• Doctors CFO

What Are the Roles a Medical Assistant?

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

We recently went over the roles of the 'Front Office Staff'. Since these employees are typically the first contact with your patients, it is critical they successfully perform the correct duties. They should be building relationships with the patients by communicating effectively and positively. Core functions of the office staff include verifying insurance benefits, collecting payments at time of service, keeping the schedule full, being positive, building confidence in the doctor and in the office while on and off duty, and having knowledge on the products and services offered. Our poll asked "Is Your Front Office Staff Verifying Insurance Before the Patients Appointment?". Ninety-one percent of participants said "Yes", and 9% said "No".

Before the patient even arrives to your office, their insurance should be contacted and their coverage should be verified. Once this is completed, the patient can be made aware of the portion that they may be responsible for will be due upon their arrival.

The next few posts will discuss the roles of various positions that perform or assist with treatment. This week will be about Medical Assistants.The patient is likely spending more time with the assistant than the doctor. Because of this, they are the ones who build the foundation of a relationship between doctor and patient. Medical Assistants are used administratively and clinically and therefore must be well rounded and flexible. The clinical tasks that Medical Assistants perform may vary greatly depending on the specialty of practice and which state the practice is located.

Roles of a Medical Assistant:

Form Trusting Relationship with Patients

  • Listen to and record patients chief complaint.

  • Keep personal notes on patient to develop repertoire.

  • Communicate positively to patient. Assistants are the bridge between the patient, the doctor, and the front office.

  • Verify Patients Medical History.

  • Take vitals.

  • Record any changes to medications, past surgeries, or previous diagnosis.

Prepare Clinical Exam Rooms

  • Dispose of contaminated items following OSHA regulations.

  • Ensure tools have been sterilized and equipment has been disinfected.

  • Ensure correct armamentarium is present depending on what has been scheduled.

Assist with Imaging / Lab Tests

  • Arrange laboratory testing for patients.

  • Prepare patient for imaging, operate and/or process x-rays.

  • Collect lab specimens.

Perform Basic Clinical Functions

  • Communicate doctor recommended treatments, therapies, and procedures to patient.

  • Prepare patient for exams and testing.

  • Assist doctor and other clinicians with procedures.

  • Medical Assistant's scope of practice varies greatly from state to state.

Administrative Duties

  • Answer phone calls and calling patients to fill schedule.

  • Process insurance forms.

  • Complete billing and bookkeeping tasks.

  • Follow HIPPA regulations.


  • Keep detailed notes of each appointment.

  • Refrain from using abbreviations.

  • Patients can request their records at any time, so only facts should be recorded in their file.

Medical Assistants are the greatest multi-taskers in the practice as they float from clinical to clerical duties. The quality of care that the patient receives can vary greatly depending on the abilities of a medical assistant. Great communication skills are essential because they are the patient liaison between the doctor as well as the front desk staff. They direct the patient on recommended treatments, prescriptions, and therapies while at the same time advocate the patient.

To participate in this week's poll "How Do You Primarily Use Medical Assistants in Your Office?", please subscribe or visit our Instagram or Facebook Page.

The reason we are publishing these articles is so that your office can increase its success. We appreciate your feedback on how we can help you more and love it when you pass these articles along to other practice owners and office managers. If you have a question that you would like answers to in a blog post, please email it to info@drcfo.com. If you have not signed up for our blog, please do, so you can continue to receive these important insights and participate in our weekly polls.

Doctors CFO has a CFO Management tool to help you track your KPIs. You might also be interested in our New Patient Tracking Solution and a Salary Planning Solution, to see these and other products please go to please go to https://www.drcfo.com/shop.

Developing a management report is not easy and Doctors CFO currently has a robust model for most practice types that is customized for our monthly and bi-monthly clients. If you have questions on how this model applies to your practice or you are interested in applying the Doctors CFO model in your practice, via one of our annual, bi-monthly or monthly assessments, please reach out to us as info@drcfo.com. Doctors CFO provides financial analysis and valuations for doctors and dentists in the United States. We also offer programs for new patient marketing, revenue and collection management, medical practice consultant, dental consultant, and practice analysis.

(c) 2019 Doctors CFO, All Rights Reserved

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