Health services managers and medical managers coordinate, supervise, plan and direct health care services delivery. They may establish and implement policies, objectives, and procedures for their departments; evaluate personnel and work; develop reports and budgets; and coordinate activities with other managers. hey also may help formulate business strategies and coordinate day-to-day business.
There are about 250,000 medical and health services managers in the U.S. Almost half work in private hospitals, in offices of physicians or in nursing care facilities. The rest work mostly in home health care services, Federal Government health care facilities, ambulatory facilities, outpatient care centers, insurance carriers, and community care facilities for the elderly.
For general work in this field, a master’s degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration, or business administration is normal. A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some positions. Physicians’ offices and some other facilities may substitute on-the-job experience for formal education.
Bachelor’s and post-graduate degree programs in health administration are offered by colleges; universities; and schools of public health, medicine, allied health, public administration, and business administration. In 2005, 70 schools had accredited programs up to the master’s degree in health services administration. As one seeks higher positions, they will need adequate experience and perhaps an advanced degree.
All States and the District of Columbia require nursing care facility administrators to have a bachelor’s degree, pass a licensing examination, complete a State-approved training program, and pursue continuing education. Some States also require licenses for administrators in assisted living facilities. Health information managers require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program and a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification from the American Health Information Management Association. A license is not required in other areas of medical and health services management.
Medical and health services managers must be able to:
o work long hours,
o spend considerable time walking, to consult with co-workers,
o manage expensive facilities and equipment and administer large staffs (depending on the facility one works at),
o understand finance and information systems and be able to interpret data,
o have strong leadership abilities,
o Have tact, diplomacy, flexibility, and communication skills.
Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow faster than average. If you have work experience in the health care field and strong business and management skills you should have the best opportunities.
How Much Do Medical and Health Hervices Hanagers Earn?
Median annual earnings of medical and health services managers were $67,430 in May 2004. Half of the managers earned between $52,530 and $88,210. The lowest salaries were less than $41,450, and the highest were more than $117,990.
A Day in a Medical and Health Hervices Manager’s Life:
On a typical day a Medical and health services manager will:
o direct activities in clinical areas such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or health information,
o manage personnel, finances, facility operations, and admissions,
o evaluate personnel and work; develop reports and budgets; and coordinate activities with other managers,
o maintain and keep the security of all patient records.
o coordinate day-to-day business of the clinic,
o work closely with physicians on many details,
o oversee personnel matters, billing and collection, budgeting, planning, equipment outlays, and patient flow,
o Engage in community outreach and preventive care.
I hope this article gives you a good idea of what is involved in the career of a Medical and Health Services Manager. Health care is the largest industry in the world. In the U.S. about 14 million people work in the health care field. More new wage and salary jobs are in health care than in any other industry. (Some figures from Bureau of Labor Statistics.)