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Core Curriculum for Medical Assistants

Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB)
2015 Curriculum Requirements

Individuals graduating from Medical Assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) must demonstrate knowledge of the subject matters required for competence in the profession. They must incorporate the cognitive (C) knowledge in performance of the psychomotor (P) and affective (A) competencies required in the following academic subjects


Foundations for Clinical Practice Content Area I-IV

Cognitive (Knowledge Base)  Psychomotor (Skills)  Affective (Behavior)
I.C    Anatomy & Physiology
  1. Describe structural organization of the human body
  2. Identify body systems
  3. Describe body planes, directional terms, quadrants, and cavities
  4. List major organs in each body system
  5. Identify the anatomical location of major organs in each body system 
  6. Compare structure and function of the human body across the life span
  7. Describe the normal function of each body system
  8. Identify common pathology related to each body system including: signs, symptoms and etiology
  9. Analyze pathology for each body system including: diagnostic measures and treatment modalities
  10. Identify CLIA waived tests associated with common diseases
  11. Identify the classifications of medications including: indication for use, desired effects, side effects, and adverse reactions
  12. Identify quality assurance practices in healthcare
  13. List principles and steps of professional/provider CPR
  14. Describe basic principles of first aid as they pertain to the ambulatory healthcare setting
I.P     Anatomy & Physiology
  1. Measure and record: blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respirations, height, weight, length (infant), head circumference (infant), and pulse oximetry
  2. Perform: electrocardiography, venipuncture, capillary puncture, and pulmonary function testing 
  3. Perform patient screening using established protocols
  4. Verify the rules of medication: right patient, right medication, right dose, right route, right time, and right documentation
  5. Select proper sites for administering parenteral medication
  6. Administer oral medications
  7. Administer parenteral (excluding IV) medications
  8. Instruct and prepare a patient for a procedure or a treatment
  9. Assist a provider with a patient exam
  10. Perform a quality control measure
  11. Obtain specimens and perform: CLIA waived hematology test, CLIA waived chemistry test, CLIA waived urinalysis, CLIA waived immunology test, and CLIA waived microbiology test
  12. Produce up-to-date documentation of provider/professional level CPR
  13. Perform first aid procedures for: bleeding, diabetic coma or insulin shock, fractures, seizures, shock, and syncope
I.A    Anatomy & Physiology
  1. Incorporate critical thinking skills when performing patient assessment
  2. Incorporate critical thinking skills when performing patient care
  3. Show awareness of a patient's concerns related to the procedure being performed

II.C Applied Mathematics
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic math computations
  2. Apply mathematical computations to solve equations
  3. Define basic units of measurement in: the metric system, and the household systems
  4. Convert among measurement systems
  5. Identify abbreviations and symbols used in calculating medication dosages
  6. Analyze healthcare results as reported in: graphs and tables
II.P  Applied Mathematics
  1. Calculate proper dosages of medication for administration
  2. Differentiate between normal and abnormal test results
  3. Maintain laboratory test results using flow sheets
  4. Document on a growth charts
II.A  Applied Mathematics
  1. Reassure a patient of the accuracy of the test results

III.C  Infection Control
  1. List major types of infectious agents
  2. Describe the infection cycle including; the infectious agent, reservoir, susceptible host, means of transmission, portals of entry, and portals of exit
  3. Define the following as practices within an ambulatory care setting: medical asepsis and surgical asepsis 
  4. Identify methods of controlling the growth of microorganisms
  5. Define the principles of standard precautions
  6. Define personal protective equipment (PPE) for: all body fluids, secretions and excretions, blood, non-intact skin, and mucous membranes 
  7. Identify Center for Disease Control (CDC) regulations that impact healthcare practices
III.P  Infection Control
  1. Participate in bloodborne pathogen training
  2. Select appropriate barrier/personal protective equipment (PPE)
  3. Perform hand washing
  4. Prepare items for autoclaving
  5. Perform sterilization procedures
  6. Prepare a sterile field
  7. Perform within a sterile field
  8. Perform wound care
  9. Perform dressing changes
  10. Demonstrate proper disposal of bio hazardous material: sharps and regulated wastes
III.A  Infection Control
  1. Recognize the implications for failure to comply with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regulations in healthcare settings

IV.C Nutrition
  1. Describe dietary nutrients including: carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, electrolytes, vitamins, fiber, water
  2. Define the function of dietary supplements
  3. Identify the special dietary needs for: weight control, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, lactose sensitivity, gluten-free, and food allergies
IV.P  Nutrition
  1. Instruct a patient according to patient's special dietary needs

IV.A  Nutrition
  1. Show awareness of patient's concerns regarding a dietary change

Applied Communications Content Area V

I.C Cognitive (Knowledge Base)  I. P Psychomotor (Skills)  I. A Affective (Behavior)
V.C   Concepts of Effective Communication
  1. Identify styles and types of verbal communication
  2. Identify types of nonverbal communication
  3. Recognize barriers to communication
  4. Identify techniques for overcoming communication barriers
  5. Recognize the elements of oral communication using a sender-
    receiver process
  6. Define coaching a patient as it relates to: health maintenance, disease prevention, compliance with treatment plan, community resources e. adaptations relevant to
    individual patient needs
  7. Recognize elements of fundamental writing skills
  8. Discuss applications of electronic technology in professional
  9. Identify medical terms labeling the word parts
  10. Define medical terms and abbreviations related to all body
  11. Define the principles of self- boundaries
  12. Define patient navigator
  13. Describe the role of the medical assistant as a patient navigator
  14. Relate the following behaviors to professional communication: assertive, aggressive, and  passive
  15. Differentiate between adaptive and
    non-adaptive coping mechanisms
  16. Differentiate between subjective and objective information
  17. Discuss the theories of:  Maslow, Erikson, and Kubler-Ross
  18. Discuss examples of diversity: cultural, social, and ethnic 
V.P Concepts of Effective Communication
  1. Use feedback techniques to obtain patient information including: reflection, restatement, and clarification
  2. Respond to nonverbal communication
  3. Use medical terminology correctly and pronounced accurately to communicate information to providers and patients
  4. Coach patients regarding:office policies,health maintenance, disease prevention, and treatment plan
  5. Coach patients appropriately considering:cultural diversity,developmental life stage, and communication barriers
  6. Demonstrate professional telephone techniques
  7. Document telephone messages accurately
  8. Compose professional correspondence utilizing electronic technology
  9. Develop a current list of community resourcesrelated to patients’ healthcare needs
  10. Facilitate referrals to community resources in the role of a patient navigator
  11. Report relevant information concisely and accurately
V.A  Concepts of Effective Communication
  1. Demonstrate: empathy, active listening, and nonverbal communication
  2. Demonstrate the principles of self- boundaries
  3. Demonstrate respect for individual diversity including: gender, race, religion, age, economic status, and appearance
  4. Explain to a patient the rationale for performance of a procedure

Medical Business Practices Content Area VI-IX

VI.C Cognitive (Knowledge Base) VI. P Psychomotor (Skills) VI. A Affective (Behavior)
VI.C Administrative Functions
  1. Identify different types of appointment scheduling methods
  2. Identify advantages and disadvantages of the following appointment
    systems: manual, and electronic
  3. Identify critical information required for scheduling patient procedures
  4. Define 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
  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 steps involved in completing an inventory
  11. Explain the importance of data back-up
  12. Explain meaningful use as it applies to EMR
VI. P Administrative Functions
  1. Manage appointment schedule using established priorities
  2. Schedule a patient procedure
  3. Create a patient’s medical record
  4. Organize a patient’s medical record
  5. File patient medical records
  6. Utilize an EMR
  7. Input patient data utilizing a practice management system
  8. Perform routine maintenance of administrative or clinical equipment
  9. Perform an inventory with documentation
VI.A Administrative Functions
  1. Display sensitivity when managing appointments

VII.C Basic Practice Finances
  1. Define the following bookkeeping terms: charges, payments, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and adjustments
  2. Describe banking procedures as related to the ambulatory care setting
  3. Identify precautions for accepting the following types of payments: cash, check, credit card, and debit card
  4. Describe types of adjustments made to patient 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
VII.P Basic Practice Finances
  1. Perform accounts receivable procedures to patient accounts including posting: charges, payments, adjustments
  2. Prepare a bank deposit
  3. Obtain accurate patient billing information
  4. Inform a patient of financial obligations for services rendered
VII.A Basic Practice Finances
  1. Demonstrate professionalism when discussing patient's billing record
  2. Display sensitivity when requesting payment for services rendered

VIII.C Third Party Reimbursement
  1. Identify: types of third party plans, information required to file a third party claim, 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. Define a patient-centered medical home (PCMH)
  5. Differentiate between fraud and abuse
VIII.P Third Party Reimbursement
  1. Interpret information on an insurance card
  2. Verify eligibility for services including documentation
  3. Obtain precertification or preauthorization including documentation
  4. Complete an insurance claim form
VIII.A Third Party Reimbursement
  1. Interact professionally with third party representatives
  2. Display tactful behavior when communicating with medical providers regarding third party requirements
  3. Show sensitivity when communicating with patients regarding third party requirements

IX.C Procedural and Diagnostic Coding
  1. Describe 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 HCPCS level II coding system
  4. Discuss the effects of: upcoding, and downcoding
  5. Define medical necessity as it applies to procedural and diagnostic coding
IX.P Procedural and Diagnostic Coding
  1. Perform procedural coding
  2. Perform diagnostic coding
  3. Utilize medical necessity guidelines
IX.A Procedural and Diagnostic Coding

1.Utilize tactful communication skills with medical providers to ensure accurate code selection

Medical Law and Ethics X-XI

X.C Cognitive (Knowledge Base) X. P Psychomotor (Skills) X. A Affective (Behavior)
X.C Legal Implication
  1. Differentiate between scope of practice and standards of care for medical assistants
  2. Compare and contrast provider and medical assistant roles in terms of standard of care
  3. Describe components of the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  4. Summarize the Patient Bill of Rights
  5. Discuss licensure and certification as they apply to healthcare providers
  6. Compare criminal and civil law as they apply to the practicing medical assistant
  7. Define: negligence, malpractice, statute of limitations, Good Samaritan Act(s), Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, living will/advanced directives, medical durable power of attorney h. Patient Self Determination Act (PSDA) and risk management
  8. Describe the following types of insurance: liability, professional (malpractice), personal injury
  9. List and discuss legal and illegal applicant interview questions
  10. Identify: a. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), Americans with Disabilities Act, and Amendments Act (ADAAA)
  11. Describe the process in compliance reporting: unsafe activities, errors in patient care, conflicts of interest, and incident reports
  12. Describe compliance with public health statutes: communicable diseases, abuse, neglect, exploitation, and wounds of violence
  13. Define the following medical legal terms: informed consent, implied consent, expressed consent, patient incompetence, emancipated minor, mature minor, subpoena duces tecum, respondent superior, res ipsa loquitor, locum tenens, defendant-plaintiff, deposition, arbitration-mediation, and Good Samaritan laws
X.P Legal Implications
  1. Locate a state’s legal scope of practice for medical assistants
  2. Apply HIPAA rules in regard to: privacy and release of information
  3. Document patient care accurately in the medical record
  4. Apply the Patient’s Bill of Rights as it relates to: choice of treatment, consent for treatment, and refusal of treatment
  5. Perform compliance reporting based on public health statutes
  6. Report an illegal activity in the healthcare setting following proper protocol
  7. Complete an incident report related to an error in patient care
X.A Legal Implications
  1. Demonstrate sensitivity to patient rights
  2. Protect the integrity of the medical record

XI.C Ethical Considerations
  1. Define: ethics and morals
  2. Differentiate between personal and professional ethics
  3. Identify the effect of personal morals on professional performance
XI.P Ethical Considerations
  1. Develop a plan for separation of personal and professional ethics
  2. Demonstrate appropriate response(s) to ethical issues
XI.A Ethical Considerations
  1. Recognize the impact personal ethics and morals have on the delivery of healthcare

Safety and Emergency Practices XII

XII.C Cognitive (Knowledge Base)
XII. P Psychomotor (Skills)
XII. A Affective (Behavior)
XII.C Protective Practices
  1. Identify: safety signs, symbols, and labels
  2. Identify safety techniques that can be used in responding to accidental exposure to: blood, other body fluids, needle sticks, and chemicals
  3. Discuss fire safety issues in an ambulatory healthcare environment
  4. Describe fundamental principles for evacuation of a healthcare setting
  5. Describe the purpose of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in a healthcare setting
  6. Discuss protocols for disposal of biological chemical materials
  7. Identify principles of: body mechanics and ergonomics
  8. Identify critical elements of an emergency plan for response to a natural disaster or other emergency
XII.P Protective Practices
  1. Comply with: safety signs, symbols, and labels
  2. Demonstrate proper use of: eyewash equipment, fire extinguishers and sharps disposal containers
  3. Use proper body mechanics
  4. Participate in a mock exposure event with documentation of specific steps
  5. Evaluate the work environment to identify unsafe working conditions
XII.A Protective Practices
  1. Recognize the physical and emotional effects on persons involved in an emergency situation
  2. Demonstrate self-awareness in responding to an emergency situation