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Better Define a Medical Practice Manager's Responsibilities


Here's a useful tool to allow each physician in a practice to provide input on hiring a new manager or redefining the role of a current manager.

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

Personnel Management:

____________ 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:
____________ 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

Financial Management:

____________ 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.

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