The actual salary of a medical office manager depends greatly on the type and size of the medical facility that they will be working within. As with most management positions, the more education and experience that you have within the area of health care and management will help to increase the salary base you can expect to receive. A survey that was conducted in 2009 by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Manage reported that specialty medical practices where paying their medical office managers an average of $54,314 when working in the field of gastroenterology, $54,201 in dermatology, $58,899 in cardiology, $47,152 in family practice, $44,910 in obstetrics and $51,466 in the area of pediatrics.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
The primary responsibilities that a medical office manager may have are to supervise all of the staff that works within the office of the medical practice such as the secretary, receptionist and medical biller. They must have the skills and training necessary to help provide the staffing and human resources needed for the office area of the medical facility to operate smoothly to ensure that the customer service needs of the patients are their key focus. The medical office manager will need to be knowledgeable in the areas of billing, coding and collections, appointment scheduling and medical records maintenance so that they can ensure the work is done correctly and assist when their help is needed.
A medical office manager must be efficient, organized and resourceful. This individual must also have the ability to work flexible hours and function in a fast-paced environment with ease. Their interpersonal skills must be very good because of the diverse amount of personalities that they will have to deal with. Strong decision making skills, communication skills and attention to deal are all very important traits that can help a Medical Office Manager be more successful within their position.
The overall job outlook for a person who is going into the medical field is very good. There are no signs of this decreasing within the next ten years. Overall with the need for medical facilities on the climb so is the need for Medical Office Managers to manage these facilities.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
The amount of education and training required to become a Medical Office Manager varies from the type and size of one medical office to another. The Practice Management Personnel of the medical office ultimately makes this call. Most offices prefer that a medical office manager hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a field that is related to the job such as health services administration. Some medical facilities only require that you hold an associate degree in health administration or business management to gain entry into this field. It is also possible for someone who has an extensive working history as a medical billing specialist or medical secretary within a particular medical office, to be promoted to a position of Medical Office Manager.
There are no specific certifications that are necessary to become a Medical Office Manager. However, there are certification programs that are available to the professional who is looking for ways to stand out from other applicants.
The Professional Association of Medical Office Managers (PAHCOM) offers a designation program called the Certified Medical Manager (CMM). Medical Office Managers that have three years of experience in the health care field and at least twelve college credits programs that are related to health care or business management are qualified to take this program. For candidates that have more than three years of related experience in health care, the college credits that are required for this program are reduced by one credit for each additional year of experience over the three years. The CMM examination tests the knowledge that the medical practice manager has gained through their day-to-day experiences such as billing and collections, compliance, time management, patient education and employment and payroll.
The American College of Medial Practice Executives (CMPE) offers a certification program for Medical Office Managers who have at least two years of experience working in a direct management position within a medical practice. The candidate must also have two different letters of recommendation that they have obtained from a current CMPE and a chief medical officer or other person within a leadership position at their medical practice.
There are various associations available to Medical Office Professionals who which to access higher educational opportunities, professional skills development and networking abilities.
The Professional Association of Health Care Office Managers (PAHCOM) helps medical office managers obtain information about the latest developments within their career field. This is a national professional association that has local chapters around the country. Medical office managers are also able to gain the benefits of discounts on important products, services and programs that can assist them with their career.
The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is also a national association that has various local chapters in some states. This professional association helps medical office managers gain access to industry data and survey information that helps the medical office manager make more informed decisions about the management of their medical practice. The MGMA offers a variety of educational opportunities and the ability to network with other medical practice professionals around the country.
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