Medical Support Assistant

Department of Veterans Affairs

Houston, TX, USA

Full time

US$35.2-66.2k (annually)

Healthcare / Government

Sep 12

This job is no longer accepting applications.

  • This announcement is for the Medical Support Assistant (MSA) GS-05, which is the full performance level for MSAs. At this level, the MSA independently performs a full range of duties related to the delivery of healthcare services in an inpatient or outpatient setting and advises clinical staff on current administrative processes, and support work relating to the care and treatment given to patients in inpatient units, outpatient clinics, patient scheduling call centers, Care in the Community Support Staff (CitC), and ancillary support services. Responsibilities include but not limited to:
  • Answer phones, greeting patients, relaying messages to appropriate staff inside or outside of the unit, scheduling appointments, including interpreting and verifying provider orders in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines
  • Schedule, cancel, re-schedule patient appointments and/or consults
  • Enter no-show information and monitor appointment requests from multiple electronic sources
  • Participate in huddles with other MSAs and/or clinic staff to determine the daily needs of the clinic
  • Monitor both inpatient and outpatient appointments in areas of responsibility
  • Verify and update demographics and insurance information when patients check-in for appointments
  • Coordinate administrative functions relating to emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals and determines appointment type based on the patient's eligibility status (i.e., TRICARE, sharing agreements, collaterals, research patient, VA employee, etc.)
  • Serve as an initial point of contact for the units, clinics, patient, call centers, CitC, to include, but not limited to, scheduling patient appointments, tracking, reviewing, and responding to electronic orders, consults, and other elements in the electronic medical record and medical systems
  • Utilize practical knowledge of computerized data entry, information processing systems and software related to patient care, the healthcare system's organization and services, basic rules and regulations governing visitors and patient treatment
  • Apply, knowledge of standard procedures, utilizing medical records, and medical terminology
  • Work Schedule: A variety of work schedules are available; Work schedule will be determined upon selection. NOTE: May be expected to work rotating weekends and holidays.
  • Pay Schedule: The salary range listed in this announcement is a Base-Line Salary for a full-time work schedule. Starting salary will be set based on locality (which may include a special pay rate depending upon location), as well as FT, PT or Intermittent employment.
  • PCS Expenses: Not Available.
  • Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
  • Pay: Competitive salary, annual performance bonus, regular salary increases.
  • Paid Time Off: Depending on your leave tier, receive 13 to 26 days paid time off per year, including 10 paid federal holidays; 13 sick days annual with no limitation on accumulation.
  • Retirement: Traditional federal pension (5 years' vesting) and federal 401K with up to 5% in contributions by VA.
  • Insurance: Federal health/vision/dental/term life/long-term care (many federal insurance programs can be carried into retirement).
  • For More Information on Benefits

Travel Required

  • Not required
Supervisory status
  • No
Promotion Potential
  • None

Job family (Series)


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this jobSelective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959You may be required to serve a probationary periodSubject to a background/security investigationMust be proficient in written and spoken EnglishSelected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


  • Basic Requirements: The following are requirements for appointment as a Medical Support Assistant (MSA) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
  • 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).

  • Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements of employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. 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-5: You must possess one of the following grade determination criteria.
  • Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the [GS-4] grade level. Qualifying experience is documented experience 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 organizational scheduling guidelines. (This experience must be supported by your resume to be creditable.) OR,
  • Education. Four years of education above high school. NOTE: This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school. (UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT REQUIRED: If you do not submit the required document, your application will not be reviewed.)
  • Medical Support Assistant, GS-5: In addition, candidates must demonstrate all of the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) 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-05.

  • Physical Requirements: The work is mainly sedentary but requires some bending, walking, standing and the carrying of such things as patient records, supplies and inter-office mail.


  • 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:

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