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Medical Support Assistant

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Customer Service
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Summary

The Advanced Medical Support Assistant (MSA) serves at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center (TVAMC).

THIS OPEN & CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT (OCA), which closes on 7/10/24. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be on or about 07/10/24 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.

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Overview

  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    07/01/2024 to 07/10/2024

  • Salary

    $40,484 - $52,627 per year

  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 5

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    Location

    1 vacancy in the following location:

  • Remote job

    No

  • Telework eligible

    No

  • Travel Required

    Not required

  • Relocation expenses reimbursed

    No

  • Appointment type

    Permanent

  • Work schedule

    Full-time

  • Service

    Excepted

  • Promotion potential

    5

  • Job family (Series)

    0679 Medical Support Assistance

  • Supervisory status

    No

  • Security clearance

    Other

  • Drug test

    No

  • Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

  • Trust determination process

    Suitability/Fitness


  • Announcement number

    CBTB-12459919-24-LW

  • Control number

    797980000

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This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

VETERANS PREFERENCE IS WAIVED FOR THIS OCCUPATIONAL SERIES IAW Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) BULLETIN "FY24 Staffing Shortage Determinations" dated: 10/3/2023.

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Duties

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 7/10/24. 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 VA Tuscaloosa Healthcare System (TVAMC).

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
- 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:

  • Community Care
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Health Administration
  • Nursing, Operations
  • Nursing, Specialty


Work Schedule: The tour for this position is 0800-1630pm Monday through Friday.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Notifications:
  • 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)
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Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • 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.
  • Condition of Employment: Must be able to pass the National Schedule Training Exam and Competency within 90 days of employment.

Qualifications

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.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Experience. Six months experience of clerical, office, [customer service], or other [administrative] work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position; OR
  • Education. One year above high school; OR,
  • Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable.
GRADE REQUIREMENTS.
  • Creditable Experience: Must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with current MSA responsibilities [or an equivalent administrative patient support role in a non-VA medical inpatient or outpatient setting].
  • Grade Determinations: In addition to the Basic Requirements listed above, the following education and experience criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:
Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level; Experience includes: Ability to meet, communicate, and interact with individuals from varying backgrounds and other health care team members in a courteous and helpful manner in order to facilitate medical care for patients; Ability to use, and navigate between, various types of office automation equipment and software (i.e. computer systems, web based scheduling programs; insurance collection system; scanning software, multiple line phone systems; electronic faxing programs) to support patient care; Advanced knowledge of medical terminology to assist in the provision of care to patients; Skill in recording patient messages and understanding physician requests pertaining to follow-up medical care in internal or external clinics. OR,
Education: Four years of education above high school.
(c) Assignment. This is the full performance level for MSAs. At this level, the MSA independently performs a full range of duties related to the delivery of healthcare services in an inpatient or outpatient setting. The MSA is responsible for answering phones, greeting patients, relaying messages to appropriate staff inside or outside of the unit, scheduling appointments, including interpreting and verifying provider orders in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines. Assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patient appointments and/or consults; entering no-show information; monitoring appointment requests from multiple electronic sources; participating in huddles with other MSAs and/or clinic staff to determine the daily needs of the clinic.
(d) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Candidates must demonstrate ALL of the KSAs below:
i. Ability to operate computerized programs and [systems] in order to enter, modify, and retrieve sensitive medical and patient identifying information (PII) into or from electronic [health] records, scheduling systems, and/or reports.
ii. Advanced knowledge of medical terminology specific to understand medical diagnosis and procedures sufficient to communicate clinical staff instructions to patients.
iii. Ability to schedule medical appointments in a clinical setting.
iv. Ability to work independently in the accomplishment of a wide variety of duties performing patient support work.
v. Ability to communicate effectively and professionally in person, electronically, and/or by telephone, with internal and external customers.vi. Skill in customer service with the ability to identify customer concerns, and refer to the appropriate staff, as necessary, to ensure a satisfactory resolution.

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).

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-5. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-5.

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.

Education

IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: https://sites.ed.gov/international/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications/.

Additional information

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.

During the application process you may have an option to opt-in to make your resume available to hiring managers in the agency who have similar positions. Opting in does not impact your application for this announcement, nor does it guarantee further consideration for additional positions.

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.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

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.

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Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Resume



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)
  • License
  • Other (1)
  • PCS Orders
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript


Veterans' Preference: 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.

Veterans' preference does not apply for internal or other current permanent Federal agency employees.

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.

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How to Apply

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 07/10/2024 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12459919.

  1. 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.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

NOTE: 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.
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Agency contact information

Latosha Walker
Address
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
3701 Loop Road East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
US
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Next steps

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.

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