Learn About Being a Medical Office Manager
What does a medical office manager do?
A medical office manager is a healthcare professional who plans, directs and coordinates supportive services for a medical practice or clinic. These professionals are responsible for managing the daily operations of the practice while maintaining a professional workplace. This often requires them to supervise other office personnel while managing different administrative tasks such as scheduling patient appointments and updating patient records. Some of a medical office manager’s additional responsibilities may include:
Scheduling and coordinating patient appointments to optimize patient satisfaction and facility efficiency
Recording and updating personal and financial information for patient records
Verifying patient insurance with the insurance company and helping with billing activities
Supervising office personnel and training new employees on office systems, procedures and job tasks
Participating in and managing additional administrative activities such as recordkeeping, mail distribution and general office upkeep
Maintaining confidentiality of personal and financial data in accordance with local, state and federal governmental regulations
The average salary for medical office managers is often determined by the candidate’s level of education, experience, skills and specialties as well as the position’s specific job responsibilities. Geographic location may also have an impact on earning potential.
- Common salary in the U.S.: $48,027 per year
- Salaries range from $17,000 to $94,000 per year.
Medical office manager requirements
Getting a job as a medical office manager involves certain requirements, which will depend on the type of position you are applying for. However, here are some basic requirements that are standard across the profession:
Though some individuals may be promoted to medical office managers after working in office support roles for a few years, you may be able to obtain this position sooner with advanced education. An associate degree is typically required to become a medical office manager, with some employers requiring or preferring a bachelor’s degree. These professionals typically have degrees in business administration or a related field.
For most medical office managers, training takes place on the job. Most individuals need some previous experience in a medical office or similar setting to become a candidate for this position. Training includes learning basic administrative tasks like updating medical records, making copies, sending faxes and filing as well as bookkeeping, answering phones, greeting patients and making sure that all visitors have a positive experience. This position also requires training specific to the position, including verifying insurance and booking patient appointments.
To improve your chances of getting a medical office manager position, you should undergo training by gaining administrative experience, preferably in a medical office setting. Learning the basics of administrative work helps prepare you for advanced tasks while working for a healthcare provider helps you get acclimated to the industry. Learning medical terminology and becoming familiar with different types of practices will improve your chances of being promoted to a medical office manager position.
Though certifications are not required to become a medical office manager, earning one can help you improve your chances of finding a job and develop specific skills that are relevant to the position. Certifications of this type are typically available online through professional organizations or at community colleges. For example, the Practice Management Institute offers the Certified Medical Office Manager certification that involves training online or in the classroom and requires individuals to pass a four-hour proctored exam.
Medical office managers require a variety of hard and soft skills to succeed in this role. Some of these skills are learned on the job, while others can be developed outside of the field. Here are some of the most relevant and important skills:
As a medical office manager, you’ll spend much of your day working directly with patients and staff, which will require you to be an effective communicator. You should be able to clearly communicate both verbally and in written formats like email. This may sometimes require you to adapt your communication style to better interact with different types of individuals.
Attention to detail
You should feel comfortable paying close attention to the details to keep the office organized while avoiding errors. You will need to not only double-check your own work carefully but also check the work of other office personnel to ensure consistency and accuracy.
You will be managing other office personnel while coordinating administrative duties. For this reason, strong leadership skills will help you effectively motivate employees, deal with issues when they arise and ensure that the office runs smoothly.
You’ll be responsible for streamlining the medical office’s processes and systems to improve efficiency and accuracy. This includes reviewing the office’s current procedures and identifying areas for improvement while recommending the best way to enhance the office’s operations. Doing this successfully will require strong analytical skills.
Medical office manager work environment
Most medical office managers work full-time in a medical office or other healthcare practice. Some may have to work more than 40 hours a week during busy times of the year or address issues outside of business operation hours. While most of their time is spent in the office, these professionals may be required to travel outside of the office to make deliveries or run other errands.
How to become a medical office manager
Professionals can take different paths to become medical office managers. Here are the most common steps that you can take to pursue this career path:
1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED
The first step toward becoming a medical office manager is obtaining a high school diploma or GED. When finishing your coursework, focus on elective courses in business and communications. This is also a great opportunity to participate in clubs and community organizations that help you build leadership, communication and analytical skills.
2. Earn an associate or bachelor’s degree
After earning your high school diploma, work on obtaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Management, Accounting or a related field. Join clubs or other organizations that allow you to learn more about the business field while exercising your communication and leadership skills.
3. Get administrative experience
Candidates for medical office manager positions need to have administrative experience. Gaining an entry-level office position at a medical practice will allow you to experience what it’s like to work in an office environment while learning administrative skills such as updating patient files, booking appointments and managing schedules.
4. Prepare your resume
Before you start applying for medical office manager positions, you’ll need to prepare your resume. Make sure it is up-to-date with your latest relevant work experience. Provide detailed descriptions of your responsibilities and achievements, highlighting the experience that is most relevant to the position using language that aligns with the job expectations.
5. Apply for positions
Once you have prepared a detailed resume that highlights your skillset, it is time to apply to medical office manager positions. Look for positions that fit your skills and experience level. Before applying for the position, take some time to look at the organization’s website to see if the company’s culture fits your own and if they provide the benefits that you are looking for.
Medical office manager job description example
Our multi-office medical practice is looking for a medical office manager to run our busy pediatrics office downtown. The office manager is responsible for keeping the office organized, coordinating office operations and streamlining our processes and systems to ensure efficiency. The medical office manager also supervises office staff, addresses patient concerns and complaints, assists the operations manager as necessary and, above all else, makes sure that each patient has a positive and pleasant experience while in the office.
The ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience in a medical office setting, with three to five years of supervisory experience preferred. The candidate must have at least an Associate Degree in Business or a related field. A bachelor’s degree is preferred. We are looking for someone who has excellent customer service skills and the ability to clearly and effectively communicate with both patients and staff.
There are a variety of careers related to medical office managers that require similar skills, education and experience: