In a group practice, different physicians can have varied perceptions of the job of the manager. This could be the same problem when recruiting for that position.
Here, I've provided a "Practice Manager Responsibilities Profile," a useful tool allowing each involved physician to provide input. Scores can then be tallied for comparison.
How to Use the Profile Survey:
Be sure that all physicians complete their Profile scoring.
To tally: For each of the 26 tasks listed, add all the submitted scores. Upon completing the tallies, those tasks that, in the voting of the physicians, add up to the larger scores, have greater weight, and stronger priorities, than those tasks with lesser numbers.
The result: A consensus based on the contributions of each involved physician.
Note: Other tasks can be added or subtracted, to this listing, depending upon your own practice preferences. For some practices the investigation and adoption of an EHR system can be included in the survey; or its subsequent consideration could pre-empt existing priorities. And new priorities can replace existing ones; for example, a newly proposed merger, or the new investigation of a possible surgery center.
Advantage to the group: The physicians can agree upon a priority of needs, which can also be shared with the manager. It is also a useful reference when recruiting for a new practice manager.
Our practice management consultants have successfully used this profile for their assignments and are happy to share it with you.
Practice Manager Responsibilities Profile
Instructions: To the left of each listed task, mark your score, based upon your valuation of each task. Use this guideline:
3—Very important; 2—Important; 1—Somewhat important; 0—Not important
____________ Supervising and directing the work of all employees
____________ Independent performance review of all support staff
____________ Termination of non-physician staff
____________ Creating job expansion opportunities for personnel
____________ Recruiting, selecting, and training non-physician staff
Physician Liaison and Reporting:
____________ Participate in perpetuating and ensuring practice growth
____________ Identifies, recommends, and implements practice needs: staffing, services, equipment and facilities
____________ Physician/management meetings: establishes agenda in consultation with physicians; prepares data for meeting; contributes to decision-making
____________ Responsible for executing projects/changes as directed by the physicians at management meetings
____________ Interprets management reports / explains non-normal reports to physicians
____________ Ensures that reports to government agencies are on time / liaison with accountant and attorney
____________ Fee analysis, survey, and review with recommendations to physicians
____________ Negotiates fees and contract terms with major plans
____________ Practice marketing with patients; referring practices; with local businesses; and industry
____________ Networking to find out what other practices are doing re:state-of-the-art
____________ Preparation of annual budget
____________ Manages practice within budgetary guidelines
____________ Determines economic aspects of equipment, facility, and new service decisions
____________ Responsible and accountable for billing and collection activities
____________ Maintains overhead and collection percentages within (best practice) industry standards
____________ Responsible for negotiating equipment leases and best prices for supplies (business and medical)
Facilities and Equipment:
____________ Responsible for facilities and premises management
____________ If practice relocates or establishes new location; dealing with architect, contractors, and property management
____________ Investigates new equipment and facility needs
____________ Attends managerial-level and other educational programs. Possible membership in MGMA (local and/or national), and specialty management groups
____________ Subscribes to management publications
George Conomikes is CEO of Conomikes Associates, nationally-recognized practice management consultants. He has spearheaded assignments to improve the performance and profitability of over 1,200 medical practices, including searches for practice managers and administrators. E-mail him here.