Career Spotlight: Financial Manager in Health Care

A person at a desk takes notes in a binder while looking at data on a computer.

How can a healthcare facility meet the challenge of nursing staff shortages? How can a rural clinic reduce the cost of care? Healthcare organizations big and small seek insight into operating costs. The role of a financial healthcare manager is to support the overall financial well-being of healthcare organizations to the ultimate benefit of the patients they serve.

Financial managers must have excellent business strategy and analytical skills, decision-making skills, healthcare accounting skills, and core finance skills. They must also keep up to date with financial compliance requirements, payment models, revenue cycle best practices, and risk assessment strategies.

What is a financial manager in health care? Learn more about what a financial healthcare manager does and how to become a financial healthcare manager.

What Does a Financial Manager Do?

Doctors are responsible for the health of their patients; financial managers are responsible for the financial health of organizations. Whether a rural care facility ends up shuttering its doors or surviving to serve hundreds of patients a month can depend on a financial manager.

Financial managers understand the big picture trends as well as the granular details of particular healthcare organizations. For example, financial managers in health care oversee patient-centered revenue cycles throughout the fiscal year. Financial managers may be responsible for finding ways to improve financial performance (big picture) while simultaneously tracking financial data and training office staff to achieve goals more efficiently (detail-oriented work).

Healthcare financial managers regularly conduct a thorough analysis of business performance. They help healthcare organizations stay in compliance with changing laws and offer recommendations when necessary.

These functions make financial managers crucial members of strategic planning teams. A financial manager makes decisions about where to allocate, deploy, and invest financial resources. Professionals in this role often must share data analytics with business teams — and make tough calls when necessary.

The Skills of a Financial Healthcare Manager

In general, financial healthcare managers play many crucial roles in their organizations. They act as experts in organizations’ finances, advocates for cost-saving process changes, and whistleblowers when financial situations may become dire.

The core competencies associated with the financial healthcare manager role include the following:

  • Clear communication with diverse stakeholders
  • Expertise in tracking and analyzing accurate financials
  • Systematic and process-oriented thinking skills
  • Conscientiousness about legal compliance in healthcare
  • Strategic planning skills
  • Ability to notice and respond to statistical trends
  • Openness to learn about and leverage new cost-saving technologies
  • Business acumen and ability to propose data-driven cost-cutting measures

In addition, financial healthcare managers often train office staff in legal compliance, financial operations, and other aspects of healthcare business related to costs and payments.

How to Become a Financial Healthcare Manager

Education and certification requirements vary by state.

Most healthcare employers seek financial managers with a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, statistics, or business administration.

In today’s competitive job market, candidates with a Master of Health Administration (MHA) may have an edge in the realm of healthcare finance.

Financial Healthcare Manager Salary

Financial healthcare managers earned an average annual salary of $134,180 in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Among the 531,120 financial managers employed across the U.S., compensation averaged nearly $65 per hour.

Financial manager salaries vary by type of organization (e.g., hospital or private practice), location, and experience.

Become a Leader in Healthcare Finance

Healthcare finance enables medical professionals to reach more patients, save lives, and support healthcare organizations everywhere. Healthcare finance managers play a crucial role in collecting and interpreting key data and communicating their findings to organizations.

Similarly, financial managers in healthcare settings help organizations reliably turn a profit, save money, and streamline payment processes for patients.

The Online MHA degree program at Tulane University can help you take that next step in your career. Healthcare needs leaders. Be the change you want to see in healthcare, and learn more about how this advanced degree program can propel you to a better career in healthcare finance.

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Sources

Healthcare Financial Management Association, About Us

Healthcare Financial Management Association, Learning Paths

Houston Chronicle, “Role of Financial Manager in Health Care”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Financial Managers