Hospitals are major employers, providing well paying career opportunities for many types of professionals. With baby boomers reaching retirement the need for healthcare professionals will continue to increase. When we think about careers in healthcare, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other licensed medical professionals first come to mind. For those not interested in science there are opportunities in the business aspects of the hospital industry. As our healthcare system has gotten increasingly more complex and cost of care has increased, the need for business professionals has also increased. This need is also fueled by reduced reimbursement for care, consolidation of hospitals into health systems and most importantly managed care. More recently accountable care organizations (ACOs) have also joined the mix. All these trends have increased the need for professionals who manage the business of healthcare while medical experts focus on managing patients. After all a hospital is a business that requires proper management in order to survive.
This types of healthcare professional or field is known by various names, including healthcare administration, health management, healthcare management, health administration, medical and health services management, and health systems management. These professionals hold titles such as hospital administrator, healthcare executives, managed care executive, and other titles. Professionals with hospital management jobs are healthcare administrators that manage hospitals or hospital systems. The educational credentials for hospital management professionals include Masters of Public Health (MPH), Master of Business Administration in Hospital Management (MBA-HM), Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA), and Master of Public Administration. Some may also have medical degrees such as Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Doctorof Medicine (MD), or Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). Healthcare consulting jobs are an option for experienced hospital managers who want to provide services independently. There are many institutions that offer healthcare administration programs, including online programs.
Hospital management includes establishing policy, managing reimbursement issues, staffing, ensuring compliance with laws, tracking and measuring quality of care, enforcing guidelines, purchasing drugs anddurable goods, and making sure that the hospital can operate financially. Essentially, hospital managers manage the delivery of healthcare and ensure that processes are in place for the hospital to run smoothly. In the last few years healthcare administration jobs have proliferated and the bureau of labor projects 22% growth or 68,000 additional jobs from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. According to the 2012 Bureau of labor statistics, the median salary for healthcare administrators is $84,270 and top earners earn over $144,880 annually.
For those exploring healthcare careers, hospital management may be a very rewarding and fulfillingoption that is important to the survival of our healthcare system. Projected growth in this sector, and cost and complexity of health systems suggests that the importance of administrators will continue to grow. Hospital management is a viable option for long-term career growth.
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