What Is Healthcare Management?


healthcare management meeting

Behind the scenes of any healthcare facility is a team of managers who supervise staff, ensure operations run smoothly, and make sure patients receive quality care. Healthcare management is the nonclinical side of the healthcare system; without it, clinicians couldn’t do their jobs, serve patients, or save lives.

Healthcare Management Goals

Goal setting is the cornerstone of healthcare management. Every organization follows a mission and sets goals. If you worked in the field, you might develop specific goals for your facility or department, such as increasing security of electronic health records or hiring a more diverse staff. Then you set the strategy, plan, oversee, direct, and coordinate all the activities necessary to achieve those goals.

Healthcare Management Compliance

Another critical component to healthcare management is adherence to federal and state laws and regulations. From OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), you need to know the letter of the law, communicate with staff when changes occur and make sure everyone follows the rules.

Healthcare Improvement

Management isn’t just about handling the day-to-day. You also need to regularly review and update processes to increase efficiency and to facilitate the highest quality of patient care. You look for ways to improve overall healthcare delivery. You may need to rethink the way your organization does business to accommodate changing reimbursement models, address staffing challenges in the wake of the pandemic, or investigate a cyberattack that could threaten the security of patient information. Patients have choices. What can your organization do to make sure they choose you and the services you provide?

Skills Healthcare Managers Need

Problem solving is one of the most important skills to have as a healthcare manager. But there are a wide range of talents you can bring to this role including leadership, analysis, and communication. You should also be able to analyze data, manage finances, and craft strategies that develop behavioral change in your organization. And you should be knowledgeable about the healthcare system and how government policies can impact your operations.

All those skills you develop as a healthcare manager will be in demand. Employment of medical and health service managers is projected to grow much faster than the average through 2030.

Where Healthcare Managers Work

As a healthcare manager, you might work for a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or physicians’ practice. Or you might manage a specific department within a larger facility such as health information, finance, or Human Resources. Healthcare management is also important in private and nonprofit companies like:

  • Insurance Carriers—You could oversee and investigate pending claims and help to resolve discrepancies in billing.
  • Medical Supply Companies—Ensure operations run smoothly and oversee the sales of marketing of supplies.
  • Research Laboratories—Oversee the research and development process and manage the day-to-day operations of the lab.
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers—Manage the facility and oversee the sales, marketing, and research teams.

Jobs in Healthcare Management

Here are a few healthcare management jobs you might consider:

  • Healthcare Department Manager: If you choose to work in a traditional setting such as a hospital, your management skills could serve a specific department. You could manage the IT and security of data, including electronic health records. You could oversee the finances of the facility, including the budget and the billing process. You could also supervise the nursing staff in the nursing unit or be responsible for the management and maintenance of medical records.
  • Medical Office Manager: In this role, you oversee the medical office for a physician, group of physicians, or a clinic. You maintain medical records and other files, schedule patient appointments, and oversee the billing process and insurance claims. When medical or office supplies are needed, you place orders with vendors to restock.
  • Health Insurance Manager: If you like the financial side of healthcare, you could specialize in health insurance. You would oversee claims and reimbursements and correct errors in the process. You could work for a medical facility or for an insurance company.

How to Become a Healthcare Manager

To qualify for positions like these, you should have a degree in healthcare management or administration. At National American University, we offer a Healthcare Management Bachelor’s Degree that can prepare you for an important job in the field. The program can be completed entirely online and if you have prior experience in healthcare, you may be able to transfer that experience into credit hours to complete your degree more quickly. Call 800-209-0182 or fill out the form to learn more.


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NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
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