Medical and Health Services Managers

Summary

medical and health services managers image
Medical and health services managers often work closely with medical staff to plan, direct, and coordinate the delivery of healthcare.
Quick Facts: Medical and Health Services Managers
2012 Median Pay $88,580 per year
$42.59 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 315,500
Job Outlook, 2012-22 23% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 73,300

What Medical and Health Services Managers Do

Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility or specialize in managing a specific clinical area or department, or manage a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must be able to adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.

Work Environment

Medical and health services managers held about 315,500 jobs in 2012. Most medical and health services managers work in offices in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, and group medical practices.

How to Become a Medical or Health Services Manager

Most medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field; however, master’s degrees also are common. Requirements vary by facility.

Pay

The median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $88,580 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of medical and health services managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about medical and health services managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Medical and Health Services Managers Do About this section

Medical and health services managers
In group medical practices, medical and health services managers work closely with physicians.

Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility or specialize in managing a specific clinical area or department, or manage a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must be able to adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.

Duties

Medical and health services managers typically do the following:

  • Work to improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
  • Keep up to date on new laws and regulations so that the facility in which they work complies with them
  • Supervise assistant administrators in facilities that are large enough to need them
  • Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
  • Create work schedules
  • Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
  • Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
  • Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads

In group medical practices, managers work closely physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians and other healthcare workers.

Medical and health services managers’ titles depend on the facility or area of expertise in which they work. The following are some examples of types of medical and health services managers:

Nursing home administrators manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building, as well as care of the residents in nursing homes. All states require them to be licensed; licensing requirements vary by state.

Clinical managers oversee a specific department, such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy, and have responsibilities based on that specialty. Clinical managers set and carry out policies, goals, and procedures for their departments; evaluate the quality of the staff’s work; and develop reports and budgets.

Health information managers are responsible for the maintenance and security of all patient records. They must stay up to date with evolving information technology and current or proposed laws about health information systems. Health information managers must ensure that databases are complete, accurate, and accessible only to authorized personnel.

Assistant administrators work under the top administrator in larger facilities and often handle daily decisions. Assistants might direct activities in clinical areas, such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or health information.

Work Environment About this section

Medical and health services managers
Some medical and health services managers oversee the activities of a number of facilities.

Medical and health services managers held about 315,500 jobs in 2012. Most medical and health services managers work in offices in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, and group medical practices. 

The industries that employed the most medical and health services managers in 2012 were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private39%
Ambulatory health care services26
Nursing and residential care facilities11
Government8

Work Schedules

Most medical and health services managers work full time. Because their services are sometimes needed in emergencies or at facilities that are always open, some work may be required during evenings, on weekends, or overnight.

How to Become a Medical or Health Services Manager About this section

Medical and health services managers
Large healthcare facilities usually have several assistant administrators who aid the top administrator and handle daily decisions.

Most medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field; however, master’s degrees also are common. Requirements vary by facility.

Education

Medical and health services managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. However, master’s degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration also are common.

Prospective medical and health services managers should have a bachelor’s degree in health administration. These programs prepare students for higher level management jobs than programs that graduate students with other degrees. Courses needed for a degree in health administration often include hospital organization and management, accounting and budgeting, human resources administration, strategic planning, law and ethics, health economics, and health information systems. Some programs allow students to specialize in a particular type of facility, such as a hospital, a nursing care home, a mental health facility, or a group medical practice. Graduate programs often last between 2 and 3 years and may include up to 1 year of supervised administrative experience.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Medical and health services managers must be able to understand and follow current regulations and be able to adapt to new laws.

Communication skills. These managers must be able to communicate effectively with other health professionals.

Detail oriented. Medical and health services managers must pay attention to detail. They might be required to organize and maintain scheduling and billing information for very large facilities, such as hospitals.

Interpersonal skills. Medical and health services managers need to be able to discuss staffing problems and patient information with other professionals, such as physicians and health insurance representatives. They must be able to motivate and lead staff.

Problem-solving skills. These managers are often responsible for finding creative solutions to staffing or other administrative problems.

Technical skills. Medical and health services managers must be able to follow advances in healthcare technology. For example, they may need to use coding and classification software and electronic health record (EHR) systems as their facility adopts these technologies.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some facilities may hire those with specialized experience in a healthcare occupation in addition to administrative experience. For example, nursing service administrators usually are supervisory registered nurses with administrative experience and graduate degrees in nursing or health administration.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require nursing care facility administrators to be licensed; requirements vary by state. In most states, these administrators must have a bachelor’s degree, pass a licensing exam, and complete a state-approved training program. Some states also require administrators in assisted-living facilities to be licensed. A license is not required in other areas of medical and health services management.

Although certification is not required, some managers choose to become certified. Certification is available in many areas of practice. For example, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers certification in health information management or medical management, while the American College of Health Care Administrators offers the Certified Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator distinctions.

Advancement

Medical and health services managers advance by moving into more responsible and higher paying positions. In large hospitals, graduates of health administration programs usually begin as administrative assistants or assistant department heads. In small hospitals or nursing care facilities, they may begin as department heads or assistant administrators. Some experienced managers also may become consultants or professors of healthcare management. The level of the starting position varies with the experience of the applicant and the size of the organization.

Pay About this section

Medical and Health Services Managers

Median annual wages, May 2012

Management occupations

$93,910

Medical and health services managers

$88,580

Total, all occupations

$34,750

 

The median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $88,580 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $53,940, and the top 10 percent earned more than $150,560.

Earnings of medical and health services managers vary by type and size of the facility and by level of responsibility. For example, the Medical Group Management Association reported that, in 2012, median compensation for administrators was $87,862 in practices with 6 or fewer physicians; $126,478 in practices with 7 to 25 physicians; and $148,604 in practices with 26 or more physicians.

Most medical and health services managers work full time. Because their services are sometimes needed in emergencies or at facilities that are always open, some work may be required during evenings, on weekends, or overnight.

Job Outlook About this section

Medical and Health Services Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Medical and health services managers

23%

Total, all occupations

11%

Management occupations

7%

 

Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services. This demand will in turn result in an increase in the number of physicians, patients, and procedures, as well as in the number of facilities. Managers will be needed to organize and manage medical information and staffs in the healthcare industry. There will likely be increased demand for nursing care facility administrators as baby boomers age.

Employment is projected to grow in offices of health practitioners. Many services previously provided in hospitals will shift to these settings, especially as medical technologies improve. Demand in medical group practice management is expected to grow as medical group practices become larger and more complex.

Employment projections data for medical and health services managers, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Medical and health services managers

11-9111 315,500 388,800 23 73,300 [XLS]

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of medical and health services managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2012 MEDIAN PAY Help
Human resources managers

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Bachelor’s degree $99,720
Insurance underwriters

Insurance Underwriters

Insurance underwriters decide whether to provide insurance and under what terms. They evaluate insurance applications and determine coverage amounts and premiums.

Bachelor’s degree $62,870
Social and community service managers

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They direct and lead staff who provide social services to the public.

Bachelor’s degree $59,970

Contacts for More Information About this section

For information about medical and healthcare management, visit

Professional Association of Health Care Office Management

American Health Information Management Association

American College of Health Care Administrators

For more information about academic programs in this field, visit

Association of University Programs in Health Administration

Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education

For information about career opportunities in healthcare management, visit

American College of Healthcare Executives

For information about career opportunities in medical group practices and ambulatory care management, visit

Medical Group Management Association

O*NET

Medical and Health Services Managers

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. 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 April 23, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014