Health Care Trends That May Impact Medical Assistants
What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead
As 2017 rolls along, within the healthcare industry there are many who make a living as a medical assistant or those who work in medical billing and coding that wonder how certain trends that are emerging in the industry may affect them. Some have already begun the work of preparation, while those looking to enter the industry are taking certain steps to gauge how to pursue their careers while either acquiring new skills or utilizing what they’ve learned so far in accordance with the newer innovations to come.
Of course, this sort of discussion cannot begin without tapping into a database of statistics. The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the position of medical assistant shows a faster than average growth in the field over a ten-year period. Furthermore, there is also a slight increase when it comes to a medical assistant’s salary (BLS, 2017).
With that in mind, those looking to become medical assistants will be mindful of the fact that their duties involve an ever evolving job
description. Being a certified medical assistant means that you are handling a multiple amount of tasks within the office environment from filing to admitting patients to even taking up medical coding and billing — depending on the facility that you may work in.
One major trend that is already causing an impact on medical assistants is that of technology in the realm of data analysis. Data analysis is becoming more integrated into healthcare operations in an effort to improve electronic records keeping. The efforts aim to create and enhance systems to prevent waste and inefficiencies, according to recent reports. As a medical assistant, improving and adding these new methods would be expected, especially with regards to further discoveries with specific diseases and disorders.
Certified medical assistants will avail themselves of using new programs and devices like tablets to access patient history and related pharmacological information as well. One hiccup that presents itself is the fact that there are some companies who aren’t developing tech with the skill set of medical assistants in mind. A remedy for that lies in more emphatic and consistent dialogue with these companies by medical assistants in unison with doctors and senior healthcare administrators. In the interim, medical assistants should make it a priority to keep themselves abreast of any and all tech developments and trends as they arise.
Another trend involves learning more about medical billing and coding. Usually this is a separate position within the healthcare facility but with the patient population set to grow rapidly due to the increase of the aged part of that group, there will be a need for those medical assistants who can employ those skills in addition to what they’ve pursued for their certification. Doing so would help them be more in tune to what their patients need, and it also would help smooth a process of communication between providers and insurance companies that has seen some rough patches in the past.
In closing, medical assistants are finding themselves in the midst of a slew of changes within the healthcare industry spurred by a convergence of tech and newer policies. The best way that one can meet such challenges is to read up on everything and not to shy away from being both vocal about what they would need to be more helpful and efficient and to embrace all of the new developments with an open mind and heart.