Piedmont Virginia Community College Press Release:
(Charlottesville, Va.) – Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Division of Health and Life Sciences recently restructured and renamed its 16-credit Patient Admissions Coordinator (PAC) Program. The program, which prepares students for entry-level jobs in hospitals, medical practices, veterinarian offices, or personal care services, will now be called the Medical Administrative Support Assistant (MASA) Program.
The decision to rename and restructure the former Patient Admissions Coordinator Program came about as a result of feedback received from the program’s curriculum advisory committee and the request of regional health care employers, who wanted a program that would better align with industry expectations.
“A strong skills and knowledge base is essential for successful employment in the health care industry,” said Susan Collins, program director and associate professor of health information management programs at PVCC. “Regional industry experts felt that broadening the curriculum scope and title would make the program more attractive and more in-line with what employers need. These changes will also allow students to be more competitive for entry-level positions in local healthcare facilities.”
PVCC’s redesigned program will teach important medical office skills such as managing medical records, filing insurance claims, scheduling patient services and appointments, customer service, basic medical coding and billing.
According to Collins, one of the major differences between PVCC’s new program curriculum and the past PAC curriculum is that the curricula prepares students to take several National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certifications including Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA); Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS); and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS).
“The number of health care jobs continues to grow with an ever-aging population,” Collins said. “Earning national certifications in the health care field is crucial to ‘standing out in the crowd’ and landing that first health care position. More and more employers are looking at certification as a way to quickly asses an individual’s skills and knowledge base.”
PVCC’s MASA program can be completed in two semesters or less. To learn more about the program, visit www.pvcc.edu/masa, or contact the Admissions and Advising Center at 434.961.6581.