Career Story: Office Manager At A Dentist's Office

Office Manager At A Dentist's Office

Job Title: Office Manager

Type of Company: I am currently employed at an oral surgeon's office.

Education: Certificate in Medical Administration, Burdett Business School

Previous Experience: I worked as a medical secretary at several Boston-area hospitals. I am currently employed at a local oral surgeon's office as an office manager where I have been working for the past 25 years.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for the administration of all the daily activities for an oral surgeon. I order all office and medical supplies for the office. I manage the payroll on a weekly basis and all personnel files for the office. I am responsible for the accounts payable and receivables on a daily basis. All personal and insurance checks which are received must be entered into the data base.

Insurance checks need to be followed closely, as many denials are received. Most of the insurance denials require follow-up and the dispatch of such additional information as pathology reports or x-rays. Many procedures performed in the office require medical referrals from the primary care physician and I have to request these and make sure they're received. If a surgery is expected to exceed $500, a pre-treatment estimate must be sent to the insurance company prior to the treatment being rendered. Once it's been reviewed by the insurance company, the pretreatment has to be sent the patient prior for review.

A recall list of appointments must be called on a monthly basis so that patients will make appointments for surgical follow-ups.

i also log in all pathology results and make sure that the referring medical and dental doctors receive a copy of the results for their patients' files. If immediate follow-up is required for a pathology report, I coordinate care for the patient with Mass. General Hospital.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I enjoy working with patients and making sure that they are well taken care of, especially children who are having oral surgical procedures performed are very anxious and frightened. It is very rewarding when a child actually leaves the office with a smile.

The worst part of the job are all the insurance denials and follow-ups. It is an important part of the practice, but can be quite frustrating at times. Sometimes insurance claims need to be submitted three to four times before we get a payment.

Job Tips: Attend insurance coding classes, in whatever specialty of medicine you choose. It's a necessity to keep up with the changes made by insurance companies in order to avoid denied claims. Each procedure that a doctor performs requires a code when billing an insurance company. These codes are updated on a yearly basis; some are added, some deleted.

Additional Thoughts: You need to have a great deal of patience when dealing with both insurance companies and patients. Most patients who come into our office are very anxious and they need to be reassured.

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