Medical office assistants are often considered the glue that holds a clinic or doctor's office together. While they don't normally have any formal medical training, they are the persons who help keep the office running as smoothly as possible. They provide a wide spectrum of office administration functions, including recordkeeping and patient documentation. In some practices, they may also work to assist in preparing patients for basic examination procedures.
A medical office assistant’s primary tasks will often include office work. This can involve helping to set up appointments for patients and setting up follow-up visits. The assistant also works to confirm these appointments, either by telephone, email, or postcard reminders. Assistants provide the necessary paperwork for patients to fill out, and they may be also tasked with data entry of the non-technical or medical coding information provided. As part of the administration work around the office, the assistant will also do things like inventory and order office supplies.
To work as a medical office assistant, typically only a high school diploma or equivalent is required. Many employers for this position will also look for job candidates who possess outstanding people skills, as the assistant is likely to be a key contact point for patients and visitors. Some vocational schools and community colleges also offer specific training in this field. Medical office assistants normally work in a clinical office environment during regular business hours of the week.
Medical Office Assistant Tasks
Receive insurance co-pay payments and post amounts paid to patient accounts.
Interview patients to complete insurance and privacy forms.
Schedule and confirm patient appointments, check-ups and physician referrals.
Greet visitors, ascertain purpose of visit, and direct them to appropriate staff.
Answer telephones and direct calls to appropriate staff.