Who is a Consultant
A consultant is anyone or firm with a specific set of skills or knowledge (expertise) that another party needs in order to complete their projects or achieve their goals. Typically consultants are not full-time employees. Rather they are hired on a temporary basis for specific projects based on their expertise. Based on this definition lawyers, accountants, physicians, dentists, and many other professionals are actually consultants.
Who is a Healthcare Consultant
Based on this broad definition of a consultant a healthcare consultant is anyone or firm that provides services or expertise to the healthcare industry and are not full-time employees of the hiring party. This definition includes many types of professionals spanning many areas of healthcare, including the pharmaceutical industry.
The term “healthcare consultant” or healthcare business consultants also refers to professionals or firms that specialize in providing business consulting services (healthcare administration or healthcare management) to the healthcare industry in areas such as finance, accounting, marketing, insurance, healthcare management, billing, coding, regulations and compliance, healthcare standards, and many other areas. The National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants (NSCHBC) is the largest trade association in the United States for healthcare business consultants. NSCHBC certifies, educates, and sets standards for its members.
Why Healthcare Consulting
For healthcare consulting firms and other healthcare related business, healthcare consultants provide expertise or support that is not available in-house and is usually needed for a limited time. Sometimes companies may have a hiring freeze but business objective have to be met. In some situations consulting can be considered an extended interview when companies really want the skills in-house but are not ready to commit to hiring. For individuals, healthcare consultants provide knowledge so individuals can make the best decision for their health. Healthcare consultants are well compensated and have freedom to set their schedules and select their clients.
Who can be a Healthcare Consultant
Anyone with expertise in the healthcare field can be a healthcare consultant full-time or part-time. With modern technology you can even provide services from home, anytime of the day, and from anywhere in the world depending on your area of expertise and what is required. The first step is to determine what you are good at that someone is willing to pay for. Determine who is willing to pay for your expertise and how much they are willing to pay. Networking is crucial to your success. If your area of expertise is well known (e.g., medical writing) join an association so you can network and learn from other consultants. Use social media (e.g.,RxEconsult) to network with other consultants and potential clients. Healthcare consulting is not just for individuals with medical degrees; healthcare information technology consultants (healthcare IT consulting) are in demand. Here are healthcare consulting jobs across the country and more resources for healthcare consultants.
More people are choosing to consult full-time or part-time and more companies are hiring consultants instead of full-time employees. We may be in an era where consulting is the new permanent position.
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