The Future of Healthcare Administration
Between public legislation and technological development, the healthcare industry has experienced many changes over the last few years. Looking at the future of healthcare administration might help industry professionals and current students understand how their roles will evolve in a growth-oriented environment.
The Affordable Care Act Extends Medical Coverage to Millions
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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, also known as President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, has provided access to medical insurance coverage for as many as 34 million people, according to Amy Anderson of The Heritage Foundation. While doctors, nurses, and other providers will feel the strain of larger patient rosters, Anderson reports that future healthcare administrators will have to cope with more paperwork than before.
Anderson further elaborates that hospitals and other facilities will need to increase their hiring needs for executive-level administrators. Healthcare centers will also have to pay careful attention to medical and financial records to reduce the potential for human error. In addition to this healthcare law, other government legislation will require MHA (Master of Health Administration) graduates to stay current with legal requirements.
Job Opportunities Will Remain Plentiful
With the combined healthcare law and population growth, healthcare administrators can anticipate strong job potential in the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, the job outlook for healthcare executives, administrators, and managers will grow at a rate of 17 percent between 2014 and 2024, a faster than average growth.
Based on BLS projections, U.S. employers will add more than 56,000 new jobs in the healthcare administration field through 2024. With a mean annual salary of $92,810 for these professionals as of 2014, this career path may present an attractive option for students.
Professionals Must Develop Well-Rounded Skills
While job opportunities will continue to grow, Carrie Alexander and Patricia Ruflin, writing on behalf of Becker’s Hospital Review, suggest that healthcare administrators will need more well-rounded skills to succeed in this field. In addition to business-related skills, such as accounting, EMHA graduates will need to know how to inspire and motivate others under their leadership.
According to Alexander and Ruflin, weak leaders can have a ripple effect on an entire organization. Trust can decline among all members of a faculty, and sometimes it may make sense to remove a long-tenured leader in favor of someone who possesses the necessary qualities to nurture a team.
EHR Interoperability Will Dominate Conversations
Despite the need for MHAs with the requisite leadership skills, the healthcare industry will also need professionals who understand electronic health records, EHRs. Writing for EHR Intelligence, Vera Gruessner emphasizes that interoperability will become more critical in the future.
When EHRs are compatible with each other, these systems can produce more relevant data, according to Gruessner. Since many patients visit more than one physician, healthcare administrators will have to promote open communication so that all medical professionals have access to the same data.
The future for healthcare administrators appears promising, and although some challenges may arise, new opportunities can open up for graduates of USC’s EMHA program who seek a meaningful professional career.
SOURCES LINKED TO IN AND CONSULTED FOR THE ARTICLE: