“How can we utilize medical assistants to the top of their education and credentialing in our large health system? We employ over 60 medical assistants across all our campuses and plan to hire more in the next six months.”

“What is the optimal staffing structure for our multispecialty clinic? We employ many medical assistants and are transitioning to a patient-centered medical home model. We want to hire health professionals whose knowledge and skills complement those of our medical assistants.”

“How do the recent changes in state and federal law affect our medical assistants’ scope of practice? We are reading and hearing different things from various ‘experts.’ We would really appreciate definitive answers to our questions.”

The above are typical questions we frequently receive at the American Association of Medical Assistants® (AAMA) Executive Office. To provide accu­rate answers to these sorts of questions and to facilitate the effective deployment of medical assistants and CMAs (AAMA)® in the rapidly changing American health care delivery system, the AAMA Board of Trustees (BOT) has created the Advisory Task Force Advisory Program. The Advisory Program was unveiled at the AAMA Annual Conference in Houston, Texas, in September 2021.

The Origin of the Advisory Program

The BOT, through their contacts with AAMA members and their knowledge of the current health care delivery environment, came to the realization that questions such as the above were being asked frequently throughout the United States. The BOT commissioned the Advisory Task Force, consisting of some members of the BOT and other AAMA leaders, to evaluate the challenges medical assistants were facing in their professional lives. The Advisory Task Force recommended to the BOT that an Advisory Program be established to provide the most up-to-date informa­tion about effective utilization of medical assistants, preferred staffing configura­tions, and the parameters and limitations of medical assisting scope of practice in the shifting legal landscape.

Advisory Program Expertise and Target Audiences

The BOT accepted the Advisory Task Force’s recommendation, appointed the members of the Advisory Task Force, and selected AAMA staff to serve as subject-matter experts for the Advisory Program. Advisory Task Force members have considerable expertise in medical practice staffing issues; manage­ment of small, medium, and large prac­tices and clinics; patient-centered medical home formation and operation; clinical and administrative medical assisting; National Committee for Quality Assurance compli­ance; third-party reimbursement; and federal and state laws and their scope of practice impacts.

The Advisory Program’s target audi­ences will include, but will not be limited to, the following professionals:

  • Licensed providers and other clinical staff
  • Medical managers and administrators in the areas of human resources, risk management, and compliance
  • Managed and accountable care special­ists
  • Coding and reimbursement profes­sionals

Unlocking the Potential of the Medical Assisting Profession

The primary charge of the Advisory Program (as determined by the BOT) is providing concrete and reliable information that will remove barriers to the full utilization of medical assistants. Dispelling misconceptions and imparting trustworthy knowledge will be a key step in unlocking the untapped potential of medical assisting professionals.

It is indeed fitting that the AAMA, the national professional society representing over 80,000 medical assistants and CMAs (AAMA), has developed this much-needed Advisory Program. In initiating this and other strategic programs, the BOT is guid­ing the AAMA in fulfilling its purpose to “enable medical assisting professionals to enhance and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professionalism required by employers and patients; protect medical assistants’ right to practice; and promote effective, efficient health care delivery through optimal use of multiskilled CMAs (AAMA).”1

Additional information about the Advisory Program will be available on the AAMA website. Questions and requests for further information may be directed to AAMA Public Relations and Marketing Manager Francesca Llanos, liaison to the Advisory Task Force, via AdvisoryTaskForce@aama-ntl.org.