As the American population grows larger and gets older, the healthcare industry is going through changes that create high demand for business professionals with the education and expertise to manage the transformations.
Baby Boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — account for nearly one-third of the U.S. population. The first reached retirement age a decade ago and 10,000 more will turn 65 every day through 2030, according to Senior Living.
And the graying of America is stressing the healthcare system.
The National Council on Aging reports that 80% of the over-65 population has at least one chronic health condition, and 68% have two or more. The most common, hypertension, affects 58% of seniors and puts them at higher risk for strokes, heart attacks and other critical-care conditions.
"Not only is the population aging, but it is doing so with an increasing burden of chronic disease that often requires [hospitalization]," according to research published by the National Center of Medicine.
The industry uses a variety of strategies to meet that growing demand, including mergers and acquisitions which enable economies of scale and provide leverage in negotiations with third-party payers.
"It means there's a high demand in the healthcare industry for skill sets in marketing, business, IT and management – all skills that one acquires in an MBA program," according to Healthcare Administration.
What Are Career Prospects for Business Professionals in Healthcare?
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Healthcare Management from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) equips graduates with expertise in analytics to evaluate clinical and operational data and provide insight into relationships among providers, payers and support sectors. An MBA in healthcare management also provides information for the impact of legislation and regulation on service delivery.
Those skills provide advantages in the competition for high-demand leadership roles, including:
- Hospital CEO. Chief executive officers are at the top of the policy- and decision-making pyramid and among the highest-paid people in the healthcare sector. Their responsibilities include keeping the organization on its mission and delegating authority to direct reports to implement on-strategy policies. ZipRecruiter lists the average national salary for hospital CEOs at $208,500.
- Hospital CFO. Chief financial officers manage the healthcare system's money — past, present and future. As the controller, the CFO directs financial data collection in quarterly and annual reports. The CFO also oversees investment policies and manages the organization's capital and financing structure. ZipRecruiter places the average national salary for CFOs at $144,918.
- Hospital administrator. They oversee the day-to-day operations, including human resources and finance. They also implement policies to optimize the delivery of services, assess needs for new technologies and ensure regulatory compliance. Another important responsibility is to facilitate communication between executive management and the board of directors. ZipRecruiter places the average national salary for hospital administrators at $92,526.
- Health informatics director. These professionals are senior managers in the organization's information systems and technology operations. As such, they are responsible for implementing policies and processes that ensure the collection, analysis and distribution of digital information, as well as maintaining and innovating software and hardware. ZipRecruiter places the average national salary for information systems managers at $90,937.
- Health management consultant. They analyze operations and finances to identify risks and inefficiencies and develop solutions. Healthcare providers rely on them for strategies that improve service-delivery processes that produce better patient outcomes and increase efficiencies. Providers that green-light proposed solutions often retain the consultant to oversee implementation. The S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 14% job growth for management analysts through 2024, with ZipRecruiter's average national salary at $86,937.
- Pharmaceutical product manager. By working with marketing and research and development operations, these professionals plan and oversee the distribution of new medications. Specific duties include providing senior management with sales forecasts, scheduling clinical trials and developing promotion and advertising strategies. ZipRecruiter lists the average salary for pharmaceutical project manager as $107,015 a year.
How Are Business Professionals Preparing for Roles in Healthcare?
The healthcare field is growing by the minute, and trained healthcare professionals are in high demand. In fact, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. healthcare spending in 2020 grew 9.7% from the previous year. This was 19.7% of the USD Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Professionals with a specialized MBA in Healthcare Management gain insights and expertise into the business needs of the healthcare industry that will continue to grow more complex. The program has a holistic curriculum that covers:
- The use of data analytics tools to model, select, prepare, analyze, interpret, evaluate and present clinical and operational data
- The relationships among primary providers, payers and the service and support sectors in the healthcare industry
- The impact of constricting reimbursement on the healthcare industry, as well as an examination of recent healthcare legislation and regulation
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