Like any other business, a health care organization needs a good manager to keep things ticking along properly. Medical services managers plan and supervise the business aspects of health care delivery. A specialist medical services manager, like an emergency medical services manager, for example, oversees a specific department or service, while a general medical services manager supervises the whole facility.
Medical and health services managers are in high demand, thanks to the rapidly evolving health care system. Regulations are growing more complex, patient populations are becoming older and more diverse, technology is advancing at breakneck speeds, and health care is focusing more and more on preventive care. Salaries for medical services managers are generous, and the work can be a fulfilling way to put your business sense to good use in a growing industry.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Medical Services Manager?
In order to become a medical services manager, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. However, you may want to consider going on to earn a more advanced degree, since many employers will give preference to candidates with the master’s. If you plan to earn a Master of Science in Health Sciences, you may want to go ahead and earn your bachelor’s in business administration, public administration, long-term care administration, or public health.
One of these related fields would help you establish a broader skill base on which to build your career. If you want to manage a certain department, you’ll need a master’s program that provides training in that specific area.
In addition to an advanced degree, you may also need to meet licensing requirements. Most health and medical services managers don’t need any kind of license, but if you want to be a nursing care facility administrator or an assisted living facility manager, you’ll likely need a license. Learn more about your state’s licensing requirements while you’re still in school, so you can work toward getting the license as soon as possible after graduation.
Soft skills are also important in medical services management, just as they are in most other management fields. You’ll need to be able to communicate well in writing and verbally, in order to communicate effectively with your colleagues. Listening skills are also paramount, as are a keen eye for detail, great analytical skills, and the capacity to solve problems.
What Are the Working Conditions Like?
As a medical services manager, you’ll work closely with doctors to manage both policy and personnel matters. You’ll help develop your organization’s policies, as well as overseeing matters like billing, collections, hiring and firing, budgeting, equipment expenditures, patient flow, and planning. The number of people you manage will depend on the size of your practice.
Since most hospitals and nursing care facilities must provide patient care 24 hours a day, you can expect to work long hours. When problems arise at your facility, you may be called to come in and deal with them, at all hours of the day or night. You may also need to travel from time to time to attend conferences and inspect other facilities associated with your facility. You will need to be prepared to spend a large portion of your workday on your feet, walking to confer with physicians, nurses, and other managers in your facility.
Job Outlook for Medical Services Managers
The job outlook for medical services managers is good — the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for medical services and health services managers will rise 23 percent by 2022. You can expect to bring home a generous salary, too. The average salary for medical services managers can range from $88,500 a year to as much as $101,000 a year. Top earners in this profession can expect to bring home as much as $127,000.
If you’re interested in a management career that will help you secure a place in the quickly-growing health care industry, medical services management could be for you. Health care facilities are businesses, and they need managers to oversee their operations and help them form sound policies. You don’t need a background in health care in order to do well and make a difference in this rewarding profession.