Medical office managers are in demand for many of the larger physician’s offices. Higher earnings are possible, but long hours are also to be expected. One considering a position as a medical officer manager should consider obtaining a bachelor’s degree, although associate’s degrees are adequate for the smaller offices and in health information services.
Medical Office Management Schools By State
Required Education and Training
When considering a career in office management, one must have a familiarity with office procedures. For a medical office, there are a few additional procedures that must be learned in addition to those for a general office. For most, a master’s degree is preferred. Degrees in long term care administration, health services administration, public health, health sciences, public administration, or business administration is the standard for most general positions in this area. However, a bachelor’s degree is acceptable for some entry level positions in smaller facilities, at the departmental level within health care organizations, and in health information management. Physicians’ offices and some other facilities may use on the job experience as a substitute for formal education.
When considering a career as a medical office manager, one must obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a health related field to be considered, usually regardless of the work experience and background they may have. Office managers in general need to have a working knowledge of how to run an office. Medical office managers must have a working knowledge of office procedures as well as medical procedures. Many medical office managers start out as nurses or physician’s assistants and move into these positions.
Top Medical Office Manager Schools
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- Health Information Management - Associate
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- Healthcare Administration (MBA)
- Healthcare Management (BS)
- Specialization in Nurse Administrator (MSN)
Medical office managers oversee the daily operation of physician’s offices, hospital departments, nursing homes and home health care organizations. While the salary is generally higher than that of a nurse, it involves working long hours and being on call constantly. While most have a set schedule, an office manager may be expected to come back into the facility to handle problems and resolve issues. Medical office managers generally will have an office, but also are required to work in direct contact with other employees and sometimes patients. In smaller facilities, the office manager may be expected to deal with all aspects of the daily operation of the office including patient care. Medical office managers may be required to do fund raising activities and other types of this nature for the facility they are working at.
As with other areas of the medical field, medical office manager positions are expected to increase rapidly through the year 2014. Due to changing laws and regulations regarding patient record security and computerization, managers will be needed to oversee entry into computer systems and to maintain the integrity of these records and protect patient privacy. Hospitals and physicians’ offices will offer the most new positions as expansions are made and mergers are created. Medical office managers that are experienced and have master’s degrees in business as well as a health related field will have the better opportunities. However, competition for these positions is expected to be intense due to the higher pay rates offered.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
The reported average income for a medical office manager in 2004 is approximately $67,000. As with many upper level management positions, salaries vary with location and institution. It is determined that medical office managers in institutions that are sponsored or run by the Federal Government receive the highest compensation at approximately $87,000 per year. Those working in larger hospitals and urban areas tend to receive slightly higher compensation than those in smaller hospitals and facilities.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Other Job Opportunities
Because medical office managers have education and training in both the medical field and business management field, the job possibilities available to them span both fields. In addition to other office management positions, medical office managers can move into areas such as insurance underwriting and other related fields. Medical office managers are generally not self employed but may move into a consultant field and become self employed, working on a contractual basis to solve a one time problem or something of that nature.
Medical office managers also can move into more advanced positions such as CEO or CFO of a hospital or facility. More education may be required, but in most cases the education received to become an office manager is adequate. Because many have a background in nursing or other medical field, the job opportunities are really only limited to what they would like to do. Promotions such as to director are not uncommon for highly qualified medical office managers.
Maintaining nursing certifications is important while holding an office manager position as most require the managers to have the ability to help with patient care as the need arises. In addition, in smaller areas they manager may be assigned this responsibility as part of the job description.