Frequently Asked Questions Q. Why is it important to study health care management?
A. The health field in the United States today includes more organizations, spends more money and employs more people than any field, except construction. Perhaps the single greatest challenge facing health care professions is the financing of expensive facilities and specialized equipment and the coordination of the activities of various health care professionals. Because of its complexity, health care management has been called the most difficult management assignment in modern society. It takes special administrative skills and a clear understanding of the complex interaction of economic, financial, political, sociological, and cultural factors affecting the management and delivery of health care services to be an effective health care administrator. Only highly specialized training can prepare a person adequately for such responsibility.
Q. What do health care management professionals do?
A. Health care management is a profession that applies administration concepts to manage the resources of health care facilities. The role of the health care manager is to plan, organize, direct, control and coordinate the resources of health care organizations. Health care mangers ensure that health care is provided in a cost-effective and humane manner. As integral member of the health profession, health care managers are responsible for working with the governing board to create the best possible working environment for the professional staff. A professional staff which could include physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, and other clinical professionals.
Q. Where do health care managers work?
A. Approximately 50 percent of health care managers work in hospitals or medical centers. The remainder are employed by nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, outpatient health facilities, medical supply companies, health insurance companies, managed care organizations, community-based rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, health care professional associations, adult day care centers, medical group practices, mental health centers, community health centers, drug treatment facilities, health care consulting firms, government health agencies and other organizations.
Q. What is the employment outlook for health care management graduates?
A. Health care is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy. According to the Occupational Outlook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the health services industry is projected to grow at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the economy. While a personnel shortage in traditional areas of health care exist, such as doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and other clinical workers, the need for health care managers and executives to be responsible for the management of health care facilities is growing. Because of the continuing longevity of the population, increasing demand for health care, availability of advanced medical technology, and the growth in alternative delivery systems, the health care delivery system is expected to continue to grow. As the health care delivery system grows, the demand for health care managers also will increase.
Q. What is the accreditation status of the degree Programs in the Division of Health Care Management?
A. The Division of Health Care Management is a full member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, and the undergraduate program is fully certified. With the graduation of the Spring 2007 MSHA class, the graduate program became eligible to begin the accreditation process with the Commission on Accreditation on Health Management Education (CAHME). The accreditation process begins with a candidacy phase. The target year for entering the candidacy phase is 2008-2009. See www.cahmeweb.org for details.