Medical Support Assistant

District of Columbia, D.C
Feb 07, 2023
Feb 09, 2023
Full Time

Duties include but are not limited to:
  • Assists with clinic access contingency plans by adjusting appointment times, location, or dates as well as shift patients to other healthcare providers as conflict with staffing and/or coverage occur
  • Screens/receives phone calls in a courteous and timely manner, determine the nature of requests and provide the information desired using privacy rules and established clinic processes.
  • Participates in daily huddles and weekly team meetings where patient care planning and management occur, except during staff shortages for coverage.
  • Notifies supervisor when clinic access is less than desirable or if an individual patient cannot be scheduled within mandated clinic timeframes.
  • Daily reviews active/pending consults, Recall list and Audiocare communications for accuracy and disposition.
  • Coordinates administrative services for veterans, family members, caregivers, and general public, administrative and clinical staff.
  • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with all clinical and administrative staff in determining priorities of activities.
  • Interprets and applies a complex body of pertinent laws, regulations, directives, and policies that relate to the administration of VA Healthcare Benefits.
  • Generates patient workload reports for validation and monitors activity in clinical areas to assure consistent and accurate reporting.
  • Organizes and implements quality assurance monitors.
  • Conducts patient/employee surveys, interviews, observes workflow; guides patients through hospital system, inputs referrals, documents complaints, and provides follow-up and suggests resolutions to supervisor.
  • Intervenes to resolve difficult problems and diffuses potential dissatisfaction with VA services.
  • Serves as an advisor and performs technical activities involved with assisting, screening and processing veterans, non-veterans and beneficiaries, seeking medical treatment benefits in the outpatient clinics.
  • Receives and directs patients and visitors, answers routine inquiries regarding inpatient and outpatient scheduling and procedures and makes appropriate referral of questions concerning the patient's medical condition.
  • Reviews and updates computer-based patient files to ensure accuracy and completeness of the computer database.
  • Manages and maintains the patient's medical and administrative clinic records according to prescribed format.
  • Obtains and processes patient medical and administrative records prior to clinic appointments.
  • Receives additional forms and documents for the medical record as necessary and identifies and/or stamps the correct patient identification.
  • Obtains necessary documentation to ensure medical information is available at the time the provider sees the patient.
  • Extracts and transposes information from providers' orders for patients on a variety of records, forms and computer systems.
  • Selects, completes and routes requests for patient activities and treatment procedures as appropriate.
  • Accurately schedules appointments, consultations, and processes data requests, and follows up on work in progress in a timely manner.
  • Informs and communicates information to patients in a clear manner regarding his/her appointments, etc.
  • Updates data systems as necessary. As assigned, maintains telephone communication and/or prepares written correspondence for patients or their representatives on clinic matters including scheduled appointments, required tests, test results or clinic service information.
  • Coordinates communication to practitioners from patients, Ambulatory Care staff, and other Medical Center services or sections.
  • Receives and relays incoming and outgoing telephone messages.
  • Captures workload components of patient information in both automated and manual systems to ensure that the Medical Center receives appropriate reimbursements.
  • Initiates search for bilingual employees to assist in dealing with patients who may not speak English fluently.
  • Understands policies and procedures related to ambulatory care services and maintains records related to such.
  • Responds to inquiries and refers to appropriate resources about ambulatory care programs locally, as well as eligibility for other facilities.
  • Provides assistance with referrals to community resources or obtains Social Work Service assistance.
  • Participates in quality assurance/performance improvement [QA/PI] and data validation activities, gathers and assimilates data, produces reports, correspondence, etc., associated with job functions.
  • Performs routine clerical functions as needed including maintaining a supply of forms and stocks exam rooms with forms, answers phones, and maintains a variety of information files.

Work Schedule: 3:30p-12a, 12a-8:30a, 8a-4:30p, various work schedules to fulfill facility needs
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 000000
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Physical Requirements: Applicants must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be medically suitable to perform the essential duties efficiently and without hazard to themselves and others in accordance with VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3J.
Experience and Education:
  • 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,
  • Education: One year above high school,
  • Experience/Education Combination: Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable.
Foreign Education: To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials and such education must have been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. programs.

Grandfathering Provision: Current Medical Support Assistants 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). All MSAs employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series, and grade held, [which] are [a] part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: (1) Such employees may be reassigned, promoted, or [changed to a lower grade] within the occupation.

Creditable Experience:
  • Knowledge of Current MSA Practices: To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with current MSA responsibilities. Experience satisfying this requirement may be paid/non-paid employment as a MSA.
  • Quality of Experience: Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to MSA experience at the next lower grade level. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.
  • Part-Time Experience: Part-time experience as a MSA is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a MSA employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2 time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.
GS-05 (Full Performance Level):
Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level; OR,
Education: Four years of education above high school.

At this grade level candidates must demonstrate all of the Knowledge Skills and Abilities below:
  • 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.
  • Advanced knowledge of medical terminology specific to understand medical diagnosis and procedures sufficient to communicate clinical staff instructions to patients.
  • Ability to schedule medical appointments in a clinical setting.
  • Ability to work independently in the accomplishment of a wide variety of duties performing patient support work.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally in person, electronically, and/or by telephone], with internal and external customers
  • 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 8/1/2019.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: Incumbent may be subject to moderate carrying (15-44 pounds), walking (2-3 hours), standing (2 hours), and repeated bending (1 hour). Incumbent will work inside. Works closely with others.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Student grade reports and unofficial transcripts will NOT be accepted.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . 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. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

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.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

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 .