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 (Inpatient)

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:TUS-13-HAS-160-OC971855

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


Friday, October 11, 2013 to Wednesday, October 16, 2013




Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent


1 vacancy in the following location:
Tuscaloosa, AL United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Veterans Health Administration

The Best Care!!! The Best Careers!!!

Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center is located in West Alabama on a beautifully landscaped 126 acre campus. Tuscaloosa offers a low cost of living and year round outdoor recreational activities along with cultural activities.

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?


Tuscaloosa VAMC is recruiting for one (1) Medical Support Assistant-Inpatient for Health Administration Service.



VACANCY ID: 971855

POSITION TITLE:  Medical Support Assistant (Inpatient)-GS 067900 00 


SERVICE LOCATION:  Health Administration Service


Note 1:The full performance level of this vacancy is the GS-5 level. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is the GS-3 to the GS-5 level. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s qualifications and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The PSB will make this determination by taking your education and length of experience into consideration. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.


Note 2: This job opportunity vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


Note 3: Relocation Incentives, relocation expenses. and recruitment incentives not authorized for this position.


VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The Health related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not coverd by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • English language proficiency


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As a Inpatient Medical Support Assistant-(Inpatient) The MSA’s responsibilities and assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: Processes new admissions, interward transfers, and discharges according to established standard operating procedures. Accurately records transfer and discharge times in VISTA. Works with nursing staff to ensure the timely movement of patients throughout the medical center. Is an expert in the use of the Bed Management System (BMS) and works closely with nursing staff to assure the BMS is accurate at all times, including the use of optional icons, such as for isolation, etc. Processes and transcribes provider’s orders (medication, tests, studies, authorization forms, etc) in a timely manner. Maintains medication/treatment sheets for daily charting. Provides the upkeep of various filing binders and delivers documentation for scanning into electronic Consolidated Patient Record System (CPRS) to the File Room. Understands principles of timekeeping and may provide timekeeping services for one or two time and leave groups. Enters all time on a daily basis. Works directly with Nurse Management staff to assure that timecards are complete and accurate. Schedules, cancels, and/or re-schedules inpatient appointments in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines for consultations, special radiology examinations, etc. Maintains appointment logs, organizing activities and appointments of the unit to avoid conflicts in each patient’s treatment. Completes appointment slips/list to notify patients and Nursing personnel of appointments daily. May perform other duties as assigned.


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Basic Requirements:

U.S. Citizenship

Experience: Six months of clerical, office or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform Medical Support Assistant (MSA) work;


Education:   One year above high school;


Experience/Education Combination: Equivalent combination of experience and education.   An example would be one year of clerical or office experience and six months of education above high school.

Part-Time Experience: Part-time experience as a MSA is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time work week. For example, a MSA employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time work week of credit for each 2 weeks of service.


Grade Determinations:

Grade Determinations.   The following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.


GS-3 MSA (Entry Level): Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements.

(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.  


GS-4 MSA (Developmental Level): Experience or Education. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-3 level in federal service;


(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 from patients; coordinating information and actions related to patient care and services; and scheduling appointments 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.


GS-5 MSA (Full Performance Level):

Experience or Education. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level in federal service;


(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.

6.   Ability to identify customer's concerns, perform the tasks required to resolve the issue accurately and timely, and follow-up as necessary to ensure a satisfactory resolution


The preferred candidate will have experience at the GS-05 MSA level.


Please Note:  The selected candidate will be required to submit a narrative response to the KSA questions for the Professional Standards Board for review.


Physical Requirements: The position is primarily sedentary with some walking, stooping, bending and carrying of light items.


ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position.



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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. *** 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.

 ****You must submit a transcript to receive credit for 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 manager for review.



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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life. For more information please visit us at .


The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at

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 is not a guarantee and must be requested in advance.


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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 Wednesday, October 16, 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 971855.

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


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. CV or Resume.
  2. A Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at (required).
  3. Response to online Occupational Questionnaire (required)
  4. Optional Form 306- Declaration of Federal Employment Available at  This is a required form and must be submitted with your application.(Required)
  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  (Required, if applicable
  6. If currently employed in the federal system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (Required, if applicable)
  7. Transcript (unoffical or official) (required, if using education to qualify for position)
  8. Any other documents required by the checklist.


INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKAGES WILL receive a rating of IFM (ineligible due to missing forms). Requests for reconsideration of ratings will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package.


**Please Note**

Selected applicant will be responsible for providing narrative responses to the KSA's listed within this vacancy. Failure to provide the required documents will result in non-consideration for this vacancy.


Tonya Griffin
Phone: (205)554-2000x4621
Agency Information:
VHA Tuscaloosa VAMC
Department of Veteran Affairs
Human Resources Management Office
3701 Loop Road East
Tuscaloosa, AL


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 Wednesday, October 16, 2013.  If this requirement is not met and you are not referred to the hiring facility, you may contact the local HR office for Direct Hiring Authority options. 

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