The field of healthcare management holds much promise for the near future. With an aging baby boomer population and major governmental healthcare initiatives, demand for health services continues to rise and is projected to rise even more in the days to come. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects those in this field to realize a median salary of $84,270 per year with job growth through 2020 to be 22% which is faster than average when compared to other fields.
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The job of a healthcare manager is an intense one. This person must oversee many areas in a healthcare or long-term care facility with the primary mission of ensuring services are delivered efficiently and with high quality. Thus, the healthcare manager must supervise healthcare staff, advise upper management, oversee the keeping of accurate patient and facility records, ensure billing is completed when required, and make work schedules so that the facility is staffed adequately at all times.
Anyone wanting to get into this field typically have bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration. A master’s degree gives even more of a competitive edge. You will also find healthcare managers who may have been with the organization in some other capacity with a degree (master’s or bachelor’s) in business administration, public administration, or other healthcare administration area.
Those in the healthcare management field are in most cases found in hospitals however you will find them in any facility with the responsibility of delivering healthcare services. Thus, you will find them in nursing care facilities, home healthcare services, physician’s offices, and outpatient treatment centers. In a 24-hour facility such as a hospital or nursing home, healthcare managers may be required to do shift work.
Their responsibilities also vary depending on where they work. For instance, nursing home administrators must not only oversee the care of residents but must also ensure that the facility maintains standards for licensing by the state. They may also have to look after financial and facility maintenance matters. Those deemed as health information managers may not be involved with direct patient care but are instead charged with overseeing the maintenance and security of healthcare databases.
As mentioned before, the healthcare industry is going through some drastic changes in preparation for Obamacare to go into full effect in 2014. This will require more staffing and strict adherence to new Federal regulations with regard to patient care. The healthcare manager’s job will be more important than ever. If you think this might be an attractive career for you, start seeing what educational opportunities are available and begin preparing today.
 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited June 02, 2013).