Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers.
What they do
Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.
Medical and health services managers typically do the following:
- Improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
- Develop departmental goals and objectives
- Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with laws and regulations
- Recruit, train, and supervise staff members
- Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
- Create work schedules
- Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within funding limits
- Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
- Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
- Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads
Medical and health services managers work closely with physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, and other healthcare workers. Others may interact with patients or insurance agents.
Medical and health services managers’ titles depend on the facility or area of expertise in which they work.
The following are examples of types of medical and health services managers:
Nursing home administrators manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building, as well as care of the residents in nursing homes. All states require licensure for nursing home administrators; licensing requirements vary by state.
Clinical managers oversee a specific department, such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy, and have responsibilities based on that specialty. Clinical managers set and carry out policies, goals, and procedures for their departments; evaluate the quality of the staff’s work; and develop reports and budgets.
Health information managers are responsible for the maintenance and security of all patient records and data. They must stay up to date with evolving information technology, current or proposed laws about health information systems, and trends in managing large amounts of complex data. Health information managers must ensure that databases are complete, accurate, and accessible only to authorized personnel. They also may supervise the work of medical records and health information technicians.
Most medical and health services managers work in offices. Most medical and health services managers work full time. Some managers work more than 40 hours per week. Work during evenings or weekends may be required in healthcare settings that are open at all hours, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Medical and health services managers may need to be on call in case of emergencies.
How to become a Medical and Health Services Manager
Most medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Educational requirements vary by facility and specific function.
Medical and health services managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Graduate programs often last between 2 and 3 years and may include up to 1 year of supervised administrative experience in a hospital or healthcare consulting setting.
Prospective medical and health services managers typically have a degree in health administration, health management, nursing, public health administration, or business administration. Degrees that focus on both management and healthcare combine business-related courses with courses in medical terminology, hospital organization, and health information systems. For example, a degree in health administration or health information management often includes courses in health services management, accounting and budgeting, human resources administration, strategic planning, law and ethics, health economics, and health information systems.
The median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $100,980 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $58,820, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $189,000.
Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, there should be increased demand for healthcare services.
This means greater needs for physicians and other healthcare workers, medical procedures, and healthcare facilities, and therefore greater needs for managers who organize and manage medical information and healthcare staff. There should also be increased demand for nursing care facility administrators as the population grows older.
Employment is projected to grow in offices of health practitioners. Many services previously provided in hospitals will shift to these settings, especially as medical technologies improve. Demand in medical group practice management is projected to grow as medical group practices become larger and more complex.
In addition, widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to create demand for managers with knowledge of health information technology (IT) and informatics systems. Medical and health services managers will be needed to organize, manage, and integrate these records across areas of the healthcare industry.
Similar Job Titles
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Chief Executive, Education Administrator-Elementary and Secondary School, Education Administrator-Postsecondary, Social and Community Service Manager, Dietitian and Nutritionist
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American College of Health Care Administrators
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- American Health Information Management Association
- American Nurses Association
- American Public Health Association
- Discover Health Admin
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
- Medical Group Management Association
Magazines and Publications
In the complex and constantly changing business of providing health care, medical and health services managers keep health care facilities running efficiently so patients get the high-quality care they depend on. These managers may direct medical and health services for an entire facility such as clinics, nursing home, hospitals or a group medical practice, or in a specific department like pediatrics or surgery in one of those facilities. To ensure their organization complies with regulations, and provides great care, managers must stay on top of developments in healthcare laws and technology. Medical and health services managers handle finances for their organization; balancing budgets, overseeing patient billing and setting fees. They also recruit and manage employees, communicate with medical staff, and coordinate with department heads. These professionals must keep records of services their facility provides and track how successful services are. They also are often the person most responsible for the security of patient records and data. As key executives, they represent their facility on governing boards or may report to investors for privately-held facilities. Most managers work full-time hours, and may need to work on evenings and weekends, or be available to go to work should an emergency arise. While most medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree, some positions require a master's degree.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org