Hospitals and other healthcare facilities feature many moving parts. At any given time, various healthcare professionals are administering primary, secondary, and tertiary care to patients facing a variety of healthcare challenges.
Alongside caregivers, hospitals need administrators to oversee the daily operations that enable optimal care — professionals who manage medical supplies, oversee staff, and maintain policies and regulations, all in a cost-effective manner. This is where the role of a healthcare operations manager comes into play.
These professionals direct a hospital or healthcare facility’s staffing, resources, finances, and procedures. They work in any facility that provides healthcare, including outpatient treatment centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. It’s a challenging role at the nexus between business and healthcare, but earning an online Master of Health Administration (MHA) offers students the educational foundation to succeed.
What does a healthcare operations manager do?
Operations managers ensure that healthcare facilities run smoothly and offer high-quality healthcare to every patient. During a facility’s day-to-day operations, a health operations manager may engage in the following tasks:
- Administrative duties such as keeping inventory of medical equipment and supplies, setting staff schedules, updating and maintaining patient records, and being an information resource for patients and healthcare workers
- Financial duties such as ordering medical supplies; managing the revenue cycle; and overseeing patient billing, claims, and reimbursement
- Managing the healthcare facility’s policies and procedures, ensuring that best practices are followed, and resolving cases where the facility is out of compliance
- Finding innovative ways to optimize the level of healthcare while also reducing the facility’s costs
- Developing departmental goals and objectives for workers to improve the patient experience
- Recruiting, training, and supervising healthcare workers
Healthcare operations manager salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for healthcare operations managers, which the BLS classifies under medical and health services managers, was $104,280 in 2020. Factors such as education, experience, region, and the specific healthcare facility can affect salaries.
The BLS projects positions for medical and health services managers will increase by 32% between 2019 and 2029. Baby boomers’ longer life expectancy and the accompanying demand for healthcare workers and operations managers contribute to this positive job outlook.
How do you become a healthcare operations manager?
As with any career in healthcare, the best first step is education. Some management positions may be open to those with a bachelor’s degree, but employers often prefer candidates with an advanced degree. Operations managers in other fields may pursue master’s degrees in business administration, but an MHA is tailored to those looking for a specific foundation in the business of healthcare.
After earning a degree, gaining relevant work experience in a healthcare provider’s office is the next critical step. Some entry-level positions include medical records and health information technician, financial clerk, and administrative assistant. With a master’s degree, however, higher-level positions such as medical office manager may be available right after graduation.
Although not required, certifications such as a Certified Medical Manager (CMM) or Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM) credential can help candidates stand out to employers. Others, including Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC), Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM), and Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP), offer professionals the opportunity to further specialize. These certifications validate a person’s skills and experience managing a hospital or healthcare facility.
What can you do with an MHA degree?
Earning an MHA degree can open the door to becoming a healthcare operations manager, but the career opportunities don’t end there. Because a master’s in health administration is highly versatile, graduates can pursue leadership and management positions in a variety of healthcare facilities. Some of the most popular roles include:
- Hospital administrator: These professionals manage budgets, evaluate employees, supervise quality assurance, and oversee public relations.
- Nursing home administrator: Nursing home administrators manage staff, facilities, and finances to ensure residents receive optimal care.
- Healthcare recruiter: In this role, professionals perform outreach, review resumes, conduct interviews, and negotiate hiring agreements.
- Health insurance underwriter: Health insurance underwriters review applicants to determine the level of coverage they qualify for.
- Healthcare consultant: Consultants in this field analyze different health organizations’ operations to improve outcomes and increase efficiency.
- Administrative services manager: These managers plan and direct activities to help healthcare facilities become more productive and efficient.
Start your journey today
Healthcare operations managers play an important role in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Their hard work allows their facilities to function efficiently, which helps ensure patients receive high-quality care. The first step toward this career is education, and Maryville’s online Master of Health Administration program provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to make an immediate impact in the healthcare industry.
With concentrations in Health Informatics and Analytics, Population Health Management, Senior Services, and Healthcare Leadership, Maryville Online offers considerable options to specialize your studies. If you’re interested in the crucial work of managing healthcare operations, courses such as Healthcare Financial Management, Healthcare Operations, and Health Policy and Economics all contribute to your development as a healthcare leader.
Start your journey toward a new career today with Maryville University.