Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Management

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How to Become a Home Health Agency Manager

Help patients receive vital care from the comfort of their residences as a home health agency manager. Whether patients are recovering from surgery or managing an injury or long-term illness, home health agency managers play a vital role in ensuring their patients are receiving the highest level of care in a setting that fits their needs. They oversee clinical and clerical staff, coordinate care, reinforce policies and expectations, and ensure a positive patient experience.

Through devoted and careful management, home health agencies positively contribute to overall patient health and well-being. As the healthcare industry continues to see rapid growth and a large percentage of the American population enters the over-65 age bracket, the demand for such administrators will likely continue to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

When considering how to become a home health agency manager, think about your ability to hone skills such as communication, active listening, financial planning, and quantitative and qualitative reasoning. These competencies are vital in ensuring the quality of home healthcare for patients.

Mother holding her toddler while speaking to a home health manager

What Does a Home Health Agency Manager Do?

Home health agency managers work in hospitals, hospice centers, private practices, and nursing home facilities, though many more industries, such as health law and wellness technology, are starting to seek the expertise of these skilled healthcare managers.

If you’re excited by the prospect of bringing practiced skills to the field of healthcare delivery and its critical extension into the home, you may be interested in this role. These managers oversee the care of patients in their own residences, manage direct care providers, help with treatment planning, and support all involved in the operation.

The specifics of what a home health agency manager does can vary based on the setting, distinct needs of clients, and kind of care the manager oversees, but there are some responsibilities that are common across the board:

  • Hiring and overseeing staff. A key duty of home health agency managers is hiring, training, and monitoring a healthcare team that provides a range of services, from nutritional support to physical therapy. Through this process, managers communicate goals and ensure they are being met. They make use of strong communication skills to work with others, coordinate the efforts of their teams, and ensure positive outcomes for all.
  • Budget planning. Home health agency managers oversee the financials of their organizations and implement measures to improve revenue generation and streamline expenditures. This allows them to allocate funds to the purchase of cutting-edge medical devices, equipment that improves quality of life, clinician training, and more. In this position, healthcare professionals can expect to continually perform financial analyses to ensure their agencies are meeting budgets while maintaining quality of care and professionalism.
  • Assessing patient experience. Home healthcare services hinge on making patients feel comfortable and cared for in their homes. As such, home health agency managers might interface with patients and their families to discuss outcomes and treatment plans. They monitor the success of their teams and incorporate client feedback into operations.

 

Steps for Becoming a Home Health Agency Manager

The steps to become a home health agency manager can vary depending on the work environment. Based on your specific role, the experience and training you receive may differ. For example, managers at a hospice facility may receive training that is specific to end-of-life care. Those working at a nonprofit may develop a high level of competency regarding nonprofit financial supervision and grant program compliance.

No matter where you begin your career as a home health agency manager, there are certain shared milestones along the way, such as earning a bachelor’s degree.

Step One: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

If your goal is to qualify for a job as a home health agency manager, earning a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management can improve your chances. The curriculum for this type of program typically includes coursework in communication, business operations, and healthcare compliance and quality. Employers in the field often expect candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management.

Step Two: Consider Different Home Health Options

What kind of environment would you like to work in? As you consider your preferred type of workplace, you can tailor your studies and experience accordingly. Some common options include general home healthcare businesses and hospice organizations. As you research and hone in on a path, you can become well-versed in the regulations, laws, practices, and norms of that particular home health niche.

Step Three: Gain Experience

To find success as an agency manager, you will need to gain experience in the field of home health. You may find opportunities to gain this experience as you pursue your undergraduate degree. Alternatively, you may train on the job or through related positions, such as registered nurse, administrative assistant, or medical records manager.

Step Four: Continue Your Education

Healthcare is a quickly evolving industry, and some home health agency managers find it worthwhile to continue their education, by either pursuing certifications or enrolling in a continuing education program. While most home health organizations require a bachelor’s degree to get started, some require a master’s degree, a registered nurse license, or a social work license. Regardless of whether you pursue a postgraduate education, it is important to stay active in the field and abreast of evolving technologies and policies so you and your team can offer the highest level of care possible.

Home Health Agency Manager Salaries

According to the BLS, the average salary of medical and health services managers — which includes home health agency manager salaries — is $98,350. This number can vary greatly depending on the home health professional’s employer, years of experience, education, and geographic location.

What home health agency managers do is complex, multidisciplinary work. Not surprisingly, these highly trained administrators are sought after and generally well-compensated in many professional settings.

Future Growth of Home Health Agency Managers

As the availability of technology improves and providers are driven increasingly by outcomes, modern medicine is becoming more personalized. In addition, the aging U.S. population is continuing to grow, placing a higher demand on healthcare services. Between these two trends, it is likely that home health will remain in high use by patients. In fact, when it comes to the management of home healthcare services, the job outlook is quite positive, with the BLS predicting 20% growth between 2016 and 2026.

Explore Possibilities in Home Health Agency Management

Are you ready to grow your career while making an impact on the lives and health of others? Home health agency managers are compassionate, proactive leaders who are playing an increasingly important role in the future of healthcare. Take the first step toward becoming a home health agency manager by learning more about Maryville University’s online bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. Discover the skills and knowledge you will learn in your degree that can pave the way for future success as a home health agency manager.

Sources:

Grand View Research, Home Healthcare Market Analysis Report
Maryville University, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management Careers
Maryville University, Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Service Managers
U.S. News and World Report, Medical and Health Service Manager