Work Place

February 14, 2022

Role Distribution in the Medical Office

The medical assistant’s role is as diverse, colorful, and varied as the scrubs and uniforms they wear. Their main function is to assist and support doctors within the practice so they can better focus directly on their patient’s health issues. Medical assistants cover daily operational functions at the front desk which also covers the reception area, waiting room, administrative areas and archives, as well as the back office clinical and laboratory floors, examination and treatment rooms, storage and restrooms. Their duties range from registering new patients, verifying health insurance coverage, organizing examination rooms, giving out appointments, collecting and processing co-payments, keeping medical records organized, assisting during a procedure, obtaining and preserving diagnostic specimens, sorting laboratory result printouts and following upon patient calls. From time to time skilled medical assistants also perform on-site laboratory rapid screening tests in compliance with CLIA standards to help doctors determine which medications or further laboratory tests need to be ordered. The medical office manager plans and confirms the doctor’s meeting and speaking schedules and when they will be working out of the office, e.g. at a contracted hospital. They secure replacements and coverage when the doctor is out of town attending a seminar, make bank deposits and pay utility and other bills, and often unless it is outsourced to a CPA, write paychecks and log staff member’s time cards. Also, they may handle the medical billing aspects of the office unless it is forwarded to medical coding and billing firm. It all depends on the size and specific needs of the practice. Who Is In Charge? When a […]
February 14, 2022

Wages & Pay

Medical assistants are hired at various levels of pay and are compensated according to their level of training, experience, and special education. Different pay rates apply to those with less than 1 year, 1 – 4 years, 5 – 9 years, 10 – 19 years, or 20+ years, which can make a big difference. Important is to understand that medical assistants are NOT salaried professionals, but hired employees working for hourly wages. Those who are certified and work in a specialty medical practice, alternative medicine clinic, or plastic surgery office usually take home a little more. The average national earnings for medical assistants is on the rise, where the reported average annual pay, according to the US Department of Labor, has increased from $26,620 to $28,710, which is the equivalent of an hourly wage of $14.36. The longer medical assistant works the more their wages increase. Some may also earn benefits, such as paid leave time, employment-sponsored savings plans, tuition reimbursement, and retirement plans where the doctor matches a percentage of your contributions to your retirement account. Which Specialty Pays More? Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on earnings, we compared the primary care physician’s earnings with a surgeon’s and a few other specialists in the medical arts earnings to get an idea who can afford to pay their staff more. Of course, every employer sets their own standards and wages depend on numerous factors, however, here are some figures we were able to determine: Medical assistants working in a family practice typically earn the least income. Their hourly pay ranges somewhere between $11.50 – […]
February 14, 2022

Utilization and Supervision of Medical Assistants

While most laws on how medical assistants can be utilized remain vague, the laws on medical assistant direct supervision are very clear. The ultimate authority in charge of the medical assistant is the employer, usually a doctor or licensed health care practitioner who hired them, and in turn, the doctor is the one who answers to the state Medical Board/Board of Medical Examiners of the state in which they practice the art of medicine. Nursesanswer to their State Board of Nursing. Too many medical assistants and their supervisors falsely believe that as long as they work under the umbrella of the doctor they are allowed to do anything, however, little do they know that they might be taking massive risks. Without access to information on prevailing rules and regulations and support from some sort of organization permissible tasks and activities are hard to pinpoint. It is ALWAYS good practice to check with your State Board of Medical Examiners, Board of Medicine, Board of Licensure in Medicine, Department of nursing, or State Board of Nursing to research whether any standards and legal parameters have been established on how medical assistants may be utilized in a particular setting, e.g. in the Nurse Practice Act or scope of practice in medicine. Verify which acts and duties are permitted so that procedures that can potentially lead to medical negligence and scope of practice violations can be avoided. Nurses Delegating Tasks to Medical Assistants Only in certain US states can medical assistants be supervised by a registered nurse (RN) and if so, only certain patient care tasks can […]