Healthcare management is essential for the operation of our healthcare system. Hospitals wouldn’t be able to operate without it, and profitable assets like insurance and standards of primary care wouldn’t have any value if it weren’t for healthcare management.
What is Healthcare Management?
Healthcare management refers to the management of all business aspects of a healthcare facility. Management responsibilities in the healthcare field can include managing entire operations or the supervision of large departments within a service or clinical area. In all cases, healthcare facilities need highly qualified individuals to manage their operations and offer the highest standard of patient care.
Healthcare Management vs. Healthcare Administration
People who work in healthcare management undertake all the business aspects of the facility. Most of the roles in this field include executive and managerial positions tasked with understanding and managing organizational policies, large budgets, and long-term goals and business plans.
The management of healthcare is all about negotiation, critical decision-making and leadership. While healthcare management is a broader field, healthcare administration relates more to the direct command of staff associated with a department of healthcare. A primary similarity between the two areas is the need to perform tasks that aren’t associated directly with patients, so business skills for both professions are necessary.
For example, a hospital director tends to supervise the director of healthcare services, who is responsible for supporting their team and meeting regulatory requirements. The latter can pursue this career by completing a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. While the difference between healthcare management vs. healthcare administration isn’t stark, people seeking a healthcare management degree may be capable of applying for higher managerial positions.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Healthcare Management?
Degree programs for healthcare management are available at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels. Each educational level provides different opportunities for those pursuing a career in healthcare management. Someone holding an MBA in Healthcare Management may be able to pursue a leadership position in a large hospital. In contrast, someone with an undergraduate healthcare management education may work in a smaller healthcare organization in an administrative function.
For example, Tyler Klenow, a prosthetist, earned an MBA in Healthcare Management from Florida Tech. His degree bolstered his business skills and allowed him to more effectively run one of his employer’s stores. It also helped him establish a research program to develop new prosthetic products and clinical methods to improve outcomes for patients.
On the other hand, an MBA in Healthcare Management helped Lisa Garcia lead multidisciplinary teams as a health services manager for Episcopal Children’s Services, a division of Early Head Start and Head Start programs.
Individuals seeking a career in healthcare management may begin on their path with positions in human resources, marketing, public affairs, medical staff relations, nursing administration and patient care services.
With additional experience and knowledge, they can gain an understanding of the changing healthcare landscape and stay up to date with healthcare laws, regulations, technology and policies.
For more experienced professionals with a specialization, management responsibilities can include overseeing financial or pharmaceutical operations within the healthcare system.
What is the Salary for Healthcare Management?
A healthcare management professional’s salary will most likely depend on experience and education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)*, the median annual wage for medical and health service managers is $99,730 and employment is projected to grow 18% from 2018 to 2028. The BLS also reports that, as medical groups and medical technologies improve in scope and complexity, demand for medical group management and managers with knowledge of IT will grow, too.
The need to replace managers who are ready to retire in the next decade will result in more openings. And, the BLS suggests that candidates with a master’s in healthcare management or healthcare administration have the best prospects.
How Can You Become a Healthcare Manager?
There are many degree options to put you on the path of healthcare management. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare management may offer coursework in public healthcare regulations, ethics, marketing, and information technology, as well as operations management.
While a bachelor’s can prepare you to enter the healthcare management field, the BLS states that for health services manager positions, employers may prefer master’s degree holders. An MBA in Healthcare Management includes coursework in financial management, and legal and ethical issues in healthcare management.
Those pursuing a master’s learn how to deal with real-life healthcare situations. The graduate-level coursework dives deeper into the practice of organizational leadership and other healthcare topics that can prepare students to take on top levels of management.
Roles Within Healthcare Management
The versatility of this field provides a variety of general careers in healthcare management. While the word management might make someone assume it’s exclusive to higher positions, there are also entry-level jobs on the list that help someone find a place in the healthcare management pyramid. Some of those jobs are:
Works with head administrators and makes daily decisions about the healthcare facility.
Oversees specific departments, ensures policy compliance, and follows up with employees on their work quality.
Health Information Manager
Oversees the safety of patient records and manages entire databases within a healthcare facility.
Transcribes medical records and checks for any report inaccuracies.
Oversees and manages all operations of a hospital.
In addition to the substantial business and managerial skills required to fulfill a job in healthcare management, professionals in this field must have a sense of empathy and understanding of patient care. Every procedure, from paperwork to budgetary reports, is connected to a person’s ability to receive quality care and come back to the facility. Professionals need to incorporate patient satisfaction into every task they’re working on if they want to become truly exceptional in their careers.
If you’re interested in managing your career in the healthcare industry, learn more about Florida Tech’s healthcare management degrees.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (Visited December 27, 2019)
National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Information provided is not intended to represent a complete list of hiring companies or job titles, and program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.