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Practice Assistant II

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Date Posted: 16 Jan, 2020

Position Title: Practice Assistant II
Position Type: Contract 
Source ID: 38146
Location: Boston, MA
Department: Dermatology Associates
Duration of Assignment: indefinite
Hours: 8:30-5
GENERAL SUMMARY/ OVERVIEW STATEMENT: Summarize the nature and level of work performed. The Practice Assistant II position is responsible for the day-to-day patient and customer interactions within practices and/or locations of the Department of Dermatology. Working under the direction of the PracticeManager and/or Practice Coordinator, the Practice Assistant II is the main frontline contact and will interact with customers in person, by telephone and/or electronically. Since the role has significant impact on patient care, patient satisfaction, clinical operations and clinical revenue, the position requires outstanding customer service skills, attention to detail and having the appropriate technical skills to meet the job requirements in a timely and accurate manner. Directly reports to Practice Manager and indirectly reports to Practice Coordinator, Lead, and other Practice Managers.

JOB SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Indicate key areas of responsibility, major job duties,
Special projects and key objectives for this position. These items should be evaluated throughout the year and included in the written annual evaluation.
The following duties and responsibilities are comprehensive. While the Practice Assistant II will be expected to have a working knowledge of these duties and responsibilities, the overall efforts for each will vary based on daily practice operational needs, staffing, location and specific functions. Other duties may be assigned.
1. Assume primary responsibility for scheduling patient appointments per BWH, Dermatology and practicespecific standards and guidelines.
• Ensure customer satisfaction by appropriately managing the appointment schedule and access to clinical services.
• Work closely with physicians to ensure scheduling of patient appointments is done in accordance with physician preferences and templates.
• Verify patient’s identity using 2+ identifiers when scheduling and during check-in process. Verify patient’s appointment time and physician.
• Maximize EPIC application features by accessing all available scheduling data and resources. Use in a manner that supports optimal access, appropriate appointment arrangements, and thorough documentation of relevant requirements. Obtain all necessary information to ensure patient is scheduled with the most appropriate physician.
• If next available appointment exceeds a reasonable timeframe (as established by practice), offer to investigate other scheduling opportunities. Work with other practice staff, physicians and practice management to determine other options that could provide patient with an earlier appointment. Follow-up with the patient or referring physician’s office as appropriate.
• Coordinate and schedule all appointments with interpreter services as necessary. Coordinate interpreter services or language line representatives into patient phone calls to provide high quality service to patients who require interpreting services.

• Cancel and reschedule appointments as requested. When canceling an appointment, treat patients kindly and professionally. Inquire as to whether/when they would like to reschedule the appointment.
• Optimize access and satisfaction by maintaining and coordinating appointment wait lists.
• Coordinates physician cancellation (reschedule) lists as required. Ensure outbound calls or other communications are documented on patient’s appointment record in EPIC.
• Monitor appointment reminder reports and follow-up as appropriate, including making reminder calls in accordance with Dermatology and practice guidelines.
• Ensure that patient questions are appropriately answered and/or that appropriate follow-up is provided.
• Ensure appropriate new patient and referring physician communications are done per Dermatology and practice.
• Send new patient communications and related materials to patients in advance of scheduled appointment.
• Process and monitor appointment requests via e-Referral appointment requests per BWH, Dermatology and practice-specific guidelines.
• Process and monitor appointment requests via external and/or patient-directed applications (i.e. Fast Pass, Direct Scheduling, ZocDoc, etc.) per BWH, Dermatology and practice-specific guidelines
2. Answer incoming telephone lines in a timely and professional manner using Dermatology and practice
standard greeting.
• Adhere to relevant BWH and Dermatology service standards related to telephone access to ensure
patients, referring physicians, and other customers can access the practices in a timely manner.
• For practices using a call center system, adhere to Dermatology and practice standards related to amount
of time logged in as an agent and amount of time available for taking calls.
• Adhere to standards related to placing calls on hold and transferring calls.
• Adhere to standards related to voicemail and the management of internal lines.
• Respond to telephone messages within established timeframes.
• Appropriately manage all calls, either by working with the customer or by referring the call to the appropriate party. For routine matters, respond directly to customer inquiries without referring the caller elsewhere. This includes responding to inquiries related to the availability of appointments, scheduled appointment dates and times, parking, directions, and general information about BWH or other Dermatology practices.
• Respond to all electronic communications from patients, staff members, physicians and outside referral sources. These communications include but are not limited to emails, patient portal messages and by fax.
3. Warmly greets all patients, customers and visitors into practice.
• Arrives patient in EPIC.
• Alert clinical support staff of any special needs or special attention needed for arriving patient, including
fall risk or patients with special needs or services.
• Coordinates patient arrival with interpreter services department as necessary.
• For any patient who does not have a scheduled appointment, work within the established practice
protocols to determine how best to serve the patient’s needs.
4. During the Arrival process, distribute relevant institutional and practice specific forms, including patient selfassessment information form, patient information questionnaire, patient medication/allergy review form, and financial transparency/billing materials. Requests electronic signature for all applicable institutional forms, including privacy notice, Mass HIway consent, hospital consent for treatment, and missing referral waiver form.
• Able to address any questions that a patient may have regarding any of the institutional or practice specific forms.
• Document electronically in EPIC when patients refuse to sign requested form.

5. When scheduling and during check-in process, request that each patient verify the accuracy of all demographic and insurance information on their file and provide instructions on updating. This may include coordination with Patient Service Center (PSC) and/or Financial Counselor. Offers appropriate assistance to any patients unable to perform this task.
• Per BWH, Dermatology and practice specific workflows, all outstanding financial issues (managed care referrals, non-contracted plan, inactive coverage, missing PCP, etc.) must be resolved prior to appointment date.
• Patients with non-contracted plans should be referred to a Financial Counselor before scheduling
appointment. Inform Practice Manager when appropriate to help resolve.
• If patient arrives for appointment with outstanding issues, resolution should be prioritized and be addressed immediately.
• Obtain referral and authorization numbers using electronic solutions as required.
• Verify insurance coverage and resolve any coverage issues per BWH, Dermatology and practice-specific guidelines.
• Review referral discrepancies as necessary to ensure registration information, insurance coverage, and referrals are updated and entered in EPIC.
• For patients who do not have a valid insurance referral on file for date of service, presents missing referral and prior authorization waiver form to patient and requests signature.
• Ensure MSPQ is accurately completed during check-in process.
• Confirm patient’s Patient Gateway/MyChart status and offer to register.
6. Collect payments at the time of service, in accordance with Dermatology payment collection policy.
• Determines whether copayment is required and collects copayment. Follow Dermatology copayment workflow and scripting to ensure copayments are collected.
• Collects payments for cosmetic services rendered and reconcile per practice workflow.
• Enter all payments into EPIC as well as approved online banking transaction system. Ensure that payments are posted correctly (co-payment vs cosmetic pre-payment).
• Issue receipts for all payments collected.
• When payment is not collected for any balance owed on cosmetic procedures, notify Practice Manager,
Practice Coordinator or Lead.
• Ensure that payments are reconciled in accordance with criteria established by BWH and the Department of Dermatology.
7. Direct patients to the appropriate waiting area and provide a brief explanation of what to expect. Communicates wait time expectations. Monitor the waiting room and coordinate with practice’s clinical support staff to ensure that customers are appropriately served in a timely manner.
• When confronted with potential service or process breakdowns, attempt to remedy the situation. When
this is not possible, immediately inform a member of the practice management team to help resolve.
• Provide updates to patients, families and other customers regarding delays, including when the duration of a previously communicated delay has changed significantly.
• Maintain the waiting area throughout the day to ensure that its appearance meets appropriate customer service and safety standards.
• Ensure patient questions or inquiries are appropriately answered and/or given appropriate follow-up.
8. During the check-out process, assume primary responsibility for scheduling patient follow-up appointments and coordinate with other practices or Departments as necessary. Coordinate any outside patient appointments or services requested by the physician, including radiology, lab services, referrals to other BWH departments or referrals to outside medical facilities.
• Review patient check-out forms for any indication that additional services are required (including followup appointments, ultrasound, CT scan, pre-surgical testing, cardiology procedures, x-rays, lab tests, hospital admissions or procedures, etc.).
• For follow-up appointments in the same practice, offer to schedule appointment while patient is present.
• For follow-up appointments in other practices or other facilities, contact the practice directly to facilitate scheduling the necessary appointment(s). Communicate and confirm orders, obtain instructions for patient, and when possible, scheduled appointments.
• Coordinates and schedules follow up appointment(s) with interpreter services as necessary.
• In accordance with Dermatology and/or practice protocols, prepare any necessary paperwork or instructions related to follow-up care.
• Thank every patient once check-out process is complete.
9. Communicates basic billing practices associated with Dermatology appointments and procedures to patients and families.
• Understands BWH and Dermatology billing practices, including process for split billed vs office-based practices.
• Understands basic insurance operations, including knowledge of insurances contracted with BWH,
circumstances in which referrals are required, and assessment of copays due at visits.
• Able to understand and discuss common billing questions with patients, both over the phone and at the time of appointments.
• Able to answer basic billing related questions and refers to Partners Billing Solutions, Financial Counseling, Patient Service Center, Managed Care or other departments. Escalates to practice manager and/or Dermatology billing analyst as appropriate.
• Educate patients about financial assistance options and resources when appropriate. Communication Skills:
• Develop and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, managers, physicians, external medical staff and other staff at BWH and affiliates to carry out the goals, objectives and initiatives of the Department of Dermatology.
• Initiates communication with managers, faculty and other staff members to ensure the smooth operation of Dermatology and practice needs.
• Able to address sensitive and confidential information while displaying a high level of professionalism.
• Provide strong customer service skills at all levels.
• Understanding of basic medical terminology helpful.

Schedule requirements:
• Eligible for Flexible Shift.
• Alternate Work Schedule is not available for this position.
• This position requires a 40 hour/five-day work week (Monday – Friday). Hours are determined by practice and operational needs.
• Occasional overtime may be required.
• Provide cross-coverage based on operational needs. This could include covering different areas or desks within a practice, intermittent coverage at other practices or locations, or as needed due to extenuating circumstances.