If you are looking to advance your career but can’t decide whether to focus on business or health care, there’s good news. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, so you don’t have to choose. The world of management within medical and health services is booming. Data also shows that careers in health care management are diverse, lucrative, and satisfying.
Diverse Careers in Health Care Management
First of all, it’s important to note that you don’t have to be a health care professional to be in health care management. While some who have a background in the health care field choose to move over to the administrative side of the profession, the fact is that an MBA in Health Care Administration can prepare anyone to utilize their management skills in a medical setting.
Whether called health services managers, health care executives, or health care administrators, those in health care management plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of health care providers or related services.
Responsibilities of Health Services Managers
- create and oversee budgets
- direct the overall operations of a facility or department
- improve the efficiency and quality of service delivery
- set goals, hire, and supervise staff
- stay abreast of current laws and regulations and ensure compliance
- create work schedules
- communicate effectively with medical staff and department heads
- oversee the maintenance of service records
These and other administrative duties might be performed in facilities such as hospitals, whether state, local, or private; in nursing and residential care facilities; within government entities, such as the VA; in outpatient care facilities; health insurance companies; doctors’ offices; emergency services; pharmaceutical companies; and even information management services.
Medical management titles and opportunities can vary widely, largely depending on an organization’s structure and your targeted training, whether through an online Master of Business Administration program with a concentration in health care management, a population health degree, or similar training. For example, you might become a nursing home administrator, a clinical manager of a specific department, a health information manager responsible for records maintenance and data gathering, or a program director for a specialized group or area within the hospital.
Emerging Careers in Health Care Management
Because the landscape of health care is constantly changing and new needs are being identified, targeted roles within the field are often created. One such role is a population health manager. Population Health Management is a rapidly emerging specialty area within health care that is focused on improving the health status of defined populations. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Health Care Reform, has mandated new models of care and financing that require entities to engage in the active management of populations that are assigned to them. These entities include traditional organizations, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. They also include newer organizational models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).
What is a Population Health Manager?
A population health manager (PHM) is tasked with putting the patient at the center of his or her health care, with an emphasis on whole-patient care rather than disease-centered care, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). To accomplish this, the PHM develops and implements a strategy for care that encompasses identifying specific populations, integrating community resources, collecting and strategically utilizing data, assessing risk levels, measuring performance, evaluating care delivery systems, and incorporating health plans/payers.
Why is Population Health Management Important?
Population health management is important for several reasons. First, it identifies populations that may be at risk for compromised health services. Through a collaborative and data-driven effort, the health care of the identified populations can be improved and health disparities among those same and other populations can be decreased. These populations could be people who live in a specific geographic area or who share attributes such as ethnicity or age.
Another reason that PHM is important surrounds the patient experience. Rather than being another patient in the giant wheel of health care consumers, members of these identified populations can have services coordinated or even developed around their unique needs and circumstances. This increases both the effectiveness and satisfaction of patient services.
Finally, one of the aims of population health management is reducing per capita health care costs. The high price tag of health care services precludes some from seeking or receiving affordable medical assistance, especially among certain demographics. PHM seeks to find solutions to this problem to ensure that each population has access to quality care.
What Does a Population Health Manager Do?
Those with a population health degree, an online MBA in Health Care Management, -or a related degree can become population health managers. With responsibility for identifying at-risk populations, improving the patient experience, and reducing health care costs, they are on the front lines of making policy recommendations; conducting and/or coordinating health outreach efforts and education; making health assessments of various groups; identifying patterns of health, health care, and access to care; and recommending needed changes.
Population health managers must collaborate with multiple entities, such as public health departments, social service agencies, community health groups, physicians, pharmacists, psychologists, nurses, and more to provide coordinated services. They also must utilize and analyze data collected on their population groups, such as socioeconomic status, physical environment, medical histories, mental health, and more to proactively drive equitable, cost-effective care and promote healthy populations.
With an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on their overall care and business models, many health care and community organizations are now hiring population health managers. Those holding a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care Management or a population health degree will have the training needed to fill these roles.
Benefits of Getting a Degree in Health Care Management
Are you looking for reasons to get a health care management degree or a population health degree? There are many, but three of the most telling are the salary, the demand, and the satisfaction.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for medical and health services managers in 2020 was $104,280 annually. That’s $50.13 per hour. Not only that, the Bureau expects 139,600 health care management jobs to be added through 2030, a 32% job growth rate. That is much faster than the average for all jobs.
What about job satisfaction? According to the U.S. News and World Report, medical and health services managers are highest ranked in Best Business Jobs for 2021, #4 in Top 100 Best Jobs, and #4 in Best STEM Jobs. Careers in health care management were also rated above average for upward mobility, stress level, and flexibility. Not many jobs can boast such satisfying stats in today’s job market.
Earn Your Online Degree in Health Care Management
A Master of Business Administration is a degree that allows for many different concentrations and career directions. If medical or health services administration is your chosen field, however, Ottawa University’s MBA in Health Care Management is recognized as one of the best accelerated online MBA degrees in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. If you are ready to start the journey towards a highly lucrative, in-demand, and satisfying career in this field then contact us today to enroll!
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