Modern health care is highly complex, often involves multiple providers, and requires significant resources for record keeping and administration. Most health care facilities today have several layers of middle management to assist with the regulatory and administrative overhead, and many of these college-educated professionals choose to earn one or more medical management-related certifications. Many health care employers require office or practice manager candidates to have a recognized industry certification.
Medical Manager Education
With the exception of some smaller practices, nearly all medical office and practice managers have at least a bachelor's degree. A degree in health or business administration is ideal, but medical managers come from a variety of academic backgrounds. Some senior managers choose to go back to school to earn a master's in business administration or public health administration.
Certified Physician Practice Manager
The certified physician practice manager (CPPM) program is offered by AAPC. Becoming a CPPM requires an associate degree and passing a 200-question, five-and-a-half hour exam. Administrative topics covered in the exam include health care business processes and workflow, human resources, fraud and corporate compliance and maintaining quality in health care. The exam also covers accounting and finance topics, such as medical office accounting and marketing, as well as electronic health records and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance.
Certified Professional Medical Services Management
The Certified Professional Medical Services Management (CPMSM) designation is offered by the National Association Medical Staff Services. Although there are no educational requirement for the CPMSM, candidates must have at least five years of medical management experience in the last eight years to sit for the exam. The CPMSM exam covers topics including setting up provider enrollment procedures, medical staff by-laws, clinic and hospital standards and management and accreditation standards.
Certified Medical Office Manager
The Practice Management Institute awards the Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM) designation. This certification program helps you improve your communication skills and learn how to mitigate risks, motivate employees and improve the profitability of the practice. You must have at least one year of professional experience in a medical practice to sit for the CMOM certification exam.