When most people think of healthcare, the first people who come to mind are the doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurses, radiologists, and other medical staff. This is normal since the people you interact with the most when you visit a healthcare facility are the service providers.
These are also the employees you and your insurance companies pay for you to see and be treated.
However, some of the most important staff in the healthcare industry are the administrators. Without healthcare administration, medical staff would not be able to complete their jobs effectively. They are the staff behind the scenes that make the healthcare facility run efficiently.
Currently, there are over 300,000 healthcare administration positions being run from middle management to top level executives. Many more are working in lower level administration positions in areas such as admissions, discharge, billing and front-office.
Lower level jobs do not mean lower importance. Just the opposite is true. Without these staff members, functionality of each office would decline.
Below are specific details about the administration side of healthcare.
What Is Healthcare Administration?
Almost every successful business has a team of professionals making the business work. While some agencies are independently owned and run, the majority have help. They need help because it can be difficult to provide good services and schedule appointments and market the business and collect payments and document notes and keep up with supply inventories and on and on.
Services providers in the healthcare industry need help with the business side of things so they can stay focused on being a great provider. This is true in many industries. Musicians, pro athletes and actors have agents and representatives and financial managers.
They have social media marketers, schedulers and even people who do their shopping. These are people we don’t see in the spotlight. They are working behind the scenes to continue the success of the star and give the public what they want. This is like those working in healthcare administration.
The administrators in healthcare are less seen by patients. They are not recognized as much but should be due to their importance in helping systems, policies, human resources, budgets, customer satisfaction and much more run smoothly.
The level of job you wish to have within the healthcare industry will determine how much education is required. The higher you want to rise, the more education you will need. There are great jobs at every level, however.
With a bachelor’s degree, you can obtain entry-level management positions, giving you the basics of accounting, human resources, computer applications, and leadership. A degree will also prepare you for what will be expected by different companies.
This can include coding and billing, electronic databases, drug classifications, marketing, budgeting, and creating and implementing policies.
If you plan to seek jobs higher in the industry, you may be required to obtain master level degrees that can further train you on management and supervision of staff, development and how to seek funding opportunities, and expansion.
Where You Can Work
A degree in healthcare administration allows you to apply for jobs in many industry agencies. Just think about the many places you visit in which you receive some type of healthcare service. This may be your local urgent care. It could be your family physician’s office. It could even be the hospital in your area.
Other areas you can work include nursing homes, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, inpatient and outpatient centers, mental health facilities, and specialty clinics. Specialty clinics can range from dental, orthopedic, and even optometry.
Additional healthcare environments include universities and research institutions, research laboratories, government departments that focus on healthcare, major health associations or clubs, pharmaceutical companies, medical supplies and equipment companies, and even writing or consulting as an independent contractor.
With this many work settings, you can imagine just how many jobs may be available.
Jobs You Can Seek
Having a degree in healthcare administration sets you up for a wide range of job opportunities. You can investigate the different areas and seek employment in a job that best meets your needs and desires.
Many healthcare administrators become managers in fields ranging from billing and medical records. Others become the manager of staff within a facility, and some run the entire agency on their own.
Other jobs deal with promotion of healthcare services in the marketing department, overseeing the hiring and firing of staff, implementing office policies, or collecting and analyzing data for your organization.
Some healthcare jobs combine multiple duties into one job description. Meaning, you may be asked to run the human resources department, do cost accounting, serve as a patient advocate and serve as a liaison between your organization and the community.
With a business degree like the one you can obtain at your local college; you can be prepared for all these duties.
Positive Job Outlook
Because the healthcare industry is growing, administration jobs are also growing. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, healthcare administration positions are expected to grow at least 17% in the next five years.
They further state there is an increase in salaries in healthcare administration too. It is reported the annual average salary of medical administrators and managers is close to $100,000. Of course, this will vary based on geographic location and the type of facility in which you work.
Where to Start
If you are seeking employment as a healthcare administrator, the first place to start is at your local college. You do not need to attend a large four-year university to get a degree in healthcare administration.
You would spend more money and more time only to compete with students chose to attend their local college.
Choosing a local college allows you to complete online courses, work at the same time you attend school, meet industry professionals, and for typically less money.
You can even begin your journey today by reaching out to your local college that offers a degree program in healthcare administration.