PwC Health Research Institute’s Top Health Industry Issues of 2018 describes 2018 as “a year for resilience amid uncertainty.” The national opioid crisis, natural disasters, tax reform, a persistent nursing shortage and securing the Internet of Things are just a few of the challenges creating uncertainty within the health care industry. In the midst of challenge, however, there is always opportunity for growth.
One way the health care industry is expected to grow is through the creation of career opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the health care industry will add an estimated 4 million new jobs by 2026. The fastest-growing sectors in the industry include health care support occupations (23 percent increase between 2016 and 2026) and health care practitioners and technical occupations (15 percent). The anticipated growth in these sectors will in turn place a greater responsibility on medical and health services managers and chief executive officers to manage and lead health care organizations.
Medical and Health Services Managers
Responsibilities. Medical and health services managers are involved in planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services. Their responsibilities can include recruiting, training and supervising staff members; creating work schedules; and managing facilities’ finances. Medical and health services managers are also responsible for representing their facilities at investor meetings and on governing boards.
To manage staff members effectively, medical and health services managers communicate with department heads and members of the medical staff. They may also work closely with registered nurses, physicians, surgeons, and medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, and interact with insurance agents and patients.
Skills. To excel in their field, medical and health services managers should have an eye for detail with strong skills in analysis, communication and leadership, as well as interpersonal and technical skills. These abilities are not only critical to managing staff members and running a department or organization but also essential for delivering quality care services.
Work Environment. Medical and health services managers may work in health care facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, or in group medical practices. They may be responsible for managing an entire medical practice, facility or department within an organization. In whichever setting they work, medical and health services managers direct changes to conform to health care regulations, laws and technology.
Specializations. A few types of medical and health services managers include nursing home administrators, clinical managers and health information managers. The titles depend on the types of facilities they work in or their areas of expertise.
Employment and Education Requirements. The future of employment for medical and health services managers looks bright: BLS has projected 20 percent growth in jobs for these professionals between 2016 and 2026. To obtain employment as a medical and health services manager, a bachelor’s degree in health care administration is the minimum education requirement, although a master’s degree is common and sometimes preferred by employers. Those who choose to study health care administration and pursue a career as a medical and health services manager can earn a median salary of $98,350.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Responsibilities. As the highest-ranking executive leader, the CEO is responsible for devising strategies and policies that will help an organization achieve its goals. CEOs are involved in planning, directing and coordinating the operational activities of health care organizations. They must develop and maintain a high level of awareness of an organization’s needs by conducting regular assessments and evaluating the results.
CEOs direct and oversee financial and budgetary activities; analyze financial statements to identify opportunities to cut costs; and look for ways to improve performance, programs and policies. They consult with other executives, staff members and board members about general operations and are also responsible for negotiating and approving contracts and agreements.
Skills. To excel as a CEO of a health care organization, the following skills are essential: communication, decision-making, leadership, personnel management, time management and problem-solving. Because CEOs hold so much authority, their skills drive not only employee success of employees but also organizational success.
Work Environment. In health care, CEOs can work for hospitals, private practices, medical group practices, nonprofit organizations, managed care organizations, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, mental health organizations, consulting firms and pharmaceutical companies, to name a few professional settings.
Employment and Education Requirements. Though there is no one path to becoming the CEO of a health care organization, an education in health care administration can be a key first step. Aspiring CEOs must typically gain many years of experience in management roles before they can be considered for the executive position. Once they do reach the top, however, the salaries of CEOs in health care can run well into the millions.
So Why Study Health Care Administration?
One answer to why study health care administration is because of the many employment opportunities in the health care industry. Though the demand for most types of jobs in health care is projected to increase during the next decade, medical and health services managers and CEOs in particular can expect to enjoy the benefits and career opportunities that will come with this greater demand. To meet entry-level job requirements and gain a competitive edge in the job market, a degree in health care administration is the first step.
The University of Cincinnati Master of Health Administration degree blends real-world experience with competency-based coursework to create a comprehensive and innovative learning environment. The university recognizes three universal issues in today’s health care system: cost, access and quality. We develop professionals who are dynamic leaders prepared to manage the challenges of today and tomorrow.
BLS, Medical and Health Services Managers
University of Cincinnati, Master of Health Administration
BLS, Top Executives
American College of Healthcare Executives
BLS, Employment Projections