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GuidesPatient experienceMedical and health services managers: Career 101

Medical and health services managers: Career 101

Last updated

18 July 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Medical and health services managers are specialists who ensure smooth, efficient operations of healthcare facilities. They oversee daily operations, deal with recruitment, support compliance, train new employees, and much more.

These managerial roles are in high demand since they combine knowledge of the medical industry with the ability to run clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations.

In the United States, the median salary of medical and health services managers is around $100,000 per year. Let's take a closer look at this interesting and well-paying career.

What is a medical and health services manager?

A medical and health services manager is an administrative role. They handle logistics, daily operations, planning, coordination, and much more.

Medical and health services managers are quick thinkers and problem solvers. They focus on the smooth operations of medical facilities, mitigate risks, deal with challenges, and ensure patients get the quality care they deserve.

These specialists work in:

  • Hospitals

  • Surgery centers

  • Rehab centers

  • Nursing homes

  • Home healthcare agencies

  • Private practices

  • Residential healthcare facilities

  • Clinical departments

While the key goal of a medical and health services manager is to ensure seamless patient care, they focus on maintaining the financial and reputational success of the medical facility. 

These specialists can manage facilities of any size, from large city hospitals to local community clinics.

Medical and health services managers' responsibilities depend on the specialization, the type of facility, and the size of the team they work in.

General duties

The duties of medical and health services managers depend on their specialization and the facilities they are managing. 

The general set of duties includes:

  • Managing day-to-day operations of the medical facility

  • Recruiting (screening, interviewing, hiring, and credentialing) new employees

  • Preparing the budgets while trying to keep operational costs low

  • Ensuring compliance with all the relevant codes, laws, and regulations

  • Providing organizational data and advice necessary for decision-making in the facility

  • Arranging training for new and existing employees

  • Guiding medical teams and individual specialists through projects

  • Helping set the facility’s short- and long-term financial and business goals

  • Maintaining patient records

  • Coordinating employee scheduling

  • Working out strategies for increasing patient satisfaction and service quality

  • Being proactive about facility challenges and training the staff to face them

  • Managing inventory

  • Managing billing and insurance

Medical and health services managers' job descriptions vary greatly from facility to facility. In some organizations, these specialists work in large teams, while others may hire just one specialist to run the entire clinic. Duties in a large hospital differ from responsibilities in a small physician's office.

Roles and responsibilities

Your responsibilities can depend on the specialization you choose.

Administrative services manager

Here, you’ll be directing and coordinating the administrative services within the facility. The goal is to maximize organizational efficiency. These specialists can handle: 

  • Inventory

  • Payroll

  • Patient records

  • Recruitment duties

Business office supervisor

In this role, you’ll oversee and manage activities within the healthcare facility's business office. The duties of these specialists may include: 

  • Scheduling

  • Patient concern mitigation

  • Problem-solving

  • Gathering data for financial reporting

Health services manager

This role involves coordinating the services provided in the healthcare facility. Depending on the size, the manager can be in charge of the entire facility or one department. Duties can include: 

  • Recruitment

  • Training

  • Compliance

  • Assistance with projects

  • Negotiations with insurance companies

Hospital administrator

This manager focuses on coordinating the daily operations of the hospitals. Duties may include: 

  • Overseeing patient billing

  • Ensuring facility compliance with ever-changing legislation

  • Planning fundraising events

  • Managing inventory

  • Supervising other administrators in a large organization

Medical office manager

Here, you’ll be monitoring and managing operations in a healthcare facility. The duties may include: 

  • Hiring and training administrative employees

  • Evaluating staff performance

  • Work scheduling

  • Managing vendors

  • Establishing office policies

Nursing home administrator 

This administrator oversees the operations of nursing homes and residential care facilities. Responsibilities can include: 

  • Supervising the staff

  • Communicating with patients and their families

  • Handling billing

  • Guiding social workers

  • Ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations

  • Managing public relations

Healthcare human resource manager 

Healthcare HR managers oversee the hiring, onboarding, and training of new and existing employees. Duties may include:

Overall, the medical and health services managers care for all the medical facilities' needs and create a comfortable work environment for healthcare providers. They also ensure a seamless patient experience and help organizations maintain a stellar reputation.

Why become a medical and health services manager?

If you want to build a career in the medical field but don't want to become a doctor, a medical and health services manager is an excellent opportunity to meet your goals. 

If you’re an excellent organizer and problem-solver, you can get people the care they deserve.

Medical and health services managers are well-paid professionals who are the backbone of any healthcare organization. Accordingly, if your goal is to make a difference in the healthcare sector, becoming a manager is an excellent way to achieve it.

Skills you need to become a medical and health services manager  

The skills you need to become a medical and health services manager can vary depending on the specialization you choose and the position you apply for. 

The most common skills your potential employer will look for include:

  • Organizational skills

  • Data collection and management skills

  • Proficiency in computer software

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Communication skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Problem-solving

  • Time management

No matter what position you choose, you need to plan, communicate, manage, and solve problems on the spot.

How to become a medical and health services manager

To become a medical and health services manager, you need to get relevant education, certifications, and experience. The requirements may vary from state to state.

Get a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree is a common requirement for medical and health services managers. Consider getting a degree in:

  • Healthcare administration

  • Business administration

  • Public health

  • Nursing

  • Public administration

  • Health information management

  • Social services

If your studies didn't include managerial training, consider taking additional courses. 

Many medical and health services managers transfer to this position from other healthcare-related jobs. While they have a strong background in healthcare services, they may need additional managerial and administrative training.  

Acquire experience

To improve your chances of getting the position you want and the salary you expect, consider gaining experience. After obtaining the relevant degree, you may want to consider entry-level administrative positions.

Besides looking good on your resume, such work experience can help you hone your skills and gain the medical knowledge you may be lacking. 

Common jobs to consider are:

  • Administrative assistant

  • Patient service representative

  • Medical assistant

  • Accountant

You may want to gain some hands-on managerial experience if you have a medical background.

Consider a master's degree

While a master's degree isn't always a requirement, some employers expect candidates who aim for senior positions and higher salaries to have it.

Appropriate medical and health services managers degree choices include:

While gaining experience, consider continuing your education.

Explore relevant certifications and licenses

Depending on the facility you choose and the role you apply for, you may need to obtain relevant certifications like:

Most of these certifications require you to have at least a bachelor's degree and several years of experience in the healthcare field.

You may need to obtain a license to work in some healthcare facilities. Some positions require medical and health services managers to be licensed registered nurses or social workers.

Career outlook for medical and health services managers

Medical and health services managers are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available positions between 2021 and 2031 will grow by 28%. That's much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Becoming a medical and health services manager seems to be a decision with a high ROI. The outlook for this career choice is currently positive, with demand and salaries growing.

FAQs

What is the highest salary for healthcare management?

The highest medical and health services manager salary can reach $300,000 per year. 

You would need a master's degree, relevant certifications, and many years of experience to obtain the highest salary.

What state pays the most for healthcare management?

Currently, the highest-paying medical and health services managers jobs are in Washington, DC.

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