With the advancement in health care and medical facilities, professional and experienced people are required who can manage the smooth and efficient working of the setup. Medical administrative assistants work as clinical coordinators, and assist higher authorities in managing a specific clinical area. The role a healthcare administrative assistant is to manage how healthcare is delivered. They basically deal with the various business needs of a medical or healthcare facility in which they work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 average median pay of medical administrative assistant was $29,370 per year. The median wage was $14.12 per hour. Around 560,800 jobs were held by medical administrative assistants in United States in the year 2012. The job outlook is 29 percent, which is much faster than the average of other fields.
Medical administrative assistant salary in different parts of United States
As of 2009, medical administrative assistants living in California earned the highest wages at $11.06 to $ 16.03 per hour. Other states where medical administrative assistants earn higher salaries are New York, Texas and Illinois. In 2010, there were 115,790 administrative assistants in Illinois. The yearly income is around $28,860, and an hourly rate of $13.06. Their income could go as high as $19 depending upon a range of factors such as area, employer as well as the field of specialization.
According to Indeed.com, the medical administrative assistants earn approximately annual wage of $32,000 in the state of Phoenix, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. The average salary of health care administrative assistants in Los Angeles is $38,000, and those in Seattle earn $33,000.
medical administrative assistant Job Description
Medical administrative assistant is an important role in healthcare facilities and medical offices. The job responsibility of a medical administrative assistant involves interfacing with patients, physicians, medical staff and the insurance company representatives. Their job is to make the medical office look organized, calm and serene for the patients who visit the facility and to ensure that the operations run smoothly. A lot of the work that a medical administrative assistant does, happen behinds the scene. At first glance one may not be able to realize that there is so much administrative work that would is required to be done at a medical facility. Their role involves maintaining coordination at the workplace, and to manage the operations of the front desk.
The duties of medical administrative assistant are varied and in a bigger setup they may differ for one assistant to another. The duties include registering patients at the front desk and scheduling appointments, keeping a track of doctor availability and scheduling patients accordingly. Their duties may also involve taking care of billing patients and insurance companies, verifying insurance coverage and filing claims. Their duties may also involve taking interviews of patients for case histories before appointment with the doctor. They are also responsible for operating various computer software and office equipment, and they also do the lab report management and dispatch. The front desk of a hospital or medical facility can get very chaotic at times and there may be multiple tasks at a time that may need medical administrative assistant’s attention. In such scenarios, the medical administrative assistant is expected to prioritize work and remain calm under such chaos. Multitasking is the order of the day and one needs to be good at it to become a medical administrative assistant. It is also a team job and the medical administrative assistant needs to be a good team player. They have to interface with various stakeholders in a medical facility and coordinate the activities and communication within the system, keeping the best interest of the patient and healthcare facility in mind.
How to become a medical administrative assistant?
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As a prerequisite, a high school diploma or a graduation equivalent degree is required for an entry level medical administrative assistant position. Further training is imparted on the job itself. However, many employers prefer to hire candidates with vocational school training or an associate’s degree. Vocational school training usually consists of courses related to biology and medical terminology. Additionally, topics such as record keeping, insurance practices and accounting are also covered in these courses. However, job description for every healthcare facility may vary depending upon the position earned. On job training is inevitable for medical administrative assistants.
Apart from the educational requirements, skills such as solid interpersonal skills, proficiency in written and verbal communication, strong organizational skills and good grammar and English are some of the attributes necessary to become successful in the field.
A prospective medical administrative assistant can opt for industry certification such as Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). This certification will help in demonstrating the expertise and understanding of the job requirements of the candidate, and they help in increasing the chances of getting hired quickly as employers prefer candidates with certifications.
Salary status of medical administrative assistant in various parts of the world
The median salary for a medical administrative assistant in Canada is around D$32,000. The national annualized salary in Canada ranges from C$24,208 to C$43,240. The national hourly rate ranges from C$11.65 to C$20.32. The median hourly salary is C$15.33. The salary may not only vary from city to city, but also based on the number of years of experience. As compared to national average for overall jobs in Canada, the average salary for medical administrative assistant is lower.
In UK the median salary for a medical administrative assistant is £15,800. Currently, there are nearly 60,000 certified medical assistants employed in UK. The job prospects for medical administrative assistant in UK are quite bright, largely attributed to rapidly growing older population, which will increase the demand for healthcare services.
In Australia, the median salary for a certified medical administrative assistant is around AU$40,000. As per current estimates, there are nearly 40,000 certified medical assistants in Australia.
The field of health care is growing by leaps and bounds, and the healthcare industry is considered as one of the most sought after fields in the United States. They are an important asset to the medical world, as they help ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of a given healthcare facility.