What Is Healthcare Management? Your Degree & Career Guide

Simply put, healthcare management is the umbrella term used for leadership roles that handle day-to-day supervision and management of people and operations in medical and health services organizations. Healthcare management professionals are responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all aspects of healthcare services to ensuring that offices and departments run efficiently and serve patients effectively. They work to improve the quality of care, reduce operating costs, and improve the overall patient experience.

Professionals within this field work at organizations that include:

  • Clinics
  • Health insurance organizations
  • Healthcare associations
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Physician practices
  • Mental health organizations
  • Public health departments
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Universities and research institutions

Healthcare Management Technology Program Director Karen Lankisch looks at a typical “day in the life” of a Healthcare Manager:

Healthcare Management Key Skills

Healthcare managers require a diverse skill set to be successful, including knowledge of:

  • Financial Management: Ensuring healthcare systems have and manage the financial resources required to operate effectively.
  • Human Resource Management: Recruiting, hiring, training, and managing professionals in a healthcare office or department.
  • Quality Management: Ensuring that service meet or exceed quality standards established by the organization and other governing bodies
  • Strategic Planning: Developing and implementing long-term plans for the office, department, or organization.

In addition, healthcare managers who have honed their “soft skills” are valued for their ability to:

  • Communicate effectively, as they are constantly communicating important information to patients, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders.
  • Identify and solve problems in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Be decisive, as they must determine and implement appropriate solutions on a daily basis, often under pressure.
  • Lead, manage, motivate and inspire others.

Specific tasks a healthcare manager may engage in day to day include:

  • Draft, update, and implement department/office policies and procedures to ensure a healthy work environment and positive patient relations.
  • Handle staff scheduling to ensure coverage, and manage time-off requests.
  • Provide staff training and development, perform staff performance reviews, and resolve workplace conflict.
  • Coordinate authorization and/or delivery of patient care services.
  • Order and monitor inventory of office and medical supplies.
  • Schedule routine and emergency maintenance on medical and office equipment.
  • Oversee the coding and submission of insurance claims and collection of any outstanding balances.
  • Create and manage departmental budgets.
  • Ensure regulatory compliance and patient confidentiality.
  • Research and propose expansion and enhancement projects to ensure the office stays current with medical and business trends and developments

Earning a healthcare management associate degree at UC can help get you ready to step into a healthcare manager role by gaining and practicing these skills under the supervision of professionals who have worked in the field and add their career expertise to the classroom experience.

Jobs in the healthcare management field are expected to grow 28% from 2022 to 2032*

Growing Demand for Healthcare Management

Jobs in the Healthcare Management field are expected to grow 28 percent from 2022 to 2032 – much faster than the average for all occupations.* Reasons for this expected growth include the aging population in the U.S., which will increase the instance of chronic disease and the need for healthcare services. In addition, the increasing complexity of healthcare and new technologies and treatments will require management personnel to implement and maintain processes and procedures.

Further, the rising cost of healthcare, and the fact that it is outpacing inflation helps to ensure that healthcare management professionals will be in demand to find ways to improve the efficiency of care and operations in order to control costs.

Healthcare Management Salary and Job Titles

The healthcare industry offers a diverse range of career opportunities in the healthcare management arena. With an education in healthcare management, you can pursue a verity of roles that can include:

  • Medical Practice Manager – oversees the administration and business aspects of private medical and health practices. They handle patient scheduling, billing and insurance, as well as staff and operations management.
  • Patient service representative – serves as the first point of contact when patients enter a medical facility. The responsibilities of someone in this role is to greet and check-in patients, collect payments, assist with paperwork, and fulfill other customer service or administrative duties.
  • Medical office administrator – is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a practice – including managing patient files, billing and insurance, scheduling appointments, and handling communications with doctors and patients.
  • Medical assistant – responsibilities may include scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services and handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping.
  • Medical records and health information technician – organize computerized healthcare systems and analyze clinical data. Responsibilities for this role include:  performing routine clerical duties, maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.
  • Quality Assurance Manager – implements and monitors quality control programs in medical and health settings. They identify and address potential issues to ensure adherence to quality standards and protect patient safety.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, the average starting salary for a healthcare management professional is between $50,000-$75,000 a year, depending on education, experience, and location.*

The average median salary for all healthcare management jobs was $134,440 in May 2023 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Earning power in the field is influenced by level of education, previous management experience, as well as geographic location, with positions in urban or high-cost-of-living areas generally earning a higher salary.

The future of the healthcare management field is bright, making it an ideal career path for people interesting in making a real difference in the lives of patients.

The Future of Healthcare Management

From using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks such as patient scheduling and coding patient records, to introducing new technology to enhance medical care, technology will continue to have a significant impact on healthcare management jobs. As tasks that were once manual become automated, healthcare managers’ time is redirected to focus on more strategic tasks such as developing new processes and improving patient experiences.

As the healthcare field progresses, it is expected that new roles and skills will emerge and healthcare managers will need to continue building skills to potentially include:

  • Data analytics: Healthcare managers will collect, analyze, and interpret data to make informed decisions about healthcare services.
  • Project management: Healthcare managers will manage complex projects such as the introduction of new technology or expansion of healthcare facilities and services
  • Change management: Healthcare managers will be on the forefront of leading healthcare organizations through periods of transition.

Discover How UC Online Can Accelerate Your Healthcare Management Career

The future of the healthcare management field is bright, making it an ideal career path for people interested in making a real difference in the lives of patients. The demand for skilled healthcare managers will continue to grow, and those who are adept to the changing healthcare landscape and have the necessary skills to manage and lead will be well positioned for success.

UC’s Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Management Technology is the ideal first step in preparing for a management role and building a career in the healthcare management field. We invite you to learn more at online.uc.edu/hcmt. Or complete this form to connect with a UC Online Enrollment Services Advisor. They’ll answer your questions about the program, review upcoming start dates, cover tuition and more.

To talk with a UC Online representative right away, call (833) 556-4428 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.

*This blog includes information from O*NET Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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