shutterstock 1458205556Healthcare management is a growing field due to the growth in overall healthcare needs. As the baby boomer generation ages and remains active, there is a need for healthcare workers both at the bedside and behind the scenes. Healthcare managers plan, direct, and coordinate care, but are not directly at the bedside. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), healthcare management is projected to grow by 18% over the next ten years. This is much higher than the national average for all occupations. What does this mean for future students? It means that students can pursue a degree in healthcare management and get substantial entry-level pay. The median amount health service mangers get paid per year is $99,730; this is with an undergraduate degree. Graduate degrees in healthcare management will push salaries into upwards of $144,000.

Healthcare managers supervise healthcare systems, public health systems, oversee accounting issues related to healthcare platforms, manage business activities of healthcare providers, and run economical aspects of healthcare. Typically speaking, healthcare managers improve the efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services. These services can be provided to inpatient settings, outpatient settings, or information technology settings. Healthcare managers assume the role of leadership by developing departmental goals and objectives to ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on compliance and regulations.

Healthcare managers also manage healthcare staff by recruiting, training, and supervising staff members. They create work schedules and keep records of the facilities services such as the number of inpatient beds and the number of patients seen per month in the emergency department.

On the business side, healthcare managers prepare, and monitor budgets put forth by stakeholders and governmental agencies to ensure departments operate under designated funds. Healthcare managers also represent the facility at investor meetings or are on governing boards. Sometimes they will utilize their voice as a board member to vote on various issues. Being a healthcare manger takes a lot of responsibility, good communication skills, integrity, and expertise.

Healthcare management career path

Healthcare management and healthcare administration are very similar. Healthcare administrations are usually the top tier leadership at any given organization. Often, healthcare administrators are Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operations Officers, Chief Nursing Officers, and Chief Financial Officers. They provide executive leadership at facilities. Healthcare managers are usually a step below these executives and assume roles of management at the clinical and departmental level. Example titles of those with a healthcare management degree include: Physician practice manager, quality improvement manager, patient finance manager, clinical nurse manager, or a managed care representative. A Bachelor’s degree is required to hold such positions.

A Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management is the career path you must take in order to become a healthcare manager. With a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management you can take several career paths based on your interest, expertise and passion. Healthcare managers can be divided into three categories: nursing home administrators, clinical managers, and health information managers.

Healthcare managers can become nursing home administrators in which they would mange staff, admissions, finances, and care for the actual building infrastructure and codes. Nursing home administrators also verify all licensure of staff members and verify that they are up to date. Nursing home administrators oversee federal, state, and local regulations and confirm that they are strictly monitored and followed. Nursing home administrators must have licensing requirement knowledge for the state in which they work.

Healthcare managers may also become clinical managers to inpatient or outpatient settings. Clinical managers may oversee specific departments such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy. Based on that specific specialty, the clinical manager may develop goals for that department as well as ensure proper regulations are followed. For example, if working on a nursing department, the healthcare manager may initiate interventions that would reduce pressure related skin injuries. They may also monitor credentialing for licensed professionals that work within the department, and verify all paperwork is accounted for. They evaluate the staff’s work and merit by conducting yearly reviews. They may approve raises of staff members and may also develop budgets and interpret compliance reports.

Healthcare managers may also work in the technical aspect of healthcare called “information technology”. Health information managers are responsible for the security and maintenance of all patient records and data. They ensure that HIPPA regulations and guidelines are followed closely. Health information managers are well versed with health information system laws and trends. They may be experts in electronic medical record (EMR) systems or even “super-users” with EMR interfaces. They monitor databases and infrastructures of facility technological systems and improve workflow for staff members by upgrading information technology systems. They may also be the clinical liaison between EMR systems and clinical staff members. Health information managers may oversee staff members that work in information technology or medical record departments.

A Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management is the career path you must take in order to become a healthcare manager. There are many career paths to take if your interest is healthcare management.

Healthcare management job opportunities

Although healthcare management career paths are divided into essentially three categories, once experience is gained, you may venture into more specific healthcare management roles. Starting out, you may work as a nursing home administrator, clinical manager, or health information manager. But once you gain some experience in healthcare management you may be promoted to more specific and skilled roles. So, you may ask yourself “what can I do with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management”? The following are specific healthcare management roles:

  • Physician practice manger (oversee physician groups and practices, mostly inpatient)
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Quality improvement manager
  • Patient finance manager
  • Managed cared representative
  • Healthcare department manager or executive director
  • Population health manager
  • Governmental relations manager for healthcare systems
  • Information systems manager
  • Medical staff relations manager
  • Nursing administrator (usually requires a RN license)
  • Patient care services manger
  • Medical office administrator (outpatient)
  • Medical executive assistant (assistant to CEO, CNO, etc.)
  • Healthcare human resource manager
  • Health information officer
  • Social and community service manager
  • Employee benefits analyst
  • Field health officer
  • Health educator (community or inpatient)
  • Medical insurance claims analyst

These job positions require a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management. Which universities are best to pursue your dream of becoming a healthcare manager? Many degree options are available to obtain a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management.

Healthcare management degrees online

A Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management is offered online at various universities across the United States. Most colleges offer a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management, while some offer a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in Healthcare Management. Other related degree programs offer a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with concentrations in healthcare management. Some focus on information management. All degree paths are appropriate if your end goal is to become a healthcare manager. BBA degrees may have a few more business-type electives, but overall teach the same curriculum.

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management takes on average 3 to 4 years to complete if taking “full-time” college hours. This is defined as 12-15 hours per semester. Online degree programs offer flexibility which allows students to continue to work while attending classes. Classwork may be done at anytime throughout the day, but classwork has designated due dates for papers, discussions, and exams. The following Universities offer online degree programs for healthcare management:

  • Grand Canyon University: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • Maryville University: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • Western Governors University: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • University of Phoenix: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • South New Hampshire University: Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management.
  • Colorado State University-Global Campus: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • George Washington University: Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Management and Leadership.
  • Liberty University: Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management.
  • University of Alabama-Birmingham: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • Northeastern University: Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
  • University of Houston-Victoria: Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration.

Many universities offer bachelor’s degrees in healthcare management. The best bachelor’s degree to get if you want to work in the healthcare management field would be a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management, otherwise, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus in Healthcare Management, Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Management and Leadership, or a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management are also acceptable.

Overall, the best bachelor’s degree to get if you want to work in healthcare is a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management or closely related programs that merge healthcare, business, and technology. All options will provide equal job opportunities. Career paths in healthcare management may lead to nursing home administration, clinical management, and health information management jobs. Once experience is gained, career paths may turn to more specific job titles that require more experience and skills. Healthcare management degrees are available online and are a great option for those interested in gaining a promising career in healthcare.

Tessa Chatham

Master of Science (M.S.), Nursing Education| Aspen University

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Nursing| Texas Christian University

Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Psychology and English| The University of Texas at Arlington

October 2019

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