MiraCosta College Selected as Preferred Provider of Healthcare Talent by Advancing San Diego

09/22/2021 Bookmark and Share

MiraCosta College has been named a Preferred Provider of Healthcare Talent by the Advancing San Diego (ASD) program. Advancing San Diego is a collaborative effort to address skilled talent shortages and increase diversity in high-growth, high-demand jobs in the local economy.

MiraCosta College is one of three community colleges in the San Diego region selected as a Preferred Provider of Healthcare Talent. Selected through a competitive application process, preferred providers are colleges, universities, and certificate programs recognized by local employers for training the next generation of medical administrative professionals in San Diego. Eligible students of these programs are invited to apply for an ASD-funded internship in small companies in San Diego.

MiraCosta College Medical Administrative Professional Certificate

MiraCosta College’s Medical Administrative Professional Program offers training in procedures used in medical offices, clinics, and hospital settings, as well as HIPAA compliance. The program prepares a variety of students—fresh out of high school in preparation for entry-level positions, as well as older adults furthering their careers, job transitioning, or reentering the workforce—for career opportunities in outpatient settings, such as a doctor’s office, urgent care centers, specialty clinics, and some hospital-level positions.

Students go from learning to earning in as little as one year with MiraCosta College’s Medical Administrative Professional certificate program. Providing essential training for the high-demand and secure healthcare industry, it prepares students for careers as a medical biller, medical coder, medical front office assistant, medical receptionist, medical records clerk, and medical scheduler.

Rich Dicker, faculty lead for the program, explains that students take a curriculum of coursework ranging from an introduction into the broad range of career options to technical skills including electronic health records, insurance billing and coding, patient advocacy, medical terminology, and basic human anatomy and physiology.

“The completion of this program can lead to industry credentials in billing and coding and national certification as a medical administrative assistant,” Dicker explains. “To further bolster the program, we are now in our third year of offering a certificate in clinical Medical Assisting, which medical administrative students can transition into for additional credentials and employment opportunities.”

Dicker notes, “Many previous students are currently employed with organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Scripps, and numerous specialty and private practices in the San Diego County region. The education, coupled with industry credential opportunities, has allowed previous students to gain employment throughout the country, with recent graduates working in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Washington.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in healthcare occupations will grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030 with 104,400 openings for medical assistants each year for the next decade. The BLS states, “The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more assistants, allowing the physicians to see more patients. An increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities will also need support workers, particularly medical assistants, to complete both administrative and clinical duties.” The average wage for medical assistants in the San Diego region ranges from $37,000 to almost $54,000 annually.

Sandy Comstock, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, comments, "Our population is growing and getting older. The Medical Administrative Program helps the medical industry meet the growing need for well-trained workers. This program is perfect for someone who wants to work in a challenging, exciting environment, and who wants to help people.”

California residents pay $46 per unit for classes and with the MiraCosta College Promise, all first-time college students, who enroll full-time (12+ units) qualify to receive two-years of college free. The remaining cost of the certificate program is approximately $1,500 for tuition and books.

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