This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Medical Support Assistant

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:528D-13TW-111 820027

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$31,315.00 to $40,706.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, January 09, 2013 to Tuesday, January 15, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




Many vacancies in the following location:
Albany, NY United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


We are people who take great pride and deep satisfaction in providing America's veterans with the best clinical care, the most innovative technology, and the most comprehensive array of benefits America has to offer.


"To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan."

–Abraham Lincoln


Vacancy ID#:  820027 

TOUR OF DUTY:  Multiple Schedules

NOTE: **Salary will be determined on the recommendation of a Professional Standards Board (Peer Review) of all credentials provided with the application package.




These are full performance level Medical Support Assistant(MSA) positions.  At this level, the MSA performs a full range of duties.  The MSA is responsible for 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 patients' appointments and/or consults; entering no-show information; monitoring the electronic wait list; preparing for clinic visits; monitoring both inpatient and outpatient appointments for areas of responsibility; ensuring encounter forms are completed in order to obtain appropriate workload credit; verifying and updating demographics and insurance information; processing all emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals; performing basic eligibility, co-pays and pre authorization requirements for specific coverage (i.e., TRICARE, sharing agreements, etc.).





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Major duties and responsibilities include:

Incumbent(s) perform duties as a primary point of contact for all patients assigned to a team.  The Incumbent coordinates the clerical/administrative functions of a team.  Duties include, but are not limited to:  providing advisory and technical assistance to veterans and beneficiaries seeking medical treatment, experiencing problems, or requesting information.  Performs telephone triage of all patient calls and, when necessary, referring them to the appropriate care provider.  Incumbent will collaborate with staff in identifying and solving problems to maximize efficiency.  Identifying and following up on scheduled and unscheduled diagnostic studies and consults, scheduling follow-up visits, identifying clients that fail to show for schedules appointments.  Distributes results of diagnostic testing; provides information pertaining to services available and necessary eligibility data.  Tactfully answers questions on sensitive areas such as means testing and co-pay exemptions.  Displays and/or develops medical information aids for ease of patient understanding.  Coordinates scheduling, transfer, and referral needs of patients.  Incumbent is responsible for resolving routine patient problems by listening, interpreting, and acting appropriately.  Responsible for explaining policies and procedures to patients in a caring, and compassionate manner; ensuring patients understand the information presented to them.  The incumbent will be responsible for appointments scheduling utilizing the Electronic Waiting List (EWL).  Performing other duties as assigned as requested.



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Specialized Experience: To qualify, at least one (1) full year of specialized experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skill, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the Medical Support Assistant, GS-5 position, and that is in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, this experience must have been equivalent to at least the GS-4 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is defined as experience interacting with both internal and external customers, establishing and maintaining customer information as well as administrative records, and verifying and updating information in database systems. 


Education: Four (4) years of successfully completed education above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite may be used to qualify at the Grade 5. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45-quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a
business secretarial, or technical school.


Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of experience and successfully completed education to meet the total experience requirements to qualify at the Grade 5 level. For example, an applicant with six (6) months of appropriate experience equivalent to GS-4 (50 percent of the experience requirement for GS-5) and two (2) years of successfully completed education
above high school, as is describe above, (50 percent of the education requirement for the GS-5) would be qualified for a GS-5 position.

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions.  It is available for your review on OPM's web site at .

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement).  Therefore, applicants must report attendance and/or degrees from only these schools.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: .  All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.

FOREIGN EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:  To receive credit for education completed outside the United States, you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specialized in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and such education has been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.

REQUIREMENTS (Failure to comply may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after appointment): 

  • Applicants must meet any physical, language, license or degree requirements.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States.
  • Applicants tentatively selected for certain designated positions may be subject to a random drug screening for illegal drug use.  Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment.
  • New Appointees may be subject to a probationary period.
  • New Appointees will be subject to a background investigation to determine suitability. 


Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.

INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS will receive a rating of IFM (ineligible due to missing forms). Requests for reconsideration will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package. We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions, delays in mail service, etc.


Only send documentation as requested/required by this announcement and that directly supports your qualifications for this position.



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The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits program that you can customize for your individual medical and financial needs.  In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help you balance life with the VA to life outside of work.  For additional information about the many benefits of a career with the VA, please visit our "Benefits at a Glance" webpage at .


For a fact sheet explaining how Federal jobs are filled, click on


Priority Consideration:  Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection.  CTAP and ICTAP eligibles will be considered well qualified if they attain an eligibility rating of 90.0 or higher, not including points for veterans' preference, from the facility with the vacancy.


Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit proof that they meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605 (a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP.  This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.


Physical Requirements:  Work is performed in a typical office setting and is sometimes accomplished under pressure and with constant interruptions.  Flexibility to changes and duties is necessary.  The work is sedentary and requires some walking, standing, bending, and carrying light items such as books, papers, and office supplies.


Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Equal Opportunity Employer:  VA will not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, parental status, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, political affiliation, or retaliation for opposing discriminatory practices or participating in the discrimination complaint process. This applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, reassignments, training, career development, benefits, and separation.


Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., mental retardation (intellectual disabilities), severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more.


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To apply for this position, you must submit a complete application package, which includes the occupational questionnaire and all required forms.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the right side of this screen to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

You may upload the completed forms to your USAJOBS or Application Manager Account if you apply online.  Then you can use the uploaded forms again and again when applying for future vacancies.  Please see this guide ( for more information on uploading and re-using the form in your applications.  Other required forms and documents can also be saved in your account and used the same way.   Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is much easier and faster.

NOTE: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application, just reapply through your account in USAJOBS.  Check your account ( ) to see the status of your application after applying, including any messages that may have been sent to you.


If you are unable to upload supporting documents, but can apply online:

1. Complete this cover page: the following Vacancy ID: 820027.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.

2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.

3. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.


If you cannot apply online:

1.     Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire:   View Occupational Questionnaire 

2.     Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire:

3.     Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478)757-3144.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materials being faxed and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.

4.     Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, January 15, 2013


It is your responsibility to insure that all application materials are RECEIVED by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the closing date of the announcement Tuesday, January 15, 2013in order to be considered.  We cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, interruptions in internet service. 

You must submit a complete application package.  Failure to provide complete information may result in your not receiving consideration for this position.

You must submit your assessment questionnaire online (through Application Manager) or  on OPM Form 1203-FX (and faxed).  Do not send printouts of your Application Manager Questionnaire Answers

You will not be contacted for additional information. 

Your application materials will not be returned.  Do not submit original documents that you may need in the future.

Your application must be completed on-line or faxed. This office does not accept applications by electronic mail (e-mail), regular mail, or in person.


Applicants MUST submit the following COMPLETED DOCUMENTS as part of the application process. Failure to provide all required documentation will result in a loss of consideration. A complete Application Package includes the following:

1. CV or Resume

2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at

3. On Line Questionnaire or Occupational Questionnaire (OPM 1203-FX) (Available at:

4. Copy of most recent SF-50 – Notice of Personnel Action (for current or
former federal employees

5. Veterans must provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of
service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.).  Note:  More
than one DD-214 may be needed to show all dates of service (if applicable).

6.  Disabled veterans and other veterans eligible for 10-point preference
must also submit an SF-15 (version December 2004) with required proof as stated
on the form (if applicable).

All of the government forms mentioned in the above statements can be downloaded from the following web address: or obtained at the Human Resources Management Office of the duty station.


Theresa I. Wilson
Phone: (518)626-6774
Agency Information:
Department of Veterans Affairs
VAMC Albany 5
113 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY


Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made you will be notified of your rating and or referral to the hiring official.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.  

Instructions for answering the questions in the Occupational Questionnaire:

If you are applying to this announcement by completing the OPM 1203-FX form instead of using the Online Application method, please use the following step-by-step instructions as a guide to filling out the required questionnaire. You will need to print the vacancy announcement and refer to it as you answer the questions. You may omit any optional information; however, you must provide responses to all required questions. Be sure to double check your application before submission.

View Occupational Questionnaire

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Job Announcement Number:

528D-13TW-111 820027

Control Number: