Career Definition for Medical Office Managers
As the director of operations in a medical practice or healthcare facility, medical office managers - often called medical practice administrators or managers - have responsibilities such as hiring, managing non-clinical personnel, overseeing budgets, and supervising all business practices from records administration to billing procedures to treatment scheduling. Medical office managers in large organizations may even direct a team of assistant managers responsible for various clinical subsections.
|Education||Bachelor's degree for office managers, master's degree for generalists|
|Job Skills||Conflict management, leadership, problem solving, communication skills, financial management|
|Median Salary||$98,350 (2017) for medical and health services managers|
|Career Outlook||20% growth (2016-2026) for medical and health services managers|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Though educational requirements vary by employer, most medical office managers have a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration or comparable degree, and those looking to apply for generalist positions should pursue a master's degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Accredited curricula includes courses in health policy, information systems management, human resources, financial analysis, and healthcare organization structure. For the greatest career potential, graduates should then apply for and pass a written examination to become Certified Medical Managers (CMMs) through the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM).
Medical office managers must be very organized and have excellent leadership skills; they must also stay informed on current healthcare operations and technologies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical office managers should be skilled in finance and information systems and able to communicate and motivate others effectively. Excellence in conflict management and problem-solving are crucial to handle various aspects of a medical office manager job, from office staff to appointment scheduling to budget maintenance.
The BLS forecasts that medical office management jobs will grow at a pace of 20% in the decade from 2016-2026, with especially positive prospects for skilled business managers who have substantial healthcare experience. In 2017, medical and health services managers, including medical office managers, had a median salary of $98,350, according to BLS figures.
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If a job performing administrative duties in a healthcare facility or clinic is desired but management responsibilities are not, becoming a medical secretary could be a good career option. Medical secretaries schedule appointments and hospital procedures, document medical histories in patient records, file insurance claims and manage billing activities, in addition to other tasks such as answering phones, assisting with patient check-in and organizing files.
To qualify for employment as a medical secretary, a high school diploma is necessary, and some employers prefer to hire those with computer skills and knowledge of medical terminology and procedures. The BLS has projected 22% employment growth for medical secretaries between 2016 and 2026, with over 129,000 new jobs created during that time. As reported in May of 2017, medical secretaries received median yearly compensation of $34,610.
Administrative Services Manager
Similar to the function of a medical office manager, an administrative services manager has supervisory, budgetary and facility management activities, but in a non-medical environment. Administrative services managers also determine business department goals, acquire necessary supplies and make sure data is organized in a proper manner.
Depending on the size and complexity of the organization or company, educational requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree in facility management, business or engineering. Obtaining professional certification from an organization such as the International Facility Management Association may also be beneficial when seeking employment. According to data provided by the BLS, administrative services managers should experience faster than average job growth of 10% from 2016-2026. The median annual salary of these managers is $94,020, as estimated by the BLS in 2017.