A health services manager plans, directs, coordinates and supervises the delivery of healthcare in an entire facility or a single department. They are sometimes called healthcare managers or administrators. They may also have job titles that reflect their areas of specialization. Nursing home administrator, medical records manager or practice administrator are just a few examples.
Medical and health services managers held almost 316,000 jobs in 2012. Most work in healthcare facilities including hospitals, nursing homes and other residential care facilities and large medical group practices.
Most jobs are full time positions. Since facilities that employ health services managers are open around the clock, schedules may include days, evenings, overnights, weekends and holidays.
One usually needs at least a bachelor's degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration or business administration. Many employers prefer job candidates who have a master's degree. Clinical department heads often need work experience in their field of expertise, for example nursing.
For most places of employment, health services administrators don't have to meet any licensing requirements. The exception are nursing care facility administrators. All states in the US, as well as the District of Columbia require a license and some states require one for for assisted living facilities as well. Specifications vary by state, but in general one must have a bachelor's degree and pass a licensing examination. He or she must also complete a state-approved training program and take continuing education courses. See the Licensed Occupations Tool from CareerOneStop for more information.
Health services administrators need certain soft skills, or personal qualities, in addition to their formal education. Since they must communicate with other professionals, they need strong listening, speaking and writing skills. The ability to pay attention to detail allows them to tend to job duties like scheduling and billing. Health services administrators need strong analytical skills to help them understand and adapt to new laws and regulations. In addition they must be able to effectively and efficiently solve problems.
A health services manager may advance by moving into a more responsible and higher paying position or by moving to a job in a larger facility.
Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2022.
Health services managers earned a median annual salary of $90,940 and median hourly wages of $43.72 in 2013.
A Day in a Health Services Manager's Life
These are some typical job duties taken from online ads for health services managers positions found on Indeed.com:
- Plan, organize and manage the operations and activities of one or more health clinic(s) or health program(s) according to department and funding source requirements.
- Oversee and manage clinical team processes including the organization and development of high performing teams.
- Adapt departmental plans and priorities to address business and operational challenges.
- Set team direction, resolve problems and provide guidance to members of the team.
- Read, analyze and interpret laws, regulations, policies and procedures governing assigned clinic operations.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited June 5, 2014).
Employment and Training Administration, US Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/11-9111.00 (visited June 5, 2014).