Medium to large medical facilities that admit a large number of patients on a daily basis require a competent front office staff to greet incoming new patients and to give these patients the attention they deserve. Front office medical assistants are responsible for job duties such as answering incoming telephone calls, pulling a patient's medical files and scheduling future appointments for new patients as well.
Track patient referrals
As new patients are referred to a doctor's office on a regular basis, it is a main duty of the front office medical assistant to track these referrals from other doctors and enter this information into hard files as well as the office's main computer database. This is done to make sure that new patients are getting the kind of medical treatment and regular check-ups that they were referred to receive. Special medical procedures that the patient requires are also made note of by the front office medical assistant so that the transition of the patient to a new doctor occurs smoothly.
Confers with medical insurance companies
Since a medical office cannot begin surgery procedures on a new patient without knowing whether the patient can pay for it or not, it is up to the front office medical assistant to confer with the patient's medical insurance agent in detail. The medical assistant needs to document all of the new patient's medical history with the insurance company and also needs to gain as much information about the patient's full medical coverage from the insurance agent as possible.
Schedules patient appointments
During the course of an average workday, the front office medical assistant must schedule a wide array of patient appointments. Special medical procedures that have to be done by specific doctors and surgeons have to be made sometimes weeks in advance to insure that the doctor will be available to perform special operations for the patient. The front office medical assistant is also responsible to inform the doctor of any patient cancellations ahead of time so that the doctor can rearrange his schedule as necessary.
Trains and evaluates office staff
A primary job duty of the front office medical assistant is to train new medical office employees so that they will have the skills to admit patients, confer with insurance agents and answer incoming phone calls on a regular basis. The front office medical assistant also evaluates these new trainees and confers with the front office supervisor as to whether the new employee needs more training or should be moved to another section of the medical facility entirely.
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