Clinical Administrator Careers

Clinical Administration Careers

Where does a Clinical Administrator work?

Clinical Administrators work in many health care environments. They are found in all physician specialties, including orthopedic, chiropractic, and emergency care; hospitals; nursing home facilities; and public care clinics. Clinical Administrators work wherever health care facilities are found, be it a metropolitan, rural, or suburban area and in large and small cities.

 

What is a Clinical Administrator?

Clinical Administrators oversee the day-to-day operations in a medical office or clinical setting. Their position requires them to work closely with medical staff and plan and direct the delivery of healthcare services. Clinical Administrators are high-level executives within the healthcare field. They oversee key operations that keep medical offices and institutions running efficiently while providing quality medical care to the community they serve. Clinical Administrators direct practice management, like finances, regulatory compliance, and staff. They initiate department goal development, and their experience often mirrors the specialty of the practice they serve, such as orthopedics or surgery.

What is a Clinical Administrator responsible for?

Clinical Administrators are responsible for the overall financial and personnel management of a medical office or facility. In most cases, the position of the Clinical Administrator is purely administrative, having almost no actual patient contact. Their chief responsibilities are coordinating all facets of health care delivery, bringing together finances, staffing, and compliance with the goal of delivering quality, efficient, and economical health care services.

Clinical Administrators can expect to work on any of the following tasks:

  • Develop and review practice budgets and manage funding
  • Oversee staffing needs, including physician and provider recruitment
  • Review all office contracting, including professional staff, insurance/reimbursement contracts, and hospital call/reimbursement contracts
  • Organize delivery of patient care in multiple office locations
  • Plan provider and staff scheduling
  • Manage patient medical records
  • Develop, implement, and author office policy, including government compliance within HIPAA, Stark, and OIG regulations
  • Develop, implement, and author human resource and office procedures
  • Assess practice management computer systems, review new software and hardware products, and develop training schedules for staff
  • Work closely with practice leadership to develop the Office Revenue Cycle policy
  • Develop billing and collection policies for patient accounts
  • Monitor insurance company reimbursement, look for trends, and attend network meetings to stay up to date on policy changes
  • Assess IT requirements and contract or hire qualified individuals to manage office network and server issues
  • Develop marketing plans

What other career options are available to a Clinical Administrator?

Clinical Administrators Jobs can be found wherever there is a need for structure and policy in a health care setting. Most hospitals and physicians understand the need for quality administration to manage office staff and policy. Key traits for success are strong management skills, problem-solving skills, and legal knowledge. Persuasive communication skills and the ability to interact equally with employees, other professionals, and patients are also required.

A few of the career options available to those who are interested in this field include the following:

Physician Offices and Groups

Clinical Administrators manage large and small physician offices. Staff concerns, budgets, human resources, and compliance issues affect every provider’s office, no matter the size. Clinical Administrators direct the activities in a physician’s office to achieve the best quality and efficiency of care for patients. The Clinical Administrator is responsible for the financial well being of the practice and is intimately involved in insurance contracting and reimbursement activities.

 

Hospital Settings

As in a private physician’s office, Clinical Administrators manage the day-to-day operations in the hospital. They are directly responsible for developing, planning, and overseeing patient services. Clinical Administrators’ essential functions are financial considerations (e.g., budgets and revenue cycles), physician recruitment, and regulatory compliance. Clinical Administrators must also work with facility board members and other administration staff within the facility.

 

Nursing Facilities

Clinical Administrators assure state and federal compliance for the care delivered in their facilities. They meet with board members to determine strategy and direction and are responsible for staff recruitment. The Clinical Administrator facilitates call schedules with local hospitals to ensure timely care for residents. Clinical Administrators establish facility budgets and allocate available funds to departments and programs as needed.

 

Health Information Manager

Clinical Administrators are uniquely qualified to work in IT because of their experiences with practice management networks. Managing people, processes, and computer systems, Clinical Administrators find solutions to common health care management problems. They review, organize, test, and manipulate big data to formulate real-time solutions for medical offices and facilities. Clinical Administrators can update software systems to capture specific patient demographic information or to apply budget concerns to new systems. This important field in Clinical Administration will grow as technology expands.

 

Hospice

Hospice provides compassionate, quality care for patients with life-limiting illnesses rather than focusing on cures for those illnesses. Clinical Administrators employed in hospice involve themselves in much the same activities as those in hospitals. They manage physician, nursing, and social services as well as spiritual and bereavement care and volunteer and therapy services. Clinical Administrators in this specialty engage in fundraising and marketing activities. They also hold events that educate and inform the local community of the services hospice provides.

 

Insurance Companies

Clinical Administrators working for insurance companies combine business education and health care experience to conduct risk analysis, provide underwriting services, and create or improve existing claims management policies. They are also found in insurance sales positions as well as networking with medical providers and overseeing contract negotiations.

 

What degree is required to become a Clinical Administrator? What do they study?

Clinical Administrators must understand business practices and principles. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or in business administration is the minimum educational requirement for a Clinical Administrator. Areas of study are human resources, finance and economics, marketing, and workplace relations. The development of leadership skills, communication, technology, and understanding of interpersonal relationships are key points of study.

Clinical Administrators who desire a competitive edge within their field of specialty may pursue a master’s degree in business administration or in a health-related discipline. Some schools offer combined programs that allow students to complete both degrees in as little as five years.

Further experience is found with internships that give students hands-on administrative training in health care settings. Certifications that teach additional skills, such as legal topics and regulatory guidelines can be earned through professional associations.

How much money does a Clinical Administrator earn?

Clinical Administrators with business management degrees earn an average of $90,000 per year; however, location, degree, and position can impact this salary. Recent figures indicate that Administrative Services Managers earn approximately $73,000 per year and Clinical Research Administrators earn around $83,000 per year. Home Health Care Administrators earn $80,000 annually and Hospital Administrators average $120,000 per year.