On the front lines of the medical field are the doctors, nurses, radiologists, anesthesiologists, phlebotomists, and other professionals who provide the care and services patients need. Behind the scenes, however, are the health care managers who keep those services and facilities working efficiently, ensure the institution’s financial stability, and operate in accordance with federal and state laws. It’s a big task that requires the right training.
What is Health Care Management?
The 10,000 ft description of health care management is the planning, directing, and coordination of medical and health services. Depending on the manager’s level of experience and responsibility, this may be done for an entire medical facility, a specific clinical area or department, or within a medical practice for a group of physicians.
The boots-on-the-ground description, on the other hand, covers more of the nuts and bolts of the health care manager’s role, which will vary somewhat based on the exact title he or she holds. Common duties, whether at the facility or departmental level, include:
- Developing goals and objectives
- Maintaining compliance with laws and regulations
- Recruiting, training, and supervising staff
- Improving efficiency and quality in the delivery of services
- Managing budgets and overseeing finances
- Creating work schedules
- Maintaining organized records
- Preparing/presenting reports
- Working closely with medical staff
Other skills that a health care manager must possess include strong communication skills and a solid foundation in good business practices. You will be an important part of a team and contribute to high-level decisions, but you will also be tasked with working independently and making informed individual decisions. And you can’t discount the big responsibility that will be on your shoulders to ensure that all relevant rules and standards are upheld in the medical facility. Find out more about why you should start a career in health care management.
How Do I Become a Health Care Manager?
The starting point for becoming a health care manager is to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management. Ottawa University’s accelerated online program provides the in-depth training required to enter directly into the field. It promotes an understanding of complex, evolving, and integrated health care and reimbursement systems. Students analyze perspectives, methods, and values associated with the delivery and financing of health services. They learn to evaluate client needs, fiscal constraints, management practices, ethical principles, public policies, and promotional strategies of the health care institution. They explore trends that are shaping today’s health care market and what the future of managed care looks like. Also considered are system designs to discover ways to meet the growing demands for affordable, efficient, responsible, and effective health care. For those who desire leadership positions in health-related organizations, this major promotes organizational insight and managerial ability. It also offers two tracks based on your background and goals.
If you are currently a health care professional with a registry or license, such as a radiologist, occupational therapist, or registered nurse, Ottawa University’s online degree in Health Care Management allows you to transfer in a minimum of 30 hours of clinical/laboratory coursework. You then go on to complete the necessary core courses to earn your degree. If you hold a post-primary credential, you may be able to apply additional upper division credits.
The clinical track of the degree will help health care professionals learn what it takes to keep their institutions operating efficiently and fiscally, so they can continue helping people live better, healthier lives. The clinical track will also open up the job field, as you will have the training for a wide range of roles:
- Assisted Living Administrator
- Clinical Director
- Clinical Manager
- Consulting Health Care Administrator
- Healthcare Administrator
- Health Care Clinic Manager
- Health Care Risk Manager
- Health Care Manager
- Home Health Care Administrator
- Hospice Administrator
- Hospital Health Care Manager
- Medical Coding Specialist
- Mental Health Facility Administrator
- Nurse Manager
- Nursing Home Administrator
- Pharmaceutical Administrator
- Pharmaceutical Quality Manager
- Public Health Program Manager
- Rehabilitation Manager
The non-clinical track of Ottawa University’s accelerated, online Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management helps business professionals understand health management systems and gain the organizational acumen and managerial skills needed to pursue positions in leadership and management of health care organizations. OU’s highly esteemed faculty share their expertise and managerial insights with students who desire to enter such positions as:
- Health Information Manager
- Community Health Manager
- Health Policy Analyst
- Nursing Home Administrator
- Health Promotion Specialist
- Medical Services Administrator
- Health Services Manager
- Health Care Finance Manager
- Health Care Human Resources Manager
- Physician Practice Manager
- Quality and Improvement Manager
Health Care Management Concentrations
If you are interested in a focused role in management, you can choose from one of four concentrations that will increase your marketability to meet a health care facility’s specific needs.
- Economics Concentration - This concentration highlights the decision-making of people in a business—entrepreneurs, managers, employees, executives, shareholders, etc.—as well as the impact of those decisions on society. You will gain the ability to analyze existing systems or institutions, find economic data and other existing knowledge to apply it to a problem, and form recommendations to enhance efficiency and/or equity.
- Finance Concentration – A finance concentration exposes you to different financial models and strategies, develops expertise in the management of capital, and explores international finance in preparation for management careers with a finance emphasis.
- Human Resources Concentration – This concentration covers legally prescribed standards for measuring work performance; compensation; labor-employee relations; and recruitment, selection, training, development, and appraisal of employees.
- Leadership and Management Concentration – With a Leadership and Management concentration, you will become equipped to supervise personnel and help organizations run efficiently, effectively, and ethically. You’ll learn to develop key skills in problem-solving; decision-making; systems analysis; and planning within financial, economic, managerial, and technological contexts.
Health Care Manager Salaries
With a growth rate of 32% through 2030 (BLS), the outlook for employment as a health care manager is one of the most promising in the country. It is estimated that 51,800 openings for medical and health services managers will be available each year through the end of the decade.
Matching the high growth in the field, salaries for health care managers are also significant, averaging $104,280 annually in May 2020. Keep in mind that how much health care managers make will depend largely on their level of experience, the degree earned, and the specific role and state in which they are employed.
Medical and health services managers typically have training or experience in both health and management. Graduates of OU’s accelerated online BA in Health Care Management can pursue health care management and administration career options in settings such as hospitals, residential care facilities, nursing homes, home health agencies, ambulatory services, and group medical practices.
Beyond the jobs outlined above, occupations that require a BA in Health Care Management and knowledge of both health and management fields include insurance underwriter, public policy analyst in health care, clinical trial investigator, and health care analyst.
Put Your Experience to Work
Ready to move into a new role within health care? Call us today to begin your career advancement and enroll in our BA in Health Care Management or any of our other accelerated online degrees!
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