How Can I Become a Healthcare Administrator?
Becoming a healthcare administrator requires commitment and advanced education. With demand high for expert leadership, employers want healthcare managers who have earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, any required certifications and have supervised experience in their chosen healthcare area.
Job opportunities for this career path are plentiful as the healthcare industry continues to grow at an extraordinary rate. Healthcare has now become the top employer in the United States, surpassing the retail sector. That trend is expected to continue through at least 2026 as an aging population demands more healthcare services.
With this growth, the healthcare industry is undergoing a revolution in how it approaches delivering healthcare services. Technology is changing how hospitals maintain patient records and how clinicians deliver services. Regulations change frequently and there is always the prospect of more changes to come.
Against this backdrop, those who have earned an MBA with a concentration on healthcare administration management are highly valued. Graduates from such an MBA program learn business strategy and leadership skills coupled with expertise on the impact of growth, technology, regulatory measures, and financial pressures on the healthcare industry.
That’s an attractive mix for employers looking to fill top spots in an organization.
High Demand for Healthcare Administrators
Projections call for a 20 percent increase in the number of healthcare managers by 2026, according to the U.S, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That translates into more than 352,000 people working in the profession.
Salary also is high among healthcare professions. The mean annual salary for a healthcare manager was $113,730 in May 2018.
What Healthcare Administrators Do
Healthcare administrators focus on making a medical operation run smoothly. They oversee the “rev cycle” side of the business, focusing on financial and regulatory issues while also ensuring that medical services lead to the best possible patient outcomes. They are tasked with both cutting costs and improving services.
Healthcare administrators face many challenges. According to the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare managers and administrators in the 21st century include answering the following questions:
- What have I done to improve the health of the community?
- How do we balance investment in the social determinants of health and more medical care?
- How do I develop a plan with my health system to achieve better personal and community health care?
Those are in addition to the challenges of ensuring the healthcare operation meets government and industry regulations, overseeing the budget, setting overall goals for both spending and medical services, and managing the hiring and training of new employees as well as ongoing training for all employees.
Specific jobs for healthcare administrators include leading a facility such as a hospital, nursing home or doctor’s clinic. Administrators and managers may also lead individual clinical departments or manage healthcare information.
How To Become A Hospital Administrator
Qualifying for a healthcare administrator job requires advanced education. It starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or business. Some medical professionals may also decide to go into administration and will have earned a degree in nursing or another medical field.
Whatever the path, it all leads to earning a master’s degree in healthcare administration or an MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration. Students learn leadership skills and healthcare management, delivery and quality assurance along with the latest theories in healthcare business strategy and how to apply it to real-world situations.
The emergence of online education has made it easier than ever for working professionals to earn a master’s degree. The online programs offered through Touro University Worldwide offers students flexibility and can be completed in a year.
Some states may require healthcare administrators to earn a certification in the process. Most graduates also have a period of supervised experience working in hospital administration so they can gain the knowledge and skills needed to take on leadership roles.
The healthcare administration profession is offering more opportunities than ever before, and online programs like the one offered through Touro University Worldwide make earning a degree more convenient than ever.