In the words of billionaire businessman Mark Cuban “Where there is change and where there is uncertainty, there is opportunity!” According to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), healthcare is changing at a faster rate than any other industry.1 This change is driven by a plethora of forces such as an aging population and workforce, chronic disease management, changing payment models, emerging technologies, electronic medical records, cybersecurity and growing consumerism to name just a few. Equally important is the uncertainty of the new Trump administrations healthcare reform initiative to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. If you are considering a move into a healthcare management career the climate is ripe with change and uncertainty for those who are ready to seize this tremendous opportunity.
Healthcare Management Job Outlook and Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the job outlook for medical and health service manager occupations, which includes both healthcare and administration management and is defined as planning, directing, coordinating and supervising healthcare delivery, is very robust and projects growth of 17 percent between 2014 and 2024.2 As of May, 2015 the BLS reported that the median wage for this job classification was $94,500 ranging from $56,230 to $164,380.3 Furthermore, healthcare management offers job opportunities for nearly every area of management interest and in locations from rural to metropolitan communities.
Education Needed To Work At A Healthcare Provider
Like the BLS, the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) makes no distinction between healthcare and administration management and asserts that a healthcare management degree from an accredited institution blends the needs of both based upon the mission and goals of the program.4 In any event, a master’s degree in healthcare management will open the door to mid-level as well as executive positions in both areas.
Healthcare Provider Job Role Opportunities
- Healthcare Managers: Healthcare managers assume more of a strategic role focusing on the business end of an organization overseeing the overall operation. They facilitate strategic planning to create a vision that will lead the organization in a positive and profitable direction while providing efficiency, quality and patient satisfaction. Working closely with the medical staff and management teams they devise organizational goals and formulate budgets that are in the best interest of employees, patients and the communities they serve. In an effort to keep up with the accelerated rate of change, they must keep their finger on the pulse of emerging trends such as in reimbursement, healthcare policy, technology, pharmaceuticals and the shortage of healthcare providers. Furthermore, they must be adept at managing communication and relationships with both internal and external customers.
- Healthcare Administrators: Healthcare administrators assume a more specialized role as they generally have clinical backgrounds such as nursing or therapy. Their duties revolve around the day to day management of departments including business concerns such as budgeting, recruiting and training staff, enforcing policies, overseeing technology, equipment and supply needs, promoting safety, quality care and patient satisfaction. They serve as an intermediary between their staff and upper management to facilitate a two-way flow of communication. Depending on their specialty they may also assume responsibilities such as marketing and community relations.
In 2014 the BLS reported that the majority of healthcare and administration managers worked in hospitals followed by physician practices, nursing/residential facilities, government and home health services.5 However, other employment possibilities include rehab facilities, behavioral health, public health, outpatient surgery and care centers, medical group administration, health insurance, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, military and the veterans administration and many more.
As the business of healthcare is so diverse it requires managers from a variety of specialized backgrounds including but not limited to: human resources, finance, information systems, medical staff relations, facilities and materials management, nursing administration, diagnostic services, marketing and public relations, planning and business development, engineering, environmental services, food service, risk management, quality assurance and the list goes on.
Opportunity is Knocking
Are you ready to open the door and seize the tremendous healthcare management opportunities that await those that step up, earn their master’s in healthcare management degree and prepare for a healthcare career in these challenging and uncertain times? If you are, American University has thoughtfully designed the Master of Science in Healthcare Management to prepare their graduates to lead healthcare into the future. This program of study will cultivate your communication, problem solving, analytical and relationship building skills as well as to elevate your knowledge of the forces impacting healthcare.
1. American College of Healthcare Executives, February, 2017, “Career Resources” https://www.ache.org/carsvcs/ycareer.cfm. Accessed February, 2017
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May, 2015, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Service Managers” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm. Accessed February 14,2017
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May, 2015, “Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, 11-911 Medical and Health Services Managers” https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119111.htm#st . Accessed February 14, 2017
4. Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, “Why CAHME Accreditation is Important” https://www.cahme.org/CAHME/University_Programs/Accreditation_Information/CAHME/University_Programs/Accreditation_Information.aspx?hkey=240088db-7b37-4daa-9d50-ef9b6099e00f . Accessed February 14, 2017
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, Work Environment” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-3 . Accessed February 14, 2017
About the Author
Peggy Bird has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years working in Neonatal Intensive Care, Healthcare Marketing and as a Director of Education. She earned a Bachelors of Health Science in Clinical Management and Leadership and a Masters of Arts in Education and Human Development in Education Technology Leadership from George Washington University (GWU). In addition, she taught as an online Adjunct Assistant Professor at GWU in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Over the past 11 years she has been implementing Electronic Medical Records as well as consulting to organizations across the US and is a Board Certified Nurse Informaticist. In this role she has held positions including Project Manager, Application Coordinator, Principal Trainer, Business Consultant, Regional Clinical Informaticist, and Clinical Nursing Analyst Consultant.
To learn more about American University’s online MS in Healthcare Management, request more information or contact an admissions adviser at 855-725-7614.