The incumbent serves as a Medical Support Assistant for Outside Registration and Check in. S/he will perform clerical work in support of the care and treatment given to patients, working closely with the clinical members outside the facility at the VAMC, Buffalo, NY. Incumbent will normally work at regularly assigned station, but may be required to work at other location as necessary. The need for this position is critical to effectively support patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.Learn more about this agency
Duties include, but are not limited to:
- Scheduling, appointments, including interpreting and verifying provider orders in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines.
- Scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patient's appointment and/or consults.
- Monitoring both inpatient and outpatient appointments for areas of responsibility.
- Verifying and updating demographics and insurance information.
- Performing basic eligibility, co-pays and preauthorization requirements for specific coverage.
- Planning and organizing work with general assistance from the supervisor as to meet local and VA-wide time frames to complete analysis requirements, reports, and special assignments and only refers to the non-routine and high technical problems to his/her supervisor.
- Reporting backlogs, difficulties in meeting deadlines, uncooperative physicians, or difficulty in securing information from clinicians for the record.
- Maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained to carry out required duties.
- Routinely communicating with physicians, case managers, and other allied health professional staff using sound interpersonal skills, constantly aware of sensitive information.
- Working independently making decisions based on guidelines, precedents and regulations and performing duties in such a manner that only minimal supervision is required.
- Communicating and treating customers in a courteous, tactful, and respectful manner.
- Provides care and/or services appropriate to the age of the patients being served, and which is appropriate to the cognitive, emotional, and chronological maturation of the patient.
- Responsible for protecting data from unauthorized release or from loss, alteration, or unauthorized deletion.
- Responsible for following applicable regulations and instructions regarding access to computerized files, release of access codes, etc. as set out in the computer access agreement.
- Complying with all safety/fire prevention rules/regulations, using protective equipment when required and provided.
- Possessing the knowledge and skills required to effectively implement the GEMS (Green Environmental Management System).
- Performs other duties, as assigned.
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, Day shift. NOTE: Tour of duty may vary to include evening hours and possible weekend hours.
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- U.S. Citizenship; non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
- Designated and/or random drug testing required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English
- You may be required to serve a probationary period
- Subject to a background/security investigation
- Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
- Must pass pre-employment physical examination
- Must submit all the required documents: VA form 10-2850c and Detailed Resume
To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, .
Citizenship. Citizen of the United States.
Experience and Education.
Experience. Six months experience of clerical, office, customer service, or other administrative work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position OR
Education. One year above high school; OR
Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable.
Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
English Language Proficiency. MSAs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, paragraph 3.j.
Grade Determinations- In addition to the basic requirements for employment listed above, the following education and experience criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:
Medical Support Assistant, GS-3
Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements.
Assignment. This is an entry level MSA position. It is expected that MSAs at this level receive guidance from more experienced staff members and require frequent and direct supervision. At this level, MSAs apply general rules and policies relating to clinic functions, staff, and automated data processing methods in support of treatment to patients. They utilize a variety of patient data systems in scheduling patients for treatment and annotates patient records. They perform front desk duties, receives telephone call, and visitors to the MSA unit. They make and cancel appointments, review patient records for necessary information, and review patient demographics and insurance verification. They consult with clinic staff when processing physician scheduling and administrative orders.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of] the KSAs below:
1- Ability to meet, communicate, and interact with individuals in a courteous and helpful manner in order to give instructions and arrange appointments.
2- Ability to utilize computer systems to enter administrative data in patient systems.
3- Ability to learn and utilize basic medical terminology to record patient messages and physician requests pertaining to follow-up medical care.
Medical Support Assistant, GS-4
Experience. One year of experience in clerical, office, customer service, or other administrative work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position OR
Education. Two years of education above high school.
Assignment. This is a developmental level MSA position. It is expected that MSAs at this level receive minor and less frequent guidance from higher experienced staff members for more difficult tasks. Assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: scheduling and rescheduling patients for treatment; interviewing patients for appointments; referring patients to other medical specialty clinics; providing information to patients necessary to resolve complaints; interacting with both internal and external customers; reviewing and documenting medical outpatient and inpatient electronic health records as well as administrative records; verifying third party insurance and updating information in the Insurance Capture Buffer (ICB) system; obtaining medical information from patients; coordinating information and actions related to patient care and services; and scheduling appointments in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines. MSAs at this level refer all questions regarding medical attention to the appropriate health care team member.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below:
1- Ability to meet, communicate, and interact with individuals from varying backgrounds and other health care team members in a courteous and helpful manner in order to facilitate medical care for patients.
2- Ability to use, and navigate between, various types of office automation equipment and software i.e. computer systems, web based scheduling programs; insurance collection system; scanning software, multiple line phone systems; electronic faxing programs) to support patient care.
3- Knowledge of basic medical terminology to assist in the provision of care to patients.
4- Skill in recording patient messages and understanding physician requests pertaining to follow-up medical care in internal or external clinics.
Medical Support Assistant, GS-5
Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level; OR, Education. Four years of education above high school.
Assignment. This is the full performance level for MSAs. At this level, the MSA independently performs a full range of duties related to the delivery of healthcare services in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Advises clinical staff on current administrative processes. The MSA is responsible for answering phones, greeting patients, relaying messages to appropriate staff inside or outside of the unit, scheduling appointments, including interpreting and verifying provider orders in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines. Assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patient appointments and/or consults; entering no-show information; monitoring appointment requests from multiple electronic sources; participating in huddles with other MSAs and/or clinic staff to determine the daily needs of the clinic, monitoring both inpatient and outpatient appointments in areas of responsibility; verifying and updating demographics and insurance information when patients check-in for appointments. Coordinates administrative functions relating to emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals and determines appointment type based on the patient's eligibility status (i.e., TRICARE, sharing agreements, collaterals, research patient, VA employee, etc.).
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below:
1- Ability to operate computerized programs and [systems] in order to enter, modify, and retrieve sensitive medical and patient identifying information (PII) into or from electronic health records, scheduling systems, and/or reports.
2- Advanced knowledge of medical terminology specific to understand medical diagnosis and procedures sufficient to communicate clinical staff instructions to patients.
3- Ability to schedule medical appointments in a clinical setting.
4- Ability to work independently in the accomplishment of a wide variety of duties performing patient support work.
5- Ability to communicate effectively and professionally in person, electronically, and/or by telephone, with internal and external customers.
6- Skill in customer service with the ability to identify customer concerns, and refer to the appropriate staff, as necessary, to ensure a satisfactory resolution.
References: VA Handbook 5005/ 117 Appendix G45 reference and appropriate VA Qualification Standard
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-5.
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.
VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.
How You Will Be Evaluated
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
*TRANSCRIPTS REQUIRED IF USING EDUCATION TO QUALIFY (unofficial is acceptable)*
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/search_action.asp?FormNo=2850&tkey=&Action=Search. This will be required if selected for the position.
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.
- Cover Letter
- DD-214/ Statement of Service
- Disability Letter (VA)
- Other (2)
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the full questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 06/25/2020 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10846014.
- To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
- Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
NOTE: Participation in the seasonal influenza program is a condition of employment and a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). HCP are individuals who, during the influenza season, work in VHA locations where patients receive care or who come into contact with VA patients as part of their duties. VHA locations include, but are not limited to, VA hospitals and associated clinics, community living centers (CLCs), community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), domiciliary units, Vet centers and VA-leased facilities. HCP include all VA licensed and unlicensed, clinical and administrative, paid and unpaid, full- and part-time employees, intermittent employees, fee basis employees, VA contractors, students, researchers, volunteers, and trainees who work at these facilities. HCPs that are unable to receive or otherwise decline a flu shot will be expected to wear a face mask throughout the influenza season.
Agency contact information
AddressVA Western New York Healthcare System
3495 Bailey Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14215
OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise - "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan" - by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?
Visit our careers page
Learn more about what it's like to work at Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.
You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/571484700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.