Healthcare Management

Resources for Improving Healthcare Management Operations

  • What is Healthcare Management?

    Healthcare management groups handle the administrative, specialized and customer service-related duties associated with medical and health services. With the growing complexity of the healthcare system, both in the United State and globally, the delivery of healthcare increasingly requires administrative tasks. Governmental and internal regulations, coupled with the involvement of insurance companies, have developed layer upon layer of compliance and risk concerns that complicate already difficult administration and management functions. As a result, healthcare professionals rely more and more on specialized administrative groups to navigate the overcomplicated, labyrinthine system.
  • The History of Healthcare Management

    The excessive complexity of healthcare administration and related tasks is a fairly recent development. Into the twentieth century, most patients paid their doctors directly, and a variety of factors limited widespread access to the relatively small number of extensive medical procedures that existed. With the scientific and medical advances of the mid-twentieth century, however, complicated medical procedures became more common and accessible. During the same period, more people began to carry medical and health insurance, which provided access to the money necessary for more extensive medical procedures. The combination of more expensive and risky treatments and the expansion of health insurance, along with increasing governmental regulation of the industry, generated significant administrative burdens on the delivery of medical care.

    During the second half of the twentieth century, administrative concerns intensified for healthcare management groups. Medical care providers, especially larger organizations, began to rely heavily on more specialized administrative units to handle the increasingly complicated processes involved, and healthcare management expanded as a profession. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, healthcare management units handled the administrative duties for most healthcare providers.
  • Modern Trends in Healthcare Management

    The medical management profession has grown substantially during the past decade. Expanding government regulation of the healthcare system and of healthcare providers and insurers has continued to complicate medical administration, especially in the United States. The growth of the medical management function has increased the associated costs and, consequently, driven up the cost of medical care. Technological advances have created possibilities to streamline these groups, but many of their internal operations have remained virtually unchanged. More efficient processes can help to reduce, or at least to slow the growth of, the expenses associated with administrative tasks in the medical field.

    In 1996, the Congress of the United States enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA adds yet another layer to the medical management function, setting regulations on things such as medical record privacy, billing transactions, group health insurance coverage and healthcare fraud. The effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed in 2010 are yet to be known.

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