The primary responsibility of a healthcare business analyst is to pinpoint problems or improvement areas within a medical facility in order to maximize that facility's performance and profit. They must assess financial activity and seek ways to manage expenses like overtime wages and the cost of supplies. Aspiring healthcare business analysts must have a bachelor's degree in a field such as healthcare management or business administration.
Healthcare business analysts seek to bolster the efficiency and profit of medical facilities by evaluating their financial activity, data management and services. A minimum of a bachelor's degree in business administration, healthcare management or a related field is generally required for this position. Voluntary certification is also available to those who wish to boost their credentials in the field.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in business administration, healthcare management or related field|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certification available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||14%* (all management analysts)|
|Median Salary (2015)||$81,320* (all management analysts)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A healthcare business analyst's duties begin with defining a problem or highlighting an area for improvement, such as operating costs. At this point, analysts working within a group setting may divide into teams and break down a situation into manageable components, like minimizing staff overtime wages or reducing supply costs.
Analysts then conduct research and gather data. For example, healthcare business analysts who seek to decrease supply costs might call vendors to negotiate bulk purchases, which can be distributed among various sites.
After the research is complete, groups of healthcare business analysts may reconvene, review findings and investigate potential solutions. Analysts may use computer software or mathematical models to test variables, such as the effects of minimizing overtime on the quality of patient care. Once the models have been sufficiently assessed, analysts choose the best fit and prepare to implement a solution or policy.
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According to a February 2011 job search on Monster.com, employers favor applicants who have completed a 4-year bachelor's degree program in business administration, information science or healthcare management. Some schools offer business degrees with a concentration in healthcare administration. Such programs allow students to cater their education towards healthcare business analysis with courses in healthcare quality assurance, facility operation and financial management.
Students may also delve into more specific issues within the industry by enrolling in a business course that examines case studies. Additionally, students may take advantage of internships at medical facilities in order to become familiarized with topics, such as advertising healthcare services, complying with government health standards and developing informational Web content for patients.
Advanced Degrees and Certification
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employers may prefer management analysts, such as healthcare consultants, who have earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and have several years of experience within the industry (www.bls.gov). MBA programs with a concentration in healthcare management typically last 1-2 years, and cover diverse topics, from legal aspects of healthcare to entrepreneurship.
Additionally, prospective healthcare business analysts may consider voluntary certifications. The Project Management Institute offers professional certification to those who've attained a certain educational level and have corresponding project management experience (www.pmi.org).
Salary and Job Outlook
Healthcare business analysts are part of a larger occupational group of management analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the larger group will experience a 14% increase in jobs over the 2014-2024 decade. In 2015, management analysts made a median annual salary of $81,320.
Strong research and data-gathering abilities are important for healthcare business analysts to have. They must also be able to thoroughly understand data in order to develop and implement policies or solutions within a medical facility. For more advanced positions, such as a management analyst or healthcare consultant, a few years of working experience as well as a master's degree are required.