Medical Practice Administration

Medical Practice Administration

The need for experienced medical practice administrators is on the rise and is only projected to grow as more and more baby boomers require regular medical care. In the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers is expected to grow 18% (much faster than the average) between 2018 – 2028.  If you are looking to enter a field that is stable, fulfilling, and in demand, healthcare management could be the right choice.

Healthcare management is a field that attracts a diverse population of people. Although some medical practices prefer to hire medically trained managers, such as a person with a nursing or medical assisting background, other practices look for a manager who has skills in the business area. The healthcare field today is far different from what it was in decades past. Changes have occurred at many levels, from the way physicians are paid for their services to the scope of practice of the various medical personnel. The medical office manager needs to stay current with the changes in the field as they occur. This includes changes on the federal, state, and local levels, where laws passed may impact the way healthcare is delivered.

This online training program teaches fundamental skills for managing a physician’s practice. This course will discuss the requirements of managing the revenue cycle, compliance regulations, human resources, health information, and general business processes that make practice management a challenging yet rewarding profession.

Opportunity

Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers. Most medical and health services managers work in offices in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, and group medical practices.

Here are eight roles and responsibilities that physicians, administrators, and consultants say should belong to your medical practice administrator or office manager.

1. Practice representative. The administrator should serve as the point of contact for pharmaceutical representatives and technology vendors. That will help shield physicians from the interruption in their day to day operations.

2. Performance reporter. The administrator should provide physicians with a monthly practice performance report. The report should gauge physicians’ financial performance (billings by the physician); collections performance (revenue); and effectiveness of billing/collections staff (net collections percentage and age of accounts receivable).

3. Policies and procedures creator. Policies and procedures are “the heart” of a well-run operation, but practices often lack them because they are so time-consuming to create. An administrator should be the driving force int the creation, monitoring, and enforcement of the practice’s policies and procedures.

4. Staff manager. Physicians should set the vision for the practice, but day-to-day staff management responsibilities belong to the administrator.  In a well-run office it is no possible for Physicians to execute all of the bits and pieces of the vision and strategy – if they could, they wouldn’t need a practice administrator!

5. Billing overseer. “Whether it is an in-house operation or an outsourced facility, an administrator’s involvement in denials management is critical.  It’s up to an effective administrator to know what insurance companies pay for what codes and how much they are paid per code and to keep that fee schedule up to date. With an up-to-date fee schedule, the front-office staff can collect correctly upfront resulting in fewer and fewer statements that get sent out, never to be paid.”

6. Technology strategist. Everything from staff training on technology to technology maintenance should be overseen by the administrator.  Technology is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare delivery – an effective practice administrator will be best served by keeping up to date on the best technology available to support the practice operations.

7. Individual of last resort. If no one else wants to do it, the administrator should step up to the plate. like any well-run organization an effective practice administrator has the final say and is responsible for ultimately dealing with disgruntled or angry patients, financial arrangements with patients regarding their bill, or anything and everything else that no one else wants to do.

8. HIPAA security officer. Maintaining HIPAA security compliance is an intricate and ongoing obligation. Given that most physicians do not have the time, patience, or focus to give it the attention it requires. This responsibility belongs to the administrator.

Job Description

Practice Administrator Job Description

To support the medical practice operations by maintaining office systems and supervising staff.  To work collaboratively with the physicians to achieve practice goals.

Practice Administrator Job Responsibilities:

Patient Care Systems:

  • Establish and monitor business processes to ensure the effective and efficient clinical operation
  • Provide relevant and accurate resources to enhance patients’ knowledge.
  • Develop and implement a referral management process.
  • Design efficient patient flow patterns to maximize physician schedules.
  • Manage front office operations to maximize patient satisfaction, collection of payments, and customer service efforts.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information acquired pertaining to patients, physicians, employees, and visitors.
  • Assumes responsibility for the performance of job duties in the safest manner, to assure personal safety and that of coworkers, and to report all preventable hazards and unsafe practices immediately to management.

Business Operations:

  • Implement and monitor business operation plan
  • Develop, implement, and oversee systems for the purchase of materials and equipment.
  • Evaluates the need for additional and replacement capital equipment related to testing and office operations.
  • Manage office maintenance activities to meet the practice’s current and future needs.
  • Manage the process for the identification and utilization of outsourced expertise and business partners.
  • Develop and implement a marketing and communication plan including website management.

Financial Management:

  • Develop and implement a practice budget to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Establish internal controls for cash management.
  • Implement and maintain a process for external financial audits.
  • Monitor revenue cycle management and account receivable management.
  • Analyze and monitor financial performance and report financial results to physicians.
  • Direct the payroll process.
  • Maintain practice banking and accounting relationships.
  • Develop relationships with managed care provider reps to optimize contract negotiations and maintain existing contracts.
  • Payables management and monthly bank reconciliations with physician oversight and reporting.

Human Resource Management:

  • Coordinate the recruitment and orientation process of clinical and nonclinical staff.
  • Manage the retention of clinical and non-clinical staff.
  • Develop and monitor an effective staffing strategy.
  • Develop and implement staff compensation and benefit plan
  • Establish a system for monitoring compliance with employment laws and regulatory standards.
  • Conduct annual performance reviews for clinical and non-clinical staff.
  • Maintain and secure personnel files for each employee.

Information Management:

  • Maintain appropriate internal communication pathways for clinical and nonclinical staff.
  • Have working knowledge and relationships with Information Technology Vendors, internet providers and strategies, telecommunications, patient portal, website, and social media participation.
  • Understand testing modalities and the related technology vendor relationship
  • Maintain patient and practice data systems.
  • Manage medical information systems including medical records, medication administration, and healthcare-related document storage.
  • Implement processes to comply with mandated reports of specified patient issues to regulatory agencies.

Organizational Governance:

  • Maintain proper corporate record-keeping of strategic decisions.
  • Establish, communicate, implement and monitor production and compensation standards for physician
  • Support physician leadership of clinical and non-clinical staff conduct and performance expectations.

Quality Management:

  • Develop and oversee patient satisfaction and customer service program Assist in the development of quality plans and monitor process improvement.
  • Create internal processes and systems to participate in pay-for-performance programs to enhance health care quality.
  • Monitor physician credentialing and licensure requirements.

Risk Management:

  • Develop and implement a risk management plan to ensure a safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures to manage the impact of adverse legal events.
  • Establish a plan for disaster response and recovery.
  • Maintain compliance program for federal and state laws and regulations to include OSHA, CLIA, HIPPA any new regulations as a result of the ACA.

Education and Experience Desired:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of health planning and management sufficient to manage, direct, and coordinate the operation of medical practice.
  • Skill in exercising a high degree of initiative, judgment, analyzing situations, and taking effective action.
  • Ability to assume responsibility and exercise authority over assigned work and function
  • Skill in organizing work and achieving goals and objective
  • Working knowledge of computer programs and applications in medical practice.
  • Strong working knowledge of Revenue Cycle Management.
  • Working knowledge of QuickBooks and MS EXCEL.
  • Bachelor’s Degree desired. Advanced degree in healthcare or business preferred.
  • 2 – 5 years of experience in healthcare administration and office management.

Program Overview

This course is divided into 17 lessons that include the latest information on the design and management of the medical office. From developing the skills needed to succeed as a medical office manager to attracting and keeping the best staff, this course is a how-to guide for both a professional medical office manager or an individual interested in pursuing a position in medical office management.

This course is online and is a self-paced, mentor-supported course with instructor feedback and assistance as required. The program is laid out as follows:

Lesson 1 contains information on today’s healthcare environment. This Lesson outlines the type of practice settings a manager may encounter and includes information on the traits of the medical office manager.

Lesson 2 contains information on the duties of the medical office manager, including conducting staff meetings, coaching, and motivating employees to higher performance, and dealing with suppliers and service contracts.

Lesson 3 addresses the types of communication in the medical office, including both verbal and nonverbal communication. This Lesson includes information on written communication, including the components of writing a business letter.

Lesson 4 discusses the steps for managing the front office in a medical clinic. The use of telephones, including features of various telephone systems, and the greeting of patients in the front office are covered in this Lesson.

Lesson 5 goes into detail of appointment scheduling and the process of triaging and screening callers to the medical office.

Lesson 6 includes information on the management of medical records in the medical office. This Lesson contains current information on the use of electronic medical records, as well as the use of paper records, for those offices that are not yet using an electronic system for medical records management.

Lesson 7 contains in-depth information on the legal and ethical issues involved in managing the medical office. This Lesson outlines the process of maintaining professional files for physicians and the legal obligations associated with mandatory reporting in healthcare.

Lesson 8 describes the steps to successfully managing the personnel in the medical office. This lesson contains information on how to perform a staffing model profile as well as advertising for, interviewing, and hiring the right candidate for a particular job.

Lesson 9 contains important information on the regulatory requirements of the medical office manager, including recently passed legislation, such as the Red Flags Rule.

Lesson 10 details the use of computers in the medical office, including the design of training programs for new employees.

Lesson 11 outlines the use and creation of office policies and procedures in the medical office, including policies that apply to the administrative as well as clinical areas of the office.

Lesson 12 addresses the function of accounting and payroll in the medical office. This Lesson has great detail on the use of various IRS forms as well as details on managing accounts payable.

Lesson 13 describes the function of billing and collecting in the medical office. From creating a fee schedule to managing the accounts receivables, this Lesson provides a lot of detail for the management of finances in the medical office.

Lesson 14 has current information on health insurance and the processing of medical claims.

Lesson 15 contains information on the use of procedural and diagnostic coding in the medical office.

Lesson 16 outlines the use of quality improvement and risk management programs in the medical office, an important area to concentrate on in order to reduce patient and employee injuries and increase patient satisfaction.

Lesson 17 describes the function of marketing in the medical office, including details on creating a robust website and the use of social media in advertising.

Certification

Students who complete this comprehensive course will receive a certificate of completion from AHDPG and will be eligible to sit for a variety of national certification exams.

Tuition

The all-inclusive program fee for the Medical Practice Administration online training program covers everything a student needs to successfully complete our program. Our program fee covers:

  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Materials
  • Course fees.

Program Title: Medical Practice Administration

$1,995.00

Funding Options

Option 1 – Pay Upfront Plan – Save 10%!
The pay upfront program offers a 10% tuition discount for those individuals who are willing to pay upfront for their education.

Option 2 – Military Discount – Save 10%
As a Military Friendly School a 10% tuition discount is available to active military personnel and their spouses.

*The Pay Upfront Plan and the Military Discount cannot be combined and is limited to only one discount.

Option 3 – Monthly Payment Plan
The monthly payment plan includes a one-time initial payment of $295 due at time of enrollment with the balance billed in monthly installments. A 3% payment processing fee applies, and payments are automatically deducted from your credit card or bank account. Contact Admissions for details.

Option 4 – MyCAA Funding Program
We know that maintaining a career can be difficult with your military lifestyle. That’s why we provide a flexible way to complete your education in careers that are essential nationwide. Learn at home, on your own schedule for a career that will travel with you wherever you go. With MyCAA your education costs may be 100% covered, meaning you can focus on your future and not tuition costs. The MyCAA Funding program is administered by the Department of Defense.

More information about the MyCAA funding program!

FAQs

Q: What are the minimum computer requirements for the course?

  • The minimum computer requirements in order to successfully complete the course are as follows:
    • Computer: Pentium-class PC with 1.7 Ghz processor or better
    • RAM: 1GB min for 32bit; 2GB min for 64bit OS
    • Operating System: Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 or 10,  MAC OS X
    • High Speed Internet
    • Headset/mic recommended (optional)
    • Internet Explorer (9 or higher), latest versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
    • Windows users: Microsoft PowerPoint viewer (free) or full Microsoft PowerPoint
    • MAC users: Apple Keynote or PowerPoint for MAC and Windows Media Components for Quicktime (Flip4Mac Standard)
    • Adobe Reader or equivalent PDF reader

Intructor Bio

Crissy Harmom,
Instructor

Crissy’s career in healthcare began at the age of 21 after completing the North Mississippi Medical Center’s Medical Transcription program from Itawamba Community College on June 29, 2000.  Crissy worked as a Medical Transcriptionist (now called Healthcare Documentation Specialist) until 2012. It was at that point Crissy discovered and made the transition into the exciting world of Medical Scribe.  This new journey took Crissy from sitting at home for 12 years listening to doctors dictate to actually moving into the exam room alongside the clinician during the patient encounter. In Crissy’s own words “I was mesmerized.  Where had this been all my life?”

Crissy moved quickly from scribing to training and then to managing the scribe program at her local hospital and before she knew it, she had worked her way into upper management. Following this Crissy, had the opportunity to implement and manage several scribe programs from Maryland to Miami.  In 2015, the company was acquired by a larger scribe company and Crissy made the next transition into office administration.  Crissy spent the next five years in office administration.

In March 2020, Crissy joined AHDPG.  She brings a unique skill set to our team and the students.  She has worked as an office manager dealing with the various aspects of regulations, billing & coding and can attest to how documentation ties it all together!

Crissy currently resides in North East Mississippi with her husband and three sons.

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