The Medical Support Assistant (MSA) serves at the Birmingham, AL Health Care System.
THIS OPEN & CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT (OCA), which closes on 12/29/23. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be on or about 8/25/23 with subsequent reviews every two weeks as additional vacancies occur or on an as-needed basis, until positions are filled. Please see the "What To Expect Next" area of the announcement which provides additional information.
Clarification from the agency
VETERANS PREFERENCE IS WAIVED FOR THIS OCCUPATIONAL SERIES IAW Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) BULLETIN "FY22 Staffing Shortage Determinations" dated: 10/26/2021. Areas of Consideration are as follows: 1. Current permanent VA employees of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Healthcare System and its outlying Clinics. 2. Current permanent VA employees of other facilities. 3. Current permanent Federal employees of other agencies. 4. Public/ US Citizens.
This vacancy announcement establishes an "Open Continuous Announcement" for eligible applicants to be considered for this position.
Select all locations you are willing to consider as this announcement will be used to fill vacancies in the listed locations as they come available.
The first list of eligible applicants will be referred to the Selection Official 8/28/23. Applications received after this date, will be referred as additional staffing needs arise, throughout the life of the announcement. All qualified applications received by the cut-off date and/or when the hiring manager requests for candidates will be notified at that time. Those candidates that meet eligibility will be forwarded to the selecting official for a review. A selection may be made at any time during the opening of the announcement.
We utilize Open Continuous announcements to accept applications in anticipation of vacancies. Extended announcements provide us a readily available source of applicants when vacancies do occur and are approved. If a vacancy does not occur for the location and grade for which you are qualified and apply, no further notification concerning the announcement will be provided.
All application packages remain eligible for consideration for 90 days after submission to the announcement. To remain eligible for consideration beyond 90 days, a new application submission is required to indicate your continued interest.
Per AFGE Master Agreement: First area of consideration will go to qualified current permanent employees of Birmingham Health Care System.
The Advanced MSA provides specialized and expert administrative patient support while working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery model. Work involves specialized administrative judgment and the flexible use of a wide range of clinical flow processes relating to access to care across multiple clinics, specialties, and/or care in the community resources. Recommends changes to existing clinic procedures based on current administrative guidelines. Coordinates with the patient care team to review clinic appointment availability (utilization) to ensure that clinic schedules are closely monitored to effectively support the needs of the clinics, and makes adjustments as necessary.
Major duties include but are not limited to:
- Scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patient's appointments and/or consults
- Entering no-show information
- Preparing for clinic visits
- Ensuring encounter forms are completed
- Monitoring both inpatient and outpatient appointments for areas of responsibility
- Verifying and updating demographics and insurance information
- Processing of all emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals
- Performing basic eligibility, co-pays and preauthorization requirements for specific coverage
- Routinely communicates with physicians, case managers and other allied health professional staff using sound interpersonal skills
- Other duties as assigned in support of Covid-19 operations for example entrance screening duties
The Advanced Medical Support Assistant can serve in one of the many areas listed below:
- Business Office
- Community Based Clinics
- Health Administration
- Mental Health
- Nursing Acute Care
- Occupational Medicine
- Primary Care
: A variety of work schedules are available; work schedule will be determined upon selection and Will vary, depending on position location. Shift changes will be considered based on patient and facility needs. NOTE: May be expected to work rotating weekends and holidays. Rotating and Irregular shifts which may include days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. A variety of tours are available and will be discussed during the interview process.
: Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report:
- This position is in the Excepted Service
- Due to a critical staffing shortage, 38 U.S.C. ? 7412 waives the requirement to apply Veterans' preference for this job announcement.
- Veterans' preference does not apply for internal or other current permanent Federal agency employees.
- Current and former Federal employees must submit copies of their most recent SF-50, (Notice of Personnel Action). The SF-50 must identify the position title, series, grade, step, tenure and type of service (Competitive or Excepted). In some cases, more than one SF-50 may be required to show a higher grade previously held
- This position is a Bargaining Unit position.
- This position is covered by locality-based comparability pay.
- Narrative responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) may be required from the selectee in order to proceed with the appointment.
VA Offers a comprehensive total rewards package: 2023 Total Reward$ of a MSA VA Career Flyer.pdf (sharepoint.com)
TOTAL REWARD$ OF A VA CAREER: Total Rewards (sharepoint.com)
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
- You may be required to serve a probationary period.
- Subject to background/security investigation.
- Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
- Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
- Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
- Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.
Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.
- United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens 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).
Experience: Six (6) months experience in clerical, office or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position; OR,
Education: One (1) year above high school; OR combination of experience and education.
English Language Proficiency: MSAs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j.
To qualify for the GS-6:
Medical Support Assistant (Advanced), GS-6
(a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level.
Grade Determinations: Must possess one (1) full year (52 weeks) of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-05).
(b) Assignment. The Advanced MSA provides specialized and expert administrative patient support while working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery model. Work involves specialized administrative judgment and the flexible use of a wide range of clinical flow processes relating to access to care across multiple clinics, specialties, and/or care in the community resources. Recommends changes to existing clinic procedures based on current administrative guidelines. Expertise in utilizing numerous advanced patient systems in support of multiple clinics involved in an interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery model. Coordinates with the patient care team to review clinic appointment availability (utilization) to ensure that clinic schedules are closely monitored to effectively support the needs of the clinics and makes adjustments as necessary. MSAs at this level develop and/or maintain effective and efficient communication with the patient, interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery model teams , VA medical centers, and other agencies (e.g., assist with communications during the inpatient to outpatient discharge; communicate with non-VA medical facilities; prepare correspondence to notify patients of normal lab results; manage a system for follow-up care such as consults, tests, etc.).
Other assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: processes incoming patient secure messaging through MyHealthyVet and coordinates with care team as appropriate; participates in team huddles and team meetings to manage, plan, problem solve, and follow-up with patient care by sharing information and collaborating with the interdisciplinary team; setting priorities and deadlines, adjusting the flow and sequencing of the work to meet team and patient needs; identifies incomplete encounters and communicates findings to providers; as needed; assists the team to reinforce the plan of care and self-help solutions; enters appropriate information into the electronic record; monitors pre-appointment information and/or requirements to assure readiness for patient visit/procedure; manages patient systems to verify and validate accuracy and resolve issues; evaluates patient information and clinic schedule lists to determine whether the patient requires an immediate appointment; informs team members about shared patients (i.e)., those who receive their care at multiple VA centers or those who receive care in the community). For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty), and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.
(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below:
i. Ability to collaborate and communicate with a wide range of medical clinicians across multiple disciplines (e.g. medical doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, clinical pharmacists, and nursing staff) to accomplish team goal setting to ensure medical care to patients is met.
ii. Ability to independently set priorities and organize work to meet deadlines, ensuring compliance with established processes, policies, and regulations.
iii. Ability to communicate tactfully and effectively, electronically, by phone, in person, and in writing, with internal and external customers. This may include preparing reports in various formats and presenting data to various organizational levels, as well as resolving patient concerns.
iv. Advanced knowledge of the technical health care process (including, but not limited to, scheduling across interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery and/or care in the community models and patient health care portals) as it relates to access to care.
v. Advanced knowledge of policies and procedures associated with interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery and/or care in the community operational activities that affect patient flow, and patient support care administrative functions to include, but not limited to appointment cycles, outside patient referrals, follow-up care, overbooking, provider availability, etc.
vi. Advanced knowledge of medical terminology due to the technical nature of language utilized by clinicians.
References: VA Handbook 5005/53, Part II, Appendix G45, Medical Support Assistant Qualification Standard- http://www.va.gov/ohrm/joblistings/VAQualStds.doc
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-6. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-6.
Physical Requirements: The work requires frequent standing bending, reaching and walking. The work requires light lifting and carrying under 15 lbs. Must have full manual dexterity and keyboarding skills. This may be considered demanding physical activity.
Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.
VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.
Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.
If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.
A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, resume, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
The Department of Veterans Affairs performs pre-employment reference checks as an assessment method used in the hiring process to verify information provided by a candidate (e.g., on resume or during interview or hiring process); gain additional knowledge regarding a candidate's abilities; and assist a hiring manager with making a final selection for a position.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
The following documents are required:
- REQUIRED: Resume/ CV. Your resume or CV should include the vacancy announcement information and personal information including: current/ prior Federal service information, education information, work experience which includes job title, duties, and responsibilities, employer's name and address, supervisor's name and telephone number, starting and ending dates of employment, hours worked per week, and salary. Please indicate whether your supervisor(s) can be contacted.
- REQUIRED: If you are a current or former federal employee, you must submit your most recent SF 50 (Notification of Personnel Action)
- REQUIRED: Responses to the occupational questionnaire.
- REQUIRED: Unofficial copy of your transcript.SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if applicable for Time in Grade and/or Eligibility):
- Most recent SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal employee
- An SF-50 showing your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade.
- Award 50's do not provide sufficient information and will not be accepted for the purpose of verifying time-in-grade.
- Examples of appropriate SF-50's include:
- Within grade increases at the highest grade held; or
- Promotions with an effective date more than one year old; or
- SF-50's at the highest grade held with an effective date more than one year old.
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist
to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.
- Cover Letter
- DD-214/ Statement of Service
- Disability Letter (Schedule A)
- Disability Letter (VA)
- Performance Appraisal
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from
schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the full questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 09/29/2023 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12089554.
- To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
- Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.
It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login
, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.
You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.
NOTE: Participation in the seasonal influenza program is a condition of employment and a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). It is a requirement that all HCP to receive annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption to the influenza vaccination has been granted. HCP in violation of this directive may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service. HCP are individuals who, during the influenza season, work in VHA locations or who come into contact with VA patients or other HCP as part of their duties. VHA locations include, but are not limited to, VA hospitals and associated clinics, community living centers (CLCs), community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), domiciliary units, Vet centers and VA-leased medical facilities. HCP include all VA licensed and unlicensed, clinical and administrative, remote and onsite, paid and without compensation, full- and part-time employees, intermittent employees, fee basis employees, VA contractors, researchers, volunteers and health professions trainees (HPTs) who are expected to perform any or all of their work at these facilities. HPTs may be paid or unpaid and include residents, interns, fellows and students. HCP also includes VHA personnel providing home-based care to Veterans and drivers and other personnel whose duties put them in contact with patients outside VA medical facilities.