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what is a medical office manager

The healthcare industry is challenging. Medical practices are costly for physicians in today’s competitive market. Whether your practice needs a medical office manager or you are contemplating a career as one, it is important to understand the demands of the position. The challenge lies in finding the right fit.

What Background Does a Medical Office Manager Need?

While a bachelor’s degree is preferable, experience can trump a degree with an associate’s degree. One must be flexible and able to face many challenges. In addition, the success of the practice is quite often based on the abilities of this position. Finally, a degree in business administration is an advantage. The following qualities are non-negotiable requirements for a medical office manager.

  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Experienced with medical billing and software
  • Experienced with report capabilities
  • Hiring and training skills for office personnel
  • Understanding of registration duties
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Operational functions of an office
  • A strong business acumen
  • Strong problem-solving skills

The medical office manager should have empathy, compassion, and excellent communication skills. In addition, listening skills are vital in the medical field. An ability to handle many functions within complex and confusing situations is essential. Finally, writing a descriptive list of questions can prove interesting in understanding candidates.

Responsibilities of a Medical Office Manager

The responsibilities of a medical office manager are diverse and involve leadership and organizational skills. Flexibility and fast thinking to solve disputes, respond to problems between employees, deal with third-party vendors, and do many other tasks. Strong communication skills are needed to relay important practice information to the physicians.

The medical office manager of a physician practice attends to the following duties.

  • The supervising non-clinical office staff, which includes receptionists, schedulers, medical billers and coders, and administrative assistants
  • Accurate data, billing, and record-keeping
  • Keeping staff levels at adequate levels by interviewing, hiring, and training non-clinical office staff
  • Scheduling non-clinical staff according to business
  • Day-to-day operation maintenance of the facility
  • Maintaining excellent patient satisfaction
  • Development and implementation of practice policies and protocols
  • Overseeing necessary Federal regulations are being followed, such as HIPAA and OSHA
  • Monitoring the practice’s budget
  • Inventory of supplies, ordering, and managing cost controls of supplies
  • Overseeing medical communications between nurses, doctors, and non-clinical staff
  • Management of cleaning and maintenance staff

The Extended Knowledge of Medical Office Managers

Medical office managers must have a strong understanding of medical billing, clearinghouses, and insurance factors. In addition, a strong relationship is needed with the billing team. With the utilization of electronic health records, training in the practice software can be helpful with report capabilities. The practice revenue can be affected if the manager supports this aspect of the practice.

Medical office managers also relay difficulties in billing and coding of charges that providers submit. Providers often like to understand the challenges the insurance companies present to billing and revenue. When one  is familiar with procedures, billing, and codes, it is an additional benefit for the practice. Bridging the gap between registration and billing is another challenge in obtaining correct insurance information for billing.

Where Do Medical Office Managers Work?

Medical office managers work in many facets of healthcare. In the medical practice, depending upon the size of the practice, a medical office manager may rely on assistants if the group is large. In smaller practices, the medical office manager may have more hands-on responsibility in the workflow. It is common for the office manager to jump in and perform tasks beyond the typical duties because of a lack of staffing.

Hospitals employ medical office managers who may oversee a large team of medical office administrators. This pace is much quicker, and the environment can be more demanding. In addition, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and dental practices use a medical office manager to maintain their business. Community clinics employ medical office managers who also take on a hands-on role with the day-to-day tasks.

Rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient surgical centers, insurance companies, imaging centers, and medical labs all utilize the skills of a medical office manager. In all aspects of the position, the office manager must possess excellent patient skills and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. Professional healthcare consultants can help obtain the criteria for the position for providers who need assistance.

Recruiting Medical Office Managers

This process can present many obstacles for the physician in medical practice. For practices that do not have a human resources department, the time element in recruiting a new manager can be daunting. Many professional healthcare consultants can significantly assist in the recruitment and interviewing. The medical office manager must be a good fit for the doctors. They must trust this person to run their practice to the best of their ability.

Find Consulting Help in South Florida

If your practice, hospital, dental office, or other medical facility requires a new medical office manager, Bloom Consulting has the resources to assist you. We are familiar with the qualifications, educational background, and experience needed for a medical office manager in today’s competitive market. In addition, our consultants can meet with your team of doctors to assess the practice’s needs and offer our professional guidance. Contact us today if your Florida-based medical practice requires a manager.