Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.
- United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g)
- English Language Proficiency: Must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j.
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).
Experience and Education:
(1) 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
(2) Education: One year above high school; OR
(3) Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable.
Grade Determinations: The following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.
GS-3 MSA (Entry Level)(a) Experience or Education: None beyond the basic requirements.
Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSA's 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 request pertaining to follow-up medical care.
GS-4 MSA (Developmental Level)
(a) 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.
(b) Education: two years of education above high school.
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 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.
(a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level; OR,
(b) Education Four years of education above high school
(c) 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.).
(d) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below:
i. 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.
ii. Advanced knowledge of medical terminology specific to understand medical diagnosis and procedures sufficient to communicate clinical staff instructions to patients.
iii. Ability to schedule medical appointments in a clinical setting.
iv. Ability to work independently in the accomplishment of a wide variety of duties performing patient support work.
v. Ability to communicate effectively and professionally in person, electronically, and/or by telephone, with internal and external customers.
vi. 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, Part II, Appendix G45, dated August 1, 2019. Medical Support Assistant Qualification Standard GS-0679. http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/Directives-Handbooks/Documents/5005.pdf this can be found in the local Human Resources Office.
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-05. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-03 to GS-05.
Physical Requirements: Must meet physical requirementsin accordance with,VA Directive and Handbook 5019