Medical managers work in health care administration coordinating and supervising various aspects of the medical care delivery system. They can be found in a variety of health care settings, such as medical offices, hospital administration and nursing homes. Earning professional credentials in this field often leads to higher pay and advancement opportunities. Requirements needed to become a certified medical manager typically include an undergraduate degree in health care management, experience working in a medical office and passing a certification program.
The minimum educational requirement for a student who wants to become a certified medical manager typically is an associate's degree. Vocational schools and community colleges offer associate's degree programs that teach students the basic skills needed to run a small to midsized medical office. Bachelor’s degree programs in medical management are offered for students planning careers as top-level administrators in larger health care institutions.
Degree program coursework usually includes study in medical terminology, medical coding, medical billing and patient records privacy regulations. Students also learn office management skills, such as employee scheduling, payroll procedures and state or federal tax regulations. Bachelor’s degree programs sometimes require students to perform internships at local health care institutions or medical practices as well.
Experience working as a health care manager or in some other type of administrative position within the health care field is generally required for those who want to become a certified medical manager. Most certification programs require at least three years of on-the-job experience. Besides office management, work experience can also include administration assistant, health records management or clinical management.
The final step to become a certified medical manager generally involves obtaining certification. A number of professional associations and organizations offer certification programs for medical managers. These programs typically consist of exam preparation courses, study aids and access to the certification exam. Some organizations may require certificate candidates to become organization members before they can take the exam.
Exam preparation courses can come in many formats, including self-study guides, online preparation classes and programs at local college campuses. Certification organizations may offer online practice tests, local study groups and online reference materials to help students as they study for the exam. Online instructors and tutors are sometimes available to offer one-on-one exam preparation help to students as well.
Certification exams are usually scheduled in advance and require a registration fee. Exams are typically proctored and may be offered at regional locations or at association headquarters. The exam usually consists of multiple-choice questions in a variety of medical office administration areas, such as health care laws, medical coding procedures and insurance billing.
Some certification organizations require re-certification in order to ensure that medical managers have kept their skills up-to-date. Re-certification usually occurs every two years and requires a specific amount of continuing education credits. After accumulating enough credits, medical office managers are eligible to take the re-certification exam.