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A Career in Healthcare Management: A Day in the Life of a Practice Manager

Your day may not be anything like what I outlined below, but the goal of the post is to suggest that most managers put out fires all day and juggle meetings, email, and business issues. employees and doctors, and they have very little time to plan. and thinking. Depending on how long you’ve been with your current group, how well-trained your staff is, and how many supervisors you have working with you, you may have a much easier day than described below, or a much more difficult one!

7:00 am – 8:00 am

An employee calls you at home before 7 am to tell you that he will not be there. Check the schedule to see how the staff can be reorganized to meet all needs.

8:00 am – 9:00 am

When you arrive, two employees have been waiting for you and have things to discuss with you: one wants to reschedule your vacation for the third time and the other wants information about FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). look at the schedule and contact her and give the second an FMLA information packet to review.

You check your schedule and notice that Nurse’s Day is coming up soon and you need to make plans to celebrate your day.

He checks his email and sees that his state listserv has interesting information that he sends to his billing manager, asking him to investigate the problem and tell him if it applies to his practice.

9:00 am – 11:00 am

You handle a patient’s complaint. You round up everyone in practice, checking that everyone has what they need and monitoring their weekends. On her way back to her office, a nurse mentions that the exam rooms are not being cleaned as thoroughly as they should be; make a mental note to speak with the cleaning company.

Your 9:30 am meeting is with a broker who has some quotes to share with you in advance of your June 30 profit at the end of the year. His main doctor has asked that the group consider cutting benefits this year if health insurance rates go up again.

She listens to several voicemail messages that came in while meeting with the profit broker. The first is the call from your EMR project manager to tell you that your start date may need to be changed; please call him back. Another is a payment that asks to schedule a graphics audit sometime in the next three weeks.

11:00 – 12:00 pm

A doctor informs you that you are using the last of the Rx pads. Could you order more ASAP?

It is payroll week and you spend most of the hour completing payroll and checking with the four employees whose payroll record is unmarked. Send the payroll file and move money to the payroll account, verify the bank balance and write down the Electronic Funds Transfer that you entered since you verified it on Friday.

12:00 – 1:00 pm

You meet with a doctor who has concerns about the compensation program. Ask for a report showing your work charges, receipts, and RVU by month for the past two years.

You get your mail, put the bills in the file pending payment, and notice that an employee you fired is appealing his unemployment denial and there will be a hearing next week.

You call your printer and place a rush order for Rx pads.

1:00 – 2:00 pm

You look at your calendar and remember that the accountant will come today for her quarterly visit and you don’t have everything ready.

You realize that lunch is ready for today, grab a soda from the break room, grab a packet of cookies from your drawer, and check your email. A medical records clerk has been advertising on Craigslist and take a quick look at the responses he’s received and see that there are two that seem to have possibilities. You call both candidates and leave messages that you’d like to talk to them about the position.

Gather the rest of the information for the accountant and clear a desk space where she works when she arrives.

2:00 – 3:00 pm

The accountant comes in and starts work, and you know that you will need to stay nearby to answer any questions you have.

He begins to work on the reports that the doctor has requested.

You call your EMR project manager, but receive their voicemail and leave a message. You call payment and request a list of charts required for chart review with a request letter detailing the type of audit.

Start reviewing the benefits broker’s report to see where other benefits might change in order to continue with the same health insurance plan.

3:00 – 4:00 pm

One of the medical records candidates calls back and you talk to her at length, then invite her to an interview with you in two days.

Review the staff vacation schedule to see if you can change the schedule for the employee who has changed their mind about their dates.

Go around everyone in practice again, checking that everyone has had lunch and that things are going well.

When you come back from the bathroom, you have five voicemails (!), One of them is the EMR project manager calling you again.

4:00 – 6:00 pm

Your billing manager comes to your permanent weekly meeting and reviews the numbers on the board from the previous week to see charges, receipts, cancellations, and accounts sent to collections. She tells him that one of the check signs has noticed that a payer is not complying with the payment contract. The manager wants to know what to do about it. It asks you to track payments and identify exactly when they started going out after hours. Call the payment representative and request a meeting later this week.

You get a call from the second medical records candidate and after speaking with her on the phone, you decide not to invite her to the interview.

The employee who asks about the FMLA stops by and makes an appointment to speak with you tomorrow morning. She tells him that her mother is ill and that she will have to miss work intermittently to care for her.

The cleaning crew arrives and you walk through several exam rooms with them, discussing the level of cleanliness that is required. She makes a mental note to contact the nurse who is monitoring the rooms and see if there is improvement in a few days.

He checks his email, straightens the surface of his desk, notices that the to-do list he started the day with has nothing crossed out. Add two more things to the list, turn off the lights, and leave the office. There is always tomorrow.

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