Healthcare compliance is defined as the continual process of meeting or exceeding the ethical, legal and professional standards that apply to a healthcare organization or provider. Healthcare compliance means healthcare facilities and providers must develop effective processes, policies and procedures to determine appropriate conduct, train staff and monitor adherence to policies and procedures. (TheHealthLawFirm.com).
Healthcare compliance has a major effect on every healthcare provider and healthcare organization today. Increasing governmental oversight and regulation of the healthcare industry means there will be more rules and regulations coming in the next several years.
With a degree in healthcare management or healthcare compliance, you will be responsible for all aspects of how healthcare is implemented in the regular practices of doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. These degrees are available at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. To become a higher level healthcare management or compliance executive, you will generally need your master’s degree.
The healthcare field generally is a strong area for employment growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states healthcare occupations overall will see a healthy 18% increase in job growth from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average when compared to other occupations. A total of 2.4 million new jobs will be added in the next several years in many healthcare occupations. (BLS.gov). The increase in jobs, such as in the healthcare compliance and administration field, is largely due to our aging US population, which naturally drives demand for healthcare services.
Professionals studying healthcare compliance frequently want to become a medical and health services manager, also called a healthcare executive. The reasons for this are many; one of the most common is there is such growing demand in the field. BLS reports a booming 20% job growth rate from 2016 to 2026. As the baby boomer population gets older and people are staying active in life as they age. This also means there will be stronger need for doctors and many other healthcare workers. This pushes the need for more managers who are necessary for organizing and managing medical information and the healthcare staff. (BLS.gov).
Employment for healthcare compliance staff should be especially strong in the offices of healthcare practitioners. Many services that once were provided in hospitals are now being provided in such settings. Demand in management of medical group practices should also be pronounced as these facilities become larger and more complex.
The median wage for healthcare compliance managers and related occupations is quite high, with a median salary of $98,300. The top 10% earn more than $176,000 per year. (BLS.gov).
The median wage in this field varies according to these top industries:
- Hospitals: $107,200
- Government: $106,200
- Outpatient care centers: $89,900
- Offices of doctors: $89,700
- Nursing and residential care facilities: $82,900
The pay you get in this profession will vary by geographic location. The following states are the top paying ones in healthcare administration: (Monster.com)
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
Cities that have the most job opportunities for healthcare compliance managers are: (Ollusa.edu)
- San Antonio
Many aspiring healthcare compliance managers decide to earn their degree online. Perhaps they have personal and professional obligations that prevent them from attending a program in person. Or, they may want to attend a program in another state. Online access allows these students to attend bachelor’s or master’s classes in healthcare compliance on their own time.
A possible choice is the online Master of Legal Studies in Corporate and Healthcare Compliance offered by Arizona State University. This program is offered through the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The master’s program features 7.5 weeks per class, 10 classes and 30 credit hours.
This program is a good option because healthcare organizations have many laws and regulations they must adhere to closely to stay in compliance. To ensure these facilities are in compliance at all times, they are continuing to growth healthcare compliance departments to meet all the requirements of the latest laws and regulations.
This online option from ASU’s legal department could be a great option for healthcare compliance students. The school is ranked #10 in the country for career services; #14 for financial aid and #16 for best value, according to US News and World Report. (ASUOnline.edu).
If you are just getting started in your healthcare administration career, you may want to earn a bachelor’s degree. Southern New Hampshire University offers a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration that will teach you to plan, direct and coordinate healthcare services to have a positive impact on patient care. (SNHU.edu).
This four year, online degree at the undergraduate level has been developed to align with the principles for curriculum that were set up by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. You will have the skills and knowledge to develop your healthcare compliance career in hospitals, doctors’ offices and other healthcare facilities. Some required courses could include:
- Healthcare economics
- Healthcare marketing
- Healthcare delivery systems
- Healthcare reimbursement
- Healthcare finance
To obtain the highest level of achievement in your healthcare compliance career, you may want to earn your master of science degree. A possible choice to further your career potential is the Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership and Management at the University of Texas Dallas. This program can be completed in person within 18 to 24 months, with the class schedule fully flexible for working professionals; most classes are held in the evening. (UTDallas.edu).
To be considered for admission to the master’s online program at ASU, you should have the following materials available for submission:
- Statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation
- College transcripts
- Related work experience in healthcare generally required
- 3.0 GPA or higher
Required courses can vary, but the classes required in the UT Dallas program are:
- Accounting for Managers
- Financial Management
- The American Healthcare System
- Healthcare Informatics
- Marketing Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Statistics and Data Analysis
- Healthcare Law, Policy and Regulation
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Healthcare Cost Management and Control
- Healthcare Operations Management
Some potential scholarships and grants that could help you to earn your healthcare compliance degree are:
- Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship
- Bachrach Family Scholarship
- Bill and Mary Russell Healthcare Scholarship
- Corris Boyd Scholars Program
- David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship
The following groups and associations are good resources for aspiring healthcare compliance professionals:
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- Healthcare Administrators Association
- Healthcare Compliance Association
- National Association for Healthcare Quality
There are many healthcare compliance certifications and certificates available online. Consider some of these to enhance your hiring potential:
- Drexel University Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Compliance
- University of Pittsburgh Healthcare Compliance Online Graduate Certificate Program
- Northwestern University Healthcare Compliance Certificate
- Ashworth College Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Compliance
- Healthcare Compliance. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thehealthlawfirm.com/resources/health-law-articles-and-documents/Healthcare-Compliance.html
- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- BS in Healthcare Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-healthcare-administration
- Healthcare Occupations. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm
- Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Healthcare Administrator. (2015). Retrieved from http://allhealthcare.monster.com/careers/articles/1793-top-10-best-and-worst-states-to-be-a-healthcare-administrator
- 7 Top Cities for Aspiring Healthcare Leaders. (2016). Retrieved from https://onlineprograms.ollusa.edu/mba/resources/7-top-cities-for-aspiring-healthcare-leaders
- Corporate and Healthcare Compliance MLS. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/corporate-and-health-care-compliance-mls
- Healthcare Management Master’s Degree. (2018). Retrieved from https://jindal.utdallas.edu/files/2018_graduate_programs_jsom_healthcare_management.pdf