Medical Office Administration: The Day-to-Day Challenge

Interested in becoming a medical office administrator? Would you like to know more about the day-to-day challenges of working in this rewarding career? The medical office administrator may manage personnel, monitor medical office finances, coordinate facility operations, assist with patient admission, understand medical terminology, and coordinate medical office procedures and process insurance.

Managing Personnel

The medical office administrator not only manages to medical office but may also manage the medical assistants and medical receptionist. They will make sure the medical office runs smoothly and that the employees are doing their jobs correctly. The medical office administrator may train medical assistants on job duties during their first few months working at a physician’s office. The medical office administrator may also be responsible for creating work schedules for medical staff and hire temporary employees to fill the gaps.

Monitoring Medical Office Finances

The medical office administrator may be responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable and updating the general ledger. They will make sure that patients pay their bills and vendors are paid for services and products delivered. The medical office administrator will make sure all federal and state regulations are adhered to so the medical facility does not incur any fines or criminal charges. They may also prepare and monitor budgets and spending to keep the medical facility financially sound. The medical office administrator also may be responsible for some human resources function including payroll and employee benefit management.

  • Accounts Payable – money owed by a medical facility to its creditors, an obligation to pay off a short-term debt.
  • Accounts Receivable – money owed to a medical facility by its debtors after delivery of a product or service.
  • General Ledger – contains all the accounts for recording transactions related to a company’s assets, liabilities, owners’ equity, revenue, and expenses.

Coordinating Facility Operations

During the normal course of work on a day-to-day basis, the medical office administrator will manage inventory and order supplies as needed. A good medical office administrator will ensure the integration of people, systems, place, process and technology. A system will be created in the event of an emergency for proper business continuity. The medical office administrator may be responsible for controlling and managing the medical office, up to HIPPA standards for its safety. Protection of employees and patients should be of the utmost importance.  The medical office administrator may also create a system for maintenance and inspections to ensure the medical facility is operating safely and efficiently.

  • HIPPA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Regulation to protect personal medical information, keeping it confidential, and allowing the patient to view their own medical records.

Assisting with Patient Admissions

The medical office administrator may also help with patient admissions. They will identify the patient and make sure the situation is not urgent. The medical office administrator will collect important information for payment and insurance billing. Taking a copy of the insurance card, making sure the patient’s address and phone number have not changed and collecting any co-payments due at the time of the visit.

Understand Medical Terminology 

The understanding of medical terminology is key to working as a medical office administrator. They work with patient charts and medical records and must understand terminology for anatomy, medical treatments, procedures and insurance billing. The medical office administrator will be well educated in ICD-10 and CPT coding for proper charting and insurance billing.

  • ICD-10 – the international classification of diseases. A system used by medical facilities to classify and code all diagnoses, symptoms and procedures.
  • CPT – current procedural terminology. Medical code set used to report medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures to health insurance companies and healthcare providers.

Medical Office Procedures

The medical office administrator may be responsible for phone triage, fixing appointment scheduling, mail processing, insurance claims processing, managing the physician’s calendar and working with difficult patients. The medical office administrator must pitch in where needed to keep the medical facility working smoothly.

  • Phone Triage – the identification of the importance of a patient’s need for an appointment and whether they have an urgent matter. Then, identifying when the physician will need to see the patient and when appointments are available.

Insurance Processing

The medical office administrator may support medical assistants that process billing for patients and insurance. They may submit a claim, follow up and process payment from both patients and insurance companies.

  • Revenue Cycle Management – the process used by healthcare systems in the US to track the revenue from their patients from the beginning of treatment to final payment of the balance.

Do these challenges of a medical office administration career interest you? Want to learn more about managing the day-to-day challenge of being a medical office administrator? The Medical Office Administration program at Meridian College provides training to prepare you for an entry-level position at a hospital, doctor’s office or other medical facility.¬†

Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a medical office administrator.