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Healthcare Administration | Healthcare Management
By an allied health world contributing writer
Published: February, 2 2010
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What is healthcare management?
Healthcare management/administration is a broad but very necessary field. While medical practitioners are essential in providing adequate patient care, healthcare management and administration professionals are also crucial to the operation of the business side of healthcare. Healthcare administrators may continue to be an important cog in the workings of every healthcare organization due to the complex regulatory environment of the field. Every healthcare facility has an individual or team of individuals who manage the staff, finances, and delivery of healthcare. Some healthcare managers/administrators manage entire facilities. Others specialize in managing specific clinics or departments.
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What is the difference between a medical office manager and a healthcare administrator?
Medical office managers may be professionals who typically work in physicians’ offices to handle the business side of the practice. In these settings, oftentimes the doctors make the policy-related decisions. Larger physician groups, that staff upwards of 10 to 15 doctors, typically staff a healthcare administrator. This individual is sometimes referred to as a “practice administrator” and they handle more than just the daily business operations. These professionals are responsible for developing business strategies, budgeting, ordering equipment, billing and collections, and process flow. Additionally, they are responsible for staffing, including the hiring and terminating of employees. What is the difference between a healthcare administrator and healthcare manager? Healthcare managers oftentimes supervise a specific area in a hospital or clinic, in which they have training. For example, a nursing manager is an RN who has moved up the ranks from providing patient care, to serving in more of administrative capacity. Healthcare administrators generally have a background in business, finance, or marketing. They run the hospital or clinic from a business standpoint.
What professional associations are available for healthcare administrators?
Professional organizations are a great source of networking and resources for healthcare administrators. There are several professional associations for those employed in this field. Below are a few of the larger organizations.
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) - This group consists of 30,000 healthcare executives and is dedicated to the advancement of healthcare professionals. ACHE offers continuing education programs, an online job bank, resume review services, and subscriptions to healthcare management publications.
- Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) - This association has over 35,000 members and offers a forum, resource library, and access to publications.
- American Association of Health Administration Management (AAHAM) - This organization has the primary goal of professional development for its members through offering publications, conferences, and seminars.
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