Healthcare policy is critical when it comes to providing effective, efficient patient care. The plans, actions and strategies behind policy development are ideally designed to streamline the complex intricacies of care delivery in a way that does not negatively impact patient care.
Effective healthcare policy is mutually beneficial for the patient and the facility alike. A facility with a policy that optimizes elements like operational finance, health insurance, technological innovation and staff well-being can be in a better position to deliver high-quality care to their patients.
It’s not enough to just create a healthcare policy. A policy that features inefficiencies or drifts into noncompliance can limit a facility’s care delivery effectiveness. With healthcare concepts like value-based care gaining increased interest because of their ties to care efficiency, creating and maintaining the best healthcare policies possible is as essential as it has ever been.
A healthcare consultant can help ensure a healthcare facility’s policies are as strong as they can be. Because they can play a key role in optimizing healthcare operations — and ultimately, patient care delivery — it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that a healthcare consultant salary can be generous. However, it is important for those interested in exploring healthcare MBA careers to fully understand what health consultants do, as well as the educational steps typically associated with pursuing the profession.
What Does a Healthcare Consultant Do?
Healthcare consultants analyze various components of a healthcare organization’s operations to ensure optimal efficiency. Those in the role typically analyze various components of an organization’s business practices, identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses that may impede its ability to deliver the best results possible.
They also work with an organization’s administrators and C-Suite executives to develop solutions to these vulnerabilities. These solutions can involve seeking ways to reduce costs and increase revenue without sacrificing service or patient safety. They also monitor the effectiveness of their solutions, and they may be tasked with changing procedures to correct any residual inefficiencies that may develop.
A healthcare consultant can work in multiple healthcare-related environments. Some of these environments directly relate to patient care settings, such as hospitals, clinics, healthcare organizations and private practices. Other environments include periphery organizations that relate to healthcare delivery, including health insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies. Healthcare consultants may also work with federal or state government agencies.
Regardless of where they work, the duties of a healthcare consultant have the ultimate goal of boosting efficiency in a healthcare organization. This increased efficiency can also bolster effectiveness and patient care quality. Ultimately, their work could lead to improved patient outcomes — which is one of the most crucial goals of any healthcare organization.
Healthcare Consultant Salary and Job Outlook
Landing a job as a healthcare consultant can translate to a well-paying career path. According to the salary aggregate site Payscale, the median annual healthcare consultant salary is approximately $82,500, as of March 2023. PayScale also notes that the top 10% of those in the profession earn roughly $125,000.
There are a few factors that can help determine the precise salary an individual may earn in the role. A person’s level of education can be a key factor, as can the years of experience they have in the role or in the industry. The sector of the healthcare industry can also affect a person’s salary. Additionally, a job’s location could help shape a salary amount, as those working in a city with a higher cost of living may earn more than those working in areas with a lower cost of living.
Those currently seeking a role as a healthcare consultant will also be entering the healthcare industry at a time of terrific growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an overall growth of 13% in all healthcare occupations between 2021 and 2031. This translates to roughly 2 million new jobs added during that time. This projection is more than twice the 5% growth rate the BLS projects for the average of all professions.
How to Become a Healthcare Consultant
Because healthcare consultants play such a vital role in developing effective care delivery systems, the process regarding how to become a healthcare consultant is somewhat deliberate in nature. These steps are designed to fully prepare an individual to perform the tasks associated with the role at a high level.
Step 1: Meet the Expected Education Requirements
To prepare for an entry-level healthcare consultant role, consider earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. This degree can be related to healthcare or it can also be related to business. The coursework taken ideally allows the individual to become familiar with key business concepts and important medical terminology.
For those seeking more advanced healthcare consulting roles, earning an advanced degree such as an MBA in Human Resources Development can be beneficial. Such a degree can help an individual demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge in some of the important components of effective healthcare consulting. This can include analyzing current strategies and developing cost-effective policy strategies regarding elements like insurance.
Step 2: Certification
While earning a certification is not required to become a healthcare consultant, doing so could help an individual further demonstrate their expertise in subjects pertaining to the role. This may help them stand out in comparison to their competition. One of the more popular certifications a person can obtain is the Certified Healthcare Business Consultant certification. Administered by the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants (NSCHBC), the certification is designed to affirm an individual’s standards of knowledge and experience within the field of healthcare consulting.
Step 3: Gain Experience
An entry-level position as a healthcare consultant gives individuals the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’ve gained through their educational pursuits in a real-world environment. These roles cultivate and refine the core competencies considered essential for success in advanced healthcare consulting roles, such as strong analytical, communication and detail-oriented skills. An in-depth understanding of finance and healthcare administration will boost these skills.
Build a Bright Future Today
The typical healthcare consultant salary may be one of the motivations behind considering a consulting role in the healthcare sector. Yet the salary pales in comparison to the positive influence a healthcare consultant can impart on the lives of others. By playing a role in optimizing efficiency in the healthcare sector, a healthcare consultant can help a facility boost its ability to deliver high-quality care and make a profound impact on patient health. Combined with the industry's tremendous growth, this role is an ideal one to pursue.
Spring Arbor University’s Online MBA in Human Resource Management program will prepare you to embark on such a pursuit. Our faith-based program is designed to help you approach the concept of care delivery from a strategic viewpoint that approaches healthcare holistically — which can ultimately allow you to develop policies with an equal measure of efficiency and effectiveness. Learn how we will help you make a profound difference in an important industry.
- An MBA in Human Resource Development Brings Big Benefits
- Online MBA: Common FAQs Answered
- Top 7 Challenges Faced by Healthcare Leaders
- The Commonwealth Fund, “Value-Based Care: What It Is, and Why It’s Needed”
- Indeed, “What Is a Health Care Consultant? (And How To Become One)”
- National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants, “Get Certified as a Healthcare Business Consultant”
- PayScale, Average Healthcare Consultant Salary
- ProMed Certifications, “What Is Healthcare Policy and Why Is It Important?”
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations