Healthcare Administrator Responsibilities

  • Operations Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Communications

Whether in a nursing home, a private medical practice, a hospital, or a corporation, a healthcare administrator plays a critical role. These administrators deal with the business side of medicine, providing the support their employers need if they’re going to offer the best healthcare available.

Healthcare administrators are entrusted with a number of major responsibilities. The top five include:

Operations Management

If a healthcare practice is going to operate smoothly and efficiently, it must have a plan and an efficient organizational structure. The healthcare administrator is responsible for both, formulating, monitoring, and adjusting (if necessary) the overall business plan. He or she will oversee the organization and management of both facilities and staff. Other operational duties may involve:

  • strategic planning
  • formulating a master budget
  • creating a safe, quality work environment
  • identifying and managing outsourced business services and external experts
  • managing technological updates–i.e., software, electronic records systems, and lab reporting

Financial Management

Needless to say, the financial health of any organization is integral not only to its success, but to its survival. That being the case, it’s small wonder financial management often accounts for approximately a quarter of the healthcare administrator’s major responsibilities. According to the Medical Group Management Association, qualified administrators will know the codes used for billing purposes, be familiar with reimbursement policies, and keep abreast of the billing cycle. Other fiscal responsibilities include managing cash flow, overseeing accounts payable, administering payroll, reviewing/approving departmental budgets, and supervising audits.

Human Resource Management

Employees are a practice’s most important resource. The healthcare administrator bolsters this resource in a number of ways, from making sure the most qualified administrative personnel are hired to doing whatever it takes to motivate and retain those individuals–e.g., ensuring they have everything they need to do their jobs properly, fostering employee engagement in the workplace, providing training and advancement opportunities, and offering incentives and employee assistance. Healthcare administrators often vet medical resumes and arrange interviews for doctors and nurses, allowing them to influence medical staffing, as well.

Legal Responsibilities

Legal issues loom large in the medical profession, so keeping current on laws and regulations is one of the healthcare administrator’s most important responsibilities. Above and beyond managing risk to create a safe working environment, the administrator will also:

  • design and maintain a compliance program for federal and state laws and regulations
  • design and maintain strategies and procedures to deal with adverse events, putting those plans into action whenever necessary
  • be familiar with and comply with accreditation and licensure requirements
  • have up-to-date knowledge of health insurance regulations

Communications

Healthcare administrators are in charge of information management, internal communications, and community relations. Because they serve as liaisons between boards of trustees, medical staff, departments, and business staff, administrators are responsible for developing and maintaining open lines of communication that enable the system to function swiftly and efficiently. As human resource managers, they provide streamlined channels for employee suggestions and feedback. In order to bolster community relations, the healthcare administrator clearly communicates the practice’s vision and mission, attends local fund raisers, and travels to professional conventions.

Given the scope of their responsibilities, it’s easy to see why healthcare administrators are key members of any medical team. While medical personnel most directly affect patient wellbeing, these administrators create and maintain the conditions needed to do the job.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Healthcare Administration