What Are the Job Duties of a Medical Receptionist?
A medical receptionist is frequently the first staff member that patients encounter in a private physician's office or other health care facility. In addition to greeting patients, the job duties of a medical receptionist include tasks that contribute to the smooth operation of a medical office. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Duties and Responsibilities
A medical receptionist performs both front- and back-office duties, which means that they must be able to interact with patients, visitors (like pharmaceutical company representatives) and the other health care professionals who also work in the facility. In addition to greeting patients and vendors, receptions are responsible for scheduling appointments, answering phones, and responding to emails. Medical receptionists should be organized and computer-savvy, able to maintain spreadsheets and databases, and competent in filing patient charts and other paperwork. Other duties of a medical receptionist include the following:
- Maintaining inventory of supplies and ordering stock
- Processing bills in offices without a medical biller
- Completing insurance forms
- Handling lab work and X-rays
Education and Training
A medical receptionist generally needs only a high school diploma to do the job, but experience in office work and additional training can be beneficial in obtaining a position. Some colleges and technical schools offer a medical receptionist certification program or a two-year program leading to an Associate in Applied Science for Medical Receptionist, Medical Assistant, or Medical Administrative Assistant. The following course topics relate directly to the job duties of a medical receptionist:
- Medical terminology
- Medical office procedures
- Medical law and ethics
- Business communications
- Medical office software
- Anatomy and physiology
- Health care insurance
- Understanding HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which regulates patient privacy and confidentiality issues)
Employment and Salary
The employment of receptionists in general is expected to grow by at least 14% from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), although the same article notes that the bulk of growth in the field will stem from the healthcare industry, suggesting excellent prospects for medical receptionists. Receptionists employed by doctors' offices earned an average of $27,810 in 2012, while those working for dentists' offices averaged $31,350 a year, per the BLS. Medical receptionists working for other types of health practitioners earned a mean of $25,410 per year in 2012.
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