Medical Assisting Misinformation Detected in Georgia

Greetings, everyone! Thank you for stopping in.

Inaccurate information about the profession and the CMA (AAMA) credential gets published more often than you probably think. Seeking out and correcting these mistakes helps ensure that employers and the public don’t form the wrong opinions about medical assistants and CMAs (AAMA). Here’s a recent example of this happening in Georgia:

Nikal Redwine, CMA (AAMA), and other leaders of the Georgia State Society of Medical Assistants contacted me and asked for assistance in regard to erroneous information about the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination in Licensed and Certified Occupations in Georgia, published by the Georgia Department of Labor.  I sent an October 15, 2010, letter to the Commissioner of the Department of Labor.  The following is an excerpt from the letter:

The GSSMA and the AAMA would urge you to include specific information on page 204 under “Certifying Agency,” “Fees,” and “Examination” about the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants and the Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) [CMA (AAMA)] credential.  In other words, under “Certifying Agency,” the Certifying Board of the AAMA and its contact information should be listed in addition to the American Medical Technologists.  Under “Fees,” the fees for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination should be listed in addition to the $90 fee of the American Medical Technologists.  Finally, under “Examination,” the information regarding the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination should also be listed on the lines “Repeats,” “Type,” “When,” and “Where.”

Thanks to the vigilance of the Georgia state leaders, we were able to detect this inaccurate information and work to correct it. Be sure to keep an eye out for medical assisting misinformation in your state!

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
This entry was posted in Scope of Practice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Medical Assisting Misinformation Detected in Georgia

  1. CL says:

    Where can I find information about the scope of practice for CMA’s in the state of Minnesota. I am wondering whether giving injections (IM or Subq) are within the scope of a CMA in an urgent care environment.

    • Thank you for your question.

      It is my legal opinion that Minnesota law does permit physicians to delegate intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections to competent and knowledgeable medical assistants working under their direct supervision in outpatient settings.

      I will send you via e-mail my legal opinion letter for MN and some other documents.

      I hope you will find this helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  2. Marlene McIntyre says:

    I am trying to put my hands on a document that details the scope of practice allowed for medical assistants in the physician office setting (multi-specialty, and urgent care) for the state of Georgia. A search of the Composite Board of Medical Examiners for the state seems to be unclear. I appreciate any assistance you can provide! Thanks!

    • Thank you for your question. I will send the information about the Georgia medical assisting law to your e-mail address.

      Please let us know whether we can help in any other way.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  3. Tracy says:

    I am trying to find information that details the scope of practice allowed for medical assistants in the physician office setting (multi-specialty, AKA Wound care and so on) for the state of New York. I am only getting mixed information.
    Thank You

    • Thank you for your information. I will send the documents about New York medical assisting law to your e-mail address.

      The New York State Board of Medical Examiners has taken the position for many years that physicians are not permitted to delegate any administration of medication (including) injections to medical assistants. The New York State Society of Medical Assistants and the AAMA have been working for several years to get this changed, and have been making progress during the last 18 months.

      I hope this is helpful. I will send you those documents.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  4. Amanda says:

    Hello there,
    I was wondering what the “scope of practice” for medical assistants in the state of Georgia? Where can I obtain this information?

    • Thank you for your question. Please see my below article. I hope this is helpful!

      Georgia Legislation Secures Right to Practice
      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      On May 12, 2009, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law amendments to the Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia that clarify and protect the authority of physicians to delegate to medical assistants. This is a significant victory for the Georgia State Society of Medical Assistants and for the medical assisting profession because of increasing ambiguities in recent years over the right to practice in Georgia.

      The following section was inserted into the Medical Practice Act:

      43-34-44.
      Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit the performance by medical assistants of medical tasks, including subcutaneous and intramuscular injections; obtaining vital signs; administering nebulizer treatments; or other tasks approved by the board pursuant to rule, if under the supervision by a physician in his or her office; provided, however, that this shall not require on-site supervision at all times, or the performance by medical assistants of medical tasks ordered by a physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse delegated the authority to issue such an order in accordance with law and pursuant to rules of the board.

      In addition to the specific reference to subcutaneous and intramuscular injections, vital signs, and nebulizer treatments, the new statutory language authorizes the Georgia Composite Medical Board to authorize by rule other tasks that can be delegated “under supervision by a physician in his or her office.”

      Other language of the Medical Practice Act protecting the right to practice was left in the law. Note the following:

      43-34-22.

      (b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit:

      (8) The utilization of a physician assistant to perform tasks approved by the board, and the performance of such tasks by the physician assistant; the delegation by a physician to a qualified person other than a physician assistant of any acts, duties, or functions which are otherwise permitted by law or established by custom; and the performance of such acts, duties, or functions by such a person other than a physician assistant; [Emphasis added.)

      43-34-23.

      (f) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit or repeal any existing authority of a licensed physician to delegate to a qualified person any acts, duties, or functions which are otherwise permitted by law or established by custom.
      The following statement by LaSharn Hughes, executive director of the Georgia Composite Medical Board, is noteworthy: “The bill also gives Georgia health care consumers greater voice on the Board, and clarifies longstanding issues regarding the use of medical assistants and sleep techs.”

      In addition to safeguarding the medical assistant’s right to practice in Georgia, this legislation provides a positive precedent for other states. Any time the phrase “medical assistant” is incorporated specifically into a state statute or regulation, legal recognition of the profession is enhanced, and the likelihood of specific mention in the laws of other states is increased.

      Questions may be directed to Executive Director Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, at dbalasa@aama-ntl.org.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  5. Jenny says:

    Hello There!

    The state of Wyoming does not recognize CMA and I am having a hard time at work trying to defend my profession and can not seem to find anything to help me. I was hired as an RMA because my provider requested one, he has only worked with CMA; they are recognized in Colorado, but not here. Can you help me?

  6. Gena says:

    Hello,

    I would like to know, what is the difference between certifications of the AAMA and NHA? Are Medical Assistant Program teaching all the same?

    • Thank you for your question. My article will be published in the September/October issues of CMA Today. I can’t release it to the public now, but you should be receiving this issue in the mail in early September.

      The Certifying Board of the AAMA and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) are testing bodies that award credentials to those candidates who pass their respective examinations. Of course, the Certifying Board of the AAMA awards the CMA (AAMA) credential. The NHA offers the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential, among other credentials.

      The NHA does not evaluate or accredit medical assisting academic programs. The Certifying Board of the AAMA does not accredited medical assisting academic programs.

      I hope this is helpful as an initial response. Please let me know how I can clarify or amplify my response.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  7. Boni Bruntz says:

    Don

    I was just reading the comments on your blog page and see that someone from Wyoming has written to you. When ou speak with her, would you ask her if Colorado Society could have her contact information and we will be sure to include her in our mailing. Also, Colorado Society has a website page since our SWR Regional and the address is http://www.csma.colorado.org. She can also contact us through our Facebook page.

    Boni Bruntz CMA-A(AAMA)

  8. Brittany sexton says:

    I want to know what’s the difference between Florida and Georgia medical assistants

    • Thank you for your question. The Georgia and Florida medical assisting laws are fairly general. I will send them to your e-mail address.

      Neither Florida nor Georgia law requires medical assistants to be CMAs (AAMA). However, increasing numbers of employers in those states are preferring (or even insisting) that the medical assistants be CMAs (AAMA).

      I hope this is helpful. I will send you those laws now.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  9. Samantha wells, CMA (AAMA) says:

    I work for a large health system is Ga (Wellstar health systems) who have “decided” that CMAs (credentialed or not) WILL NOT be able to enter orders or refill medications in the new EPIC electronic medical records even with a protocol in place within the office… I showed them the article in the jul/August 2013 edition of CMA today concerning The CMS rulings… However they are stating now that the state of Georgia has MADE them put these REGULATIONS into place… Can you help me find a “LAW” in the state of Ga about this ruling????…. Providers and CMAs alike are getting very disheartened.. Providers because the are having to do things they never had to in the past and CMAs because we feel we are being… “Dumbed down” … I am a CMA AAMA… Who is able to TEACH Phlebotomy at a local technical college… But will not be able to enter those lab orders into the EMR or any other imaging testing or referral or medication refill into the EMR which I have been allowed to do for 12 years by “The state of Georgia”… Please help me research and locate information that can help me fight this “ruling”… Especially now with Affordable Healthcare taking effect next week… The primary care and private practices will be overwhelmed by EVERYONE who will be accessing healthcare insurance who in the past were being seen in the ERs … This will not only be happening statewide but Nationwide as well!!!
    Thanks,
    Samantha Wells, CMA(AAMA)

    • Thank you for your question. I am confident that there is no such law in GA. I am in Atlanta right now for the AAMA Annual Conference. Could you ask if they have any written documentation of this law. I will be back in my office in Chicago Monday.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Claudette says:

        Those prohibitions are set forth by Georgia Medicare meaningful use. It is not a directive for health care assistants. Meaningful use requires no lab, medication or radiology orders to be entered by assistants unless credentialed for physicians to receive meaningful use incentives (payments).

  10. Samantha wells, CMA (AAMA) says:

    I work for a large health system is Ga..who have “decided” that CMAs (credentialed or not) WILL NOT be able to enter orders or refill medications in the new EPIC electronic medical records even with a protocol in place within the office… I showed them the article in the jul/August 2013 edition of CMA today concerning The CMS rulings… However they are stating now that the state of Georgia has MADE them put these REGULATIONS into place… Can you help me find a “LAW” in the state of Ga about this ruling????…. Providers and CMAs alike are getting very disheartened.. Providers because the are having to do things they never had to in the past and CMAs because we feel we are being… “Dumbed down” … I am a CMA AAMA… Who is able to TEACH Phlebotomy at a local technical college… But will not be able to enter those lab orders into the EMR or any other imaging testing or referral or medication refill into the EMR which I have been allowed to do for 12 years by “The state of Georgia”… Please help me research and locate information that can help me fight this “ruling”… Especially now with Affordable Healthcare taking effect next week… The primary care and private practices will be overwhelmed by EVERYONE who will be accessing healthcare insurance who in the past were being seen in the ERs … This will not only be happening statewide but Nationwide as well!!!
    Thanks,
    Samantha Wells, CMA(AAMA)

  11. Dawn Marello says:

    I am trying to put my hands on a document that details the scope of practice allowed for medical assistants in the physician office / spa setting (weight loss and aesthetics) for the state of Georgia. A search of the Composite Board of Medical Examiners for the state seems to be unclear. I appreciate any assistance you can provide! Thanks!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I have a question. Hopefully you can help me. I an currently living in Kansas and I work as a registered medical assistant. My credentials are through AMT. Would I be able to transfer my license to the state of Georgia? If not, what do you think is best for me to do?

    • Thank you for your question. The RMA(AMT) is a national credential, not a state license or credential. Neither Kansas nor Georgia require a medical assistant to have a credential in order to work. Therefore, you do not have to transfer your RMA(AMT) to Georgia, and you are able to work in GA as a medical assistant and use your RMA(AMT) as a national credential.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

  13. Jessica Wold says:

    I was wondering why it’s so hard to find any medical assistant jobs in the state of Wyoming?

    • Thank you for your question. I believe one of the reasons is that there have not been many CAAHEP or ABHES accredited medical assisting programs through the years, and therefore employers are not as aware of the value of medical assistants—especially CMAs (AAMA).

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s