Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Medical Office Specialist, AAS

Location(s): Ankeny

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A medical office specialist works in a diverse field that includes performing a variety of tasks in the medical setting, ranging from general administrative duties, working within electronic medical records, and even medical coding and billing.  The Medical Office Specialist program provides the foundational knowledge necessary to develop a diverse skill set to include greeting patients, communication skills, telephone techniques, scheduling appointments, managing medical records, working within an electronic medical record, HIPAA compliance, medical coding, medical billing, etc.  The courses within the Medical Office Specialist program will enhance workplace soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, and workplace habits.  Medical Office Specialists may work in a multitude of health care settings such as medical clinics, health insurance organizations, hospitals, etc.

In addition to the AAS degree, there are certification options for Medical Office Specialists, depending upon the desired career path.  Certifications will enhance the degree.  Credentials may require work experience prior to certification and continuing education hours to maintain certification.  Costs and qualifications vary.

The Medical Office Specialist AAS degree includes an internship. Students are required to acquire their own internship and have it approved by their internship instructor prior to the start of the semester in which they will be taking the internship class. Most internships require passing a background check. Felonies or other serious charges may keep the student from finding an internship site. Students unable to complete the internship will be unable to complete the Medical Office Specialist AAS degree.

To successfully complete this program, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0-grade point average. A grade of “C” or better is required in the first course of a sequential course offering before enrolling in the second-level course of the sequence or in the prerequisite course.

Program Details

Pathway: Health Science & Fitness

More information on this Pathway.

Students start any semester

Not all courses are offered at each campus every semester.  Academic advisors are available to assist with scheduling.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Medical Office Specialist AAS degree, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average and receive a “C” or better in all MAP, HSC, ADM and BCA courses.


(Students must demonstrate a keyboarding speed of 35 NWPM or above by taking a five-minute test before enrolling in BCA 160 .)

Semester 4

Total Credits Required to Complete the AAS Degree: 69*

*Total credits are calculated using the least number of credits needed to satisfy the option requirements.

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$185.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4
Books (approximate) 550 550 700 500
Supplies 75 15 15 220

Approximate total for the program: $15,390**
**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Prepare and file medical charts and record information.
  • Transcribe letters, file, sort mail, and schedule appointments.
  • Handle incoming and outgoing telephone class.
  • Greet patients, staff, and customers in the healthcare setting.
  • Prepare case histories and medical reports.
  • Perform mathematical and basic bookkeeping duties.
  • Act as liaison between the doctor and the patient.
  • Utilize technology to manage patient’s medical records.
  • Input and process information using business equipment and computer software.
  • Utilize communication and organizational skills.
  • Perform coding and billing for submission of medical insurance claims.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Use the following equipment: computers (including software), copy & fax machines and other new technology.
  • Apply knowledge in medical terminology, anatomy, grammar computer skills, bookkeeping, coding and billing.
  • Work with people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Maintain HIPAA compliance.
  • Show foresight in anticipating patients’ needs.
  • Follow directions accurately.
  • Work collaboratively and fulfill your team responsibilities.

What Else Should I Consider about this Degree program?

  • Employment opportunities exist locally, statewide and nationally in a variety of healthcare settings.
  • Employment outlook is strong locally and nationally.
  • Internships often result in a job offer.
  • Advancement opportunities are available
  • All students may participate in professional organizations.
  • Demand for a thorough knowledge of computers and software.
  • To complete this program it may take more than 4 semesters for the AAS.
  • Graduates of this program have skills that can lead to becoming medical scribes, management roles, and potential for remote work.
  • Salary per Iowa Workforce Development Iowa Wage Report 2019. https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/iowa-wage-report
    • Entry wage: $30,539/year
    • Average wage:  $40,199/year
    • With experience:  $45,028/year

Program Competencies

  1. Explain the importance of the role of a medical office professional in today’s healthcare setting
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and the various medical specialties
  3. Utilize medical reference materials in all work settings
  4. Apply medical insurance guidelines and practices
  5. Use specific hardware and software and to apply generic concepts
  6. Communicate effectively using verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills
  7. Demonstrate professionalism and commitment to the field
  8. Apply time management techniques utilized in the healthcare setting
  9. Examine cultural diversity, healthcare disparities, and cultural competency in health care


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at https://www.dmacc.edu/pathways/.(2021)

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