Healthcare Operations Jobs

What is a healthcare operations job?

Healthcare operations are tasks within a healthcare facility. It pertains to administration but can also include legal and financial chores. A person working in healthcare operations must make sure the facility staff has everything they need to do their jobs properly. Healthcare operations employees keep a healthcare facility running like a well-oiled machine.

A job in this area would include case management, patient care coordination, business management, and administrative duties. The potential for advancement in this field is high. We expect this career area to grow significantly over the next decade.

What do people who work in healthcare operations do?

Healthcare facilities like hospitals or doctor’s offices have needs like billing, patient coordination, supply organization, and business management. Healthcare operations workers fill that need by doing administrative, financial, and business operations functions.

Overseeing areas like insurance claims, reimbursements, filing, and human resources-related tasks could all be part of the day-to-day job. Exact job duties will depend on the role, although there is a lot of overlap.

Healthcare Operations Administrative Assistant

A healthcare operations administrative assistant, or medical administrative assistant, typically works at the front desk. This person has tasks like answering the phone, scheduling appointments, processing payments, and billing claims.

Healthcare Operations Specialist

Although a bit more advanced than the healthcare administrative assistant, this person has many of the same tasks. They work on administrative tasks like billing, patient coordination, and supply orders. They also assist the healthcare operations manager with business operation, HR-related, and financial tasks.

Healthcare Operations Manager

The most senior person on the healthcare operations staff will be the healthcare operations manager. This person oversees facility staff, medical supplies, administration, and makes sure the facility operates properly and follows regulations. They are in charge of the facility’s finances, resources, and every minute tasks that keep a healthcare facility running smoothly.

Where do people who work in healthcare operations work?

People who work in healthcare operations work in many types of healthcare facilities. They work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient care facilities, rehab facilities, research labs, healthcare clinics, and more.

There are healthcare operations jobs in the public sector and also in the private sector. There are government-operated clinics and hospitals, such as Veterans Affairs hospitals, that need these workers. Privately owned hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor’s offices need healthcare operations professionals as well.

A person pursuing a career in healthcare operations can even get a job at a non-profit. There are many non-profit organizations. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, for example, requires these kinds of operations roles as well.

Healthcare operations employees may also work in specialized areas within a hospital, clinic, or rehab facility. Specialty areas for these professionals include:

  • Public Health
  • Public Administration
  • Health Services Administration
  • Health Information Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Financial Healthcare Management
  • Hospital Healthcare Management
  • Patient Advocate
  • Private Practice Management
  • Administrative Management
  • Program Director

What qualifications does a healthcare operations professional need?

There are some qualifications to work in healthcare operations. The qualifications you need depend on the role.

A medical administrative assistant must have at least a GED or diploma. However, employers prefer applicants with a Certificate in Medical Administration. An associate’s degree in Administrative Assistance or an associate’s degree in medical administration would be a huge plus.

For a healthcare operations specialist, a person needs an associate’s degree at a minimum but hiring managers prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant area for most jobs.

With any of these roles, relevant work experience is very helpful and often expected. Working in a doctor’s office, as an administrative assistant, or as a financial clerk are all good options.

For the healthcare operations manager role, a person needs to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Many companies would prefer a candidate with a master’s in a relevant area. A master of healthcare administration(MHA) would be ideal.

An MHA, or master of health administration, is a degree that allows a person to take on higher-level roles in healthcare operations, such as healthcare operations manager.

There is some versatility in this degree. With this degree, a person is qualified for several healthcare-related leadership roles. A person with an MHA degree would do well in any of the following positions:

  • Hospital director
  • Facility manager
  • Director of patient safety
  • Director of business
  • Chief nursing officer
  • Hospital CEO

There are several certificates that could be beneficial for a person who wished to pursue a career as a healthcare operations manager. Some of these academic degrees are:

  • Certificate of Healthcare Compliance (CHC)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)
  • Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP)
  • Certified Medical Manager (CMM)
  • Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM)

These certifications can gain the attention of hiring managers as well as further a career in healthcare operations once in the position.

How much does a healthcare operations job pay?

There is a range of pay for healthcare operations jobs, just like there is a range of duties. On the lower side, the mean salary for a medical administrative assistant is around $37,000. On the other end, a healthcare operations manager can earn around $100,000. Pay for healthcare operations workers can fall anywhere in between these approximate sums, depending on education, experience, and seniority.

Healthcare Operations Career Path

With the correct amount of education and experience, a person can do very well in this field. A person could also transfer to another field with business or HR-related needs if they desired.

If a person wants a career in healthcare operations, they need a GED or diploma as a minimum. This alone could qualify someone for a healthcare administrative assistant position, although certification is helpful.

To gain a more advanced healthcare operations job, such as a specialist, a person would need some work experience. Also, they’d need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

To get a position such as the healthcare operations manager, a person needs to meet the minimum requirements of a bachelor’s degree as well as relevant work experience. The ideal degree for this position is the MHA.