A medical office assistant, or sometimes known as a medical administrative assistant, is a professional who performs administrative functions for a hospital or clinic. Medical office assistants are responsible for all office duties such as accounting, medical transcription, and filing insurance claims. They interview their patients about medical case history and critical information and must also compile their medical records. They must also possess knowledge in topics such as medical terminology and medical law and ethics.

Medical Office Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real medical office assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Participate in evaluating patients, attend outpatient clinics, manage patients in emergency and assist in procedures.
  • Assist with patient care such as referral completion, memo creation, triage coordination, and care plan follow up.
  • Conduct preliminary patient screenings by assessing vital signs, recording patient information, preparing patient rooms, and performing EKG tests.
  • Update patient demographic database and maintain patient medical records per HIPPA compliance regulations.
  • Provide billing, documentation for litigation, organize and maintain medical records in paper/ electronic form according to HIPAA regulations.
  • Obtain, and update patient demographics and process subpoenas and medical requests.
  • Ensure all CPR, TB skin tests, and criminal background checks are clear and update.
  • Receive and process citations, incident, and offense and accident reports, including subpoenas open records requests.
  • Ensure all new-hire staff are properly train, then ready to navigate through the scheduling software and EMR systems.
  • Code all office visits for the highest possible reimbursement through CPT coding with special attention make to proper ICD-9 coding.
Medical Office Assistant Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Technical skills refer to specific ability or knowledge that is needed to carry out every day responsibilities, such as physical or digital tasks.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Medical Office Assistant Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a medical office assistant is "should I become a medical office assistant?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, medical office assistant careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 23% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a medical office assistant by 2028 is 154,900.

A medical office assistant annual salary averages $30,579, which breaks down to $14.7 an hour. However, medical office assistants can earn anywhere from upwards of $26,000 to $35,000 a year. This means that the top-earning medical office assistants make $9,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a medical office assistant, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a medical clerk, medical scribe, doctor assistant, and student medical assistant-externship.

Medical Office Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Medical Office Assistant Resume Examples

Medical Office Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 20% of Medical Office Assistants are proficient in Patient Care, Medical Records, and Medical Office. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Technical skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Medical Office Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patient Care, 20%

    Coordinate patient referrals by obtaining all information, insurance verification and authorization required for accurate and timely coordination of patient care.

  • Medical Records, 10%

    Communicated closely with patients to ensure they are managing their current medications properly, and maintained accurate, up-to-date medical records.

  • Medical Office, 8%

    Organized patient charts, scheduled appointments, greeted patients, investigated/resolved medical insurance issues, and corresponded with other medical offices.

  • Vital Signs, 7%

    Front Office/Back Office/Referrals/Obtained authorizations/Obtained patients vital signs and roomed patients/Administered immunizations/Assisted doctor with routine exams

  • Customer Service, 5%

    Support providers by answering telephone calls, scheduling appointments, registration, processing referrals and providing excellent customer service to patients.

  • Insurance Companies, 5%

    Facilitated specialty referrals, authorized medication refills, and managed patient referrals with Worker's Compensation and other insurance companies.

Most medical office assistants list "patient care," "medical records," and "medical office" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important medical office assistant responsibilities here:

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a medical office assistant to have. According to a medical office assistant resume, "medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses" medical office assistants are able to use analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "enter new patient information into computer database. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many medical office assistant duties rely on technical skills. This example from a medical office assistant explains why: "medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure." This resume example is just one of many ways medical office assistants are able to utilize technical skills: "facilitated lab work for patients, compiled admit-kits for new patients, provided technical support and organized office files. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among medical office assistants is interpersonal skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a medical office assistant resume: "medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "contributed to good communication between clients and co-workers by use of strong communication skills and interpersonal skills. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "detail oriented" is important to completing medical office assistant responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way medical office assistants use this skill: "medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical medical office assistant tasks: "maintained updated patient's records-documented patient details including the treatments and personal facts while scheduling appointments. "
  • See the full list of medical office assistant skills.

    Before becoming a medical office assistant, 22.2% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 2.5% medical office assistants went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, some medical office assistants have a college degree. But about one out of every three medical office assistants didn't attend college at all.

    Those medical office assistants who do attend college, typically earn either a health care administration degree or a medical assisting services degree. Less commonly earned degrees for medical office assistants include a business degree or a nursing degree.

    Once you're ready to become a medical office assistant, you should explore the companies that typically hire medical office assistants. According to medical office assistant resumes that we searched through, medical office assistants are hired the most by Akron Children's Hospital, Dignity Health, and Excela Health. Currently, Akron Children's Hospital has 23 medical office assistant job openings, while there are 13 at Dignity Health and 13 at Excela Health.

    Since salary is important to some medical office assistants, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at University of Illinois at Chicago, Northside Hospital, and Conemaugh Health System. If you were to take a closer look at University of Illinois at Chicago, you'd find that the average medical office assistant salary is $37,180. Then at Northside Hospital, medical office assistants receive an average salary of $35,379, while the salary at Conemaugh Health System is $34,743.

    View more details on medical office assistant salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious medical office assistants are:

      What Medical Clerks Do

      A medical clerk works in the administrative area of a medical facility or hospital. The medical clerk collects all patient information and medical records. The clerk also does all the clinic or hospital paperwork and generates reports of all transactions that transpired in a day's work. The medical clerk also processes admission and discharge papers, medical charts, properly file and safeguard all patient records and secure them from unauthorized access. The medical clerk is expected to be highly organized, capable of handling pressure, and has good communication skills.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take medical clerk for example. On average, the medical clerks annual salary is $1,192 higher than what medical office assistants make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both medical office assistants and medical clerks positions are skilled in patient care, medical records, and medical office.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a medical office assistant responsibilities require skills like "customer service," "exam rooms," "phlebotomy," and "blood pressure." Meanwhile a typical medical clerk has skills in areas such as "procedures," "emergency," "clerical support," and "radiology." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      The education levels that medical clerks earn is a bit different than that of medical office assistants. In particular, medical clerks are 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a medical office assistant. Additionally, they're 2.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Medical Scribe?

      As a medical scribe, their main responsibility is to follow a physician's daily work and do charting of patient encounters in real-time by accessing their medical electronic health record (EHR). It is their duty to make sure the patient schedules are followed, generate referral letters for physicians and manage and sort medical documents within the EHR. Medical scribes can be held as data custodians, medical assistants, and nurses to focus on patient in-take and care throughout clinic hours. In addition, they manage patient flow through the clinic and increase productivity to cater to more patients.

      The next role we're going to look at is the medical scribe profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $1,746 lower salary than medical office assistants per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of medical office assistants and medical scribes are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patient care," "medical records," and "vital signs. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, medical office assistant responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "medical office," "customer service," "insurance companies," and "exam rooms." Meanwhile, a medical scribe might be skilled in areas such as "emergency," "physician assistants," "internal medicine," and "medical decision." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      Medical scribes may earn a lower salary than medical office assistants, but medical scribes earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $30,778. On the other side of things, medical office assistants receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $32,661.

      In general, medical scribes study at higher levels of education than medical office assistants. They're 8.2% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 2.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Doctor Assistant Compares

      Let's now take a look at the doctor assistant profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than medical office assistants with a $5,407 difference per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several medical office assistants and doctor assistants we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patient care," "medical records," and "vital signs," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a medical office assistant is likely to be skilled in "medical office," "customer service," "data entry," and "patient referrals," while a typical doctor assistant is skilled in "dr," "emergency," "cpr," and "emr."

      Doctor assistants are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to medical office assistants. Additionally, they're 1.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 3.6% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Student Medical Assistant-Externship

      Student Medical Assistant Externship is a broad term for catering students for short, reliable, and practical work experience. Once you graduate, you can get a chance to meet contacts that may be useful for your career. You can have a better chance to work in a clinic, hospital, and any medical platform after going through this kind of externship.

      Now, we'll look at student medical assistant-externships, who generally average a lower pay when compared to medical office assistants annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $7,513 per year.

      According to resumes from both medical office assistants and student medical assistant-externships, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "patient care," "medical records," and "vital signs. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "medical office," "customer service," "patient referrals," and "medical equipment" are skills that have shown up on medical office assistants resumes. Additionally, student medical assistant-externship uses skills like cpr, surgery, independent living, and urinalysis on their resumes.

      Student medical assistant-externships reach higher levels of education when compared to medical office assistants. The difference is that they're 5.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 3.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.