Medical Assistant Programs and Certification in Indiana
Medical assisting represents a relatively quick path to a health career. Indiana’s medical assistants work under delegation of physicians or sub-delegation by other qualified professionals. They are multi-skilled professionals who may carry out administrative tasks as well as clinical ones. They provide services primarily in outpatient settings. In fact, the Legal Counsel of the American Association of Medical Assistants specifically references outpatient settings when discussing Indiana medical assistant scope of practice.
Top Medical Assistant Educational Programs in Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College has CAAHEP-accredited campuses throughout the state. Some award certificates; some, associate degrees. Some students will be eligible for free tuition for this workforce program. Admission is described as selective, with specifics varying by campus. Students have undeclared status while they complete prerequisites. Ivy Tech touts its reputation with employers, both doctor’s offices and hospitals. Several transfer partnerships have been forged for students who wish to attain four-year degrees.
Ross Medical Institute also has locations around the state. The school holds institutional accreditation through ABHES. It offers 10- and 16-month options. Students can opt for certificates or associate degrees.
International Business College in Indianapolis is CAAHEP-accredited. Students have the option of a diploma or an associate’s degree. The school cites an 83.33% placement rate for students entering the diploma program in 2016 cohorts (March and September).
Medical Assisting Credentials
Indiana medical assistants are not licensed. However, there are national organizations that are considered standard setters. They include programmatic accrediting agencies and third party certification organizations. There are two U.S. organizations that accredit medical assisting programs: the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau for Health Education Schools (ABHES). It is not necessary to attend a program with programmatic accreditation – institutional accreditation will suffice — but programmatic accreditation does sometimes confer advantages.
Programs that do not hold programmatic accreditation are subject to other standards. Standards vary somewhat; they are set by the credentialing agency. An individual who seeks certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants or American Medical Technologists (two premier organizations) would need to enroll in a program of at least 720 hours. AAMA mandates that the program be at least two academic semesters and include at least 560 non-practicum instructional hours and 160 hours of practicum or externship; 1,000 hours of post-completion experience may be accepted in lieu of the 160 hours.
The NCCA has credited multiple medical assisting and clinical medical assisting programs. A majority of NCCA-accredited medical assisting certification programs also have experience pathways. The AMT requires more experience than some others, mandating that five out of the prior seven years have been spent in a medical assisting role (unless the individual is a current instructor). There is also a military pathway.
Typical Employer Expectations
Indiana employers set varying requirements for education, experience and certification. Some do specify a preference for formal education programs. Some even look at accreditation. Once community health organization, for example, advertised in late 2019 for candidates who had graduated from CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting programs. Another community health center noted that graduation from an accredited program was preferred; competency testing was required.
Employers may express a preference for accredited medical assistant certifications. They may even express a preference beyond this (for example, CMA or RMA status).Indiana Medical Assistant Salary and Career Outlook
Indiana medical assistants averaged $15.67 an hour in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This comes out to $32,580 a year. The vast majority of the state’s medical assistants made between $25,300 and $40,490, though 10% fell on either end of this range.
Indiana has average job concentration, Job concentration, though, varies quite a bit from one part of the state to another. The Fort Wayne metropolitan area tops the list of Indiana metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas with a location quotient of 1.60.
Top Indiana Employers
Medical assistants are often employed by large hospital systems or multi-facility community clinics and organizations. The following are among the major employers:
• Franciscan Health
• St. Vincent
• Deaconess Health System
• Parkview Health
• IU Health Physicians
• Allied Physicians
• Community Health Network
• Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana
• Saint Joseph Health System
Indiana medical assistants also work for doctors in smaller private practices. Employers include specialists as well as general practitioners. Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Physicians was among those that recently sought a qualified MA.
Urgent care clinics are on the rise nationwide. Physicians Immediate Care is one of many.
Parkview Health (Fort Wayne) made the Becker’s Hospital Review list of best healthcare employers in 2019. It also made the Forbes list. Among the Parkview Health medical assistant positions advertised in late 2019 were walk-in clinic medical assistant, Parkview Physicians Group (PPG) medical assistant, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Coordinator – Medical Assistant. The organization sought individuals who had graduated from accredited programs and attained certification as CMTs through AAMA or RMTs through AMT.
The Indiana Society of Medical Assistants is the state professional association. It has multiple districts: East Central District, First District, Southeast District, St. Joseph District, Twelfth District, and West Central District.
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