMA national exam. John asked if he should express to
the AAMA that it is wrong for them to require the students to take the national exam.
The members recommended he do that. The members felt it is wrong for AAMA to
require the students to take the national exam. John will contact other departments in
Washington and tell them the advisory board is concerned with the AAMA requirement.
Math Requirement for Medical Office Specialist Associate Degree:
John asked the committee if there should be a requirement by the school for students to
have to take Business Math. John said the Evaluation Office is asking if Business Math
should be a requirement in the Medical Office Specialist Degree program. Chris Wilkins
said she has the details of the Business Math curriculum because she is going to be
discussing this at the BTEC meeting the following day. Chris distributed copies of the
Business Math details to the members. Vanessa Wright asked if Math 065 is going to be
added as a math requirement, and will the program still keep Math 040. John said that
MA for Certificates take Math 040 and MA for degree take Math 065.
Health Information Assistant:
John said that he needs to add Electronic Health Records, a 3 credit class into the Health
Information curriculum, but would need to delete or move another class to add this
course. The members discussed the curriculum to see what can be moved from the
current curriculum. One suggestion was to move Professional Self Development to the
Electives and John said he will put a question mark next to Medical Office Seminar. Ms.
Courtney said she would like to see HIPAA compliance added to the medical
billing/coding specialist program. She said that this could be just a 1 credit class. John
said that the HIPAA compliance could be added into BTEC 138, Legal Aspects of the
Medical Office and expand that to a 3 credit class.
John Maduta, advisor, asked if HIA or Medical Billing has the stronger enrollment. John
Clausen said the Medical Billing & Coding definitely has the stronger enrollment. Ms.
Courtney said although students take Medical Billing/Coding classes, it is not guaranteed
that they will find positions once they complete the program. John Maduta added the
field is fast becoming saturated and that we need to improve our program to give our
students an added edge.
Ms. Courtney said she would like to see a class that combines CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS
and putting it all together and putting it into practice as well as adding Advanced Medical
Coding and Hospital Billing to cover all areas of medical billing and coding. She said in-
patient coding is not taught and should be added – perhaps a 2 credit course. John said
the question would be if he will be able to find an instructor to teach these classes. Ms.
Courtney said these classes can be taught over a couple of Saturday schedules. The
committee also discussed review classes for the national exams.
John said that there will be a heavy number of students coming into the Medical Coding
Program because they have been told this is where the big paying jobs are. John Maduta
said with the current economy, the people who are laid off are advised to go into the
accounting field or the medical office field as those are the high demand careers right
now. So, the applications for these programs are overwhelming but John Maduta said
most of the applicants do not have a realistic understanding of the courses involved and
the length of time it will actually take to complete these programs. Some confusion
occurs because the people are coming in with worker retraining funds and they need to
enter and complete a program in a specified length of time.
Chris Wilkins asked the members if ten-key skills are still needed. Most of the members
said just a simple ten-key skill is needed, but there is no need for complex calculations as
Excel and other workbooks can take care of those.
John Clausen said that he will put all of the members’ ideas and opinions together and
summarize them and send it out through email so that the members could review the
changes one more time and get their vote on the revisions to Health Information and
Medical Billing/Coding programs.
The meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.