On the surface, the healthcare industry is primarily concerned on delivering high-quality patient care services, regardless of the costs involved. Behind the scenes, however, there exists an army of healthcare business professionals who work to ensure healthcare facilities, especially private ones, are running at a profit! Well, an associate degree in healthcare business services or management enhances your understanding of insurance, customer service, and finance as they relate to healthcare provision. Before describing the jobs this degree can land you, here are some of the institutions offering it:
- Northcentral Technical College, Wisconsin
- North Essex Community College, Massachusetts
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Wisconsin
Upon graduation, you can become a:
1. Health Insurance Agent
Health insurance agents work for health insurance companies. They find clients looking to purchase diverse health insurance policies, and take them through the paperwork associated with procuring a policy. Beyond the degree, you will also need to be licensed to practice as a health insurance agent in your state. According to job site Indeed, these professionals earn an average annual salary of $46,000. Since insurance agents are also paid commissions depending on the number of clients they secure, you can expect to earn much more than this.
2. Healthcare Customer Service Representative
In hospitals, physicians’ offices and other types of healthcare facilities, customer service representatives help to improve patient satisfaction. If a patient wants to know the cost of having his tooth removed, for instance, the representative provides this information. Other duties include handling basic patient complaints and calculating health service costs. Healthcare customer service reps take home about $38,000 yearly, Indeed reports.
3. Patient Account Associate
Patient account associates also work in various types of healthcare facilities, where they record and calculate the amount of revenue arising from the provision of patient care services. These professionals also help patients understand their financial obligations, and can educate them on financial assistance programs that are available. Indeed says patient account associates make an average of $42,000 a year.
4. Medical Office Manager
Medical office managers exclusively work in the offices of physicians. They are responsible for ensuring the operational efficiency of the office. They oversee the purchase of medical office equipment, supervise receptionists and other office support staff, schedule appointments, pay medical office bills, and submit patient claims to insurance companies. According to PayScale, the annual average salary for medical office managers is $46,242.
5. Health Claims Analyst
There are some fraudulent health policy holders who can do anything to get sick or injured and claim insurance compensation. Health or medical claims analysts work to detect such fraudulent claims. When an insured patient submits a claim, the analysts review his medical records to verify the nature and cause of illness or injury. If a claim is valid, they approve it for payment. Invalid ones are, obviously, rejected. Health claims analysts usually work for health insurance companies and, according to CareerBuilder, they get an average annual pay of $66,136.
See also: 5 Top Healthcare Professions in the US
There you go! An associate degree in healthcare business not only gets you a job with decent pay, it also prepares you for advanced studies in healthcare business management. If you aspire to make a business difference in the healthcare field, then this is the degree you should pursue.