So you need someone who can organize the office. Take care of payroll, perhaps. Manage and organize benefits and claims processing. Oh, and take care of contracts, develop marketing, possess a good grasp of medicine…
These do-it-alls may sound downright mythical. But they have a firm basis in reality. Medical office managers can ensure your practice thrives. In fact, a good medical office manager can improve the practice’s efficiency, and enhance productivity.
The field is booming, and it rewards its practitioners with good salaries and career satisfaction. But from practice to practice, and between different clinics, no two managers do exactly the same job. Depending on your practice’s needs, the responsibilities assigned to your office manager can require different qualifications.
This article will take a look at common office manager duties, qualifications of an effective manager, and tips for finding your office salvation.
Medical office managers plan and oversee the delivery of healthcare within their organization. Depending on the size of the practice, hospital, care center, or home health care center, the manager has different duties that are covered under this description. In addition, as the world of health care evolves, medical office managers must be ready to take on new technology, laws and care models.
More than anything, medical office managers represent the office, and the physicians within it. Managers need to maintain the demands of office staff, physicians, patients, outside vendors, the media, and more.
Before seeking a medical office manager, your practice should determine together which responsibilities you want to assign. Managers can oversee:
- Finances. This includes office cash flow, inventory, equipment, and short-term investments. In addition, managing office finances can include organizing and implementing payroll and budgets.
- Managed Care. Manager may be assigned coding and claims processing as a job duty.
- Practice Administration. This particular area is entirely dependant on individual practice’s needs and existing staff.
- Medical office managers can be tasked with data management and paperwork. This can also include reception – checking patients in, preparing files, etc.
- They may also take on the entire job or various aspects of human resources. This means developing employee manuals, implementing benefits, recruiting/hiring employees, maintaining files, and even counseling/dismissing current employees.
- Finally, practice administration can also include risk management. Medical office managers can be responsible for ensuring the practice meets current medical laws, regulations and ethics. They can also manage pertinent records and monitor malpractice issues.
- Marketing. Your office manager can also be your source for publicity, and for growing the business. Managers often develop patient education materials, maintain community referral information, and create or oversee other marketing/advertising pieces.
Be sure that in assigning these tasks to an office manager, you clearly impart authority as well. According to Linda Strong, a former medical office manager, an administrator with 30 years experience, and leader of the Delphi Medical Forum and Managed Care, a good medical office manager knows their limitations. But physicians and other administrators should ensure that the manager feels secure enough to take care of problems without asking permission at inopportune times.