How to Become a Medical Office Manager: What You Need to Know
As a Medical Office Manager, you would be an important member of a healthcare team. Just as doctors and nurses are responsible for the care of their patients, you would be responsible for the care of a physician’s office or clinic department. If you’d like to enter this personally and financially rewarding career, you’ll need to understand what it’s all about and then get the education and skills to excel at your job.
What Are the Duties of a Medical Office Manager?
Physicians can’t diagnose and treat patients and manage the office. That’s where your job as a Medical Office Manager would be crucial. You might work in a clinic, hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or private practice. You could be in charge of just one or two people, or an entire staff. Regardless of the setting or the team, there are some responsibilities that would be a priority:
- Hire, train, schedule, and oversee staff
- Teach procedures, mentor staff, and work collaboratively with administrative and clinical teams
- Oversee financial processes such as billing and accounting
- Choose vendors, negotiate, and manage contracts
- Ensure the office complies with local, state, and federal laws and regulations
- Maintain business office inventory and equipment
- Greet patients and visitors and communicate by telephone and email
- Manage new patient inquiries and assist with new account set up
- Maintain patient records by obtaining, recording, and updating personal and financial information
- Verify insurance coverage and referrals
- Assist with staff, patient, physician, and specialist scheduling
- Optimize patient satisfaction, provider time, and treatment room use
- Ensure a clean and safe office environment
- Support office efficiencies to provide effective, quality care to patients
What Skills Does a Medical Office Manager Need?
Since you’ll manage a team of health care professionals, leadership skills are a must. But so are being able to motivate your staff and gauge their work performance. Here are some other skills that will help you perform your job well so your team can focus on providing excellent patient care:
- Organizational Skills: You’ll need to manage your time effectively, plan strategically, and juggle multiple duties at the same time. From staffing to patient scheduling, good organizational skills can be the difference between a well-run office and one that frustrates patients and personnel, alike.
- Communication Skills: Good communication is crucial in healthcare. You may need to translate medical terminology into a language that patients can easily understand. Or explain assignments to staff. Or serve as the liaison between your staff and other members of the healthcare team. All of these tasks require you to listen well and speak (or write) clearly.
- Financial Skills: You don’t need to be an accounting major, but you will need a solid grasp of financials so you can budget effectively. You may need to negotiate contracts with vendors or find the best prices for supplies. How do you save money and resources without compromising care? That pairing is critical in the healthcare industry.
- Technology Skills: You should also be technologically proficient. In addition to understanding the basics of programs like Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel, you’ll need to know how to access and update Electronic Health Records. You may also need to learn how to use specialized software used for medical coding and records management.
How Do I Learn These Medical Office Manager Skills?
Hone and augment your skills with education and experience. Choose a degree program that focuses on management in a healthcare setting. At National American University, we offer a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management that will teach you the concepts and principles of leadership and supervision, ethics and law, financial management, and strategic planning. Do you already have some experience or a certificate in a healthcare field? You may be able to transfer those credits to your degree program so you can start ahead.
No matter which degree you choose, NAU will reward your commitment as an undergraduate student by lowering your tuition as you progress through your eligible program. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or fill out the form to request more information.