Medical Administration Jobs & Career Guide

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Medical Administration CareersWhat is A Medical Administrator?

The need for fast, effective and safe medical assistance is constant and ongoing, and the challenging task of organizing and directing the personnel, locations, supplies and infrastructure of the health care industry falls to people in medical administration jobs.

Local, state, and federal government offices employ medical auditors and record keepers to ensure that good levels of care are being provided and that health regulations are being observed by medical facilities.  Hospitals and doctors’ offices must have accountants and billing managers to be sure that the level of income is maintained in order to be able to continue operating.

What is a Medical Administrator Responsible For?

People in medical administration jobs maintain and manage health care locations and infrastructure, such as clinics and doctors’ offices, where doctors and nurses meet with or care for patients directly.  One example of a medical administration job essential to the operation of health care locations is the clinical manager, who oversees personnel and business operations for medical facilities.  The clinical manager directs employees, issuing instructions, checking on the results of work, and organizing schedules to make sure that all necessary duties are being performed at all times.  This person is also responsible for putting together the budget for the office, clinic, or hospital, and balancing expenses against income to ensure that the establishment remains financially secure.  Billing, hiring of personnel, ordering of supplies, and maintaining the medical records of patients are also the job of the clinical manager, who must perform these crucial tasks, or make sure that they are taken care of appropriately by other personnel.  The principle responsibility of the clinical manager is to ensure that all of the details of running a health care facility are successfully managed, freeing doctors and nurses to focus on the critical task of patient care.

The position of Hospital Admissions Director is another in the group of medical administration jobs that is key to the successful operation of health care facilities.  To function properly, any hospital or clinic must be able to handle the arrival of large numbers of people, many of whom may be injured and very ill.  All incoming patients must be routed to the appropriate wards and assigned to medical staff for treatment.  With the well being and, in some cases, survival of patients on the line, and no room for error, the admissions director takes on the important task of setting policies and procedures, managing staff, and keeping records to ensure that all patients get the care they need in a timely manner.  An admissions director may also be responsible for publicity and marketing, making sure that members of the community are fully aware of the services offered by the hospital.

Many medical administration jobs handle the important task of interacting directly with patients and families of patients, helping to provide a pleasant and convenient health care experience.  Medical receptionists
are responsible for greeting patients, collecting and filing patient information, scheduling appointments, and other tasks crucial to a productive relationship between the clinic and the individual seeking care or treatment.  Medical administration jobs like this enable the delivery of effective health care by acting as a friendly intermediary between the medical establishment and the patient.

These three examples illustrate the crucial role that medical administrators perform in the delivery of health care services.  The proper organization of services and personnel, management and archiving of patient data, and pleasant and professional interaction with clients are indispensable components of the industry that exists to make medical care available to those who need it.  People who are conscientious, careful, and dedicated can find challenging and rewarding work in medical administration careers.

Where Does A Medical Administrator Work?

People in medical administration jobs perform roles that are necessary for the efficient delivery of quality health care, and so are frequently found in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities.  People with jobs in medical administration may be assigned to admissions departments in hospitals, making sure that everyone walking through the door is helped quickly and politely, and entered appropriately into the hospital records for efficient processing and treatment.  Some medical administrators are also responsible for supervising shifts of nurses, lab technicians, orderlies, and other medical staff who work with patients, monitoring work quality and balancing schedules to ensure all necessary functions are being carried out properly.  The role of hospital administrator is a medical administration job with crucial administrative duties, responsible for managing the budget, scheduling doctors, supervising other administrative staff, and handling public relations concerns.  All of these medical administration jobs and many others are generally located directly in hospitals and clinics in order to be close to the functions that they facilitate, and are generally assigned to check-in stations or office spaces, depending on their role in the functioning of the medical center.

A medical administrator may also work in a doctor’s office, where consultation, health maintenance, and preventative care are the primary mission.  Medical receptionists are usually located in lobbies and at front desks, to greet patients, process patient data, and arrange medical records for quick access by doctors and nurses.  A medical office manager generally works in a dedicated office space, coordinating medical staff, arranging budgets, monitoring supplies, and ensuring that the office maintains a visible presence in the local community.

Some people in the health care industry spend large portions of their work time traveling, visiting patients at home or in assisted living facilities in order to provide consultation or periodic medical care.  A medical case worker may have a list of clients distributed around a wide area, and will visit each in turn to ensure that treatment schedules are being maintained or to answer any questions that the patients may have.  This position will usually maintain records for each patient, and will consult with doctors or other medical professionals as treatments and consultations proceed.  These medical administration jobs are a crucial part of the health care industry, as they make it possible for patients to recover or pursue treatment outside of traditional medical facilities.  This allows treatment to be available to a wider range of patients at much lower cost, and helps to prevent hospital overcrowding.

What Degree is Required to Become A Medical Administrator?

Medical Administration CareersMedical administration careers are available to job seekers at all levels of education, and numerous programs exist at technical schools and four-year colleges to prepare interested individuals for medical administration jobs.  Different positions will have different educational requirements, depending on the level of responsibility involved and on the needs of the particular medical facility.  People seeking medical administration jobs can generally find opportunities in the health care industry no matter what level of education they may have.

Entry-level medical administration jobs,  such as hospital admissions clerk or medical receptionist, may require only a high school diploma or Graduate Equivalent Degree (GED).  The skills associated with these positions, such as recordkeeping, billing, and using medical appointment scheduling software, are frequently learned through on-the-job training.  These jobs are excellent choices for workers without college or vocational degrees, as they provide the employee the opportunity to gain experience that will be valuable in future job searches.

Certain specialized tasks in medical administration, such as accounting, may require bachelor’s or associate’s degrees from two-year or four-year colleges.  These medical administration jobs typically involve broad familiarity and depth of knowledge within a field of study, and a degree is necessary both to acquire the knowledge and to demonstrate mastery of it to potential employers.  College degrees are also very helpful when seeking medical administration jobs involving management of a medical office or facility.

Medical office managers are responsible for staffing, billing, handling legal matters, and taking care of insurance paperwork, and any college degree shows an employer that the applicant possesses college-level communication skills and is dedicated enough to complete the requirements required by the degree program.  Advanced degrees in areas specifically related to facility management or medical administration may be even more valuable to the job seeker, as the programs for these degrees will include knowledge and skills that are needed in higher-level medical administration careers.

Medical administration job requirements

Certification and licensing standards for medical administration jobs depend on the role of the position in the health care process.  Jobs with a focus in clerical duties, such as medical receptionists, generally do not require any certifications at all.  Licensing requirements tend to apply if the position is responsible for duties that work with controlled substances or have a direct bearing on the health or well-being of the patient.

Medical coders, for example, are responsible for all coding and processing of insurance claims from physicians’ offices for services rendered to patients, and are required to be certified by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).  The crucial role that insurance plays in the delivery of health care makes the job of the medical coder extremely important to the good of the patient, and the licensing of people in those positions helps to ensure that this aspect of the health care infrastructure functions smoothly and effectively.

There are other jobs in medical administration for which certification is not required, but where a medical administration professional can increase their prospects for promotion and salary increases by seeking voluntary certifications.  In medical transcription jobs, for example, one can become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or Certified Medical Transcriptionist, indicating a superior level of proficiency.

Certifying organizations such as the American Hospital Association (AHA) also offer a number of certification programs for different aspects of health care administration, including Facility Management, Materials and Resource Management, and Healthcare Risk Management, to provide people seeking to develop their careers with a means to demonstrate their excellence and dedication.  Individuals who are seeking careers in medical administration, or who have medical administration jobs and are looking for career development opportunities, can generally find plenty of programs through which to improve their mastery of their chosen profession in the health care industry.

Medical administration career path

Medical administration jobs are available at all levels of responsibility, and offer plenty of opportunity for advancement.   An employee might start out as a medical receptionist, be promoted to assistant medical office manager, and, with further experience, become a full medical office manager in charge of administrative duties for a doctor’s office or medical complex.  Medical accountant jobs responsible for patient billing and expenses in a clinic, might advance to the level of accounting director for a hospital, overseeing a staff of accountants and other medical administrative professionals.

How Much Money Does a Medical Administrator Earn?

Medical Administrators earn an average of $50,000 per year. This salary varies widely based on location, degree, experience and position. Recent figures indicate Medical Practice Administrators can earn over $71,000 and Medical Operations Administrators earn approximately $61,000. Medical Business Administrators earn on average $53,000. Medical Billing Administrators earn around $38,000 annually.

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