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CNN Money named health care consulting as one of the best jobs in America. In 2010, health care consulting ranked 16th out of 100 careers. Health care consultants can be self-employed; they may also work for consulting firms. Health care consultants help hospitals and medical centers effectively manage their day-to-day operations. Health care consultants should have strong leadership skills and an interest in meeting the needs of the health care industry.
Health care consultants advise hospital boards and CEOs. They make recommendations on the best approaches for handling a hospital’s financial planning and budget. Health care consultants develop long-range goals for increasing the market share of medical service providers. In addition to working with medical facilities, health care consultants can work in the non-profit, pharmaceutical and wellness and fitness sectors. Health care consultants should have analytical, problem-solving and interpersonal skills, according to the Chartis Group. Some of their duties may involve strategizing new goals for medical facilities that house multiple programs.
Health care consultants should have a master’s degree in health care management or a master’s degree in business administration. The health care consulting industry is a growing field, particularly for individuals with an MBA in health care, according to BNET. In addition to finding consulting opportunities at hospitals and medical centers, MBAs with a health care management degree can work in pharmaceutical research and development or biomedical fields. Health care MBAs can also find employment opportunities in management and operations. Essential educational skills for health care consultants include marketing, business development, health economics and finance.
Certified health care consultants enhance their professional status and employment opportunities. Organizations such as the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants award Certified Health care Business Consultant designations to qualified candidates. Health care consultants must pass a certification examination to receive a CHBC designation, which includes familiarity with the total health care business environment and practical experience in financial management. NHCSBC offers online certification review courses covering topics such as Medicaid and Medicare, employment laws, managed care organizations and corporate and business tax.
In addition to having management and business development skills, health care consultants with a clinical background or knowledge of scientific and health care systems increase their chances of employment. Depending on the program, health care MBA programs may provide courses in biomedical marketing, e-health business models and health care economics and finance. Health care consultants play a key role in shaping the delivery of medical services to the general public by developing effective strategies for managing rising medical costs. Health care consultants can expect increasing employment opportunities. In 2009, the health care industry was one of three industries to increase its workforce, according to BNET. As of 2009, the median salary for health care consultants was $94,000, according to CNN Money.