Being a healthcare administrator is no easy feat, even at the best of times. Unfortunately, since the mid to latter part of the last century there have been a number of issues that have cropped up, making it even more difficult to be totally effective in all that you do. From budget cuts to a severe shortage in staffing, a day in the life of a hospital admin is never dull, to say the least. If you have an online masters healthcare management degree from elite schools such as Regis College and are seeking to understand and overcome the most common challenges facing today’s healthcare administrator, you are not alone.
Shortage in Personnel
There isn’t a position in today’s hospital or clinic that isn’t high in demand but short in qualified staff. Doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff of all kinds are in dire need. There are a number of reasons why there is such a shortage and until those challenges can be addressed, the shortage will probably continue. To put it simply, there is a severe shortage of medical professionals that needs to be addressed or the healthcare system will be fraught with even greater challenges meeting the needs of consumers.
Budget Cuts Across the Board
It was thought that if more consumers had access to health insurance then more hospitals would be operating in the black. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act didn’t work as it was intended to and so hospitals are still having difficulties collecting the patients’ co-pay or the amount of their deductibles. With these set to get even higher in the coming year, and fewer patients having the ability to pay these large amounts, revenue will be down, which will require even greater budget cuts.
Improving Patient Outcomes – Is Technology a Viable Solution?
When you studied for that masters in healthcare management, did you ever stop to think about the day when technology would provide a wide range of aftercare options for patients being released from hospitals? Now with wearable technology that works in conjunction with mobile apps, patients can go home sooner after surgery because they can be ‘monitored’ from home and results are transmitted to their attending physicians or surgeons.
An Uncertain Future with Obamacare
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA, seems to be a dying breed. That which President Obama promised to be the next best thing to the invention of the wheel never really developed. Costs are higher than anticipated, insurance companies that lobbied for Obamacare are finding out they are not making the kind of profit they had anticipated and insurance premiums are set to increase by as much as 21% to 25% in 2017. Even if President Trump repeals the ACA as he vowed to do during his campaign, it may be a year or two before any changes can be implemented. In the interim, it rests with hospital administrators to work towards staying solvent when money is not coming in as fast as it is going out.
These are just some of the major challenges that hospital administrators must work through on a daily basis. Do you like being presented with a challenge? If so, this is the career for you.