Medical Office Manager Training
What type of degree is necessary to become a medical office manager?Most medical office professionals earn their degree in business. Some medical practices hire those with an associate’s degree or certificate as a medical office manager (CMM, Certified Medical Manager). However, corporate settings often require a master’s degree for their practices’ administrators, so the level of degree required varies from one practice to the next. Starting by earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and then obtaining some work experience before pursuing a master’s degree may be the best approach.
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What is the benefit to joining a professional organization?There are a number of benefits for individuals who decide to join professional organizations. One of the greatest advantages is the opportunity to network and share ideas with colleagues in the same industry from around the nation. Another benefit is that oftentimes these groups provide continuing education opportunities to help professionals keep current on the happenings in the industry. For healthcare management professionals, these associations can also provide valuable information that can help them more efficiently run their offices. Also, many organizations offer certifications that help make a person more credible and marketable for employment opportunities. Finally, most professional associations provide newsletters with useful information about the industry, as well as discounts on certain products.
What professional associations are there for healthcare office professionals?
- Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) This organization collects data that allows practices to compare how they are doing to other practices throughout the nation. This group also offers certifications; most of which require a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite, as well as continuing education units. MGMA is a larger organization that typically deals with large practices that may have multiple sites and/or complex business structures. Managers from smaller practices are welcome; however, many times the educational opportunities and benchmarking data is geared toward the larger more complex practices.
- Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) This group has “nationalized the work force into one, cohesive communications network” according to the PAHCOM website. Devoted to formalizing this profession, PAHCOM developed the Certified Medical Manager certification. This organization was founded on the ideals of the smaller private practice. Although anyone can be a member, the majority of membership is based in the small to mid-sized private practice medical office setting.
What certifications exist for medical office management professionals?There are a few certifications for healthcare management professionals. Below are the two most sought after credentials.
Certified Medical ManagerThe Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) offers the Certified Medical Manager Certification. This nationally recognized certification helps increase credibility by ensuring employers that the healthcare office management professional is competent and excels in this profession. To earn the title “Certified Medical Manager” one must pass an extensive exam that evaluates his/her knowledge of 18 areas of practice administration. To qualify to sit for the exam an individual must have a minimum of three years of experience in the health care field, 12 credit hours of courses pertinent to healthcare or business management, and be a member of PAHCOM in good standing. The education requirement is reduced by one hour for every year’s worth of experience above the three-year requirement.
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Passing a three-hour written exam is required to obtain the Certified Medical Manager credential. The exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions that cover a variety of areas of practice management.