What is a Practice Manager in Healthcare?

Practice Manager in HealthcareAre you interested in learning more about what a practice manager in the healthcare field does? If you would like to work in healthcare, but you are not interested in giving direct care to patients or clients, pursuing a career in administration could be ideal. As a medical practice manager, you will be responsible for making management decisions in a medical practice setting with a single physician or a group setting with three or more physicians who practice medicine in some capacity. If healthcare management interests you, you should learn more about the role that you will play as a medical practice manager. Here is your guide to understanding the roles and responsibilities of practice managers so that you can make an educated choice:

Where Will You Work?

Many people assume that a medical practice manager will work under the supervision of only a single speciality physician, but this is not the case. You can work in a variety of settings and still be considered a practice manager. The most common settings are single and multispecialty physicians offices, but you are not limited to working in a medical office when you have experience in the field. You may also be qualified to work as a healthcare manager in a hospital-based practice, diagnostic imaging center, ambulatory surgery center, or academic centers with the right level of experience, according to Manage My Practice. Now that you know where you can work, you must discover what you will do.

What Will You Do Day-to-Day?

As a practice management professional, you must be prepared to use your management skills on a day-to-day basis in a primary care setting. Your roles and responsibilities will depend entirely on the physician or the physicians that you work for. Some physicians will pass down a lot of responsibility to the manager, and others prefer to do the hiring and other behind-the-scenes tasks on their own. You will need to take the time to ask what will be expected of you to determine if the position is a right fit.

If you run the front office, you will take care of the patient services, records and handle complaints. If you handle HR on your own, you may handle the staffing, the payroll and even billing operations on your own. Some managers even work with the practice’s strategic planning and finances. Most physicians will give their managers more responsibility as they watch them perform. Many are willing to entrust managers with more responsibility if they have several years of experience in the field. You must take your time to find a physician who has assessed the functions and defined your role in writing if you want to avoid some of the common complications that come up in a small practice setting.

Related Resources: Patient Advocate

According to Indeed, practice managers are reported to earn an average of $77,000 per year plus benefits. If you want to be in charge of the operations in a medical practice, the first step is to earn a degree. Typically, practice managers have a minimum of bachelor’s degree in Health Administration. Some people will have experience in different areas of healthcare when they transition to administrative roles like management. Be sure that you understand what a day in the life of a practice manager is like, and pursue the career if it is right for you.