If you want to work at the heart of the business behind a hospital or healthcare facility, you may be interested in a medical management or healthcare management degree. Medical management professionals are responsible for the facility’s scheduling, budgeting, and generally determining innovative ways to enhance patient care. These healthcare professionals also plan, direct and coordinate a variety of medical and health services.
What is Medical Management?
Medical and healthcare managers may oversee an entire healthcare facility, a certain department, or possibly a medical practice with many healthcare professionals. Among their most important duties are to keep up to date with new healthcare technology, regulations and laws.
Other duties of medical management professionals may include:
- Enhancing the quality and efficiency of healthcare service delivery
- Developing healthcare facility and departmental goals
- Ensuring that the hospital or healthcare facility is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations
- Supervise, train and recruit staff
- Ensure that the finances of the healthcare facility are well managed, such as fees and billing
- Write work schedules based upon current and anticipated patient load
- Write budgets and monitor spending to ensure that departments are operating within their financial parameters
- Maintain organization of the facility’s services, such as the number of beds that are occupied
- Communicate with the medical staff and heads of departments
Professionals with a medical management degree may work in these types of positions:
- Nursing home administrator: Manage admissions, staff and finances of the nursing home facility, as well as the building itself.
- Clinical manager: Oversee a certain department in a healthcare facility, such as surgery, nursing or surgery. Typically, carry out goals, procedures and policies for a specific department.
- Health information manager: Responsible for the security, reliability and maintenance of patient data and information. It is necessary to keep up to date with information technology as it evolves, as well as any regulations being proposed or enacted related to health information systems.
Employment for medical managers and healthcare managers is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for this field is increasing by 20% by 2026. This is much faster than average. The Baby Boom generation is retiring, and this means there are more people who are in need of all types of healthcare services. Many of these people are living longer and staying more active, so this also is driving demand for more healthcare workers.
As there is more need for doctors and nurses, medical procedures and healthcare facilities, there is more need for managers who are skilled in administration and medical management. Employment is expected in hospitals, nursing homes and the offices of doctors. Many services that once were provided in hospitals are now offered in doctor’s offices.
The spread of electronic health record (EHR) use also will drive demand for healthcare and medical managers who understand information systems and IT.
The median salary for medical managers in 2016 was $96,500. The top 10% with the most education and work experience earned $172,000 per year. Wages in the field varied in these industries:
- Hospitals: $104,300
- Government: $104,100
- Outpatient care: $89,400
- Doctors offices: $87,500
- Nursing and residential care; $80,300
Cities with the best salaries for medical and healthcare managers include:
- San Rafael CA: $161,000
- San Jose CA: $159,000
- San Francisco: $151,000
- Vallejo CA: $148,000
- Nassau NY: $145,000
Medical managers held 352,000 jobs in 2016, with the largest employers in these industries:
- Hospitals: 36%
- Doctors offices: 11%
- Nursing and residential care: 10%
- Government: 8%
- Outpatient care: 7%
A bachelor’s degree in medical management or healthcare management will prepare you for entry level management and coordinator positions in many healthcare settings. Healthcare management degree programs at the bachelor’s level focus on the management challenges of healthcare systems. Coursework may include management strategies, operations management, organizational structure, finance, healthcare concepts and terminology, health law and ethics and healthcare system policies.
Experienced healthcare administration professionals who desire a move into upper level medical management may choose to obtain their master’s degree in medical management, healthcare administration or healthcare management. This graduate degree program. This program will teach you advanced concepts in healthcare business leadership, healthcare systems, providers and payers, health care evaluation and innovation, healthcare marketing, healthcare organizations, and related subjects.
For admission into a healthcare management, medical management or healthcare administration master’s program, you may need to meet these requirements:
- 0 GPA or higher
- 3 recommendations
- Writing samples
- Prerequisite courses in administration, accounting and finance
- Resume with healthcare administration experience
- GRE or GMAT scores
A master’s degree in medical or healthcare management may features courses such as:
- Business Research
- Project Management
- Health Policy and Law
- Healthcare Quality
- Healthcare Information Management
- Healthcare Reimbursement Systems and Finance
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Critical Issues in Management
- Resource Planning and Decision Making
After completing this type of master’s program, you will have the skills to work in a leading management position in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, health insurance organization, doctor’s office and more.
The field of medical management and healthcare management is growing at a very rapid pace, but so is the cost of going to college. If you want to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree in medical management, it will help if you look for grants and scholarships for financial assistance:
- Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship: Various amounts
- Bachrach Family Scholarship for Excellence in Healthcare Administration: $1000 to $5000
- Bill and Mary Russell Scholarship: $500
- Corris Boyd Scholars Program: $40,000
- David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship: $10,000
- Elliott C. Roberts Scholarship: $1000
- Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship: $5000
- Gates Millennium Scholars Program: $1000
You are not required to earn a certification unless you work as a nursing home administrator. But there are certifications available that can enhance your career options through the American College of Healthcare Administrators or the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management.
For students who want to have the most career opportunities in the medical management and healthcare management fields, it is important to network and to be aware of the opportunities in the field. A good way to do this is to join an association in the field. Consider some of these leading organizations below:
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- Health Care Administrators Association
- American Public Health Association
- European Health Management Association
A medical management degree is a wise choice for someone who wants to work in the growing healthcare administration field.
- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2015, Dec. 18). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- What Can You Do With Healthcare Management Degree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/blog/what-can-you-do-with-healthcare-management-degree/
- Medical and Health Services Manager. (2015). Retrieved from https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/medical-and-health-services-manager/salary