Regulatory compliance consultants assist healthcare organizations in achieving conformance with government regulations. They typically advise senior management, and help develop processes and programs to ensure organization-wide compliance with applicable laws and standards. These professionals demonstrate a broad knowledge of healthcare laws and organizational management, and possess skills and knowledge specifically related to the healthcare industry.
A career as a regulatory compliance consultant in the healthcare sector can begin with enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in healthcare management.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the healthcare industry will be the nation’s fastest-growing employment sector from 2014-24. Projections call for almost 3.8 million new healthcare jobs during that decade.
The growing elderly population is leading to an increased demand for healthcare services, which in turn creates a rising need for healthcare management professionals with strong business skills. Career prospects generally are better for individuals with relevant experience and advanced educational qualifications.
Regulatory Compliance Consultant Job Duties
Within the healthcare industry, regulatory compliance consultants ensure that medical facilities and personnel comply with local, state and federal laws and regulations. They may analyze and advise on practices ranging from patient record confidentiality to medical licensing, and often work closely with an organization’s legal, operations and finance departments. Regulatory compliance consultants monitor activities to assess compliance risk, identify instances of non-compliance and make recommendations for remedies.
A regulatory compliance consultant’s responsibilities generally involve identification and prioritization of compliance issues, as well as development and implementation of compliance plans. Professionals in this role may also be required to complete and submit regulatory agency applications and reports.
Other important aspects of a regulatory compliance consultant’s job include developing regulatory strategies, interpreting data and training personnel to ensure they understand their responsibilities in complying with regulations. Consultants may also be called on to submit a formal response to regulatory agencies when compliance issues occur.
Potential Salary for Regulatory Compliance Consultants
As of May 2016, compliance officers nationwide had an average annual wage of $70,250, according to BLS statistics. The top 10% of earners had salaries in excess of $105,260 a year. Individuals with advanced degrees and work experience generally have higher salary ranges.
Potential salaries and employment opportunities are determined by multiple factors, including regional market conditions, industry type and size, and an individual’s educational qualifications and employment history.
Education and Training
Employers may require regulatory compliance consultants to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as law, business administration or healthcare management. Some will give preference to candidates with an advanced degree, such as an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management.
The first step toward a regulatory compliance consultant career can be a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in healthcare management. Coursework typically includes strategic management, healthcare organizations, law, medical ethics, and health planning and policy management.
Graduates of a business administration with a specialization in healthcare management program should be prepared to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of healthcare management and leadership
- Communicate effectively with staff at all levels of a healthcare organization
- Implement problem-solving processes in a global setting
- Exercise sound decision-making ability
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education by providing tuition reimbursement or assistance programs to eligible employees pursuing a degree.
Are You Suited to a Regulatory Compliance Consultant Career?
Becoming a regulatory compliance consultant in the healthcare sector requires a diverse range of talents, including excellent leadership, interpersonal, and written and verbal communication skills. An aptitude for finance, computer systems and data analysis is also important, as is an understanding of healthcare legislation.
If you aspire to a regulatory compliance consultant career, you can begin developing the necessary knowledge and expertise by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in healthcare management.