Healthcare management refers to administrators or healthcare executives that manage the delivery of healthcare within hospitals and smaller facilities. If this is your major, you won’t be required to hold a medical or nursing degree, but having one of the two wouldn’t hurt your prospects or performance in a healthcare setting.
It’s important that healthcare managers familiarize themselves with the nuts and bolts of healthcare regulations no matter what type of facility they run. Their education will focus in on regulations, technology, privacy, management of staff, and other healthcare law. They supervise all operations in a healthcare organization, from finance and marketing to human resources.
The aging population of the US is pushing an increase in healthcare jobs for long-term care facilities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and healthcare administrators. To join this vital profession, you’ll take courses in public healthcare regulations, marketing, information technology, medical ethics and operations management, along with healthcare financing, organizational behavior, and healthcare policy and law.
Resources for Healthcare Management Studies
What is accreditation and why is it so important? Is it possible to find programmatic accreditation for healthcare management or is it limited to colleges and universities?
Beginning with the first question, accreditation lets you, other education institutions, the federal government, and your future employers know which universities or degree programs meet minimum standards of quality. These standards are created and established by an accrediting agency. Students who take the time to research which programs or institutions have received accreditation will benefit from a better education, access to federal student aid, and more.
While colleges and universities can apply to receive institutional accreditation, so can degree programs, only, for them it’s called programmatic accreditation. Programs with accreditation usually have certain prerequisites for entry, such as earning a high school diploma or its equivalent and having taken specific courses that will prepare you to earn said degree. Several degree levels can be accredited: Undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.
Not all accreditation is valid. If you aren’t sure of a program’s accreditation value, visit the US Department of Education and look for the school on the website’s list. The site is www.ed.gov.
And be on the lookout for one of the regional accrediting agencies approved by the DoE:
- Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Questions About Financial Aid
If you’re not sure what types of financial aid you can apply for, you just need to keep in mind that you have five basic types: grants, scholarships, work-study, federal student loan programs, and private student loans.
Grants and scholarships, for the most part, can be thought of as free money. Grants are most often provided to college students who are able to prove financial need. To do this, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the student’s Student Aid Report (SAR) is determined, it’s sent to each of the universities the student indicates they are interested in attending. If the student is accepted, a financial aid package is created for them by the school.
Other grants include the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant (FSEOG), and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, which is awarded to students whose parent(s) or guardian(s) died in service to the military in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Healthcare scholarships are more likely to be merit-based, meaning the student has to have achieved a high GPA, class rank, college entrance exam score, or participated in extracurricular activities that are of interest to the scholarship committee.
Work-study allows students to earn money for part-time work most often done on-campus. This allows the school to fill vital roles and the student to either put the money toward their student loans or use it as pocket money rather than taking out larger loans for their everyday expenses.
Federal and private student loans do have to be repaid. Keep this in mind as you consider your options. You might find that federal loans are your best choice, especially if you or your co-signer have low credit. However, if your parents are in excellent financial shape, they may be able to co-sign a loan from a private lender and get you even better terms. Always check all your options before making a decision.
Popular Healthcare Associations for Students
Healthcare management degrees change constantly. The field itself can also change quickly. Because of this, students majoring in healthcare management should consider finding and joining a professional healthcare management association.
Not only will you be able to stay ahead of changes in this field, you’ll also make valuable connections that benefit you throughout your career. You’re not limited to only one or two healthcare management associations; if one isn’t to your liking, explore others and join the one where you feel most comfortable.
- American College of healthcare Executives (ACHE):
ACHE has made a commitment to be the kind of professional organization that helps industry professionals (and students) to obtain the knowledge they need to operate their healthcare facilities.
- The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA):
HFMA helps healthcare managers to deal with the rapid changes in this field. Membership allows you to establish a bright future for your organization.
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA):
The main goal of AHIMA is to allow members to receive the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to move this field forward and encourage professional standards of health information.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM):
AAHAM helps you to meet revenue cycle experts in this field. As a student, you’ll be able to meet with professionals and discuss the ever-present problem of managing your organization’s revenue.
- Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA):
Joining HCAA as a student introduces you to the many specialized careers in this field. You’ll also learn how members engage and work with third-party administrators.
Student or Open Access Journals
Subscribing to open access journals as a student gives you benefits that you may not realize until after you graduate. Even though you may groan at the thought of reading yet another article about some aspect of healthcare management, your future self will be grateful. You’ll also be keeping up to date with the field and be able to bring current events into the classroom, where your professors will appreciate the influx of new ideas.
Apps are good for more than whiling away your time between tasks. As a healthcare management major, you’ll be able to find mobile apps that apply directly to your planned career—you can use them during your studies and after you begin working in your new field.
However, apps specifically for healthcare management aren’t the only ones from which you’ll benefit. As a student, you’re busy with classes, reading, assignments, papers, and your internship. Time management apps can help you make good use of every minute of your day, so you can find the time you need to relax.
- Medscape Mobile App:
This tool was made for healthcare managers and doctors in mind. Look up evidence-based information on diseases, conditions, drug information, and medical news and keep up with continuing education requirements.
- iStudiez Pro Legendary Planner:
This app is available on both Google Play and the App Store. It allows you to track assignments, grades, and your daily schedule without looking for notes or pieces of paper.
- MediBabble Translator:
This app enables you to easily translate confusing medical or Latin terms that make it difficult to communicate with patients or understand your textbooks! Turn the medical jargon into everyday English.
- My Study Life:
This app is free and allows you to organize everything school-related: exams, papers, classes, assignments, and study groups. The app syncs everything within the cloud across all your devices. This also works offline.
This iOS app costs $9.99 for six months, which is affordable for most college students. The app can help you with your mind mapping and brainstorming; you’ll be able to make your thoughts more clear, come up with tons of new ideas, and keep all that information in line.
Landing and completing an internship in healthcare management is an excellent step for you to complete. This field is complex and challenging, so getting as much knowledge and experience as you can before you begin working in the field full-time will give you a solid foundation.
Expect to work in a healthcare organization, university, or hospital in your community. In this field, you may be working to earn a healthcare management position at the associate, bachelor’s, or graduate level. No matter your educational level, your internship should give you real experience for your future.
Resources for Students and Professionals
Healthcare Management Certification Options
Healthcare management certification will help you to keep up with frequent changes in policy and give you an edge over other healthcare managers. This career is projected to grow by 18% in coming years, much higher than average for all other occupations in the US. That means that healthcare facilities will be looking to hire almost 72,000 more healthcare managers. What is causing this growth? Baby boomers who are living longer than expected and reforms to both health insurance and healthcare.
Keeping up with the increased demand for workers and growing facility size and budgets will be easier with a little more knowledge under your belt in these areas:
- Information Technology
Earning a certification isn’t a fast or easy process, but it will be worth it when you can list that new qualification on your resume. When new employers see the certifications you have earned, it will make you a much more attractive prospect and more likely to be hired. Also, earning a certification will be faster than going back to school to earn a new degree.
Certification Study Resources
It isn’t easy to pass a healthcare management certification exam, so you need to find the right study resources to aid in your success. No matter where you work, your role is essential to the smooth operation of your healthcare facility. If you are employed by a hospital, you will have some involvement with all departments and operations.
This means you’ll need to look for study resources that cover most of what you’re responsible for. As you look at the various sources, check to see if they are offered online and self-paced. This will make your study sessions easier.
- Certified Medical Manager:
You’ll learn about the abilities, skills, and knowledge you need to help you manage a physician’s practice or an ambulatory service center.
- Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP):
This exam is intended for financial professionals in a healthcare management position.
- Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM):
Ensure that you have the certification and knowledge to work within the patient access area of healthcare management.
- Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC):
This certification ensures that your healthcare facility is fully in compliance with federal and state regulations. If this is your profession, you are fully aware that being in compliance is a difficult process, and staying in compliance is even more difficult due to the ever-changing regulations.
Temp agencies take requests from organizations seeking temporary employees, including healthcare managers. If you haven’t worked professionally in this role, then spending some time providing temporary services in the healthcare management role can give you crucially needed entries on your resume.
If you have worked in healthcare management, but you left for some reason, then going through a temp agency may allow you to re-familiarize yourself with current rules, laws, and regulations. Once you are hired permanently, your experiences as a temporary manager will back you up.
Resources for Healthcare Management Professionals
As a healthcare management professional, you need to take opportunities to meet, mingle and discuss issues with other likeminded professionals. Healthcare management associations are the perfect place for you to attend meetings and discuss what you are experiencing in your own position. By networking with other healthcare managers, you’ll be able to pass on knowledge and your experiences; likewise, they will be able to help you with what they have learned or experienced.
Should you decide that it’s time to find a new place of employment, a professional association allows you to learn about current openings before those outside the association learn about them. Also, your membership is something you can place on your resume to let future employers see that you take your role seriously.
Your professional learning is going to continue long after you graduate from college or your university. It’s vital that you keep reading professional health management journals so you can stay current on new developments and innovations. While your job may keep you at work for long hours, you stay because you want to ensure that your healthcare organization is functioning as efficiently as possible.
If you want to learn about new developments as soon as you can, a subscription to a professional publication is very important. If you have been conducting research, you may also want to publish your findings.
- Journal of Health Administration Education (JHAE):
Offered by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration
- Frontiers of Health Services Management (FHSM):
Offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
- Health Care Management Review (HCMR):
Offered by Wolters Kluwer
- Journal of Hospital Administration (JMA):
Offered by Sciedu Press
Industry Conferences for Healthcare Management Professionals
Along with professional associations and journals, you also need to think about industry conferences that are available for healthcare management professionals such as yourself. You have a wide variety of conferences and locales from which to choose. You should certainly attend these throughout your career—you’ll benefit from the expanded opportunities for networking and learning. Along with learning and networking, you’ll be able to get some much-needed relaxation.
- CES 2020 (Formerly called the Consumer Electronics Show):
This industry conference presents the newest in electronic items that can be used by professionals in healthcare, such as doctors and nurses.
- International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH):
This scientific conference brings to you the newest inventions and practices in healthcare simulation. At IMSH, you’ll see and handle the resources and tools you need to push your skills forward.
Take in sessions focused on managing cyber-threats and determining whether your organization is prepared. Learn about ways to improve both health and wellness for your organization’s patients.
This conference is the most prominent for researchers who work with systems that are used in everyday healthcare. Academic collaborators within the healthcare system are also present.