The healthcare industry is growing, and talent is in demand. Careers for allied health professionals are expected to grow in the next decade. Roles vary and include both clinical and administrative options, but if you are ready for a challenge, a degree in allied health management puts you at the forefront of a future-forward field.
What is an Allied Health Professional?
An allied health professional is loosely defined as someone employed in the healthcare field who is not a physician. Roles include:
- Medical Assistants
- Medical Billers
- Radiology technicians
- Physical, occupational and respiratory therapists
- Social workers
- Hospital administrators
Some engage directly with patients, providing hands-on care, others, such as billing specialists, work in administrative support roles. Allied health managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of medical providers, bridging the gap between the health and business ends of medicine. Patients benefit when everyone works together.
Why are Allied Health Professionals Important?
Healthcare is a team sport; no single person has the knowledge to do it all. An oft-cited example is that medical students receive a minimum amount hours of training in clinical nutrition, dietitians get hundreds. So, for someone with diabetes, the combined expertise of a physician and a nutritionist is better than a doctor’s alone.
Similarly, a physician cannot deliver quality healthcare without the support of medical assistants, nurses and billing specialists. But where the need for allied health professionals is most noteworthy is in administration.
Allied health management professionals oversee the delivery of healthcare services. They are the creative energy behind the long-term strategic planning and financial stability of healthcare facilities, from hospitals and clinics to private practices and nursing facilities.
What Will You Do in a Healthcare Management Career?*
A bachelor’s degree in allied health management qualifies you for a wide range of exciting roles. Graduates who enjoy both science and administration can become Certified Professional Coders. If you prefer accounting or like to dabble in areas from financial planning to human resource management, an allied health management degree could land you a job as a practice manager or hospital administrator. The sky’s the limit. An average day on the job as an allied health professional may include:
- Coding insurance forms
- Analyzing insurance reimbursement patterns
- Auditing budgets
- Reviewing regulatory compliance
- Planning capital improvements
- Overseeing supply purchases
- Conducting financial audits
- Interpreting organizational performance metrics
- Streamlining operational procedures
- Developing marketing plans
- Evaluating new equipment
- Managing a long-term care facility
- Reporting to trustees
- Preparing financial reports
- Human resource planning and labor relations
What Do You Learn in an Allied Health Management Program?
A bachelor’s degree program in allied health management prepares you for administrative careers in the medical field. Courses cover topics including:
Medical Office Procedures
This course is designed for students with no experience in healthcare, covering essential office procedures from filing and mail handling to scheduling and budgets. You will get an overview of how medical offices operate and the challenges they face, exploring the roles of staff from support specialists to licensed professionals.
Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and physiology courses give students without a medical background the foundation they need to manage healthcare institutions. Students learn how the body is made, how it functions and what the role of modern medicine is in keeping us healthy. You will also tackle medical terminology and how to understand complex terms by breaking them down into their essential parts. You will not speak like a doctor, but you will understand them.
Business management courses cover the fundamentals of how businesses are structured and how they operate. You will learn about economics, financing, and marketing, using what you learn in this class as a foundation for future learning.
Health Information Resources
Data handling in healthcare is strictly regulated. Health information courses introduce students to electronic health records (EHR) and medical databases, examining how they are used to store and retrieve data. Students learn about data quality and presentation and how key metrics affect reimbursement and medical decision-making.
Medical Billing and Insurance
Most healthcare bills in the United States are paid for by insurers. This class examines the different types of government and private insurance programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, workers’ compensation and disability coverage.
Billions of bytes of medical data change hands annually between facilities and insurance companies. Medical coding, a type of alphanumeric shorthand that describes everything from symptoms and diagnoses to supplies and durable medical equipment, simplifies the exchange. You will learn about the major coding systems and how they affect financial management.
Introduction to Marketing
In this course, you will explore how key marketing concepts drive today’s business practices. Discussion points include sales strategies, consumer outreach and market selection plus product pricing, promotion and distribution.
Accounting is a part of what most allied health managers do. Even if you are not the person balancing your employer’s checkbook, you need to know how it is done to supervise those who do. After completing this course, you will understand the accounting cycle, financial statements, and payroll to name a few.
Healthcare Financial Management
Few financial models are quite like healthcare. In this class, you will build on other courses, learning how medical facilities are funded and how to manage budgets, including predicting revenue, implementing cost controls and strategic planning.
Human Resource Management
Managing human resources is among an allied health manager’s greatest challenges. Students in this class review labor relations concepts, including employer-employee relationships, job safety, compensation models, legal considerations and performance appraisals, plus staff recruitment, retention and promotion strategies.
Long-Term Care Systems
Long-term and acute care facilities are managed differently. This course offers an overview of long-term healthcare policy, regulation and law. Topics include contracts, liability issues, admission and discharge procedures, consent requirements, antitrust considerations, staffing patterns, corporate compliance, profit and non-profit financial models.
Allied health managers are leaders. Students in this course discuss how human behavior relates to healthcare organizations and how it can hamper or drive success. You will analyze workplace relationships, problem-solving strategies and managerial decision-making concepts as they relate to a healthy organizational culture. Assignments and practical experiences emphasize leadership skills, so you will graduate ready to embrace a managerial position.
Working in healthcare does not require going to medical school, there are many rewarding roles in which you can make meaningful contributions to wellness in your community. If you are well organized, have an aptitude for administration and are ready to learn, there’s no better time to become an allied health professional.
Allied Health Management Degree Program
Ready to start working toward your allied health management degree? The Bachelor’s Degree program in Allied Health Management is comprised of a combination of courses providing skills such as managing the administrative area within a health services organization, medical law/regulations, and current procedural coding with health information resources. The program is designed to prepare a student for a career as an administrator in the health services field.
Ready to move from the classroom to a career? Florida Technical College is here to help. Contact us to learn more about completing the allied health management degree program at Florida Technical College.
* These examples are intended to serve only as a general guide of possible employment opportunities. There are many factors that determine the job an individual may obtain and Florida Technical College cannot guarantee its graduate any particular job. Some positions may require license or other certifications. We encourage you to research the requirements for the particular position you desire.