Healthcare Administration Jobs in the Private Sector

With more than 300,000 current positions, healthcare administration is one of the fastest growing fields in the medical world. In fact, with more than 11 million jobs in total, the healthcare field is the largest industry and the second largest employer in the United States. Healthcare administration is one of the most exciting and fast-growing areas in healthcare, with plenty of private sector jobs available.

One of the greatest advantages to working in healthcare administration is the flexibility and vast range of opportunities open to someone in the field. Private organization jobs vary, but can include a number of different settings such as hospitals, physician’s offices, consultant agencies, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance providers, medical supplies companies and labs. Because of the wide range of options available, it’s important to understand the differences between healthcare administration jobs in the public sector versus the private sector.

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Private Sector Jobs

Private sector jobs in healthcare administration take place in private corporations or groups, as opposed to a government agency or national nonprofit. Because the world of healthcare administration includes a variety of different career paths, the necessary skill set for a particular job depends on the setting in which a healthcare administrator works.

In a Physician’s Office or Private Nursing Home

A healthcare administrator who works for a small physician or nurse practitioner group has many general responsibilities. He or she might be in charge of staffing and supervising members of the team, in addition to creating work schedules. He or she may also manage finances, depending on the office, so an understanding of patient fees and billing might be necessary. In a larger facility, the healthcare administrator may be responsible for keeping track of the facility’s services, including things like bed count. The healthcare administrator will also work closely with the physicians and nurses in the group to ensure that everything is running smoothly and efficiently in order to facilitate the best possible medical care and environment. When working in a facility like a nursing home, the administrator will be responsible not only for staffing and finance, but also for admissions and care of the building. Healthcare administrators at nursing homes are responsible for the building, the staff and the residents, so they are required to have special licenses.

In a Specific Department (Nursing, Radiology, Cardiology, etc.)

An administrator is considered a “specialist” if he or she is responsible for a specific department within a hospital or medical group. A specialist’s responsibilities often include policymaking and policy enactment as well as evaluating the staff and dealing with budgets. Many administrator jobs include a combination of financial and personnel responsibilities.

In Healthcare IT

Some private organization jobs within healthcare administration require a deep understanding of healthcare laws, particularly with the migration to electronic records. Administrators who focus on healthcare IT must have an understanding of current laws, the ability to learn and adapt to changing laws, a familiarity with ethics and a knowledge of different healthcare IT systems in use.

In Health Insurance

The health insurance industry also offers unique opportunities for health administrators. In this field, an administrator may use their training to act as an underwriter for a health insurance company and develop policies and contracts for customers. This requires an in-depth understanding of healthcare laws, the individual policies of the insurance company and the many intricacies of health insurance plans. There are also opportunities for administrators working for HMOs in sales and marketing.

In Pharmaceuticals

Healthcare administrators might also find opportunities within pharmaceutical corporations or companies. In this field, an administrator might work as a business development associate or project manager, using knowledge of finance, budgets and healthcare laws to create programs within the company.

Private sector healthcare administrators are involved in every facet of medicine, from hospitals to healthcare technology companies to nursing homes. Depending on the position, that could mean dealing with health laws or budgets, but all positions within this field require strong interpersonal skills to help manage staff or residents. Healthcare administration is a fast-paced environment, but one that offers challenges and rewards for a job well done. In the private sector, healthcare administrators are the people who make the facilities function efficiently so patients can focus on receiving the best care possible.