MEA 120 Medical Office Procedures I

Campus Location:
Effective Date:
BIO 100, OAT 121, ENG 101 or concurrent, SSC 100 or concurrent


MEA 100, MEA 150

Course Credits and Hours:
4.00 credits
3.00 lecture hours/week
2.00 lab hours/week
Course Description:

This is the first of two courses introducing administrative duties for a medical assistant in a medical office. Topics include written communication, telephone techniques, scheduling appointments, patient processing, daily operations in the ambulatory setting, the health record, basics of diagnostic coding, basics of procedural coding, health insurance, medical billing, reimbursement, patient accounts, collections, practice management, and banking procedures.

Required Text(s):

Obtain current textbook information by viewing the campus bookstore online or visit a campus bookstore. Check your course schedule for the course number and section.

Additional Materials:

Medical Assistant Program Manual

Allied Health/Science Department Program Student Policy Manual Medical dictionary

Schedule Type:
Classroom Course
Hybrid Course


Core Course Performance Objectives (CCPOs):
  1. Demonstrate effective communication skills used by a medical assistant. (CCC 1; PGC 1)
  2. Demonstrate the administrative functions of a medical assistant. (CCC 2, 5, 6; PGC 5)
  3. Examine the basic practice finances of a medical assistant. (CCC 6; PGC 5)
  4. Coordinate the managed care/insurance processes in a medical office. (CCC 5; PGC 5)
  5. Demonstrate the procedural and diagnostic coding used in a medical office. (CCC 6; PGC 5)

See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.

Measurable Performance Objectives (MPOs):

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate effective communication skills used by a medical assistant.
    1. Identify techniques for overcoming communication barriers.
    2. Recognize elements of fundamental writing skills.
    3. Discuss applications of electronic technology in professional communication.
    4. Distinguish between subjective and objective information.
    5. Use feedback techniques to obtain patient information, including reflection, restatement, and clarification.
    6. Discuss how to explain office policies to patients.
    7. Demonstrate professional telephone techniques.
    8. Write telephone messages accurately.
    9. Prepare professional correspondence using electronic technology.
    10. Arrange referrals to community resources in the role of a patient navigator.
    11. Express relevant information concisely and accurately.
    12. Demonstrate empathy, active listening, and nonverbal communication.
    13. Demonstrate the principles of self-boundaries.
  2. Demonstrate the administrative functions of a medical assistant.
    1. Identify different types of appointment scheduling methods.
    2. Identify advantages and disadvantages of the manual and electronic appointment systems.
    3. Identify critical information required for scheduling patient procedures.
    4. Explain types of information contained in the patient’s medical record.
    5. Identify methods of organizing the patient’s medical record based on problem-oriented medical record (POMR) and source-oriented medical record (SOMR).
    6. Identify equipment and supplies needed for medical records in order to create, maintain, and store information.
    7. Describe filing indexing rules.
    8. Differentiate between electronic medical records (EMR) and a practice management system.
    9. Explain the purpose of routine maintenance of administrative and clinical equipment.
    10. List the steps involved in completing an inventory.
    11. Explain the importance of data back-up.
    12. Explain meaningful use as it applies to EMR.
    13. Prepare appointment schedule using established priorities.
    14. Schedule a patient procedure.
    15. Create, organize, and file a patient’s medical record.
    16. Use an EMR.
    17. Collect and input patient data using a practice management system.
    18. Demonstrate routine maintenance of administrative or clinical equipment.
    19. Demonstrate how to take an inventory with documentation.
    20. Show sensitivity when managing appointments.
  3. Examine the basic practice finances of a medical assistant.
    1. Define charges, payments, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and adjustments.
    2. Describe banking procedures as related to the ambulatory care setting.
    3. Identify precautions for accepting payments of cash, checks, credit cards, and debit cards.
    4. Describe types of adjustments made to patient’s accounts, including non-sufficient funds (NSF) check, collection agency transaction, credit balance, and third party.
    5. Identify types of information contained in the patient’s billing record.
    6. Explain patient financial obligations for services rendered.
    7. Demonstrate accounts receivable procedures to patient accounts, including posting charges, payments, and adjustments.
    8. Prepare a bank deposit.
    9. Collect accurate patient billing information.
    10. Discuss how to inform a patient of financial obligations for services rendered.
    11. Demonstrate professionalism when discussing a patient's billing record.
    12. Show sensitivity when requesting payment for services rendered.
  4. Coordinate the managed care/insurance processes in a medical office.
    1. Identify types of third party plans, information required to file a third party claim, and the steps for filing a third party claim.
    2. Outline managed care requirements for patient referral.
    3. Describe processes for verification of eligibility for services, precertification, and preauthorization.
    4. Distinguish between fraud and abuse.
    5. Identify information on an insurance card.
    6. Explain how to verify eligibility for services, including documentation.
    7. Demonstrate obtaining precertification or preauthorization, including documentation.
    8. Prepare an insurance claim form.
    9. Discuss professionally with third party representatives.
    10. Show tactful behavior when communicating with medical providers regarding third party requirements.
    11. Show sensitivity when communicating with patients regarding third party requirements.
  5. Demonstrate the procedural and diagnostic coding used in medical office.
    1. Explain how to use the most current procedural coding system.
    2. Describe how to use the most current diagnostic coding classification system.
    3. Describe how to use the most current Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) level II coding system.
    4. Discuss the effects of upcoding and downcoding.
    5. Explain medical necessity as it applies to procedural and diagnostic coding.
    6. Select correct procedural and diagnostic coding.
    7. Explain how to use medical necessity guidelines.
    8. Express tactful communication skills with medical providers to ensure accurate code selection.
Evaluation Criteria/Policies:

Students must demonstrate proficiency on all CCPOs at a minimal 75 percent level to successfully complete the course. The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:

92 100 = A
83 91 = B
75 82 = C
0 74 = F

Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.

Final Course Grade:

Calculated using the following weighted average

Evaluation Measure

Percentage of final grade

Summative Tests (5)  equally weighted


Summative Final Test (1)


Summative Lab Competencies (30) equally weighted


Formative Reading Lessons and Study Guides (11) equally weighted


Formative Discussion Boards (8) equally weighted




Core Curriculum Competencies (CCCs are the competencies every graduate will develop):
  1. Apply clear and effective communication skills.
  2. Use critical thinking to solve problems.
  3. Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
  4. Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
  5. Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
  6. Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
Program Graduate Competencies (PGCs are the competencies every graduate will develop specific to his or her major):
  1. Exhibit effective nonverbal, verbal, and written communication in patient/client and family interventions and education and in professional relationships.
  2. Exercise independent judgment and critical thinking in performance of medical assisting, according to the profession’s standards of practice.
  3. Demonstrate professional patterns of behavior consistent with the profession’s code of ethics.
  4. Demonstrate clinical competence by performing a full range of medical assistant procedures on all patient population.
  5. Demonstrate administrative competence by performing a full range of medical assistant procedures on all patient population.
Disabilities Support Statement:

The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.

Minimum Technology Requirements:
Minimum technology requirements for online, hybrid, video conferencing and web conferencing courses.