What Does a Health Care Manager Do?

Health care managers oversee a health care organization's business aspects, such as its finances and operations. A health care manager's primary responsibility is to ensure patients receive high quality care by providing physicians and nurses with the tools needed to deliver great health care. Schools offering Clinical Research Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Health care managers oversee the personnel, facility operations, finances, and information technology of a health care organization, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Health care managers also strive to improve the efficiency and quality of patient care while reducing costs. More specifically, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives, health care managers' responsibilities include:

  • Partnering with physicians and nurses to ensure high quality of care
  • Ensuring their health care organization is financially and operationally sound
  • Managing personnel issues
  • Teaching community members about health issues

Important Facts About Health Care Managers

On-the-Job Training None
Licensure Mandatory by law for administrators in nursing homes; other requirements vary per state
Professional Certification Available for a variety of practices; organizations offering certification include the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management and the American College of Health Care Administrators
Similar Occupations Insurance underwriters, human resources managers, social and community service managers

Responsibilities and Skills

Health care managers ensure their health care organization operates effectively and efficiently while adhering to all federal laws and regulations. Therefore, health care managers should uphold high ethical standards and require others within their organization to do the same. According to the University of Saint Mary, health care managers should also possess skills such as:

  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Strategic planning
  • Budgeting

Required Education

Most positions for health care managers require individuals to have at least a master's degree, usually in a business-related field. Although some health care managers oversee entire health care organizations, many managers begin their careers in related areas of administration or health care like:

  • Human resources
  • Patient services
  • Nursing administration
  • Marketing
  • Information systems.

Work Environment

As the United States population continues to grow and diversify, the need for health care organizations will increase, as will the need for health care managers to oversee these institutions. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, such managers can work for organizations like:

  • Consulting firms
  • Hospitals
  • Public health departments
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Insurance companies

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the BLS, the employment of medical and health services managers, including health care managers, is expected to grow by 23% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also reported the median annual salary earned by such managers as $92,810 in May 2014.

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