Do you often get overwhelmed with how much paperwork and other menial tasks you need to attend to as a medical professional? To ease the pressure of these tasks, several healthcare practitioners hire assistants to provide administrative support in their offices.
However, the average medical office assistant salary and overhead prices are too steep for many clinic owners to get the necessary support. But did you know that alternatives such as virtual medical office assistants exist to provide similar help at a much lower cost?
Let’s explore what to expect from a medical office assistant’s salary and how you can benefit from hiring a remote assistant to perform this role in your practice.
What do medical office assistants do?
Medical office assistants work in clinics, private practices, and other medical offices to support the medical staff. Their main responsibility is to handle any office tasks that take up their colleagues' time, especially those who specialize in providing care to patients.
For example, a medical assistant can answer the phone or perform outbound calls when required. Although they aren’t necessarily always in the front office, they can greet patients and perform receptionist duties when receptionists get swamped — or if the office doesn’t have a dedicated receptionist.
Medical office assistants will usually be responsible for updating patient charts, and medical records after other healthcare providers complete their appointments with them. Alternatively, they can perform live charting while attending appointments with the healthcare provider.
Patients need to be contacted for appointment reminders to prevent no-shows. Medical office assistants can handle these types of tasks, too. They can also take care of scheduling appointments or managing rescheduling and cancellations.
Medical assistants can also perform light bookkeeping duties when no dedicated bookkeeper is available.
In addition to these responsibilities, medical office assistants can handle general data entry according to the clinic’s needs. They can also manage the office’s schedule to keep everyone on track and avoid scheduling conflicts.
Need a medical office assistant without the steep investment? Book a call with our team to discuss how a virtual medical office assistant can help your practice.
Medical office assistant salary to expect
So you’ve decided you want to hire a medical assistant for your office or clinic. How much do in-person office assistants make, and how much should you expect to spend to keep one on staff?
The answer depends on several factors. For instance, a candidate’s experience level will influence how much they expect to be paid. You’ll also have to adjust the salary based on what tasks they undertake and what training they have.
For example, you should expect to pay more for a medical assistant with several years of experience in the healthcare sector. You may also need to raise their salary if you expect them to take on office management responsibilities.
But let’s look at the average nationwide to get an idea. Administrative assistants average an hourly wage of $19.08 per hour in the US. Medical assistants make $17.88 per hour on average. You can expect to pay your medical office assistant a salary close to these two numbers.
But you also need to consider other expenses in addition to your medical assistant’s salary. For example, you’ll need to contribute to insurance and taxes.
Some expenses aren’t mandatory, but they help attract talented candidates. You should expect to offer vacation time and paid sick leave. You may also need to pay for additional benefits, such as retirement savings plans and a more robust health insurance plan.
How you can help your clinic thrive with a virtual medical office assistant
Hiring an in-person medical office assistant will be expensive due to the average salary and overhead for these workers. You can consider a virtual medical office assistant instead.
Here’s how you can improve how your medical office runs with a virtual assistant on your team.
1. Work shorter days
Imagine wrapping up your appointments for the day and having no additional tasks to tackle. That can be your reality when you have a reliable assistant to handle back-office tasks, paperwork, and other administrative duties.
There’s no need to stay late and catch up when it’s someone else’s responsibility to tie up loose ends at the end of the work day.
You can go home at 5 p.m. and enjoy your time off work. As a result, you can come back well-rested the next day and enjoy your work much more.
Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty about taking a vacation. Your virtual medical assistant can stay caught up with your paperwork and take phone calls from your patients to schedule appointments for when you return.
2. Pay a fair wage at a lower cost to you
To pay a medical office assistant a living wage in the US, you’ll need to spend thousands of dollars per month. On the other hand, 100% of the Hello Rache workforce is based in the Philippines, where the cost of living is much lower.
This country is known for its friendly and hard-working labor force. Although they’re hard workers, Filipinos often don’t get paid a living wage in their home country. For example, a registered nurse in the Philippines only earns an average of $20 per day.
In addition to the low salary, they need to go through a commute time of up to three hours daily. As a result, many healthcare professionals in the Philippines enjoy working with US healthcare professionals instead.
When you hire a virtual medical office assistant from Hello Rache, you only pay a flat fee of $9.50 per hour. This may seem low compared to local medical office assistant salaries, but this lets them earn double or triple the average wage in the Philippines. They also get benefits provided by the company that you don’t need to pay out of pocket.
Not only is the wage fair for Filipino assistants, but it’s easier for you to manage, too. You don’t have to pay accountants to run payroll. That’s because there are no taxes, insurance, paid time off, or other details to manage on their paycheck. You simply pay one flat fee, and you get a helpful virtual assistant for your medical office.
3. Easy live charting with your patients
It can be difficult to go through several appointments in a matter of a few hours and keep all the details straight. Even when you take notes, it’s easy to miss important details that your patients share with you.
Imagine if you could focus on caring for your patients while someone else performs charting in the room with you instead. With an in-person assistant, live charting can feel intrusive for some patients. Not only can they see another person in the room with them, but they can also hear them taking notes.
On the other hand, virtual medical office assistants can make live charting much easier and more comfortable for patients. Because they’re on a screen and not physically present, it’s less intrusive than having an in-person assistant sitting in front of your patient. They can mute themselves while taking notes while you fully focus on listening to your patients.
When your appointment is complete, there’s no more work required on your part. Instead of handing notes over to a receptionist or an in-person assistant, you can move on to the next patient without a problem. Or, you can take a well-deserved breather to properly reset your mind before your next patient.
4. Provide a higher level of care for your patients
A virtual assistant can help your medical office run more smoothly. Although this makes you and your staff’s lives easier, you’re not the only one who benefits when your practice runs efficiently.
You’ll get less overwhelmed, but your patients will get a better experience, too. Firstly, they’ll get the best, most focused version of you. But they may also experience shorter waiting times if your virtual assistant helps out in the reception area.
Having a remote assistant on your team can also help you provide a consistent appointment-making process. Patients will know what to expect. They’ll understand the procedures to take if they need to reschedule or cancel an appointment.
In some cases, your virtual medical office assistant can provide a smoother payment process. If you have more than one remote assistant helping out, you can even have someone dedicated to patient intake while someone else focuses on payments and insurance claims.
Find a trustworthy virtual medical office assistant
In-person medical office assistants are invaluable. However, their salary — and the overhead that comes with an in-person hire — makes them unobtainable to many private practice owners.
Virtual medical office assistants are the flexible staffing solution you need to start breathing again. Book a call with our team, and we’ll help you onboard a trustworthy virtual medical office assistant you can rely on for as long as you need to.