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About Healthcare Management

Dec 09, 2008

The healthcare industry is changing rapidly and there is now a greater demand for healthcare professionals. The industry is changing in terms of how healthcare is delivered, where it is delivered, who will provide the service, and how the service is financed. The healthcare industry requires talented and dedicated professionals to ensure quality service to the patients and to the community.

Where are healthcare professionals needed?

  • Consulting firms
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Insurance companies
  • Healthcare associations
  • Nursing homes
  • Doctor's offices
  • Mental health facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Public health departments
  • Universities
  • Research institutions

Right now, an estimated 100,000 individuals are working as healthcare management professionals in these areas. The requirements of a senior healthcare management position are demanding, but it is a gratifying career.

Work areas

If you choose to pursue a career in this field, you should decide whether you want to specialize in a specific area, such as:

  • Marketing and public affairs
  • Medical staff relations
  • Nursing administration
  • Information systems
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Patient care services
  • Planning and development

Being focused on a specific field will open career advancement opportunities for you. Healthcare is a business, therefore it needs skilled individuals who will meet the demands of their work requirements. Healthcare managers will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing the delivery of care to the patient.

Work Environment

Some healthcare managers work in private offices, while others need to share space with other staffers. People in the healthcare profession typically need to work long hours. Hospitals and nursing care facilities work around the clock, and the manager or administrator may be called upon to deal with different types of emergencies. They also travel to inspect satellite facilities and attend meetings.

Expected salaries

As of May 2006, the median salary for healthcare managers was pegged at $73,340. Most of these managers received between $57,240 and $94,780. Around 10 percent of the highest earning managers received $127,830 while the lowest 10 percent earned around $45,050.

The median earnings in different industries are as follows:

  • Hospitals: $78,660
  • Outpatient care centers: $67,920
  • Doctor's offices: $67,540
  • Nursing care facilities: $66,730
  • Home health care services: $66,720

The earnings of individual healthcare managers vary depending on the size of facility where they work and the scope of their responsibility. According to the Medical Group Management Association, median salary for healthcare managers was $72,875 in practices with one to six doctors, $95,766 in practices with 7-25 doctors, and $132,955 in practices with 26 or more doctors.

The specialty where they work on also matters. According to the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management, the highest paid healthcare manager works in gastroenterology; it is closely followed by those that work in dermatology. The lowest paid healthcare managers are in the field of family practice.

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