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What is a Medical Office Manager?

A medical office manager oversees office operations in a medical facility. Medical office manager jobs involve working with administrative assistants, medical coders and billers, and receptionists. A medical office manager sets the overall direction of the office and its business practices.

Although these jobs don’t entail a lot of patient interaction, they do require interpersonal skills. At times, office managers may help to resolve conflicts between patients and other staff members. Medical office managers might also explain business and billing practices to patients, helping to clear up any confusion.

In some cases, medical office manager jobs involve budgeting and advocating for the office with the facility’s stakeholders. Most of these jobs require familiarity with medical terminology, insurance billing practices and requirements, and healthcare industry regulations related to patient records. Medical office manager jobs are supervisory and require leadership training.

What Do People in Medical Office Manager Jobs Do?

The exact scope of a medical office manager’s tasks will vary between employers. However, medical office manager jobs typically involve managing schedules for other office staff. Office managers also interview, hire, train, and discipline office employees.

Medical office managers are charged with ensuring patient and facility records are accurate, organized, and maintained. They have to make sure patient and facility data is kept secure and information is exchanged and released according to HIPAA regulations.

Office managers interact with the medical facility’s vendors and suppliers, often helping to manage contract fulfillment. They also help create customer service procedures and standards and budgets. Medical office manager jobs tend to be behind-the-scenes or back-office positions.

Medical office managers can be directly involved in ordering office supplies and keeping track of inventory. They are directly involved in the daily operations of the office and facility, sometimes coordinating staff conversations and interactions.

Where Do People in Medical Office Manager Jobs Work?

Medical office managers work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, medical clinics and outpatient facilities, and a variety of healthcare centers. The BLS does not have a separate occupational category for medical office manager jobs. While there is a category for medical administrative assistants and secretaries, office managers have higher-level responsibilities.

For instance, administrative assistants don’t supervise or manage other office staff. But by looking at where the highest percentage of medical administrative assistants and secretaries work, you can get a better idea of the top employers of medical office managers.

Doctor’s and dentist’s offices tend to employ more administrative staff than outpatient care centers and other medical facilities. However, medical office manager jobs also exist in insurance companies, medical labs, and facilities that specialize in imaging or surgery.

What Degree is Required to Become a Medical Office Manager?

Medical office manager jobs do not have a specific degree requirement. What this means is that one employer might ask for an associate’s degree while another prefers a bachelor’s. To have access to the widest range of opportunities, you can get a bachelor’s in healthcare administration or management.

If you have a bachelor’s in business administration, you may be able to qualify for medical office manager jobs if you have industry knowledge or experience. Some medical office managers enter a position with an associate’s and go on to complete a bachelor’s. Others earn their bachelor’s before looking for a job.

In a few cases, a medical office manager may have a master’s in business administration or healthcare management. While an advanced degree can make you stand out to some employers or in a competitive job market, you probably won’t get an immediate ROI. A bachelor’s degree is the happy medium for the majority of job seekers.

How Much Money Does a Medical Office Manager Earn?

Average salary is a bit more difficult to pinpoint since the BLS groups medical office manager jobs into a general category of first-line supervisors and office support workers. But based on this category, you can expect to earn an average of $56,620 a year.

Medical office managers who work in doctor’s offices and hospitals can expect to earn more on average. However, earnings will depend on how much employers are paying in your specific labor market. Some compensate for additional experience and education off the bat, while most reward tenure with annual increases.

While there are some medical facilities that payout bonuses and incentives, this cannot be guaranteed. You might be compensated for your level of education, but this is also something that cannot be guaranteed. Major employers and hospitals pay average salaries of around $66,000 a year for medical office manager jobs.

Medical Office Manager Job Requirements

Becoming a medical office manager starts with getting your degree and leadership experience. On average, it takes four years to complete a bachelor’s in business or healthcare administration. You can choose to pursue your degree before you enter your career or while you’re working in a related position.

For instance, consider taking a medical secretary or receptionist position in a healthcare facility. You’ll gain industry experience and familiarity with how a medical office works. Once you complete your bachelor’s, you’ll be primed for promotion to medical office manager jobs. Your employer will already be familiar with your work ethic and strengths.

However, a medical office manager position requires more than a degree. You need experience with customer service, problem-solving, medical billing, and multitasking. You also have to demonstrate leadership capabilities and good interpersonal and communication skills.

Medical Office Manager Career Path

Medical office managers will likely have several lateral career opportunities as the demand for healthcare and healthcare-related services increases. While there may not be a clear upward trajectory for medical office managers, you can move into other administrative or management roles in the industry.

However, these will require additional education, licensure, and training. Medical office manager jobs can provide you with the leadership and administrative experience needed for nursing administrator positions or non-medical office management positions. You might also consider going into other medical lines of work, such as imaging technicians or physical therapists.

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