Making it work

By Drum Digital
05 November 2010

Latavia Hoffman wears two hats. Not only is this busy Capetonian an experienced medical office manager who runs doctors’ practices, she also has her own business providing administrative support for doctors and training people who would like to enter the field.

“Medical office managers help doctors to manage their practices by setting up computer, accounting, financial and other systems,” says Latavia.

Her job combines the work of a personal assistant or general office manager, with bookkeeping and specific tasks related to medical practices.

These include managing and submitting claims to medical aids, dealing with patients, controlling debtors (people who owe the practice money) and reducing bad debts.

“I also manage staff records and payrolls and oversee the IT needs of the practice,” she says.

The work is varied and includes processing records and monthly reports, and calculating and submitting VAT returns. She also does patients’ appointment bookings, account queries and payments, sorts out patient problems and liaises with medical aids. She is also responsible for maintaining relationships with medical suppliers.

After years in the field, Latavia (39) decided it was time to share her knowledge so in June she started Medi-PA, a medical administration, bookkeeping and training company. She no longer works fulltime at one practice but assists and advises at various practices depending on their needs.

To be a good medical office administrator you need to be able to adapt quickly to a constantly changing environment as you have to deal with different people and situations every day, she says. One of the most important things is to remain calm and not get flustered when patients get upset or doctors are impatient. “If you can get past those drawbacks, it’s very fulfilling,” she says.

Read the full article in DRUM of 11 November 2010

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