Medical receptionists are responsible for answering phones, greeting patients and visitors, scheduling appointments, handling billing and processing insurance. They must also maintain patient confidentiality and keep the patient areas neat and organized.
In 2014, the median pay for medical receptionists was $33,530, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They often work in physicians' and dentists' offices, in hospitals, and with various health professionals. The states that employ the most medical receptionists are Texas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Medical receptionists also perform administrative duties, such as sending faxes and handling incoming and outgoing mail. Medical receptionists must be sure to follow the Health Information Portability and Accessibility Act to protect patients' private health information. Receptionists stay in compliance with HIPAA standards by refraining from discussing patient information in public areas, such as waiting areas and hallways. They also do so by keeping patient health documents confidential.
The minimum educational requirement for medical receptionists is a high school diploma or GED; however, they may be more marketable with some college credit. Certificate or associate degree programs in medical receptionist or medical administrative assistant training are available to those interested in postsecondary coursework. These courses help familiarize students with medical terminology and office procedures.