Medical Support Assistant

Baltimore, Maryland
Jan 22, 2022
Jan 28, 2022
Full Time

The Medical Support Assistant (MSA) functions as an expert authority for all tasks associated with patient enrollment and registration, admissions, outpatient scheduling, beneficiary travel, and identification and capture of insurance information. As an expert, the MSA provides technical support to professional staff and other medical center employees, advising staff on appropriate administrative procedures to follow. Major duties and responsibilities include but not limited to:
  • Receiving and processing applicants for both inpatient and outpatient treatment
  • Registering new patients with the VHA, entering complete and accurate data regarding income, insurance information, and patient demographics into the corporate record
  • Determining and verifying eligibility for care using various methods including income assessments, military discharge documents, computer hospital inquiry (HINQ), and communication with VA Regional Office or VA Records Processing Centers
  • Making, changing, and canceling patient appointments in accordance with clinic profiles and special instructions, as well as all applicable VHA regulations governing the scheduling process
  • Receiving and routing all Veterans who report to the facility for scheduled and unscheduled examinations and appointments, assuring that the patients are electronically checked in for their appointments
  • Confirming with the patient that demographic information is still accurate upon presentation at check-in and/or during pre-registration processes
  • Explaining in detail to Veterans about upcoming appointments, ensuring they understand what they must do and where they must go to complete their work- up
  • Interpreting and communicating requirements of VHA Scheduling Directives and completing accurate scheduling responsibilities that include scheduling appointments accurately and in a timely manner
  • Receiving telephone calls and face-to-face inquiries from patients, families, and friends of patients regarding scheduling appointments or requests for changes in scheduled appointments
  • Monitoring pre-appointment requirements to ensure readiness for the patient visit; managing electronic wait list to verify and validate accuracy and solve issues; performing administrative follow-up actions; evaluating patient information and clinic schedule list
  • Establishing internal procedures, files, reports, tracking mechanism, computers report, etc. for existing and new programmatic needs
  • Assisting as needed in tracking wait times for clinics, scheduling issues, and encounter completion
  • Providing orientation to VISTA for new staff and assisting with clinic and appointment coordination for all program staff
  • Preparing a wide variety of material such as forms for clinic cancellations, clinic setup, change forms, faxes, memorandums, documents and correspondence for special reports, and research appropriate policies/directives
  • Assisting in ordering supplies, ensuring that required equipment is in working order, and handling the screening and sorting of correspondence and faxes as requested
  • Initiating and carrying out a wide variety of clerical, coordinating, orienting and reception duties and responsibilities associated with patient care
Work Schedule: Monday to Friday; 08:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m.
Telework: Available when dictated by COVID plan and needs of the clinic
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Title/Functional Statement #:Medical Support Assistant/PD000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • 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


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.

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.
  • 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 (The experience must be supported by your resume to be creditable.) OR, Education. One year above high school (UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT REQUIRED: If you do not submit the required document, your application will not be reviewed.) OR, Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable. ( NOTE: 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 .)
  • ??????Certification: Not required.
  • English Language Proficiency: MSAs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Policy.
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).

Grandfathering Provision. All MSAs employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date (August 1, 2019) 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.

Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements of employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.
    Creditable Experience: To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with current MSA responsibilities or an equivalent administrative patient support role in a non-VA medical inpatient or outpatient setting. Experience satisfying this requirement may be paid/non-paid employment as an MSA or an equivalent position in a non-VA hospital or clinic setting. Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to MSA experience or equivalent administrative clinical support role in a non-VA medical inpatient or outpatient setting 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 a range of varieties 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 as an MSA or equivalent administrative patient support in a non-VA medical inpatient or outpatient setting is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, an MSA employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive one full-time workweek of credit for each two weeks of service Medical Support Assistant, GS-03
    • Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements. AND
    • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below:
      • Ability to meet, communicate, and interact with individuals in a courteous and helpful manner in order to give instructions and arrange appointments.
      • Ability to utilize computer systems to enter administrative data in patient systems.
      • Ability to learn and utilize basic medical terminology to record patient messages and physician requests pertaining to follow-up medical care.
    Medical Support Assistant, GS-04
    • 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; OR,
    • Education. Two years of education above high school. AND
    • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below:
      • 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 patient.
      • 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.
      • Knowledge of basic medical terminology to assist in the provision of care to patients.
      • Skill in recording patient messages and understanding physician requests pertaining to follow-up medical care in internal or external clinics.
    Medical Support Assistant, GS-05
    • Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the [GS-4] grade level. Examples of qualifying experience includes but 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. OR,
    • Education. Four years of education above high school. AND
    • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs 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. Medical Support Assistant Qualification Standard GS-679. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-5. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-3 to GS-5.

Physical Requirements: This position requires light lifting, less than 10 lbs; use of fingers, both hands; sitting/typing at computer workstation (8 hours); far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; ability to distinguish basic colors; ability to distinguish shades of colors; hearing (aid permitted), and mental and emotional stability. Sitting is required for meetings and administrative work. May be exposed to infectious diseases, medical and psychiatric emergencies.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

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.

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.

As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. 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 exception from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

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 .