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Medical & Healthcare Programs ►Patient Advocate Specialist Certificate Program




This training program combines a two course training track:

  • Patient Advocacy
  • Medical Office Assistant

Patient advocates help patients in various ways. They may ensure a patient sees the appropriate doctors; that his or her treatment plan is being followed; that the patient is taking advantage of all available treatment options. They coordinate care between doctors, if needed. Additional duties include education for the patient, family and caregivers, and research into a patient's condition. Some patient advocates also shepherd a patient's claims through the health insurance system. They help make sure billing departments are filing properly and insurance processors are paying correctly. Advocates are employed by hospitals, rehab centers or other medical facilities; nonprofit organizations; government agencies; insurance companies; or for- profit patient advocacy firms. Others are self-employed.


The Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the profession of patient advocacy, so statistics as to its projected growth are difficult to come by. However, the profession is considered to be a growing one, as an aging population increasingly makes use of medical services and needs assistance in navigating today’s complex healthcare system. In recent years, publications such as US News & World Report and Entrepreneur magazine have recognized it as an up-and-coming career field. Colleges, in turn, are adding programs to teach these skills.


Patient Advocacy 180 Hours


Our Patient Advocacy course provides strategies for helping consumers overcome common challenges encountered in the U.S. healthcare system. These common challenges involve issues surrounding financing healthcare, receiving quality healthcare, ethics, cultural competency, preventive healthcare, mental healthcare, and community-based healthcare. Learn step-by-step methods for providing case advocacy for patients and a framework for policy advocacy, as well.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Comprehend the principles of advocacy in the healthcare setting
  • Identify methods for assisting with the financing of healthcare
  • Define consumers’ ethical rights and cultural competency
  • Identify methods for advocating preventive healthcare
  • Comprehend the principles of policy advocacy

Medical Office Assistant 270 Hours


Get started today in the fast pace world of a Medical Office Assistant! Our online course will teach you all the skills you need to know to get a job in the medical field as a Medical Office Assistant.

Also known as a medical administrative assistant or medical assistants, a medical office assistant performs a wide range of duties that are imperative to the smooth operation of a variety of medical offices. Medical office assistant duties can include updating patient files, filling out insurance forms, coordinating laboratory services, answering phones, ordering and maintaining medical supplies and equipment, and more. As the healthcare industry continues to expand, so does the need for medical office assistants. Many doctor’s offices have come to rely on the work of a medical administrative assistant who performs a number of important medical office assistant duties.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Comprehend the role of medical office assistant professional
  • Identify the steps for managing patient records
  • Identify the standards for professional oral and written communication
  • Identify the steps for managing various office financials
  • Define the requirements for basic office management


Patient Advocacy Module 1

Advocacy in the U.S. Health System

  • Advocacy From Outside the Health System
  • Advocacy as an Underground Activity
  • Advocacy as an Ethical Imperative
  • Seven Common Problems for Healthcare Consumers
  • The Poor Law Tradition
  • Emphasis on Technology
  • Lack of Diversity in Medical Personnel
  • Medical Silos and Insular Care
  • From History to Case and Policy Advocacy
  • Case-Advocacy Interventions
  • Eight Case-Advocacy Tasks
  • Case Advocacy for a Very Sick Child

Patient Advocacy Module 2

Case Advocacy Skills

  • Reading the Advocacy Context
  • Case-Advocacy Triage
  • Allocating Case-Advocacy Services
  • Diagnosing Task
  • Strategizing Task
  • Implementing Task
  • Assessing Task
  • Progression Task
  • Nature of Influence
  • Empowering Consumers
  • Promoting Ethical Conduct
  • Ethical Reasoning

Patient Advocacy Module 3

Quality of Care and Cultural Competence

  • Defining “Quality Healthcare”
  • Criticisms of U.S. Healthcare in Addressing Illness
  • Policy as it Pertains to Quality of Care
  • Scenarios Encountered by Consumers
  • From Case Advocacy to Policy Advocacy
  • Conceptualizing Cultural Competency
  • What it Means to Be Culturally Competent
  • The Case for Providing Culturally Competent Services
  • Policy and Regulatory Thicket
  • Policy Advocacy to Promote Cultural Competence
  • From Case Advocacy Scenarios to Broader Policy Issues

Patient Advocacy Module 4

Health Prevention and Financing

  • Defining Prevention
  • Threats to Health
  • Prevention Goals and Strategies
  • Barriers to Prevention
  • Why U.S. Consumers Particularly Need Prevention
  • From Case Advocacy to Policy Advocacy
  • Helping Consumers Finance Their Healthcare
  • Buck-Passing
  • Seniors’ Angst
  • Medical Wheel of Fortune
  • Ripple Effects of Health Costs and Coverage
  • Protecting Consumers With Respect to Health Coverage

Patient Advocacy Module 5

Mental Health and Community-Based Care

  • Mental Distress Often Experienced by Consumers
  • Who Attends Consumers’ Mental Health Needs
  • Why Consumers Turn to Health Settings
  • Liabilities in the Policy and Regulatory Thicket
  • Scenarios Encountered by Case Advocates
  • Helping Consumers Receive Community-Based Care
  • Consumer’s Health Ecosystems
  • Community-Based Health Services
  • Fifteen Case Advocacy Scenarios
  • Assets and Liabilities

Patient Advocacy Module 6

Policy Advocacy

  • Importance of Policy Advocacy
  • Policy Advocacy Framework
  • Surmounting Fatalism, Controversy, and Vested Interests
  • Policy Advocacy in Four Settings
  • What Advocates Seek to Change
  • Using Policy to Embed Advocacy in Health Organizations
  • Health Advocacy in Communities
  • Policy Advocacy in Electoral Settings
  • Policy Advocacy in Legislative and Regulatory Settings
  • Advocating for Regulatory Changes
  • Establishing a Policy Agenda in Specific Health Settings

Medical Office Assistant Module 1

Professional and Career Responsibilities

  • Customer Service
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Job Responsibilities
  • Understanding Emotional Work-Related Problems
  • Professionalism
  • Licensure
  • Certification
  • Health Care Reform
  • History of Medicine
  • The Medical Practice Setting
  • Medical Ethics
  • HIPAA
  • Medical Practice Acts
  • Medical Records
  • Advance Directives

Medical Office Assistant Module 2

Interpersonal Communications

  • Essential Communication
  • Methods of Communication
  • Communicating with Different Populations
  • Communicating with the Health Care Team
  • Office Receptionist
  • Processing Patients
  • Office Safety and Emergency Procedures
  • Communication by Telephone
  • Identify and Manage Emergency Calls
  • Handling Complaints
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Schedule Surgery
  • Appointment Reminder Systems

Medical Office Assistant Module 3

Records Management

  • Commercial Filing Systems
  • Alphabetical Filing Rules
  • Filing Equipment
  • Charge-Out and Control Systems
  • Filing Documents in Patient Records
  • Record Retention, Storage, and Destruction
  • Patients’ Medical Records
  • Prepare a New Medical Record
  • Recordkeeping
  • Correcting a Medical Record
  • Elements of a Medical Record
  • Audit of Medical Records
  • Drug and Prescription Records
  • Drug Names and References
  • Understanding Prescriptions
  • Control and Storage of Drugs

Medical Office Assistant Module 4

Written Communications, Fees & Banking

  • Written Communication
  • Letter Standards and Styles
  • Medical Transcription
  • Transcribing a Dictated Document
  • Processing Mail and Telecommunications
  • Supplies and Equipment
  • Handling Incoming and Outgoing Mail
  • Compose an Email Message
  • Faxing Documents
  • Fee Schedules
  • Billing
  • Credit and Collection Laws
  • Financial Institutions
  • Accounts
  • Preparing Bank Deposits
  • Writing a Check
  • Bank Statements

Medical Office Assistant Module 5

Bookkeeping, Health Insurance & Coding

  • Accounting
  • Patient Accounts
  • Accounts Receivable Control
  • Cash Funds
  • Day Sheets
  • Petty Cash
  • Introduction to Insurance
  • Methods of Payment
  • Third-Party Payers
  • Health Insurance Claims
  • Insurance Identification Cards
  • Claim Status
  • Procedural and Diagnostic Coding
  • Coding for Professional Services
  • Standard Code Sets
  • ICD-10-CM Coding
  • Selecting the Correct Codes

Medical Office Assistant Module 6

Office Management & Employment

  • Office Manager
  • The Work Environment
  • Staff Meetings
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Office Guidebooks
  • Incident Reports
  • New Employee Orientation
  • Business Travel
  • Preparing Travel Expense Reports
  • Payroll
  • Accounts Payable
  • Seeking an Administrative Medical Assistant Position
  • Global Influence on Health Care
  • Future Trends in Health Care
  • Job Outlook

Upon successful completion of our Medical Office Assistant course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position in a medical office setting and will be prepared to sit for the NHA national certification exam to become a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). Fee is included for the NHA exam.

Required Materials:

  • Improving Healthcare Through Advocacy by Bruce S.Jansson
  • Administrative Medical Assisting, 7th Edition by Linda L. French and Marilyn T. Fordney

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