When a medical office manager can't keep pace

April 18, 2008

Our practice has grown rapidly. Our office manager?a former biller who moved up the ladder?can't keep up with the expanded responsibilities. How do we tell a loyal employee that she's no lmedical practice,office manager,practice administration onger up to the job?

Our practice has grown rapidly. We now have three offices and 40 employees, and our office manager-a former biller who moved up the ladder-can't keep up with the expanded responsibilities. How do we tell a loyal employee that she's no longer up to the job?

Present it to her this way: Because your practice has grown so much, its needs and problems go far beyond what your current administrative structure was set up to handle. To deal with this situation, you plan to establish a new top position of practice administrator. Explain that the person who assumes this role will not only have to supervise daily office functions-as your office manager does now-but also implement your strategic business plan, improve your practice's operational effectiveness, oversee staff development, and represent the practice in its dealings with regulatory agencies, insurance carriers, and other organizations. Describe the skill set you expect this person to bring to these tasks.

You'll have to level with her, indicating that while she doesn't have the qualifications for this position, she's a valued employee and you recognize how much the success of the practice was due to her efforts over the years. Offer her a new position where she can continue to use her considerable skills-possibly as billing manager. Hopefully, she'll be confident enough to acknowledge her limitations and welcome a person with broader expertise into the practice.

The answer to our reader's question was provided by Kathryn Moghadas, CHBC, Associated Healthcare Advisors & TopCat, Fern Park, FL .

Send your practice management questions to: PMQA Editor, Medical Economics, 123 Tice Blvd., Suite 300,Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7664, or send an e-mail to mepractice@advanstar.com (please include your regular postal address).