What Does a Medical Receptionist Do?
Medical receptionists work in healthcare settings as administrative professionals. They interact with patients and are responsible for many tasks, such as scheduling appointments, responding to billing inquiries, or checking patients in. They effectively act as the link between people seeking medical care and healthcare providers. As such, medical receptionists should have a basic knowledge of medical terminology and understand healthcare procedures.
Medical receptionists are also responsible for coordinating the daily administration of doctors, staff, and visitors at a healthcare facility. They are responsible for handling office issues and monitoring stock and supplies. Whether it’s a hospital, doctor’s office, or laboratory a medical facility needs administrative staff like medical receptionists to ensure its smooth operation and effective treatment of patients.
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National Average Salary
Medical receptionist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Medical Receptionist is:
Medical Receptionist Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great medical receptionist is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
[Your Company Name] seeks a mature, friendly individual with a professional appearance for our front office. You must be a well-organized, dependable team player with good interpersonal skills. Our responsibilities include answering multiple phone lines, scheduling, check-in, and collections. Previous medical experience is required. As an ideal candidate, you have proven experience working with doctors and patients in a healthcare setting, excellent organizational and administrative skills, firm knowledge of medical terminology, and confidence working in a fast-paced environment and reacting to patient emergencies.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Greeting patients in a professional and friendly manner
- Registering patients according to established protocols
- Assisting patients to complete all necessary forms and documentation
- Ensuring patient information is accurate including billing information
- Informing patients of medical office procedures and policies
- Managing patient records
- Answering incoming calls and handling or redirecting inquiries
- Scheduling patient appointments
- Collecting co-pays and payments from patients
- Scheduling hospital admissions, tests, scans, and outside appointments for patients
- Obtaining medical reports as requested by medical professionals
- Completing other clerical duties as assigned
- Maintaining office supplies
- Safeguarding patient privacy and confidentiality
Education and experience
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Completion of a certificate program in the medical field preferred
- 2+ years of experience working as an administrative assistant or in a relevant role
Required skills and qualifications
- Communicate effectively with doctors, staff, and patients
- Prioritize and organize workflow effectively
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Work effectively as part of a team as well as independently
- Excellent communication skills
- Intermediate computer skills
- Knowledge of medical software
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
- Understanding of basic medical terminology
- Able to multitask
- Strong organizational and administrative skills
- Able to work under pressure and handle emergency situations
- Ability to remain calm in a stressful environment
- Knowledge of HIPAA regulations, ICD, and CPT coding
- Ability to work in a changing environment
- Previous experience in a private billing general practice
- CPR certified
The Medical Receptionist is expected to undertake all receptionist and clerical duties at the front desk of our main entrance and is responsible for the first impression we make on all patients and visitors.
- Greet patients and visitors in a courteous and friendly manner
- Assist patients with paperwork
- Verify patient demographics and insurance benefits
- Perform billing and bookkeeping functions including collecting cash payments, posting, and balancing daily sheets of transactions, and bank deposits
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date electronic medical records
- Answer phone calls professionally and screen calls using provided guidelines
- Assist provider or supervisor in emergent situations
- Maintain clean office environment
- This position has no supervisory responsibility
- This job operates in a professional medical office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines
- Mon-Sun, 8am-8pm on a flexible scheduling basis (incl. weekends and holidays)
- May require overtime and travel, depending upon patient volume and clinic needs
- Sedentary, sitting for extended periods of time
Skills and qualifications:
- 1+ years of proven experience as receptionist, customer service representative or relevant position
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to effectively communicate with all levels of the organization
- Outstanding customer service focus
- Flexibility and adaptability to meet organization’s needs as well as effective problem solving skills
- Fast learner with general understanding of medical terminology and ethics of confidentiality/HIPAA
- Computer savvy with working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites, knowledge of EMR (eClinicalWorks) a plus
- High School Diploma or equivalent
Duties and responsibilities:
- Welcome patients to the Health Center; ensure that all pre-exam information is up to date and accurate before appointments; collect co-payments; make sure that referrals are received
- Provide schedule support to providers
- Perform clerical duties as requested
- Provide information to patients/outside callers
- Record and deliver messages
- Answer, screen and route outside calls to the appropriate area or individual
- Conduct scheduling/reminder/re-scheduling phone calls to patients
- Ability to interact with others with tact and diplomacy; treat others with respect and consideration regardless of status or position; contribute to a positive team spirit; balance team and individual responsibilities; display highest degree of professionalism and ethics
- Respond appropriately to patient needs; manage difficult or emotional patient situations in a way that instills trust and respect; solicit feedback to improve performance
- Ability to manage multiple priorities, work well under pressure, complete tasks correctly and on time with limited supervision, step in when needed and cross train for additional site coverage, and respond promptly to requests for service and assistance
- Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one or small group situations, respond well to questions, and complete administrative duties accurately and timely
- Ability to calculate figures and amounts, solve practical problems, interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form
- Punctual and reliable; ability to maintain schedule commitments
Essential skills and qualifications:
- High School or Equivalent
- Spanish speaking/bilingual is a plus
- Function in a busy office setting
- Manage difficult or emotional customer situations
- Respond to requests for service and assistance
- Support organization’s goals and values
Our medical receptionists welcome patients for their appointments, schedule/reschedule appointments, and assist with taking patient vitals as needed. They are responsible for collecting payment at time of service and also assist in maintaining patient demographic records and financial accounts. We are looking for a highly detailed, customer service driven individual to join our growing practice.
- Demonstrate regard for the dignity and respect of all patients, visitors, and staff
- Welcome all visitors in person and answers telephone promptly
- Keep patient appointments on schedule by notifying provider of patient’s arrival as needed
- Comfort patients by anticipating concerns and answering questions and help patients in distress by responding to emergencies
- Obtain revenue by recording and updating financial information at each appointment, record and collect patient balances, and update patient accounts
- Obtain changes in insurance and provide documentation and consistent communication to billing department
- Verify patient insurance benefits
- Responsible for office inventory, ordering supplies, verifying receipt of supplies, scheduling equipment service and repairs, and maintaining a clean and tidy reception area
- Protects patient rights by maintaining confidentiality of personal and financial information
Skills and qualifications:
- Minimum of a High School diploma
- 1-2 years in a medical setting
- Ability to set priorities and work with minimal supervision
- Excellent organization and communication skills
- Excellent telephone communication skills: must speak well, clearly, and pleasantly while projecting care and helpfulness
- Ability to handle stress calmly and be flexible to change
- Excellent computer and keyboarding skills
- Knowledge of medical insurance
- Ability to prioritize workload while being flexible to meet the expectations of daily operations
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). Offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), this certificate program provides candidates with knowledge of medical terminology, office procedures, CPR, first aid, health insurance billing, and more. Eligibility requirements include a high school diploma or GED and 1 year of experience in the medical assistance field.
- Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS). The CEHRS is offered by the NHA and demonstrates competence in the basic concepts and functions associated with the keeping of electronic health records. The exam also covers the rapidly changing technology in today’s healthcare industry and how that technology is used in maintaining electronic health record systems. Topics include maintaining secure and accurate records, patient data, and insurance. The certification requires 1 year of experience working with electronic health records and successfully completing the exam.
- Medical Receptionist Certificate. Many colleges and universities across the country offer certificate programs for medical receptionists. The courses generally require 15 to 30 credit hours to complete and offer candidates the skills needed to successfully provide exceptional service to patients in healthcare facilities and doctor’s offices. Candidates learn how to schedule appointments, screen telephone calls, obtain and enter patient registration information, and more. The course provides candidates with a clear understanding of the billing and collection cycle as well as understanding the principles of medical ethics and HIPAA regulations.
How to Hire a Medical Receptionist
When hiring a medical receptionist, there are several factors to consider:
- Recruiting: Can you source and recruit for this role successfully using your internal resources and tools?
- Complexity: Does a senior professional need to be hired, or could a middle or even junior-level coordinator suffice?
- Duration: Do you have an indefinite need for this project or is it a one-time project?
- Management: Are you capable of directing the work effectively?
- Urgency: Will this role address a pressing need or an ongoing one?
- Headcount: Does this role need to be approved through HR?
Answering these questions will help you determine the most effective approach to bringing on new talent. Situations and needs change frequently, so the answer today may be different than the answer tomorrow. Each scenario can be solved with a wide variety of great options, no matter how unique. For hiring a medical receptionist, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for medical receptionist openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What experience do you have interacting with the public?
- What role does a receptionist play in a customer’s first impression of an organization?
- Are you familiar with scheduling patient appointments?
- Have you maintained patient accounts? If so, what type of software system did you use?
- What computer and technology skills do you have? Which programs and platforms have you worked with?
- How familiar are you with medical terminology?
- How would you describe your organizational skills?
- What relevant training do you have?
- How would you handle a challenging patient?
- Why is patient confidentiality important?
- How would you ensure confidential patient information is kept safe?
- Do you enjoy interacting with people?
- Are you comfortable with debt collection calls?
- How many calls did you take on an average day in your last job?
- How do you organize your tasks for the day?
- How would you handle a patient emergency?
- Are you comfortable multitasking in a fast-paced work environment?
- How do you prioritize calls, clients, deliveries, and other immediate issues?