This article was originally published in Medical Economics and is written by Julie Miller.

Many practices are adopting an all-hands-on- deck approach to deliver the suite of services required to achieve comprehensive patient care. Experts say medical assistants (MAs) can be cost-eff ective contributors to these emerging care models.

Emerging Roles for MAs

MAs are equipped to manage some of the new practice responsibilities that have emerged under value-based care initiatives. Patient-centered medical homes are especially well suited to make use of MAs, who can carry out a number of health management strategies, he says.  Emerging roles for MAs include:

  • Prevention outreach specialist or panel manager—identifies patients with care gaps and communicates with them to encourage adherence to recommended care;
  • Patient navigator or patient advocate—acts as a liaison between the patient and the healthcare system in an eff ort to reduce barriers to care;
  • Clinician—qualified to deliver certain services under Medicare’s Chronic Care Management and Transitional Care Management programs.

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