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 (Mental Health)

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:VHA-659-13-LC-842223

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$24,933.00 to $40,706.00 / Per Year


Thursday, February 14, 2013 to Thursday, February 28, 2013




Part Time - Permanent


1 vacancy in the following location:
Salisbury, NC United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 842223

Salary: To be determined by Professional Standard Board of your peers and based on your education, experience, and professional accomplishments.

You could be part of an important initiative to provide mental health care for our nations Veterans!

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be adding approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians – to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce.    

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs mental health professionals who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who serve our Country.  Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans.

Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA.   The VA is committed to hiring Veterans.

The VA is much more than just another employer.  It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care.  Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission.   The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department.  The five Core Values define "who we are," our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries.  The Values are Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence ("I CARE").

America's Veterans need you!

To find out more, go to

PLEASE NOTE: Qualified clinical trainees, residents, fellows, interns, etc. are encouraged to apply; please follow the instructions in the How to Apply section.

This part time position is located in the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic as Medical Support Assistant (MSA) position and is a foundational role within the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic at the Salisbury VA Medical Center (VAMC).



  • US citizenship
  • English language proficiency
  • Background/suitability investigation
  • Physical standards - Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Optional Form, Declaration for Federal Employment


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As front line contact with patients and staff in the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic , the incumbent sets the tone for perception concerning quality of healthcare services at the VA.   A high degree of tact and diplomacy is required when dealing with veterans who have multiple health problems and who may be frustrated with the administrative process associated with diagnosis and treatment. A caring, compassionate and sensitive manner is essential when explaining procedures to veterans and their family members both in person and on the phone. This is especially important when working in the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic . Tact, diplomacy, courtesy and respect are required when dealing with Veterans.

  • Incumbent must have the ability adapt to varying situations that are present in an outpatient clinic setting as well as be willing to learn new technologies, procedures, and policies. 
  • Incumbent must have the ability to effectively and consistently communicate with all internal and external customers in a respectful and courteous manner.
  • Incumbent must use a variety of communication skills to establish helpful appropriate relationships with patients, Veterans and staff.
  • Incumbent must cooperate with others within the organization and contribute to the effective operation of the medical center.
  • Incumbent must follow their supervisory chain-of-command at all times.
  • Incumbent must assist with clinic access contingency plans by adjusting appointment times, location, or dates as well as shift patients to other healthcare providers as conflict with staffing and/or coverage occurs.
  • The incumbent performs a variety of clerical duties for the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic .
  • The incumbent must have thorough knowledge of clinic procedures and regulations; basic medical terminology, and Microsoft applications to accurately enter or extract information.
  • The incumbent performs a variety of clerical duties in one or more outpatient clinics that provide a variety of medical services.  
  • The incumbent must be an expert in basic administrative policies and procedures dealing with outpatient scheduling or other administrative topics; incumbent must be able to relay this information/knowledge to medical staff within the outpatient clinic setting. 
  • The incumbent must be conscientious regarding the confidentiality of the variety of material that will be handled.
  • The position requires a practical knowledge of an extensive body of the organization's rules and regulations governing confidentiality. 
  • The incumbent must abide by federal privacy and confidentiality regulations, and exhibit ethical conduct all times. 
  • The incumbent must be knowledgeable regarding eligibility for VA medical care, priorities for care, release of information (ROI) and the Medical Fee Basis programs.
  • The incumbent provides administrative support to Physicians, Physician's Assistants, Nurses, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners, Dietitians, Social Workers, and other administrative and professional staff throughout the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic. 
  • Incumbent must have a knowledge and expertise of enrollment, eligibility and beneficiary travel. 
  • Incumbent must use each interaction with the patient to validate and update patient demographic information, either in person during check-in or over the phone, to provide patient safety and to decrease the incidence of returned mail due to incorrect addresses and inability to contact patient by phone due to incorrect number.
  • Incumbent must be able to understand and communicate the requirements of VHA Scheduling Directives and complete accurate scheduling responsibilities. Incumbent must schedule appointments accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Incumbent must ensure all appointments are made with the patient's input (patient's Desired Date) either in person or by phone. Incumbent must ensure that all patients cancelled by service/clinic cancellation requests are contacted regarding the cancellation and the patient rescheduled in a timely and accurate manner.
  • The incumbent must recognize, assist and report emergent and non-emergent situations.
  • Incumbent must ensure daily review of the active consult list and Recall Reminder Delinquency list.  
  • Incumbent must be able to comprehend and accurately schedule outpatient specialty consults as assigned by supervisor. Incumbent must maintain constant communication with specialty providers and clinical staff to ensure smooth flow within clinic functions.  
  • Incumbent must be flexible and perform additional tasks or duties may be assigned by the supervisor to ensure efficient daily operations of the Salisbury VAMC and its surrounding CBOC's.


Work Schedule:  VARIOUS






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   a. Citizenship:  Citizen of the United States. 

   b. Experience and Education

       (1)  Experience.  Six months experience of clerical, office or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position; or

       (2)  Education.  One year above high school; or

       (3)  Experience/Education Combination.  Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable.

  c.   Physical Requirements.  See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.

  d. English Language Proficiency.  MSAs must be proficient in spoken and written English.


     a. Creditable Experience

         (1)  Knowledge of Current MSA Practices.  To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with current MSA responsibilities.  Experience satisfying this requirement may be paid/non-paid employment as a MSA.

         (2)  Quality of Experience.  Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to MSA experience at the next lower grade level.  For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.

         (3)  Part-Time Experience.  Part-time experience as a MSA is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek.  For example, a MSA employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.
      b. Grade Determinations.  The following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.

          (1)  GS-3 MSA (Entry Level)

                (a)  Experience or Education.  None beyond the basic requirements.

                (b)  Assignment.  This is an entry level MSA position.  It is expected that MSAs receive guidance from more experienced   staff members and require frequent and direct supervision. 

          (1)  GS-4 MSA (Developmental Level)

                (a)  Experience or Education.  One year of experience in clerical or office work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position or two years of education above high school.
                (b)  Assignment.  This is a developmental level MSA position.  It is expected that MSAs receive guidance from more experienced staff members for more difficult tasks and require frequent and direct contact from the assigned lead and/or supervisor.  Assignments at this level include but are not limited to: interacting with both internal and external customers; establishing and maintaining medical outpatient and inpatient charts as well as administrative records; verifying third party insurance and updating information in the Insurance Capture Buffer (ICB) system; obtaining medical information frompatients; coordinating information and actions related to patient care and services; and schedulingappointments in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines.  The MSA refers all questions requiring immediate medical attention to appropriate health care team member.

                (c)  Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities.  Candidates must demonstrate 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 complete job assignments.

                      2.  Ability to use various types of office automation equipment and software.

                      3.  Ability to set up, organize, and maintain record systems.

          (2)  GS-5 MSA (Full Performance Level)

                (a)  Experience or Education.  One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level or 4 years of education above high school.

                (b)  Assignment.   This is the full performance level for MSAs.   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 patient’s 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 preauthorization requirements for specific coverage (i.e., TRICARE, sharing agreements, etc.).

               (c)  Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities.  Candidates must demonstrate the KSAs below:

                     1.  Ability to operate computerized programs and databases in order to enter, modify and retrieve sensitive information/data into or from electronic medical records, scheduling systems and/or reports.

                     2.  Knowledge of basic medical terminology.

                     3.  Ability to make appointments in a clinical setting.

                     4.  Ability to work independently in the accomplishment of a wide variety of duties, including setting priorities

and coordinating work.

                     5.  Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with employees at varying grade levels.

NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the United States Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards your qualifications for this position. You can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency. 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.

Veteran's Preference: When applying for Federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.). Additionally, veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a copy of their official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying their service-connected disability and/or their receipt of compensation for service-connected disability. If the military member is within 120 days of separation and does not yet have a DD214, the member may instead submit any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, nonservice-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed SF 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and required documentation with your application materials.

For more information on Veterans' Preference, go to


Complete application packages will be reviewed to determine if the basic qualifications for this position have been met. A listing of candidates who meet the basic qualification requirements will be forwarded to the hiring facility where the credentialing and privileging screening process is completed.


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VA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees 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.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

You may be required to serve a probationary period.


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package (See "Required Documents" section below).  The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button 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.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application return to your member account in USAJOBS to see the status of your application, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

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, and
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to (478)757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.


To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page  using the following Vacancy ID 842223.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1.     CV or Resume.

2.     Applicants must complete and submit VA form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at (REQUIRED). YOU MUST SIGN AND DATE THIS FORM. IT MUST BE INCLUDED WITH YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE.

3.     Occupational Questionnaire

4.     Optional Form 306 - Declaration for Federal Employment (Available at  This is a required form and must be submitted with your application. (REQUIRED). YOU MUST SIGN AND DATE THIS FORM. IT MUST BE INCLUDED WITH YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE.

5.     If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 (REQUIRED).   Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at  

6.     If currently employed in the Federal Government, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (REQUIRED). YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR SF-50 WITH YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE.



Larry D. Cox
Phone: (704)638-9000x4147
Agency Information:
VHA Salisbury VAMC
Department of Veteran Affairs
Human Resources Management Service
1601 Brenner Avenue
Salisbury, NC


You will receive e-mail notification as to whether or not you were included on the list of referred candidates. If you do not provide an e-mail address, your notification will be sent via U.S. Postal Service within 2-4 weeks. Important note: Applicants have the burden of producing all needed information prior to the closing of the announcement Thursday, February 28, 2013.

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