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Health Management Degree - Pursuing a Health Management Degree

what is a health manager? health manager qualifications careers in health management health manager salaries

Healthcare is a growing field, mainly due to an aging population in the United States. Advances in science and medicine means people live longer and survive health issues that used to mean death. As the population becomes older more people will begin to utilize the healthcare system, resulting in growth of the industry and, therefore, growth of jobs.

Healthcare is one of the areas that is projected to grow substantially in the next decade, which means a demand for all types of healthcare workers. Health managers are also experiencing more opportunities than ever before, as positions for administrators, planners, managers, and executives are opening.

What is a Health Manager?

Health managers help keep the business of healthcare operating smoothly. Health managers can also be called health executives or administrators. They plan and coordinate the delivery of healthcare in the industry. A health manager can manage a single medical department, or they can manage the total healthcare facility, such as a hospital or healthcare center.

Health managers will facilitate the delivery of healthcare in clinical areas, medical records, or healthcare information systems. They are responsible for management of personnel, facility operations, patient admissions, residential care, and fiscal operations. The health manager directs daily operations of an office or facility, and are responsible for process improvement, delivery systems, the regulatory environment, and technology and innovations.

It is a job that requires the ability to think quickly and respond appropriately to daily situations, innovative thinking, continuous employee motivation, and the ability to multi-task with ease and confidence. Since the health manager works in a care-giving environment, the ability to be empathetic and compassionate is also required.

Health Manager Qualifications

A health manager must have familiarity with management principles and practices. The job will usually require a master’s degree in health services administration. Other master’s degree programs for health managers could include public health or public administration, health sciences, long-term care administration, or a master’s in business administration.

Entry level employment as a health manager would require at least a bachelor’s degree if the job is in a smaller facility or if the individual works as a department lead in a larger healthcare organization. There are some jobs in physician offices that do not require formal degrees, but would require extensive experience in the management of healthcare offices or facilities. According to the Commission on Accreditation of Health Management Education, in the late 2000’s there were 72 schools that offered accredited master’s degree programs in health management.

Health managers in nursing home facilities must be degreed and pass a licensing examination. Health information managers can earn a certification from the American Health Information Management Certification as a Registered Health Information administrator.

Careers in Health Management

•Hospital Executives manage the total daily operations of hospital services and facilities. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth, successful operations of the facility, and the provision of optimum patient care. The hospital executive hires doctors, nurses, and ancillary staff, and oversees the provision of patient care, state-of-the-art facilities, and progressive medical equipment.

•Group Practice Executives manage healthcare facilities and group practices. They manage physician retention, develop and oversee practice operations and budgets, and ensure that staff provides exemplary care to patients.

•Health Consultants provide knowledge and organization in a wide range of facility services. Health consultants work for different client types and have a broad-based knowledge of health management in a variety of settings. They work on a project basis at different facilities.

Health Manager Salaries

The median salary for a health manager is $80,240 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2008. The middle-range salary is between $62,170 and $104,120, with the highest 10 percent earning in excess of $137,800.

Pursuing a degree in health management will lead to a rewarding career with growth opportunities in the foreseeable future. The industry for health management is growing, and jobs will be available in various disciplines of managing the delivery of healthcare.

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