Health Care Administrators also are called medical and health services managers, health care executives or health care administrators. As a Health Care Administrator (HCA), you plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services. You will take an expanded leadership role in your health care organization and be responsible for ensuring that the operations of the organization run smoothly. You will work closely with health care professionals in providing patients with top quality health care. HCAs also often serve as communications liaisons between medical staffs and department heads and other administrators. In fact, most HCAs will have responsibilities that include management of other staff as well as overseeing staff scheduling, hiring, reviews, patient billing and record keeping, including financial outlooks for the organization.
You might manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Not only will you have foundational knowledge and skills within the organization, but you’ll have enhanced interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration with affiliated organizations. You will apply principles of management needed to build and work in cross-functional teams and facilitate collaborative decision-making. Having gone through health care administration programs and with a health care administration degree, you can direct changes that conform to changes in health care laws, regulations and technology.
Health care administrators held about 333,000 jobs in 2014. Most medical and health services managers work in offices in health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes and group medical practices.
Most health care administrators have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field; however, master’s degrees also are common. Prospective managers typically have some work experience in an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other health care facility.
Health care administration jobs are projected to grow 17 percent from 2014-24, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the health care industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical administrators and executives.
How does it feel to be a Health Care Administrator?
As a Health Care Administrator, you take an expanded leadership role in your organization. You have an enhanced intrerdisciplinary understanding of the health care industry, and you are a collaborator. You’ll have foundational knowledge and skills that suit your organization in an administrative role as well as knowing overall concepts, values, research methods and applications within the company.
You will know principles of management needed to build and work in cross-functional teams and facilitate collaborative decision making, understanding the forces impacting health delivery systems and the effective and efficient management of health care. You have the ability to analyze the professional, ethical and legal standards of health care administrative practice. These skills will equip you well to work in settings such as hospitals and large health care cooperatives, for insurance companies or long-term care facilities.
Management responsibilities can vary widely. You might manage an entire facility, but responsibilities also could be narrowed to a specific clinical area or department, even a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers, which is another term for a Health Care Administrator, must direct changes that conform to changes in health care laws, regulations and technology.
While many medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field, others obtain master’s degrees to qualify for more advanced positions. Most Health Care Administrators have work experience in an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other health care facility.