While healthcare is a hot topic in American politics right now, the fact is the immense healthcare industry is not going anywhere. This makes it the perfect market to break into! With a healthy (pun intended) industry outlook and the baby boomer generation’s increasing demand for palliative care, getting a degree in health services management is a great career investment.
Health services managers, also referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may manage one specific department (such as medical billing), an entire facility (such as a nursing home), or a health practitioner’s office (such as a specialist’s private practice).
Depending on the position, managers can expect to:
- Create work schedules
- Improve efficiency and quality
- Ensure that the facility they work in is up to current laws and regulations
- Manage billing and fees
- Keep and organize records
- Coordinate programs
And more, depending on the position and facility.
They are also required to communicate with medical practitioners (physicians and surgeons), registered nurses, laboratory technicians, patients, and insurance companies.
Essentially, health services managers are tasked with keeping healthcare facilities running smoothly and without incident. A job search will specify positions for coordinators, project managers, and information systems managers, all engaged in various settings, from hospitals to private practices. Depending on your interests, strengths, and background, there are plenty of job options within the healthcare management and administrative sectors.
Over the ten-year period of 2016 to 2026, employment of health services managers is projected to grow twenty percent, significantly faster than other management positions. Demand is growing in hospitals, private practices, and nursing homes, as more physicians are hired and more nursing homes are needed for the aging baby boomer population. Currently, hospitals employ about thirty-six percent of health services managers, with physicians’ offices and nursing homes employing eleven and ten percent, respectively.
As with most professions in the modern era, those with strong technology skills will find themselves the most employable, as healthcare facilities depend on tech for electronic health records, medical billing and coding, work scheduling, and more.
Most positions will require a bachelor’s degree or some combination of a two-year degree and experience, along with some additional certifications. It is possible to start working with an associate degree while working toward a higher degree, and some employers might cover additional education costs as an employment benefit. Ultimately, the healthcare industry is complicated, and those with degrees specifically in health services management can expect to be more employable than those with just business administration degrees.
As of May 2017, the median wage for health services managers stands at $98,350, with the bottom ten percent making less than $58,350 and the top ten percent earning more than $176,130. This median wage is about $10,000 higher than the median wage for management positions in other industries, making the healthcare industry look quite attractive for ROI of education costs.
Of course, salary considerations include factors such as experience, position, location, and education level. And it should be noted that you might have to earn this salary with unusual work hours, including late-night and overnight schedules if you work for a hospital.
When considering your career goals, the health services management profession is certainly one to think about as healthcare demand continues to grow.
Brighton College offers an Associate Degree in Health Services Management as well as various medical certification programs. Brighton College offers all courses online, along with affordable tuition and an emphasis on employability after graduation. Visit Brighton College’s website to take your first steps toward this rewarding and lucrative career.