Jun 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Administrative Healthcare Assisting, Certificate

Location(s): North Campus

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Degree: Certificate
HEGIS Code: 5214
Curriculum Code: 980.MOA

Health Sciences Division

Program Description

The Administrative Healthcare Assisting (AHA) Certificate program at SUNY Erie offers training in the administrative aspects of the Medical Assisting profession, preparing students for employment positions in a variety of medical and healthcare settings. The AHA program focuses on:

  • building a professional vocabulary of medical terminology;
  • understanding medical law and ethics for healthcare professionals including healthcare competency, equity, cultural competence, and patient navigator concepts; and
  • building a foundation for navigating the MEDENT Electronic Health Record (EHR) Practice Management System to learn the standards and features of an EHR system, appointment scheduling and administrative and financial processes for the medical practice, physician office coding and reimbursement procedures, including ICD-10-CM, CPT, HCPCS II, managed care, revenue cycles and remittance advices.

Midway through their second semester, Administrative Healthcare Assisting Certificate students participate in a supervised administrative externship experience of at least 80 contact hours in an assigned SUNY Erie affiliated healthcare setting.  Bridging the gap between student and allied healthcare professional, the externship gives students the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of AHA Program Competency requirements.  Students will perform administrative skills acquired throughout the duration of the Administrative Healthcare Assisting program, earning practical experience while engaging with other members of the healthcare team.

The goal of the Administrative Healthcare Assisting Certificate program is to produce graduates who possess the necessary knowledge of contemporary patient-centered healthcare practices and the necessary administrative skills to be an efficient administrative healthcare assistant. A nationally recognized certification exam will be administered upon successful program completion for graduates to demonstrate competency in skills attainment as they begin careers as certified administrative health assistants and work alongside other valued members of the allied healthcare team. This program also provides a broad base of information that allows graduates to successfully continue their education in a related healthcare field or apply credits toward a Medical Assisting AAS degree or other 2-year and 4-year Allied Health options such as Health Information Technology (HIT) or Emergency Medical Technology (EMT).

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria include:

  • high school degree or HSE (High School Equivalency)
  • completion of all developmental English and math courses 


Students must maintain a minimum grade of C in all Medical Assisting (MA) courses and a minimum grade of C- in all other required courses. All courses may be repeated only once. If minimal grades are not attained or if the student has withdrawn (W) from a course a second time or has failed a course a second time (a grade below a C in MA courses; or earned a grade below a C- in all other required courses) it will result in dismissal from the Administrative Healthcare Assisting program.  

Administrative Healthcare Assisting courses are integrated and sequenced in a specific manner to enable students to attain program competencies.

Note: a felony conviction may impede a student from being eligible for externship placement. 

Graduation Requirements

  • Once accepted into the program, students must complete all Administrative Healthcare Assisting courses within a two-year time period.
  • For graduation, students must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and a minimum grade of C in all Administrative Healthcare Assisting courses.
  • Upon completing all required coursework for the Administrative Healthcare Assisting program, students must apply for graduation at www.ecc.edu/graduate.
  • Earning a Administrative Healthcare Assisting Cerificate does not constitute certification; students must pass a national certification exam to become certified as an Administrative Health Assistant.

Department Notes

  • Students are responsible for providing transportation to off-campus externship experiences to observe and/or perform administrative skills for at least 80 contact hours in an assigned SUNY Erie affiliated healthcare setting.
  • Student accident insurance is available and highly recommended for part-time students.
  • Students who have previously taken a medical terminology course at another institution or who have had experience working in the medical field may elect to schedule and take a proficiency test to obtain credit by examination for Medical Terminology I (MA 115) and/or Medical Terminology II (MA 125). Upon successfully passing the Medical Terminology I (MA 115) proficiency test, the student may elect to schedule and take the Medical Terminology II (MA 125) proficiency test. Any interested student should contact the Department Chair at sylviab@ecc.edu with their SUNY Erie Student ID and email address to schedule an appointment to take the exam. Note: Students MUST take the proficiency tests PRIOR to enrolling in their respective courses.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with a certificate in Administrative Healthcare Assisting, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Perform administrative skills, including EMR data entry and organization, appointment scheduling, insurance verification, accounts receivable procedures, patient account adjustments, day sheet preparation and end-of-day reconciliations and telehealth procedures.
  2. Identify human body systems, recognizing their structure, function, organization, and common pathologies, and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aid procedures.
  3. Identify and reply to verbal and nonverbal communication, recognize and overcome communication barriers, including those related to diversity, equity and inclusion relative to patient care, demonstrate professional telephone techniques, and compose office correspondence using appropriate medical terminology, correct grammar, usage and mechanics.
  4. Identify attributes of revenue cycles as they relate to managed care, recognize third-party reimbursement procedures for patient referrals, precertification, prior authorization, insurance claims and remittance advices and perform current procedural and diagnostic coding (ICD-10-CM, CPT, HCPCS II), using medical necessity guidelines.
  5. Identify scope of practice, standard of care, licensure and certification, healthcare regulations, public health statutes, and criminal and civil law as they apply to medical assistants and use applied ethics theories to evaluate contemporary bioethical issues and their impact on the contemporary healthcare environment, recognizing social responsibility as it applies to healthcare and cultural competency in terms of literacy, equity, disparity and the role of the medical assistant as patient navigator.
  6. Demonstrate competency in the cognitive objectives, psychomotor competencies and affective behaviors necessary to enter the administrative healthcare assisting profession and apply appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities consistent with acceptable professional conduct standards while performing administrative procedures, including quality assurance practices in healthcare.


Total Degree Credits: 30

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