Recent transformations within the healthcare industry have given healthcare leaders the opportunity to consider more diverse career options. An increase in the shift from various types of medical procedures being done in a hospital setting to them being performed in private practices has created the need for health services administrators to manage these practices as successful businesses.
What is Health Services Administration?
Healthcare administration careers integrate business, policy and science. As leaders in healthcare management, administrators and executives must oversee the fiscal and human resources that are necessary to deliver valuable health services. These services may include:
1. Managing a clinic’s database
2. Directing hospital services
3. Creating budgets for the health department
4. Designing policies for health insurance companies
If you choose a career path in health services administration, you could work in resource development, administration or in public or private sectors. Although health services administrators frequently find employment in hospitals and medical centers, there are opportunities in nursing homes, retirement communities and physician practices.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed several other facilities where healthcare executives can find employment opportunities:1
- Home health agencies
- Outpatient facilities
- Healthcare associations
- Consulting firms
- Integrated Delivery Systems (IDS)
- Managed care organizations:
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
- Research institutions and universities
- The Public Health Department
Entry and Mid-Level Health Services Management Jobs:
If you decide on a career in healthcare management, you may begin your career in an entry-level health services management position, or build on your experience in a mid-level position. You can narrow down your options by deciding on populations you’d like to help, or considering the work environment you’re most passionate about.
One option is to concentrate on a specific area of the healthcare field, such as:
- Government relations
- Human resources
- Nursing administration
- Medical staff relations
- Patient care services
According to the BLS, successful healthcare administrators are detail-oriented and work to develop analytical, communication, interpersonal, leadership and technical skills. By honing in on these skills, these healthcare leaders can markedly increase their yearly salaries. From entry-level to experienced executive, healthcare administrators made a median annual wage of $104,280 in 2020. The top 10% of these professionals earned over $195,630.1
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Advance your career in Health Administration
Career Options for Health Service Administration Graduates:
Individuals who begin their health administration career with an associate’s degree frequently find employment as traditional administrators. These administrators order supplies and organize schedules. They also navigate medical software to bill patients, access patient records and perform other management functions.
An experienced administrator may be given the responsibility of overseeing a facility’s employees, finances and procedures. This allows health administrators to obtain higher-paying positions.
Responsibilities might include:
- Balancing each department’s budget
- Managing group practices with numerous locations
- Reviewing projects
It is also possible to find an assistant manager position with a nonprofit group, a local health agency as well as with a state or national health agency.
Reinforcement from scientific advancements has helped the field of clinical research continue to grow. The complexity of clinical research requires the coordination of researchers, study participants, physicians and pharmaceutical executives.
Federal oversight measures must also be addressed. Individuals who choose to pursue a degree in health service administration and become clinical research managers must also be proficient with financial management and budget planning.
Social media campaigns and public relations are fundamental aspects of the healthcare business. To become a social media director, PR specialist or health facility marketing manager, health administration students need to study health marketing or health communications.
To become an administrator in a nursing home, you should consider taking courses in gerontology. Courses such as this can help prepare you for the administration aspect of your career, as well as offer you insight into the special needs of the patients you are helping.
A professional that has knowledge relating to a specific clinical area is referred to as a clinical leader or clinical manager. Specific clinical areas include neonatal care and radiology. Once a clinician earns their health administration leadership degree, they may be hired as a clinical leader in their department.
Health information managers are responsible for maintaining and securing patients’ electronic medical records. These managers may also supervise a team of medical coding employees or work with IT professionals to make sure that all the records are legally compliant, accurate and easily accessible.
The field of healthcare management requires talented individuals who can assist in introducing and managing the many changes that are taking place within the healthcare industry. As a healthcare executive, you can make a substantial contribution toward improving the health of the residents in the communities you serve.
If you’re currently in the health services field and would like to consider jobs in management, an online graduate program is a great option. You can complete flexible courses in an online format while maintaining your work commitments. The University of Scranton’s fully online Master of Health Administration (MHA) is designed to help today’s professionals pursue advancement in health services management jobs.
Our online MHA program was one of the first fully online MHA programs to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and features a curriculum based on the ACHE Healthcare Leadership Alliance competency model. Students can choose from two industry-leading specializations—Health Informatics and Global Health—and graduate in just over two years.