Expanded Roles and Duties for Medical Assistants during the COVID-19 Era

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Catherine Short speaks with Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, CEO and Legal Counsel of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), on the topic of “Expanded Roles and Duties for Medical Assistants during the COVID-19 Era.” The medical assisting profession has risen to the occasion as we have been dealing with the most serious health crisis in the last 100 years.  Medical assistants have been asked by public health officials, managers of health systems, and licensed providers to assume expanded roles and perform tasks beyond their normal scope of work.  Because of the breadth of their education and training, medical assistants have been able to adapt quickly to these new responsibilities.  They have been called upon to work in nontraditional settings under the authority and supervision of a dedicated array of clinicians and administrators with whom they had not previously practiced. During this episode, we will discuss the laws that establish the scope of practice for medical assistants, and to delineate the expanded tasks that may be delegated under these laws.  The legal principles placing limitations on the scope of work will be explained, and the expanded functions that are not delegable to medical assistants will be set forth.

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