A huge number of service-oriented and sales businesses has proven that hiring Virtual Assistants is feasible. Does it work for Medical Practitioners, too? Would Virtual Medical Assistants be as effective as an on-site staff?
For Medical Practitioners, hiring an employee who is hundreds of miles away may seem like a blind bargain, a random shot, a scary thought… like a Russian roulette. They get to certain level of uncertainties prior to getting their staff outsourced. Common skepticisms are:
- Location – Would a remote medical staff be as effective as the on-site staff?
- Technology – Would their current system work from across the globe? What will happen if the internet goes down?
- VMA Qualifications – Do they have enough medical background? Are they knowledgeable about our local Insurance process? Can they fix connection issues?
- Cost-effectiveness – Will I get a better return on my investment?
With these in mind, why would then Medical Practitioners consider hiring a Virtual Medical Assistant?
Let’s first define what can a Virtual Medical Assistant do
Virtual Medical Assistants (VMAs) are qualified to assist Medical Practitioners with:
- Clinical Message Handling and Triage
- Clinical Back Office Support
- Insurance Pre-certification
- Insurance Verifications
- Physician Credentialing
- Chart Preparation
- Patient Scheduling
- Patient Follow-up calls
- Medical Transcription
- HIPAA Training
- Medical Coding and Billing
- And other administrative tasks
Managing or outsourcing companies like Apex Healthcare Solutions make sure that the VMAs assigned to Medical Practitioners can perform tasks that are specific to the clinic’s practice.
VMAs schedule is flexible. As the tasks are tailored fit to the clinic’s practice, VMAs schedule can also be defined by the Medical Practitioner. Their work schedule depends on the clinic’s requirement.
In Line with Technology
Since VMAs are home-based workers, they are well versed in using the internet. They are skilled with basic internet troubleshooting.
The beauty of having VMA from a managing or outsourcing company like Apex Healthcare Solutions is that an Information Technology team is behind every VMA for any connection issues to ensure connection dependability.
Are they really Medical Assistants?
VMAs can perform tasks any regular virtual assistants do. But a regular virtual assistant can NEVER be a Virtual Medical Assistant.
As defined above, the tasks of a VMA requires a formal education in a medical-related course to understand the medical terminologies and procedures. VMAs who have previous work experience in any medical field like clinics, hospitals, healthcare insurance, etc. have the edge being able to put through the actual clinical work, including patient care.
VMAs are expected to be aware of the Insurance processes in the United States. Managing or outsourcing company like Apex Healthcare Solutions provides comprehensive training on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA is the US legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. (Ref: http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/HIPAA)
Salary of On-site Medical Assistant vs. Virtual Medical Assistant
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US reports in the year 2011 that Medical Assistants earned an average wage of $14.51 per hour or about $30,170 per year. The middle-earning 50 percent of medical assistants received hourly wages of between $11.86 and $16.87. The lowest paid 10 percent of medical assistants made $10.04 or less per hour, while the highest paid 10 percent reportedly made $19.62 or more per hour. (Ref: http://work.chron.com/much-medical-assistant-make-hour-6608.html)
Since VMA requires medical background they tend to charge more than the regular virtual assistants. The average hourly rate for Virtual Medical Assistants ranges from $10-$12 an hour. A well experienced VMA charges up to $16 an hour.
Normally, an independent VMA charges a higher rate per hour as compared to a VMA provided by a managing or outsourcing company like Apex Healthcare Solutions. The reason for which is because independent VMAs work as independent contractor and they take your business a project. While a managing or outsourcing company provides you their in-house VMAs and commits long-term business relationship.
Return on Investment
Hiring VMAs can yield a Return on Investment in two folds – through overhead expenses and the core business, itself.
Overhead expenses are what a business regularly pays to operate. It can either be Fixed Expense (expenses that normally stays constant each month, like Assets depreciation, Salaries and Wages, Liabilities, and other Legal and accounting costs) or Variable Expense (expenses that vary every month, like Utilities, Supplies, and other Miscellaneous expenses)
Medical Practitioners who run their own business can yield a 30-60% savings on Fixed expenses through Assets Depreciation. They no longer need to maintain equipment and Furniture and Fixtures for their on-site staff. The VMA rate is relatively lower compared to on-site staff rate. Hence saving on Salaries and Wages, as well. And, since VMAs are working remotely, there will be a conservative 60-80% savings on Utilities, Supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Having these savings from getting a competent VMA, Medical Practitioners can get to have less time to worry about expenses and more time to focus on core business and eventually giving them more time to explore on opportunities.
How to get a competent and effective Virtual Medical Assistant?
Are you ready to get your medical practice simplified, and get better return on your investment? Visit us at Apex Healthcare Solutions, and let us guide you how.