Medical office assistants work behind the scenes as they ensure the smooth running of a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office. It is their job to support doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff so these healthcare professionals can focus on their work instead. Medical office assistants perform a wide range of duties to keep the medical facility moving day in and day out.
Medical office assistant duties
When patients come in for a visit, the medical office assistant has to greet them and help them fill out the necessary paperwork. When patients come in for follow-up consultations, the assistant has to retrieve the patients’ files. In the case of first-time patients who use their insurance coverage to pay for their check-up fees, the medical office assistant has to fill out certain forms and confirm the patient’s insurance. These assistants also spend a huge chunk of their working hours making phone calls to book exams or tests with other healthcare professionals, purchase supplies, or book pick-up schedules for lab samples, among others.
Medical office assistants working at the hospital front desk should stay calm and composed, no matter what the emergency situation is, especially when they are assigned in emergency departments. Many patients who come are anxious, suffering from a serious injury, or families who are stressed over a loved one’s health issues. It is the assistant’s job to help them calm down and reassure them that everything will be taken care of.
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Those assistants who are working at a clinic’s front desk need to put their good customer service skills to use. They need to be accommodating and ensure that patients and their families are comfortable during their stay at the clinic.
Those who are working in a private practice have to be prepared to do more than just their duties as medical office assistants. They have to be prepared to adapt to basically any role in the practice, especially when they have to entertain so many patients.
Medical office assistant Managing Records and Insurance Paperwork
Keeping medical records confidential is critical to any medical practice. This is also one of the responsibilities of a medical office assistant as they maintain patient records. They process insurance claims as well. With the help of modern technology, they now manage electronic copies of medical records using electronic databases and software. This is why current medical assistant training programs put emphasis on the use of EHR software suites in training their students. Medical office assistants also have to input insurance codes for every procedure that a patient receives and wants to get reimbursed for.
A medical office assistant plays a huge role in giving the patients a good first impression of the medical facility they are working in. Their role is important in keeping the facility running, from answering phone calls to keeping the patients comfortable.