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.

  • Experience with manage care, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial carriers.
  • Communicate closely with patients to ensure they are managing their current medications properly, and maintain accurate, up-to-date medical records.
  • Conduct preliminary patient screenings by assessing vital signs, recording patient information, preparing patient rooms, and performing EKG tests.
  • Protect patients' rights by maintaining confidentiality of personal information follows policies and procedures including HIPAA regulations.
  • Perform medical office duties including checking vital signs, history gathering, phlebotomy, and assisting physician with medical/neurological procedures.
  • Implement a new EHR system; provide leadership and mentoring to staff and physician during transition.
  • File all claims electronically & by HCFA; appeal & re-file claims with unpaid EOB's as needed.
  • 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.
  • Coordinate off-site medical appointments, assembles medical records for DOP legal department and court proceedings in response to subpoenas.
  • Update and verify CPT and ICD codes, information and demographics, upload and send complete charts to office weekly.
  • Code all office visits for the highest possible reimbursement through CPT coding with special attention make to proper ICD-9 coding.
  • Complete release of information forms, faxes for request records, and scan pertinent information into patient's EHR file.
  • Perform reception desk duties; secure payments for services and scan in documents into the appropriate EMR patient's files.
  • Learned about OB/GYN, abdomen, small parts, and vascular studies; also assist with biopsies and needle aspirations.

Medical Office Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 24% of Medical Office Assistants are proficient in Patients, Patient Care, and Vital Signs. 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:

  • Patients, 24%

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

  • Patient Care, 11%

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

  • 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.

  • Medical Terminology, 4%

    Performed secretarial duties, utilizing knowledge of medical terminology, and clinic, and laboratory procedures.

  • Phlebotomy, 4%

    Performed medical office duties including checking vital signs, history gathering, phlebotomy, and assisting physician with medical/neurological procedures.

Most medical office assistants list "patients," "patient care," and "vital signs" 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: "received, processed and filed internal paperwork, including data entry and basic data manipulation services where required. "
  • 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: "supported duties for diagnostic and technical treatment procedures, such as setting up and operating special medical equipment and apparatus. "
  • 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: "front desk registering, scheduling, and insurance handling skills used communicate written and verbal, interpersonal, organizational, detail oriented"
  • A medical office assistant responsibilities sometimes require "detail oriented." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information" This resume example shows how this skill is used by medical office assistants: "charted detailed patient demographics and performed vital signs. "
  • See the full list of medical office assistant skills.

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    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 $586 lower 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 patients, patient care, and vital signs.

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

    Medical clerks tend to make the most money in the government industry by averaging a salary of $35,578. In contrast, medical office assistants make the biggest average salary of $33,002 in the health care industry.

    Medical clerks tend to reach similar levels of education than medical office assistants. In fact, medical clerks are 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.7% more likely to have 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.

    Next up, we have the medical scribe profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a medical office assistant annual salary. In fact, medical scribes salary difference is $2,980 lower than the salary of medical office assistants per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both medical office assistants and medical scribes are known to have skills such as "patients," "patient care," and "vital signs. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real medical office assistant resumes. While medical office assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "customer service," "phlebotomy," "exam rooms," and "blood pressure," some medical scribes use skills like "excellent organizational," "physician assistants," "strong work ethic," and "emergency medicine."

    It's been discovered that medical scribes earn lower salaries compared to medical office assistants, but we wanted to find out where medical scribes earned the most pay. The answer? The health care industry. The average salary in the industry is $29,968. Additionally, medical office assistants earn the highest paychecks in the health care with an average salary of $33,002.

    On the topic of education, medical scribes earn similar levels of education than medical office assistants. In general, they're 1.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Doctor Assistant Compares

    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.

    Let's now take a look at the doctor assistant profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than medical office assistants with a $1,842 difference per year.

    Using medical office assistants and doctor assistants resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "patients," "patient care," and "vital signs," but the other skills required are very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from medical office assistants resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "customer service," "patient flow," "phone calls," and "data entry." But a doctor assistant might have skills like "appointment scheduling," "dr," "cpr," and "emr."

    Doctor assistants are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to medical office assistants. Additionally, they're 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Student Medical Assistant-Externship

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than medical office assistants. On average, student medical assistant-externships earn a difference of $2,563 higher per year.

    While both medical office assistants and student medical assistant-externships complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like patients, vital signs, and medical terminology, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "patient care," "customer service," "patient flow," and "phone calls," which might show up on a medical office assistant resume. Whereas student medical assistant-externship might include skills like "cpr," "surgery," "urinalysis," and "venipuncture."

    The average resume of student medical assistant-externships showed that they earn similar levels of education to medical office assistants. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 2.7% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.9%.