How to Become a Medical Office Manager

This article offers comprehensive details on achieving your goal of becoming a medical office manager.

We will also be discussing core medical office manager duties and responsibilities.

The healthcare industry is one with a wide range of professions, each proving to be highly relevant to smooth healthcare delivery. A medical office manager is one profession that offers tremendous advancement opportunities within your career.

While a medical office manager position is considered attractive and rewarding, not everyone knows how to go about becoming one. If you fall into this category of persons, you’re not alone.

What Does a Medical Office Manager Do?

It’s necessary to provide some background information on this profession before proceeding with details on how to launch a thriving career.

  • What does a healthcare office manager do?

As a medical office manager, you’re saddled with ensuring facilities or practices offer uninterrupted quality service to patients.

Your duties will consist of ensuring health information systems are up-to-date, secure, and accurate. Patient data and records are a crucial part of health information systems.

Medical office managers also serve as spokespersons at board & investor meetings.

More roles or job descriptions include the management of skilled personnel through supervision, hiring, scheduling, and training.

Budgeting for equipment & supplies and managing a facility’s financial functions are other responsibilities you get to take on as a medical office manager.

As a medical office manager, you’ll need to ensure that all operations align with healthcare laws and regulations. Also, vendors and contractors will need a ready point of contact, which medical office managers represent.

Medical Office Manager Education Requirements, Qualifications, and Skills

After becoming a medical office manager, the next step is determining the requirements.

Several requirements cover education, certification, critical leadership skill sets, and management experience.

These processes are essential to realizing your objective as a medical office manager. To have a deeper understanding of what these points are about, let’s take a look at each of them as follows.

i. Medical Office Manager Educational Requirements

As an aspiring medical office manager, you’ll need to understand the educational requirements for your preferred profession clearly.

There are two possible paths to follow. You can apply for a medical office management certificate program if you graduate from high school or have a GED.

Vocational technical schools and community colleges offer such courses of study.

Such programs offer intensive training covering critical areas like billing, medical terminology, health insurance policies, financial management, leadership training, and marketing.

The other study path for becoming a medical office manager is enrolling in an associate degree program. You can also register in such programs in community colleges.

This associate degree covers several courses, including health care technology and accounting.

Other courses include medical ethics, communication, social sciences, English, math, conflict resolution, and management. Some schools may require taking additional courses not included here.

ii. Getting Certified

The next stage involves getting certified after meeting the educational requirements to become a medical office manager.

Now it’s important to state that certification isn’t always a requirement for becoming a medical office manager. While that is true, getting certified improves your job prospects.

The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) is responsible for providing medical office manager certification.

Such certification isn’t automatically offered as you’ll need to meet the base requirements.

Eligibility includes having or putting in the minimum number of years (3) working in a clinical health care setting. What more?

About 12 college credit hours must have been obtained in business management or health services.

Sometimes, a waiver of specific requirements may result in persons with other experience (more than three years) in the field. Having met these requirements, you’re allowed to sit for the certification exam, after which the certification is issued.

Getting certified as a medical office manager isn’t permanent.

In other words, it has an expiry date. Certifications typically last two years, after which you’ll need to reapply through the payment of a membership fee and completion of 24 continuing education units.

iii. Medical Office Manager Skill Sets

Another critical requirement for becoming a medical office manager involves the development of vital leadership skill sets.

  • What skills do medical office managers need?

Here, specific and broad skill sets help adequately perform your duties. So, what leadership skill sets are necessary for performing the duties of a medical office manager?

There are several such that include communication, leadership, attention to detail, and analytical thinking.

Confidentiality, being up-to-date with emerging healthcare technologies, and interpersonal relationships are other essential leadership skills that help you prepare adequately for this role.

iv. Gaining Management Experience

Gaining an appreciable level of experience in supervisory roles gives you an edge and starts you in the right direction.

Part of gaining management experience includes getting relevant credentials requiring a test. Having passed such a test improves your chances of landing your first job.

The Practice Management Institute offers the designation of Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM). Here, aspiring medical office managers will have to pass a four-hour proctored test or exam.

Passing such exam land you your first job as a medical office manager.

By getting your first job opening, you can develop industry-leading skills further. While this is a reliable way to gain the necessary experience, it’s not the only option available.

The other involves obtaining the nationally accredited Certified Medical Manager (CMM) credential.

This also enables you to stand out from the pack. The CMM credential is obtained from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM).

It’s a voluntary exam that requires three years of experience and 12 hours of college credits in business management.

All Requirements are Essential to Becoming a Medical Office Manager

Having discussed the different requirements necessary for becoming a medical office manager, you only need to get these to kick-start your career.

These requirements, once met, will enhance your job prospects and allow you to have a rewarding time.

Becoming a medical office manager isn’t as complex as you think. With the details outlined above, you should be able to proceed to achieve your objectives.

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