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

Ethics, OSHA, and Patient Safety
Q&A: COVID-19: Workplace Safety, OSHA Training Updates, and Return to Work Issues

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer and Legal Counsel of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) leads this timely and informative webinar. The medical assisting profession has risen to the occasion as the United States and the world 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. Medical assistants 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 (e.g., pharmacists).

The purpose of this webinar is to identity the laws that establish the scope of practice for medical assistants, and to delineate the expanded tasks that medical assistants may be delegated under these laws. The legal principles placing limitations on the scope of work for medical assistants will be explained, and the expanded functions that are not delegable to medical assistants will be set forth.

This webinar will cover the following objectives:

1. The attendee will be able to differentiate between the authority of state law over the scope of practice for
medical assistants (and all other health professions), and the authority of federal law over scope of practice

2. The attendee will be able to identify the general category of state laws that permits medical assistants to work in health care delivery settings other than ambulatory care

3. The attendee will be able to articulate the key legal principle governing tasks that are and are not delegable to medical assistants, and apply this principle in making determinations about delegable and non-delegable tasks and functions

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