Medical schedulers hold specialized positions in the administrative staff of a hospital, clinic, or other medical setting. Typical daily duties performed by medical schedulers include handling e-mail and phone correspondence, collecting basic patient information, and scheduling appointments. As they often serve as the initial contact with the patient, excellent customer service skills are necessary for medical schedulers; they must be able to address patients' concerns and collect or update account information as necessary. In some settings, medical schedulers are also responsible for determining the proper amount of staff needed for daily operations. After the patient has visited their doctor, the schedulers are responsible for planning needed follow-up calls or appointments. Certain labs and tests such as X-rays and CT scans may need to be scheduled for the patient, as well as future appointments.
Generally, there is no specific educational or work background required to be a medical scheduler. Most medical schedulers have previous experience as receptionists and at least a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as proficiency in basic computer software. Due to the medical setting, a background in medical terminology and HIPAA adherence is generally preferred. Medical schedulers' schedules vary depending on the needs of their organization. Some may work part time during the mornings, for example, and others may work full time during graveyard shifts with revolving weekends off.
Medical Scheduler Tasks
Interview patients to complete documents, case histories, and forms such as intake and insurance forms.
Schedule, confirm and maintain patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries and medical consultations for a specific department.
Explain objectives and procedures to interviewees, or forward questions to appropriate physician or staff member.
Ensure payment for services by verifying benefits with the person's insurance provider or working out financing options.
Review, analyze and forecast cancellations, double bookings or changes in schedules.