Demand for healthcare services in the United States is growing, but did you know that opportunities in healthcare management—the business side of healthcare—are growing at a particularly fast rate in order to meet the needs of physicians, nurses and healthcare facilities?
In fact, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in occupations in the healthcare industry overall will increase 13 percent from 2021 to 2031,1 the healthcare management job outlook is brighter, with employment of medical and health services managers projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031.2 And, with an elderly population that’s continually growing, innovations in medical technology that shift treatments from hospitals to outpatient settings, and a boom in electronic health records, the anticipated growth in healthcare management currently shows no sign of abating.2
What Is Healthcare Management?
Healthcare management involves the planning, directing and coordination of various administrative and business functions that help keep a medical facility running. Healthcare managers, therefore, do not provide direct patient care—rather, medical staff rely on healthcare managers to oversee the business activities that keep a hospital, group medical practice, nursing home, or clinic operating efficiently so that they can stay focused on treating patients.2
What Exactly Do Healthcare Managers Do?
Individual healthcare management job responsibilities can vary greatly. Generally speaking, healthcare managers are responsible for improving healthcare quality and efficiency and ensuring that their department or facility maintains compliance with applicable laws and regulations. They’re also responsible for setting organizational or departmental goals, managing finances, creating and monitoring budgets, and maintaining communications with medical staff and other department heads. Medical and health services managers’ job titles tend to run the gamut as well, as they are based on the type of facility or area of expertise.2 For example, hospital administrators perform and direct hospital management and administrative functions, healthcare project managers oversee healthcare-related projects across the project lifecycle, and health information managers are focused on maintaining and protecting patient records and data.
Healthcare Management Skills
Medical and health services managers commonly possess strong skills in the following areas, among others:2
- Analytical Skills
- Communication Skills
- Detail Oriented
- Interpersonal Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Technical Skills
While specific technical skills will vary depending upon the particular facility and role, medical and health services managers commonly need to be familiar with:
- Medical management software
- Project management software
- Analytical or scientific software
- Compliance software
- CRM software
- Database reporting software
- Human resources software
- Word processing software
- Spreadsheet software
- Sales and marketing software3
Healthcare Management Degree Programs
When it comes to healthcare management degree programs, you’ll find there are a few different options to choose from. American InterContinental University, for example, offers healthcare management degree programs as well as business administration degree programs with a specialization in healthcare management at the bachelor’s and master’s levels:
- Bachelor of Healthcare Management (BHCM): Gerontology Management
- Bachelor of Healthcare Management (BHCM): Health Services Administration Management
- Master of Healthcare Management (MHCM)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA): Specialization in Healthcare Management
- Master of Business Administration (MBA): Specialization in Healthcare Management
Each of these AIU degree programs is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
The healthcare management courses included in a university program’s curriculum should be designed to address both the hard and soft healthcare management skills that can help you become a more effective manager. Depending upon the degree program and specialization you choose, your healthcare management courses may cover topics such as healthcare ethics, healthcare quality, healthcare information systems, gerontology case management, healthcare marketing, healthcare leadership and management, and healthcare strategies.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Healthcare Management Degree?
There is no single cut-and-dried answer to how long a healthcare management degree program will take to complete. It typically takes around 4 years to complete a bachelor’s program and 2-3 years to complete a master’s program, but some students will need more time and others less. Qualifying for advanced standing credit based on prior college, work, or military experience could reduce the number of classes you need to take, which can shorten your overall program length. However, taking fewer classes per quarter, leaves of absence, or summer or winter breaks, for example, could contribute to increasing the time to graduation. If you have questions about how long it might take to earn a healthcare management degree, you should consider speaking with an admissions advisor to learn more.
Start Working Toward an Education in Healthcare Management
Not all heroes wear lab coats—without the assistance of medical and health services managers, physicians and nurses would have less time to treat their patients and provide them with the best care possible. And that’s really what healthcare management is all about—improving healthcare quality and the patient experience.
If you’re interested in pursuing a potential career path on the business side of healthcare, then take the next step and explore AIU’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs in healthcare management.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Healthcare Occupations,” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm (last visited 9/19/2022). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Medical and Health Services Managers,” http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (last visited 9/19/2022). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
3 National Center for O*NET Development, “11-9111.00—Medical and Health Services Managers,” O*NET OnLine, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9111.00 (last visited 9/19/2022).
AIU cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. REQ1786888 9/2022
Classes Start January 18, 2023