What are Three Broad Areas of Medical Assisting?
Medical assisting is a vital role in the healthcare industry, providing support to doctors and other medical professionals. There are three broad areas of medical assisting: clinical, administrative, and laboratory. Each area has its own set of duties and responsibilities.
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Clinical medical assistants
Clinical Medical assistants work in physicians’ offices and other outpatient care facilities, such as clinics, community health centers, and satellite offices. Their responsibilities include taking and recording patient medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician during the examination by providing instruments and materials as needed. They also schedule appointments, receive referrals, arrange for hospital admissions and laboratory services, and perform simple laboratory tests. In some states, clinical Medical Assistants may be allowed to give injections and remove sutures (stitches).
Administrative medical assistants perform clerical duties in physicians’ offices and other outpatient care facilities. Their responsibilities include answering telephones; greeting patients; updating and filing patients’ medical records filling out insurance forms; coding patients’ diagnoses for insurance purposes; handling correspondence; scheduling appointments; handling bookkeeping and billing tasks; preparing reports; operating office equipment such as fax machines, photocopiers, and scanners; ordering supplies; maintaining inventory records; handling finances such as petty cash accounts; coordinating office activities such as meetings and conferences; processing mail; handling public relations inquiries.
Generalist medical assistants have responsibilities in both the clinical and administrative areas of a facility. Depending on the size of the facility in which they work, they may perform all of the tasks described above or they may specialize in one or more areas. For example, a larger facility may have a team of administrative medical assistants who work together to handle all of the clerical duties for the entire facility.
Administrative medical assistants
Administrative medical assistants perform many basic office tasks, such as scheduling appointments and handling patient billing and insurance. They may also collect patient medical histories, take vital signs and prepare patients for examination. Some administrative medical assistants specialize in Medical coding which is a system used to classify medical diagnoses and procedures for reimbursement purposes.
Billing and coding medical assistants
Billing and coding medical assistants work in the administrative side of healthcare and are responsible for ensuring that patients’ insurance claims are filed correctly and in a timely manner. Medical assistants in this field need to have excellent attention to detail, as well as knowledge of medical billing and coding systems.
Clinical medical assistants work directly with patients. Their duties include taking medical histories, performing basic tests, administering injections and assist with examinations. Clinical medical assistants need to have excellent people skills and be able to provide compassionate care to patients.
Management medical assistants typically work in larger medical practices or hospitals, where they are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the medical office. Management medical assistants may be responsible for supervising other medical office staff, ordering supplies, scheduling appointments and maintaining patient records. Medical assistants in this field need strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask effectively.