The Roles And Responsibilities Of Medical Assistants In Health Care

Curious about what Medical Assisting is? Admirably, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing careers these days. Statistics show that this job is estimated to rise for the next ten years due to the innovation of medical equipment and the increase number of population around the world.

If you wish to become a medical assistant, you don’t need a master’s degree. All you need is your high school diploma or a GED equivalent. Aspiring medical assistants must simply undergo programs which will only take six months to two years to complete.

The course for medical assisting includes the fundamental medical vocabulary, anatomy and physiology and supplementary administrative training like recordkeeping, bookkeeping, transcription, and so on and so forth.

Program courses are exclusively intended to give them a broad perspective in medical field to help them perform their errand productively and fruitfully. This is because medical assistants’ nature of work is to perform or to keep medical establishments organized and to keep it running smoothly. Also, since medical assistants are closely working with patients and with other medical staff like doctors and nurses, their program courses also include patient relations, ethics and medical laws and principles.

Although, some of the roles of medical assistants are identical a doctor assistant or a nurse, they are very different. Medical assistants carry out clerical and clinical tasks while nurses are more on treatments and patient management.

In the main a medical assistant handles administrative duties and or clinical duties.

1. Administrative Duties and Responsibilities

– Answering telephone calls
– Assist patients and families
– Appointment planning
– Fiscal recording and billing
– Bookkeeping
– Handling correspondence
– Filing and updating patient’s medical records
– Managing insurance forms
– Arranging hospital admissions
– Assisting in laboratory services

2. Clinical Duties and Responsibilities
– Taking patient’s health history
– Recording patient’s vital signs
– Preparing patients for medical examinations
– Assisting doctors during health examinations
– Explaining to patients the procedures that are to be done to them
– Collects and prepares the laboratory specimens
– Buying medical materials and equipments
– Disposing of infected medical materials
– Preparing medical instruments
– Making sure that hospital quarters such as waiting rooms and examination rooms are clean and tidy

In some hospitals medical assistants are allowed, under the custody of doctors to carry out basic medical tasks such as:
– Basic laboratory tests
– Prepare medications and administer medications too
– Instructing patients in taking medications and some diets
– Drug refills
– Draw blood
– Changing of dressings
– Removing sutures

Since medical assistants have a large scope of tasks, they should at all times stay focused and systematic. They must possess pleasing personality and must be good communicators for they must make the patients feel comfortable and easy before and or during examination. Also, medical assistants must be dainty and well groomed for they should look presentable when dealing with patients.

Duties and tasks of medical assistants vary depending in the hospitals they work. In small hospitals or clinics they are to perform both administrative and clinical duties while in large hospitals where there are other medical staff, medical assistants are encouraged to performed specific tasks under the direction of the department administrators.

Regardless where medical assistants work, they are very useful in helping healthcare workers to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently. As a consequence, the growing needs of people’s medical attention are met through them.

The Role Of Electronic Medical Records In Health Reform

How Electronic Records Help Health Reform
Integration of electronic record keeping can help reduce overall health care expenses by limiting administrative costs, ensuring that duplicate procedures are avoided and checking for allergies and other medical sensitivities across a database. Optimally, the system aims to help medical professionals make better decisions based upon lab results, X-Rays, medical history records and a variety of hospital archives. While there is an up-front cost to integrating the systems, most modern hospitals are actively working to streamline their record keeping and open access to fellow medical facilities.

Currently, less than 25% of practicing doctors utilize electronic records for their patients, while emergency room rates are slightly higher. Under terms of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress allocated funds for doctors who integrate certified electronic record keeping systems . As standards become solidified, a growing number of medical practices are shifting to electronic records.

Privacy and Security in Reform
Many patients’ rights advocates have expressed concern over a central health records database, but medical companies are actively working to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) so that records are securely stored and can only be accessed by practicing doctors. Incorporating privacy into insurance records is a core part of the process, and recent health reform efforts have helped streamline secure patient record standards.

Relying upon electronic documentation, it is much easier for doctors to show exactly why they performed a specific procedure. With this evidence, medical professionals are able to show that adverse medical outcomes were not caused by error, potentially limiting their tort liabilities. Although the legal aspects of health reform remain under debate, many medical professionals are working to limit medical transcription and record keeping errors to provide safer, more reliable medical care. A combination of improved record keeping, medical delivery and quality care can result in improvements in overall health outcomes.

Cobra Healthcare Coverage Vs Individual And/or Family Medical Assurance

While C.O.B.R.A. Insurance might be a lifesaver for some individuals, individuals often take the C.O.B.R.A. option when they shouldn’t. If compared to private medical care assurance, COBRA can be pricey, it can be over too early and it can put someone else in control of your policy.

COBRA is often too pricey

COBRA is s short-term solution

C.O.B.R.A. is under someone else’s control

C.O.B.R.A. is often too costly

The COBRA law gives you the right to be covered by a group insurance policy. One of the biggest misconceptions individuals have about healthcare Insurance is that group insurance policies are less expensive than individual and/or family health care insurance policies that you can purchase on your own. While this is sometimes true, it isn’t usually. In many states, health care coverage costs more when bought through an employer.

This is because of the cost of governmental mandates that apply to group health care insurance policies that don’t apply to private medical care insurance policies. A company offering a group assurance policy may have to offer a policy to anyone regardless of their medicalcare history. coverage companies cannot drop an insured person from their family and/or individual health Insurance plan simply because their health has gotten worse after their policy’s effective date, but they won’t take new people with pre-existing conditions. This can mean that the insurance company’s costs are much higher for their group coverage policies than for their family or individual healthcare assurance policies.

You may be offered the group insurance plan that you had before your employment concluded or if your company has made changes in the policies they offer to their current employees, it may be a different healthcare policy.

C.O.B.R.A. is s short-term solution

In most scenarios, COBRA may be kept for a maximum of 18 months, although in certain scenarios, this time period can be extended to 36 months. This may mean that your coverage may end when you need it the most. A good family and/or individual health assurance policy may cover you until you reach the age of 65.

You may be healthy enough to qualify for a long-term health Insurance plan at the time when your job ends but not 18 months later. If you or someone in your family contract an illness or have trauma that prevents you from buying a policy at the end of your COBRA eligibility

COBRA is under someone else’s control

When you mail in your COBRA payments, you send them to your former company. Although this happens rarely, sometimes companies will take your money and never pay the insurance company.

If your company changes the plans that are offered to their current employees, they may also change the plans available to those eligible for health care Insurance because they have taken the COBRA option. This may mean that your policy may not cover you as well as it used to. You might suddenly be in the position of having an expensive plan that no longer covers you well.

Scenarios where C.O.B.R.A. is better than individual medicalcare insurance:

When C.O.B.R.A. is much less pricey than a private assurance policy

A family or individual medical care coverage plan isn’t available to you

You’re assured a medical assurance plan before your COBRA eligibility ends.

There are situations where COBRA is a better option than a family and/or individual medical care coverage plan. If you are not able to purchase a healthcare policy on your own at a reasonable rate and you find that your COBRA option isn’t too pricey C.O.B.R.A. may be your best options. This of course is also true if you cannotpurchase a C.O.B.R.A. plan because of a preexisting medical condition. Another situation when COBRA can be a good option is when you will be eligible for Medicare or some other medicalcare policy before your C.O.B.R.A. eligibility will end.

Reduce Your Health Care Costs With Medical Tourism

It appears many of you are seeking clarification about what medical tourism is and the far-reaching implications to your own quality of life.

Baby Boomers, especially healthy people, are looking to make wise choices based on all their options to maintain their active lifestyles.

Let’s start communicating and discussing how to “connect the dots” between the concept of medical travel and your life by defining the popular terms used to describe the resources available and the way people are using those resources.

As a starting point, we invite you to take our medical tourism survey. The range of questions will broaden your awareness of the primary reasons people travel for medical treatment and help you determine whether it is a possible option for you.

To delve deeper into the subject you may find the following distinctions helpful. We’ve arranged them in a format easy to scan for topics of interest. We use human interest stories as examples to help people identify with how real people experience medical travel.
The History of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is choosing to travel outside your local area for medical services. International medical services are “any coordinated out-of-country medical service” that requires a patient to travel to a treatment destination.

The medical tourism industry was born as soon as it became clear that lower cost environments of emerging economies could offer first-world care at third-world prices, as well as solutions not available in his or her home country.

Medical tourism is important to people who can’t afford, or cannot obtain, quality health care solutions in their home environment. Knowledge about medical solutions abroad is also very important to people who relocate to live elsewhere (“expats”).

These folks need to figure out how to manage their healthcare needs, locate quality health care options and distinguish clinical quality from snake oil solutions.
Medical Tourism Today

In the last few years – and particularly since the recession – the pent up demand for cost effective treatment solutions has permeated to the consciousness of mainstream healthcare consumers, medical service providers and insurance companies.

Whereas in the early 1990’s medical travel was reserved for rich, upper class patients, NOW DAYS, we all agree that travel-for-treatment is EVEYONE’s domain. We have come to terms with the fact that it is “OK” to source medical treatment from different corners of our global village world. The era of global healthcare resource sharing has arrived.

The Internet has removed all barriers to healthcare information. Knowledge that was historically the sole domain of physicians has found its way into the hands of patients and empowered them as knowledgeable healthcare consumers.

Throughout the world, medical excellence is found in major metropolitan areas that have great academic infrastructure producing competent physicians and researchers.

Some of Americas best known healthcare brands are expanding their presence to countries that are desirable retirement destinations. The proliferation of the brand has an immediate positive effect on quality of medical care.

For example, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore is aligned with Hospital Punta Pacifica in Panama City and with Clinica Las Condes in Santiago Chile’.

To understand, and value, all choices offered under the umbrella of “Medical Tourism”, one should consider (and contrast) the experience of accessing care from a hospital in your city of residence.

Other than for routine checkups, typically you might visit your doctor or hospital because something hurts, some symptom is alarming, or something just needs to be fixed. You are not thinking “what do I want to experience and can I get more value out of this”. You’re just trying to get it over with and get well.

That limited concept of a health care experience changes with medical tourism. You’re not restricted to cookie-cutter processes. Let me paint a different picture for you. First, let’s talk about why people travel and then define the “popular” definitions of Medical Tourism through case studies of real experiences.
Why People Travel

People travel around the world from and to locations such as India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, and the US to find the best medical services and to be treated by doctors whose expertise and reputation are worth the trip.
Seven Primary Reasons to Travel for Medical Care

There are many reasons to travel abroad for medical care. The Primary reasons are cost, quality of care, availability of alternative treatments, privacy, physician expertise and technique, the allure of a “medical vacation”, and often the amenities of more personalized care and luxurious accommodations.
1. Cost Savings

It turns out that the US medical industry is terribly overpriced. There is a booming market of people who choose to travel abroad for high cost procedures. Others will have medically-light procedures done and save enough money to pay for a vacation abroad.

A hip replacement in the US that can cost $45,000 to $92,000 you might get in India for $9,000. Not comfortable with the long air flight to India? just arranged for a 64 year old Sarasota, Fla. Resident to travel to Costa Rica for her hip replacement for a cost less than $15,000 – all inclusive including the surgery, recovery facility, airfare and accommodations.

So, you see, it’s not always about price, it’s about matching your comfort level – and your situation – to the quality choices available to you as these examples show.

First Time Dental Tourist Saves $30,000… and she’s shouting about it! – Listen to the live interview of a Canadian woman who saved $30,000 in dental care.

First Time Medical Traveler Journals Experience – In the U.S. the cost of a crown is $1,000, in Mexico it’s $250.

Health Savings Accounts and Health Travel in Costa Rica – Insurance Executive paid $1,000 for an Executive Plan Physical that his doctor in the States said would have cost him $5,000 – $6,000.

What’s it Like – Rushing to The Dentist in Brazil? – Expat compares the price of dental work done in Brazil for $320 vs. $4,000 in the U.S.

A Better Deal For US Patients in Canada – Washington State patients save 30 to 70% off the cost of medical procedures in the States by crossing the Canadian border to The False Creek Healthcare Centre in Vancouver, B.C.

“Five Dollars, Please!” – It’s the day-to-day stuff that sometimes reveals the most about health care abroad. At least that was the experience of Angie Johnson, 71, of Panama City, Panama.
2. Quality of Medical Care – Milestones in surgery abroad

You might think that you have to compromise quality of care for these cost savings.

There are international bodies such as JCI, patients beyond borders, and ISO that provide certification of medical facilities and providers. The American Medical Association has also recently released nine guidelines for use of medical tourism.
Role of U.S. insurance companies in building acceptance of offshore care

It speaks volumes about quality of care when U.S. insurance companies offer insurance products to employers that include options for offshore medical care. Medical Tourism pilot programs include Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (WellPoint), United Group Program, Blue Shield and Health Net, Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In addition to JCI and ISO certified medical facilities and providers, outbound patients from the U.S. have an option to travel to U.S. providers (at international sites) or their affiliates and partners.
U.S. health care organizations branding health care standards globally

U.S. health care organizations participating in some of the better-known international collaborations involving medical tourism are Cleveland Clinic, Cornell Medical School, Duke Medical School, Harvard Medical International, Johns Hopkins International, Memorial Sloan Kettering, University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University Medical School. (Medical Tourism, Update and implications, 2009 6/16, a product of The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions).

Global leaders in the industry have built world-class facilities with world-class doctors while bringing back a sense of customer service to medicine. The ability to shop this global market allows consumers to make personal choices about the treatments that are best for them and fit their needs.
Traveling Doctors – U.S. Doctors performing surgeries abroad

This is likely to be the big “game changer” in medical tourism – where a patient can travel to a location (for cost and quality considerations) and have surgery done by their own doctor.
3. Alternative Treatments

A third incentive for medical tourism is availability of alternative treatments. I interviewed a Parkinson’s patient who was nearly wheel chair bound. He had watched his father die a slow and painful death in a wheelchair from the same disease.

After some research he found a clinic in Mexico providing Stem Cell therapy. After only three weeks of treatment, he was walking upright and without a cane again. This same therapy was not available in the US. Mexico: A Parkinson Patient Walks Again After Stem Cell Therapy.
4. Privacy of Medical Tourism

It surprises many that privacy is a big factor in why people travel for medical care. Here are three common scenarios where privacy is a consideration:

When you have tests, procedures and treatments done abroad, at your own expense, you have control over what you want to disclose on your medical records.

Part of a “boutique” medical experience is recuperating – away from home, away from business and home schedule demands – and where you have complete anonymity.

Also, while women are more prone to “talk” about their cosmetic surgeries, men are more inclined to value their privacy about procedures done abroad – and so it’s not surprising that it’s common for men to have procedures done while away on vacation or in conjunction with a business trip.

Even major hotel chains are catering to the privacy of medical tourists. The Ramada is doing it right – a blueprint to follow when catering to medical tourists.
5. Physician Expertise and technique

I asked a doctor who trained other doctors in advanced techniques, why he would train people to compete with him. His answer was “I can teach them which tennis racket to use, but that doesn’t mean they can play the same game.” Here are some examples of doctors and clinics that are known for their specific areas of expertise:

Vibroliposuction – Why People Are Willing to Travel For it! – weekend and medical vacation junkets to Costa Rica for specialized liposuction techniques.

Eye Surgery in Panama by a Celebrated Doctor – How to find an eye surgeon on top of their game.

Medical Tourists Flock to Canada for Best Quality Hair Transplants – Nearly 80% of their patients travel from Miami, New York, London, Spain, Australia, Italy and Libya to have their surgeries performed by these two renown surgeons.

Can Your Dentist Pass the Litmus test? – “too many dentists are not up to date with technology, don’t have quality control over the dental product, and don’t have the equipment to provide their patients with the best choices.”
6. Medical Vacations – win/win and you’re on vacation!

A trip and a treatment – often paying for a family vacation with the money you save having needed (or preventative) procedures done abroad. Holistic Wellness Travel a/k/a Spa Destinations also falls within the “medical vacation” category.

Mexico: Cross-Border Dental Care In Los Algodones, (Yuma, AZ border crossing) – my own personal “medical vacation” experience. I can’t wait to have more!
7. Quality of Personal Care – The Comfort Factor

People value, more than you might think, the ambiance of more personalized care. It makes all the difference in the experience. Here are some examples:

Up Close And Personal With Thai Healthcare – doctors making house calls and a team of nurses attending to your every need.

Medical Tourism in India: Where Major US Health Insurers Send Their Insured. – Apollo Hospital’s Platinum Suites with internet café and 24/hr. nurse attendants.

A Hotel in Costa Rica Leaves a Lasting Impression – a luxury hotel picks up the tab for EMT visit.
Objections to Medical Tourism – how they are being overcome
Decreasing Risks of Complications

Complications can escalate and eat up any cost savings dramatically. This is where a good medical tourism facilitator is worth his or her weight in gold. Safety Protocol for Medical Tourists – Good Surgery Recovery Requires In-Country Post-op Care.

Organize your personal medical records What’s in your wallet may make a difference . . . between life and death – or get help doing it – Online Personal Health Records the Easy Way.
Trust the Doctor you Know

One of the big objections to medical tourism is that people don’t want to leave their doctor. That’s why the new trend of U.S. doctors traveling with their patients is such a “game changer”. Example: Medical Tourism Takes Flight for Both Doctors and Patients.
Common Sense Tips regarding subjective expectations

This is common sense, but it may help you identify some risks and take adequate precautions.

How to Pick a Dentist in Mexico – Trust But Verify! – Be careful what you ask for.

Medical and Dental Travel – “Meeting Client Expectations”
The Forces Driving the Future of Medical Travel
How US Healthcare Reform is impacting health insurance costs

The pressure on consumers continues to grow. Monday, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey showing that people “who buy their own health insurance report the most recent rate increase requests have averaged 20 percent…,” Kaiser Health News reported.

“The foundation surveyed just over 1,000 people who don’t get insurance from their employer, finding that 77 percent reported an increase with their current or previous insurer. Most paid the increase. But 16 percent switched to less expensive plans” (Appleby and Schiff, 6/21). (KHN is a project of the foundation.)

The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), according to a NAHU member, is stating that some large self-insured companies like AT&T, John Deere and Caterpillar, for example, may opt to pay the penalty and not provide insurance to their employees under the current restrictions and regulations.

The example given was that if AT&T with 280,000 employees chooses to drop their employee insurance coverage (for which the company pays 1.5 billion dollars/year) and instead pay the penalty for not providing insurance they would recognize a windfall profit of seven hundred fifty-five MILLION dollars. That’s a sum that qualifies to be labeled “a deal you can’t refuse”.

In the U.S., the volatile health care climate continues to predict stormy weather ahead for our citizens and their family members. How to Weather the Medicare Insurance Crisis.
How US Healthcare Reform Impacts Medical Tourism

What Health Reform Takes Away, Medical Tourism Gives Back – Reflections by leading experts in healthcare on the impact of Health Care Reform on Medical Tourism.

Europeans Weigh in on How U.S. Healthcare Reform Boosts Medical Tourism – The Venice Declaration on Medical Travel
The Opportunity to Reduce Your Health Care Costs

We believe people are entitled to travel for cost and quality considerations. We are committed to educating the general public about the opportunities and trends offering more and better choices for managing their health.

The most important thing we can do is to publish the first-hand accounts of medical tourists, health travellers and expats willing to share the reality of medical tourism and expat health.

Building The Footings Of Ones Career In Medical School

An individual starts his occupation as being a doctor in healthcare college whilst a person who wants to obtain in to the quick expanding and promising health-related subject builds the foundations of their career in professional medical university.

As being an outcome of an aging population and a technologically advanced society, the demand for great healthcare providers and methods is growing and specialists say that this development will continue for several years henceforth. With this trend arrives the proportional boost in possibilities for employment within the health care field.

Now students new out of substantial college and people with careers outside the health care route can now rightly contemplate the potential for investing time and sources in medical faculty to be able to purchase the correct credentials to enable on their own to be qualified for careers within the health-related discipline.

To get into common healthcare area careers including those as health-related encoders, professional medical billings, healthcare assistants, lab technicians, pharmacy assistants and professional medical supply sales professionals, 1 needs to endure correct training and move the examination for certification. Quite a few of the most promising employment opportunities will require certified people to show their competency and credentials for the task.

Given that is this is the situation, be certain to examine regardless of whether the health care college that you simply strategy to go to for training provide certification programs or verify if they are able to a minimum of correctly train you for certification. In any other case, your time and effort will not be a quite effective selection right after all. You may check out the distinctive health-related schools in your region via their sites.

Ensure to discover the internet sites of every health care faculty inside your area and realize the unique plans they supply also as the distinctive reputations every university has. A good school will look greater inside your credentials.

A profession within the healthcare subject will probably be challenging but proportional for the quantity of challenge would be the advantages and satisfaction of securing a career on this profession. For example, the training and certification for being a medical coder won’t only land a position as being a health care encoder within the distinct kinds of healthcare and health care amenities for example health-related clinics, hospitals and outpatient facilities. But 1 can also decide to personal their own professional medical coder business and make extra funds by servicing diverse clientele via an effectively managed outfit.

This alternative will not only safe one’s financial needs but will also allow 1 to pick and manage their own time and schedules. That’s undoubtedly a lot more than 1 can ever hope for in some other line of organization or occupation.

Great possibilities don’t abound for your health care coder. The exact same is accurate for virtually all other kinds of profession within the medical subject. For instance, professional medical assistants can choose to get continuing training into the subject of nursing. Once a medical assistant graduates right into an occupation in nursing the pay and incentives are substantially increased for them.

This is why the money and energy into health care university is time and cash properly spent. Not a lot of other occupation choices can supply the exact same privileges and ensures. This is why when you need to get advantage of this opportunity, you much better be to the look out for a good healthcare university to use for.

Even when you already have a career and can’t pay for to get the time off to go fulltime in building a profession in health care school, do not despair. Most if not all healthcare colleges supply courses during flexible times to enable people to get continuing schooling with out needing to quit their day jobs.

Medical Office Assistant And Pharmacy Technician Courses For Fast Healthcare Careers

Becoming a pharmacist or a doctor is a serious educational commitment that takes several years. Especially in light of the almost decade long, immensely expensive process of becoming a doctor, healthcare careers can feel out of reach for many people. But becoming a physician is not the only option for healthcare hopefuls. Aside from nursing, two other prominent healthcare professions are medical office assistant and pharmacy technician. Let’s have a closer look.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician training has to prepare the student for the crucial role of assisting pharmacists conduct their duties. Most people know about the drug dispensaries found in commercial stores and hospitals, but there’s also a role for pharmacy technicians in medical research, third party insurers and drug manufacturing. Regardless of where the technician takes a job, your training will focus on a strict and accurate understanding of measurement, dispensing systems and drug effects. Though you will have the supervision of a pharmacist, patient safety depends on your ability to provide exactly the dose prescribed, and you’ll also have a chance to make sure they’re receiving the right medication and get to work directly with clients, including calling them to ensure medications are being taken as directed.

Programs are usually provided through vocational schools and colleges, with a length averaging around a year, but some programs allowing completion in less time. Like any healthcare professional, you will have liability insurance and accredited programs are offered in most provinces in Canada. 43% are employed in hospitals or similar facilities, and pharmacist shortages have seen a recent boom in the demand for people with pharmacy technician training, making it a reliable choice for steady and rewarding work.

Medical Office Assistant

In Canada, the role of the medical office assistant is somewhat more abbreviated than your American cousins, because of provincially regulated Medicare instead of a byzantine network of private insurers, but there’s still a strong demand for people with medical office assistant training. As well as clerical work, including working with sensitive and confidential medical records and calling patients to remind them of scheduled appointments, medical office assistants receive some front line medical training to help them understand the ins and outs of their patients’ needs.

One part secretarial and receptionist training, and one part anatomy and health lessons, medical office assistant training is also mostly found through career or vocational schools and community colleges. Like pharmacy technician programs the study time is short. Particular to the program the administrative side of the training also makes graduates flexible, with options to work outside the healthcare industry. If you do decide to stick with healthcare you could find yourself at the front desk of a private practice or part of a team in the medical record archives of a large hospital.