Resolution 18-06, Support of Certified Medical Assistants, was introduced at last year’s House of Delegates (HOD) by William Pond, MD, of Fort Wayne. In adopting the resolution, the HOD resolved to support efforts to bring uniform, consistent, high quality to medical assistant training, certification and continuing education.
The resolution also made it ISMA policy to urge Indiana physicians and health care organizations to give preference in hiring to medical assistants with the CMA (AAMA) credential. The credential denotes that a medical assistant has been certified by the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks under the direct supervision of a physician. Dr. Pond said he introduced the resolution because certified medical assistants are uniquely able to enhance patient care and to help physicians focus their efforts.
“I’ve witnessed the importance of ensuring that all members of the health care team are well-qualified and current in their knowledge, he said. “Just like physicians, nurses and technicians, medical assistants are valued members of the health care team.”
Dr. Pond also noted that these highly trained team members can help prevent physician burnout. “Well-qualified medical assistants can allow the physician to concentrate on those complex medical tasks which benefit from the doctor’s expertise, without the need to worry about whether the assistant is well-qualified and current,” he said.
Jane Seeling, CMA-A (AAMA), president of the Indiana Society of Medical Assistants, agrees. “There are now many six-week medical assistant education programs,” she said. “The credential awarded does meet minimal CMS requirements, but the students do not receive enough education to provide adequate protection to our patients. A medical assistant with the AAMA CMA certification offers greater support to the physician because they are prepared to immediately step into any facet of patient care.”
The larger scope of required training is what sets certified medical assistants apart from others. “The CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination tests both the clinical and administrative aspects of medical assisting, said Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, CEO and legal counsel for the AAMA. “Because of the breadth and depth of their education, their mastery of medical assisting knowledge evidenced by passing the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination, and their demonstration of maintenance of competence by periodic recertification, CMAs (AAMA) are able to provide high-quality medical assisting services in a new employment setting in a relatively short period of time.”
Read Donald Balasa’s paper here
The AAMA website is www.aama-ntl.org