What is a healthcare manager?
The profession has other titles, namely, health services manager and medical services manager. These management positions are different from a healthcare administrator. Although there can be an overlap in duties, the difference lies in their area of concentration. The healthcare administrator focuses on the management of staff and processes within various units, floors, departments, or an entire facility within a healthcare facility, clinic, or hospital. The administrator typically targets budgeting and staffing issues. In contrast, the healthcare manager emphasizes the business aspects of the medical facility or department.
A list of career opportunities in healthcare management is in:
- Mental Health Organizations
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Universities and Research Institutions
- Health Insurance Organizations
- Nursing Homes and Long Term Care
- Medical Clinics
- Dental Offices
To answer the captioned query, yes, there are jobs in healthcare management where you are primarily an office manager. An Associate degree and knowledge of bookkeeping and management skills are the qualifications. The position might be referred to as a Business Office Manager in a health-related organization. For example, the employment site, Indeed, has a posting for this job in a Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. The principal task is to supervise and oversee business operations.
Other management jobs have a more diverse range of duties, including a higher standard of eligibility requirements for applicants. For example, NextCare, Inc. posted an opening for a Practice/Clinic Manager on Indeed. The corporation boasts over 140 clinics in ten states, which provide urgent care and occupational services. This particular position involves the management of two clinics. In addition to the customary roles of assessing staff needs, the manager must be familiar with regulatory standards, order supplies and equipment, conduct performance reviews, liaise with customers, oversee revenue, and prepare financial reports.
In most instances, one’s duties and responsibilities increase with higher education. Graduates with a master’s degree in healthcare management or administration may advance to the executive class sooner. Also, management positions with a larger employee population will likely require at least a baccalaureate.
Individuals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree may qualify for the position of Healthcare Operations Manager. Mednax, as an example, with over 10,000 employees, seeks an Operations Manager to oversee one of their medical group practices. The job duties are extensive, as they involve:
- Physician recruitment
- Marketing activities
- Analyze referring physician reports
- Manage clinical and non-clinical staffing
- Act as liaison with hospital administrators
- Assess hospital contracts
The job is one rung of the Operations management team that includes a Director, a Specialist, a Regional Vice-President, and President. The job posting stipulates that a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is necessary. Similar positions titled as Medical Operations Manager state that a bachelor’s degree is preferred. An Associate may suffice with work experience in budgeting, in conjunction with proven leadership and communication skills.
Another title is Practice Manager-Operations, which demands many of the same duties as an Operations Manager. An example comes from a dental group, which posted a job opening for the selected candidate to assume various roles. Some of these include training staff, set budget guidelines, manage financial accounts, assist patients with credit payments, conduct weekly team meetings, and schedule shift workers. Applicants may substitute experience (3-5 years) for an Associate degree, or only need one year of experience with a Bachelor’s degree in healthcare, business, or related discipline. Organizational and communication skills are essential, as well as problem-solving ability, ingenuity, social prowess, and leadership qualities.
A healthcare or health services manager, as illustrated above, is more than a glorified office manager. Managing the office is a title that encompasses many responsibilities. The position requires the legal, financial, medical insurance, and legal knowledge to function proficiently. By acquiring this knowledge and applying it to the job, the healthcare facility or department operates smoothly and efficiently. Consequently, the physicians, nurses, dentists, and those involved in direct health care can dedicate their time exclusively to patients.
As mentioned above, the management responsibilities typically increase in a medical setting with a more significant number of staff members. To secure employment in a larger facility or hospital, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management is beneficial. At this level, you learn about accounting, business, healthcare, human resources, finance, employment law, and more. You can take online courses and finish in as few as 30 months at Western Governors University, as one example.
Your undergraduate degree might launch a career into the Medical and Health Services Managers occupation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this category has a median wage of $99,730 (2018) and a growth rate of 18% over the next ten years.