A medical administrative assistant's job involves various tasks, such as handling the front office functions, liaison with patients and their families as well as assisting the doctor. He is the first person that a patient or his family meets in the hospital. Which is why he should possess good customer service skills, communication skills and a pleasing personality. The salary of a medical administrative assistant may vary from state to state. In the past few years the salary has shot up considerably, due to the shortage of staff in this field.
The duties of a medical administrative assistant may vary, depending on the organization as well as the experience of the person. Given below are the different tasks that are handled by a medical administrative assistant.
A registered medical assistant's job involves providing administrative assistance to the trained medical staff. One of his key tasks is to manage the front office desk.
He greets patients when they arrive in the hospital, explains the various procedures to them, assists them in getting the registration forms filled, and arranges for hospital admissions, etc.
He is also responsible for managing the doctor's schedule, scheduling patient's appointments, handling correspondence, answering phone calls, and transferring them to the appropriate extension.
He also performs a number of administrative tasks for the efficient running of the hospital. The administration duties include - maintaining the medical records of the patients, engaging in regular correspondence with insurance companies, maintaining all hospital records - financial, purchase, medical supplies, accounting, etc. He may also take stock of medical equipment and supplies and monitor the purchase and supply of medicines. Hence he should have good organizational skills as well.
In some cases, a medical administrative assistant processes medical insurance as well as electronic claims and undertakes coding procedures for the same as well.
Sometimes, he may also be required to undertake certain data entry tasks.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for medical administrative assistants and medical secretaries is expected to rise by 27 percent in the decade 2008 to 2018. Thus, the career prospect in this field is quite high. The average annual salary in America is around $34,923, however, the salary of a certified medical administrative assistant varies from region to region.
In New York, the annual average salary is around $48,000. In Atlanta and Georgia, the average salary is $41,000. The average annual salary in Chicago and Los Angeles is $38,000, while in Kansas, Phoenix, San Antonio and Arizona, it is $32,000. The lowest is in Portland and Maine, with an average of $22,000 per annum. The state which employs the highest number of people in this profession is California.
Apart from hospitals, medical administrative assistants can work at other places as well, such as dental offices, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, research and development firms, etc. So the salary ranges for jobs in this field may vary according to the industry as well. For example, those working in substance abuse hospitals may earn a much higher salary than those working at a dental office.
To qualify for this job, you will need a diploma or degree in medical administrative assisting from a school/college which is accredited by Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools or by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. To become a certified medical assistant, you need to pass the certified medical assistant exam conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants. To gain some hands-on experience, you can choose to volunteer at a medical office. Your work experience, degree and certification - all contribute to getting a good job as a medical administrative assistant.