Healthcare risk managers research, analyze and evaluate the risks and liabilities that hospitals, healthcare providers, insurers and other service providers may face in the day-to-day operation of their businesses. Risk managers also ensure that healthcare facilities comply with ever-changing legislation and safety regulations, and hold appropriate medical malpractice and other insurance.
Jobs Outlook for Risk Managers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for workers classified as actuaries is projected to grow by 18% from 2014-24, which is twice as fast as the national average for all occupations during that decade. As healthcare organizations seek ways to identify and mitigate risk and address constantly changing regulations, there will continue to be demand for risk management professionals in this field.
A risk manager’s job responsibilities will vary depending on employer and role, and can range from working within a specific department to overseeing risk for the organization as a whole. On any given day, risk managers may review: accidents and incidents; lawsuits; working environments; departmental operations; emergency preparedness procedures; the composition of a company’s workforce; an organization’s buildings, plants or facilities; and financial reports or other records. Their goal is to reduce the probability of loss from lawsuits, noncompliance, fraud and other business liabilities.
In the healthcare field, the BLS notes, actuaries assist in preparing policies for insurance and long-term care by projecting future costs of medical services and other expenses, among other factors. They analyze consumer-related data, such as medical costs, to help insurers create products and set prices.
In addition to possessing well-developed research and analysis skills, risk management professionals should have strong decision-making skills and the ability to present recommendations to senior management.
Risk Manager Salary Potential
As of May 2016, the annual average wage for actuaries nationwide was $114,120, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10% of earners in this classification of professionals had salaries exceeding $186,250 a year.
A candidate’s employment history and level of educational attainment are factors in determining potential salary ranges and job opportunities, as are regional market conditions, and the type and size of employer. Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research.
Education and Training
A position as a risk manager in the healthcare field will generally require at a minimum a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, healthcare administration, business, finance, accounting or a related discipline. An advanced degree, such as an MBA in Healthcare Management, can help professionals attain senior-level and management roles.
Pursuing an associate’s degree in healthcare management can be a first step on this career path. Graduates of a healthcare management education program should be prepared to:
- Understand the risks and liabilities involved in a modern healthcare system
- Use computers and software applications to identify and track risks
- Implement essential management techniques such as planning and change leadership
- Apply critical-thinking and decision-making skills in finding optimal business solutions
Is a Career as a Risk Manager Right for You?
If you have strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, sound decision-making skills, excellent leadership potential, and the relevant educational qualifications and work experience, the risk management field could offer a rewarding and challenging professional path.