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Health Services Manager: Job Description & Requirements

Health services managers oversee administrative functions of healthcare facilities. Their duties are related to cost containment, regulatory compliance and personnel management. As their careers progress, health services managers could become hospital administrators, faculty members, department heads or consultants.

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Health Services Manager Job Description

Health services managers generally have backgrounds in business administration or other areas in the medical field. In smaller settings, such as group practices, they may work with physicians to create business strategies. In larger settings, such as hospitals, they may coordinate with department heads to improve cost efficiency and productivity.

Some medically trained health services managers specialize in areas such as nursing or physical therapy, and their duties may involve patient care, as well as management functions. Most are employed by hospitals, but some health services managers work for doctors' offices, nursing care facilities and healthcare management organizations.

Requirements

Educational requirements are typically a master's degree in health sciences, business administration or a related field, although some may possess only a bachelor's degree. Applicants with master's degrees may enter the job market at the supervisory level; however, applicants with a bachelor's degree may start out as administrative assistants and work their way up while gaining on-the-job training.

Health services management programs may offer two tracks: health services or clinical research. Courses often cover healthcare delivery systems, medical terminology, healthcare organizational management, health policy, health information technology, cost-effectiveness analysis and managerial accounting. Students complete internships under the supervision of a mentor or professional. These often involve projects and assignments in a career setting that matches the student's interests.

Certification and Licensure Requirements

Health services managers working in nursing homes must first obtain certification and earn a bachelor's degree in every state. Some states also require assisted living facilities managers to obtain certification. Those who work in other medical facilities don't need to be certified. Those who wish to work in information management can become a Registered Health Information Administrator by passing an exam through the American Health Information Management Association. This also requires earning a bachelor's or graduate degree from an approved school.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical and health services management jobs were expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 23% from 2012-2022. Part of this growth was attributed to an aging U.S. population. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers earned an average yearly salary of $101,340 in May 2013.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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