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Medical Staff Services Careers

 
photo of doctors consulting their chart

The Medical Staff Services program is designed to prepare you to perform the duties of a medical staff or credentials coordinator in health-care settings that include:

  • hospitals
  • managed care organizations
  • large physician groups
  • credentials verification organizations

There is an increasing demand for individuals who are well prepared to enter this profession.

A medical staff credentials coordinator:

  • verifies credentials
  • maintains a database of information for physicians and allied health professionals
  • manages credentialing and privileging
  • assists with meeting accreditation standards
  • assists with regulatory compliance

Confidentiality and legal issues associated with the medical staff organization in health-care organizations and peer review are included in the responsibilities of a medical staff coordinator. They must be familiar with state laws, regulatory guidelines and health-care organization accreditation standards and able to interpret them and establish processes to comply with them.

Average Salaries

According to Salary.com, the median salary for a medical staff credentialing manager in the U.S. is $63,387, with the top 75 percent of workers in the field making more than $80,000.

Most medical staff services and credentials coordinators receive a full benefits package. It is important to note that your salary will be affected by your level and quality of education, work experience and certifications, as well as the size of your employer and geographic region.

Certification

Upon program completion and experience working in the field as required for the specific credential (certified provider credentialing specialist (CPCS) or certified professional medical services management (CPMSM), program graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) certification examination. Credit can be awarded for some modules of the NAMSS independent study program toward the Medical Staff Services program at El Centro College.

A Day in the Life of a Medical Staff Coordinator

Two phone lines are ringing and a physician has just dropped by. “The door on my locker in the surgery lounge sticks,” he says. “Can you have someone fix it?” There is a Surgery Department meeting scheduled for noon. The agenda must be finalized, supporting material compiled and placed with it and copies made for all participants. Notices must be sent for the meetings next week. Other deadlines must be met today: the report from the medical staff to the governing body is due by 2 p.m. Reappointments are coming up — a great deal of information must be compiled for this effort. The emergency room call schedule must be changed and a physician has just asked if you can find someone to take emergency calls for him later in the month.

The chairman of the department meeting scheduled for today has just called. He has an emergency surgery and can’t attend the meeting. Will you call Dr. Jones and ask her to chair the meeting instead? Dr. Jones agrees but wants to go over the agenda and of course be updated on several items. Another physician comes by the office. “Will you please tell the administrator that they are always out of size large scrub suits in surgery by 10 a.m.?” she asks. “Can’t something be done about this?” Another physician comes by to tell a joke he has just heard and wants to share with the staff in the medical staff office.

The mail arrives, and the administrator has forwarded a letter from a physician whose appointment is not recommended, and he has requested a hearing. The steps in organizing this include calling the hospital’s legal counsel to notify him or her of the event and calling the chief of medical staff to appoint a hearing committee of physicians who have not been involved in the matter at any previous level. A hearing date must be set and arrangements made for a court report — involving numerous phone calls. All parties must be notified. The medical staff services department must prepare all documentation supporting the medical staff’s decision in this matter for all participants in the hearing. The chief of staff has just come by to go over agenda items for the quarterly general staff meeting next week.

Another phone call: “What do the bylaws state about required consultation in ICU?” is the question. Another request comes in from a peer review committee chairman: “Can you have the medical record department pull the medical records of the last 25 patients admitted by Dr. Smith?” And another: “My board examination is coming up. Can you get a list of all my admissions for the past 18 months?”

All of the above could realistically represent the activity and planning that must be dealt with in a typical day in a medical staff services department. The substance of the business at hand is varied. All of it is important, but the degree of importance varies a great deal. Some of the matters have legal implications, while others are a matter of public relations with the medical staff.

As a medical staff services coordinator, your mind must jump from one area of thought to another at a moment’s notice. This department is the hub of much activity and a fast-paced work environment. The staff in this department work with a varied group of professionals: physicians, dentists, physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners, as well as professionals in many other hospital departments.

It is an interesting, exciting and challenging career field. Veterans of the profession are passionate about what they do and can’t imagine working in any other field.

— Cindy Gassiot, Medical Staff Services program director and faculty, El Centro College