Even though medical offices focus on providing healthcare to patients, keeping the lights on is also a business entity. This means that medical offices need qualified administrative professionals handling everyday office responsibilities. They rely on office staff to handle paperwork and organize patient files. Every time a new medical clinic opens, it needs people who are trained in office administration to help it operate efficiently. If you are looking for a career in healthcare, but do not have the desire to work with patients or blood and needles, this could be the right career path for your interests.
When most people think of healthcare, they typically think of the clinician, physician, or nursing professionals interact with patients. Yet behind the scenes of every successful healthcare practice is a team of office workers, maintenance workers, and support professionals who help these medical providers do their jobs well. The medical office administrator is one of the most important players in this picture.
Medical office administration refers to the managerial and support jobs that a medical team needs in order to serve patients well. A medical office administrator oversees the medical office and the support services it provides to the clinic. Without these professionals working in the office, doctors and nurses would struggle to do their jobs.
A medical administrator can have several job titles, depending on the organization where they work. Sometimes, the front office receptionist or the medical administrative assistant fulfills this role. The office coordinator may also be a healthcare administration professional. In a hospital setting, these individuals may be called unit clerical assistants.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare administrators “plan, direct, and coordinate” health services for patients. While the doctors and nurses deliver the healthcare, it is the healthcare administrator that plans and coordinates the visit. In most healthcare facilities, the role of healthcare administrator is a full-time position.
Medical office administrators may focus on one particular department within the facility, or they may manage the entire facility. They work closely with the doctors, lab techs, and nurses, and often work with insurance companies or agents.
The primary goal of the medical office administrator is to improve the efficiency and quality of the healthcare facility. How that plays out in the day-to-day work environment is going to depend on the practice’s needs. They may be called upon to:
Create work schedules for the medical team
Manage the facility's finances
Send bills and take payments
Develop goals and objectives for individual departments
Bring on new staff members and ensure they receive proper training
Monitor the budget of different departments
Maintain and organize the records for the organization
Handle communication for the healthcare facility
Facilitate office technology
Order office supplies and materials
Answer patient phone calls and scheduling
Negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of the clinic and patients
Manage inventory on behalf of the clinic and its medical team
Compose letters and emails on behalf of the doctor and the medical team
Communicate with patients about their bills and scheduling concerns
This role requires a high level of organizational skill. It also demands that the individual be highly detail oriented. Good people skills can also help a healthcare administrator do their job well, as they will talk with patients and other clinic staff regularly.
Any professional setting that offers healthcare services will need a medical office administrator. This includes physicians' offices, long-term care facilities, clinics, hospitals, and similar settings. Even massage therapists and chiropractic clinics need medical office administrators on the job.
On a practical level, medical office administrators typically work in an office setting. They may also work at the reception desk of the medical facility. Most healthcare facilities will hire their management professionals to work full-time during normal office hours. In hospitals and nursing home-type settings where medical care is given 24/7, overnight office administration will be necessary.
Both income and skill-building rewards are possible when you have a certificate in medical office administration. The demand for medical office administrators is growing at a very strong pace. The BLS estimates that between 2020 and 2030, this job will grow by 32%. This number is significantly higher than the averages in other fields.
While financial compensation and job growth potential are both good reasons to consider a career path, they are not the only reason why you may want to earn a certificate in medical office administration. With a certificate, you can put your organizational and administrative skills to good use. Earning a medical office administration certificate will give you the medical terminology and coding training you need to work effectively in a medical practice. All of this can bring a high level of job satisfaction because you will be fulfilling a much-needed role within the world of healthcare.
The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) offers a 48-week online program for medical office administration certification. The program has six individual modules that you can take at your leisure, helping you get the training you need to step confidently into this role. Because they are online programs, you can easily fit these around your current work schedule. You can earn your certificate from the comfort of your home, even if you aren’t near one of our campus locations.
Healthcare workers require the help of office professionals to provide excellent patient care. That means there will always be medical office administration jobs available. These jobs can be highly rewarding to someone who is motivated by fulfilling a needed role in an important field. If you are looking for an online school for medical office administration, CHCP's program could be a good fit.
Learn more about the CHCP Health Care Office Administration Certificate Program, and see if it is what you need to improve your career opportunities. If you picture yourself in a healthcare administration role and need the flexibility of a fully online program to achieve this, CHCP can give you the training you need to get there. Reach out to our admissions team today to get started on your flexible training program.