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Career Guide: Medical and Health Services Managers

Career Guide: Medical and Health Services Managers

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Nature of the Work

Healthcare is a business and, like every other business, it needs good management to keep it running smoothly. The medical and health services manager occupation encompasses all individuals who plan, direct, coordinate and supervise the delivery of healthcare. Medical and health services managers include specialists and generalists. Specialists are in charge of specific clinical departments or services, while generalists manage or help to manage an entire facility or system.

The structure and financing of healthcare is changing rapidly. As a future medical and health services manager must be prepared to deal with evolving integrated healthcare delivery systems, technological innovations, an increasingly complex regulatory environment, restructuring of work and an increased focus on preventive care. They will be called upon to improve efficiency in healthcare facilities and the quality of the healthcare provided. Increasingly, medical and health services managers will work in organizations in which they must optimize efficiency of a variety of interrelated services — for example, those ranging from inpatient care to outpatient follow-up care.

Large facilities usually have several assistant administrators to aid the top administrator and to handle daily decisions. Assistant administrators may direct activities in clinical areas such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records or health information. In smaller facilities, top administrators handle more of the details of daily operations. For example, many nursing home administrators manage personnel, finance, facility operations and admissions, and have a larger role in resident care.

Clinical managers have more specific responsibilities than do generalists, and have training or experience in a specific clinical area. For example, directors of physical therapy are experienced physical therapists, and most health information and medical record administrators have a bachelor’s degree in health information or medical records administration. Clinical managers establish and implement policies, objectives and procedures for their departments; evaluate personnel and work; develop reports and budgets; and coordinate activities with other managers.

In group medical practices, managers work closely with physicians. Whereas an office manager may handle business affairs in small medical groups, leaving policy decisions to the physicians themselves, larger groups usually employ a full-time administrator to help formulate business strategies and coordinate day-to-day business.

A small group of 10 to 15 physicians might employ one administrator to oversee personnel matters, billing and collection, budgeting, planning, equipment outlays, and patient flow. A large practice of 40 to 50 physicians may have a chief administrator and several assistants, each responsible for different areas.

Medical and health services managers in managed care settings perform functions similar to those of their counterparts in large group practices, except that they may have larger staffs to manage. In addition, they may do more work in the areas of community outreach and preventive care than do managers of a group practice.

Some medical and health services managers oversee the activities of a number of facilities in health systems. Such systems may contain both inpatient and outpatient facilities and offer a wide range of patient services.

Working Conditions

Most medical and health services managers work long hours. Facilities such as nursing care facilities and hospitals operate around the clock, and administrators and managers may be called at all hours to deal with problems. They also may travel to attend meetings or inspect satellite facilities.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 1 month ago


    To Mooresa: its the area that you live in I'm currently in Crestview, Fl and going to school for Health Service Management and all the jobs are in big cities like Jacksonville so I'm ready to move but I research the field before I decided to take it up in school and the jobs are more in big cities try" indeed website" they have a lot of jobs for the field

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 1 year ago


    I have been looking for a job for almost two years in Health Service Management. I graduated in 2012. I live in Alabama. Can someone refer me to sites that are actually hiring Health Service Managers. I have only had 1 interview in two years. Thank you.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 1 year ago


    This article has just confused me. It was well written . But I'm 30 I'm ready to start a career. I didn't make the best choices in my younger years . However I thought I lucked up and found a path health admin that was gonna lead me to a stable long term career path in which I could advance.

    But it seems like this article is suggesting a masters is going to be the option .

    I can't conceive in my mind pursuing a masters at this point. I'm already a slow starter.

    I need help !! I need to be able to start soon .

    Thanks again for the information provided.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago

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  • Picture0004_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This is very informative to me. I just have one question: "How do you become a hospital manager"? "what do I need to know, study, get experience in to become a manager of a hospital"? If someone can answer that for me then I think I am on the right track.! Thanks.

  • Photo_9_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I believe that the Administrators are often forgotten and are sort of the behind-the-scenes heros, they keep the organization or facility running and ensure that the patients/residents are receiving quality care. Granted, I do not believe that nurses get nearly as much respect and care as they should either!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    I love this article It gives me idea of exactly what I think I what to do as a Health care Administrator when i become one!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    enlightening-loved it!

  • P8100140_max50


    over 6 years ago



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