To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements within 15 days of the closing date of this announcement08/18/2022
English Language Proficiency
Experience - Six months experience of clerical, office, customer service, or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position,
Education - One year above high school. 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. (Transcripts Required)
Combination - Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying for this position. (Transcripts Required)
(a) 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:
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 computer systems to enter administrative data in patient systems.
(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.
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:
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.]
GS-5 (Full Performance Level)
(a) Experience One (1) full year of experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level that equips you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. At this grade level, experience consists of: interacting with internal and external customers; establishing and maintaining medical outpatient and inpatient charts as well as administrative records; verifying third party insurance and updating insurance information in automated systems; obtaining medical information from patients; coordinating information and actions related to patient care and services; and scheduling appointments
(b) successful completion of four years of education above high school level. 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. (Transcripts Required)
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:
1. Ability to operate computerized programs and systems in order to enter, modify, and retrieve sensitive medical and patient identifying information into or from electron 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.
Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary. Physical demands do not exceed those of a typical office setting. There may be some walking, standing twisting, turning, sitting, pushing, bending, repetitive keyboarding, or carrying of light items. Some positions may require sitting for long periods of time at a computer terminal typing data while talking on a telephone headset. In addition, there can be increased stress due to the intensity of a patient/customer complaint or concern.
References: VA Handbook 5005/117, Part II, Appendix G45, Medical Support Assistant Qualification Standards dated 8/1/2019.
Work Environment: The work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts, which require normal safety precautions. The work requires safe work practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls and observance of fire regulations. The work area is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated. The employee works in a close proximity to patients, and is therefore, exposed to communicable diseases. Some exposure to verbal abuse may be experienced in certain position.
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. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. 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.
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.
Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.
Due to COVID-19, VA is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement. Management officials will provide information about returning to the official, pre-pandemic worksite, when applicable. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework depending upon the terms of your organization's telework policy and the duties of the position.
If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.