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Career Story: Office Manager For A Busy Medical Practice

Office Manager For A Busy Medical Practice

Job Title: Business Manager

Type of Company: I work for a medical practice that offers primary and walk-in care.

Education: AAPC Coding Certification, Bachelors Degree

Previous Experience: I was a theatre producer and morphed into health care management.

Job Tasks: My key responsibilities are accounts payable, receivable, human resources, marketing, payroll, contract negotiation.

My day varies. Sometimes I make appointments for patients, do referrals or check for test results; some days I do nothing but manage the business. People skills and multi-tasking are as important to my duties as typing skills and a knowledge of computers. But I also have to manage our staff and there disposition is key. Occasionally, I meet with insurance executives to discuss short- and long-term coverage plans. I run reports that outline a provider's productivity, trends in diagnosis, volume of patients -- all of which help us to plan for the future. I also serve on a task force that meets from time to time to analyze the trends in emergency medical care and the use of electronic media. Analysis of health insurance plans, benefits for staff, staying current on labor issues are all part of my job.

In today's climate, health care is a very viable career choice, but advanced degrees are often necessary if you want to pursue it. I am a certified coder and compliance officer. These are credentials I obtained by taking a six-hour exam after 3-4 months of study. In addition, they require ongoing continuing education. This job is varied and fast-paced.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are the diversity of tasks I undertake and the opportunities I get to help people. That is probably why people go into health care. It's a noble profession that makes a difference in people's lives. Something as simple as helping someone apply for a handicapped plate or facilitating care for a dying family member. The rewards of helping people are hard to quantify.

The worst parts of the job are its intensity and long hours. Our health care system has a lot of challenges that even the new administration is having a tough time with.

Job Tips: Learn how to multi-task and stay focused. Our profession is about precision and accuracy. Take billing, coding, compliance courses from reputable organizations like AAPC, not some fly-by-night you found on the internet. Do an internship at a medical facility and discover whether you truly like administration, and if so, which you prefer: the front where the patients are or the back where the billing happens. You will also need outstanding computer skills, including advanced understanding of the internet and its uses.

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