The U.S. healthcare system continues to face a long list of challenges that have only worsened over the last few years because of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between increasing operating costs, staffing shortages and changes in the delivery of care, leaders in healthcare administration must quickly pivot and adapt if they wish to address the increasingly complex challenges threatening the healthcare system today.
With technological advancement and an increase in healthcare services costs, our country’s healthcare system will require highly trained healthcare administrators who are ready to tackle the challenges head on. Medical facilities like hospitals and doctors’ offices need motivated healthcare administrators who possess advanced business skills and understand daily operations.
For those who have an interest in making a difference in the healthcare landscape but don’t necessarily want to provide hands-on care, a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration may be an ideal option. These intellectually stimulating positions aren’t always easy, but they are fulfilling if you possess the necessary critical thinking skills and drive to excel in the field.
Three Challenges Healthcare Administrators Face
The current healthcare system would not continue to operate without the focused efforts of healthcare administrators who seek to address problems, pinpoint solutions and improve the industry’s overall climate. While healthcare administration is only one branch of the healthcare system, the value of qualified healthcare administrators continues to rise in medical facilities across the country.
Think of healthcare administration as the first line of defense against the many challenges facing the modern healthcare system.
Some of those challenges include:
- Rising costs for patients and healthcare organizations – Healthcare costs in the U.S. are amongst the highest in the world. Even with health insurance plans designed for low-income households (i.e., Medicare or Medicaid), many Americans have difficulty accessing affordable and quality healthcare. As the population grows and ages, healthcare expenses will only increase due to the lasting effects of the pandemic. Healthcare administrators can make a difference by working to lower patient medical bills and expenses while maintaining a sustainable budget at a given hospital or medical facility.
- Ongoing shortages of qualified nurses and healthcare workers – Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare system was in desperate need of frontline workers (especially nurses). The pandemic has exacerbated already acute staffing problems due in part to stressful work environments, long hours, compassion fatigue and nurse burnout. Good healthcare administrators recognize that a hospital’s staff is the backbone of their operation and patient care would be impossible without them. It is a healthcare administrator’s job to do everything they can to take care of their staff and ensure their personal (and professional) needs are met.
- Changes in healthcare regulations, insurance and government programs – While this challenge is not new to the healthcare system, the types of challenges can change depending on the operational landscape. Hard economic times for some communities result in more patients seeking Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Healthcare administrators must find a way to continue providing healthcare services while ensuring solvency even with slow reimbursement rates.
Earn a Degree in Healthcare Administration from St. Louis College of Health Careers
Despite the challenges healthcare administrators face, they will continue to be an essential component of the healthcare landscape in the U.S. As more medical professionals retire and new problems arise, an upcoming generation of healthcare administrators will need to carry the torch.
Thinking about pursuing a degree in healthcare? At St. Louis College of Health Careers (SLCHC) in Missouri, we offer flexible programs for individuals who are interested in working in the healthcare field, including comprehensive degrees in healthcare administration.
Earning your bachelor or master in healthcare administration doesn’t have to be inconvenient. From online courses to in-person classes, ask about how SLCHC can help you attain a diploma or degree in healthcare.
To learn more, call 866-529-2070 or contact us online.