Medical Office Manager Job Description
When stepping foot into a medical practice, whether it is that of a general practitioner or specialty physician, oftentimes patients assume that everything will run smoothly. Most people do not give a second thought to the mechanics behind the business side of running a medical office that ensure friendly staff are hired, the correct paperwork is in place for each patient, new office equipment and furniture is ordered when needed, the office has paid it’s bills on time, and patients are billed with the correct insurance code for their visit. Since doctors are busy seeing patients, they typically hire a medical office manager who may be responsible for running the day-to-day business operations of the office.
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Three levels for health care office management professionals. The main difference between the three is the reporting structure and which types of employees report to this position. The main differences are outlined below.
Medical Office Manager: This position is responsible for managing the office, the office staff, day-to-day operations, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.
Practice Manager: This is the next level and is more global then the medical office manager. These professionals manage the whole practice and staff except the providers. They handle budgeting, day-to-day operations, but are more involved in strategic planning and marketing for the practice.
Practice Administrator: This role is complex, oftentimes taking on similar duties as a CEO and CFO in other industries. Typically for practice administrators all employees, including the mid-level employees such as nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physician assistants, report to them. In some cases even the physicians report to the practice administrator for administrative, not clinical, purposes. The practice administrator is responsible for the employees’ compensations, determines the number of patients they should see, and how much revenue they should generate. Sometimes practice administrators have supervisors who report under them to manage line employees. It is also common for practice administrators to have an assistant who is responsible for tasks like accounts payable, time cards, and data entry.
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Does every practice have a medical office manager position?
Some very small practices do not have a person employed in this position or choose to hire a health care management consultant externally to help run the business side of things. However in these cases it means the physician who owns the practice has to not only see his/her patients but also is responsible for running the business side of things. In most cases physicians, even when they own their own practices, want to work mainly in the clinical setting seeing patients and not havening to worry about the day-to-day operations of the business. This is why the medical office manager position is so crucial.