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PAHCOM supports small group & solo physician practice managers


PAHCOM Shares Knowledge!

The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management was established in January 1988 to provide a support network to the managers of small group and solo provider health care practices. Smaller medical practices are significantly different from other corporate entities. In physician practices it is the owner(s) who is required to do the hands-on work. If the doctors do not see patients, there is no revenue. Because of intensifying government regulation of the health care industry, it has become increasingly difficult for doctors to both see patients and manage the office.

As a consequence, physicians have leveraged their ability to provide better care to more patients by engaging the services of an administrative manager for the practice. The role of the office manager has become a vital element in efficient practice management.

Prior to PAHCOM, each office functioned more or less independently. In large cities and towns, some managers formed isolated groups that discussed local problems with varying levels of effectiveness. Although consultants and training organizations provided technical assistance on a case-by-case basis, no one with an understanding of the unique management philosophy of small office practices was available to help the office manager. Frustration with the increasing complexity of regulations and feelings of isolation from hospital and large clinic administrators were common.

PAHCOM was established to help the office manager achieve success. The single most important service provided is the development of the communications network among managers throughout the country. PAHCOM has built a state of the art communications infrastructure making it not only possible, but simple for managers to Share Knowledge across all specialties and geographies.

Additionally, the Annual PAHCOM Conference provides a forum for managers from all over the country to meet, exchange information, and solve real problems within their practices. It is not uncommon for a manager in San Francisco to directly reach out to a member in Boston or Houston or even Auburn, Nebraska, to share knowledge. The Annual Conference also provides continuing education opportunities from nationally recognized experts in areas of direct relevance to medical office management.

The association publishes a bimonthly newsletter, The PAHCOM Journal. It contains brief, clear articles on various elements of managing, and a variety of topics on the association, current events, and the health care world.

The dedication, experience, and knowledge of PAHCOM members is truly remarkable. Through years of self-discipline, struggle, and persistence, our members have attained a level of expertise that is envied by those with graduate degrees in business administration. It was to document this wealth of knowledge that PAHCOM established the Certified Medical Manager (CMM) designation. The exam tests the candidates' practice management knowledge critical to the effective operation of physician offices in today's complex health care environment.

Candidates for the certification exam must have at least two years of experience in a clinical medical setting, twelve college credits, and provide professional references. An experience recognition option reduces the number of college credits required for office managers with more than two years' experience. There are currently over 700 Certified Medical Managers (CMMs), with more meeting the strict standards with every examination cycle. The examination is not easy; it truly reflects the knowledge, skills, and talents of the candidates.

Through PAHCOM, the profession of managing health care offices receives the respect and recognition such a critical position deserves. It is a fact that the office manager is the link that unites the office staff to better serve the doctor who serves the patients. PAHCOM is proud of its thousands of members and looks forward to helping many more managers find confidence and support within the association that was designed for them.

Join PAHCOM now and become part of the solution for a better health care community!