For the last several years, you’ve probably heard that healthcare is one of the few industries that tend to see perpetual growth regardless of the ups and downs of the economy. Many people immediately think, “Of course, doctors and nurses will always be needed.” While that’s true, the promising outlook of healthcare doesn’t begin and end in the examination room.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of medical and health services managers will increase 23 percent through 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations 1. While it is true that healthcare has a reputation as a perennially solid industry because of the continuing need people have for medical services, why is the demand for managers over the next decade so dramatic? Consider the leadership required to ensure medical facilities are running smoothly. Medical and health services managers ensure everything behind the scenes operates as it should so patients have a comfortable experience.
Three main factors are contributing to the rising demand for healthcare managers:
1. New Federal Legislation
The Affordable Care Act has begun and will continue to expand the number of Americans who have health insurance, leading people for whom cost was previously an obstacle to seek preventative services, medical care and testing. Thus, physicians’ offices, hospitals and other medical facilities must prepare for the influx of new patients. Healthcare managers are needed to ensure operations run smoothly and deliver quality care in a cost-efficient manner. They also must keep on top of regulations and make certain of compliance.
Related: How a Business Degree Can Benefit Your Healthcare Career
2. The Aging Population
As Baby Boomers continue to age, this large group is expected to put increasing demands on the healthcare industry and its managers. Chronic health problems may lead to more visits to the doctor, and desire for improved quality of life may result in more surgeries such as hip or knee replacements. These activities then affect rehabilitation institutes and nursing care facilities offering physical or occupational therapy and home-health organizations.
3. A Rise in Technology
The 21st century is an exciting, changing time for the healthcare industry. Once slow to use information technology to its full potential, an increasing number of medical establishments and practices are switching to electronic health records and more sophisticated billing systems. Similarly, medical advances are providing a wealth of options in terms of treatment and where to receive it. Institutions and medical practices depend on their administrative leaders to keep up with the times and make critical decisions that influence future success.
Learn more about the opportunities and outlook for healthcare management jobs:
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1 U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Human Resources Manager. [online] Available at www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm [Accessed 23 Apr. 2014].