Regulatory compliance consultants assist healthcare organizations in achieving conformance with government regulations. They typically advise senior management and help develop processes and programs to ensure organization-wide compliance with applicable laws and standards. Successful consultants demonstrate a broad knowledge of healthcare laws and organizational management, and possess skills and knowledge specifically related to the healthcare industry. A healthcare regulatory compliance consultant career can begin with enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in healthcare management.
Reports published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that employment of regulatory affairs managers, including regulatory compliance consultants, should rise steadily in coming years. The growing elderly population is leading to an increased demand for healthcare services, which in turn creates a greater need for healthcare management professionals with strong business skills. Regulatory compliance consultants with experience and advanced education should enjoy the best career prospects.
Within the healthcare industry, regulatory compliance consultants ensure that medical facilities and personnel comply with state and federal laws and regulations. They may analyze and advise on practices relating to patient and staff exposure to radiation, patient record confidentiality and medical licensing, among many others. Regulatory compliance consultants often work closely with a hospital’s legal, operations and finance departments. They monitor activities to assess compliance risk, identify instances of non-compliance and make recommendations for remedies.
A regulatory compliance consultant’s responsibilities generally involve identification and prioritization of compliance issues, as well as development and implementation of compliance plans. Professionals in this role may also be required to complete and submit regulatory agency applications and reports.
Other important aspects of a regulatory compliance consultant’s job include developing regulatory strategies, interpreting data and training personnel to ensure they understand their responsibilities in complying with regulations. Consultants may also be called on to submit a formal response to regulatory agencies when compliance issues occur.
Regulatory compliance consultants most often work in an office setting. A 40-hour workweek is typical, but overtime may be required.
National salary data on PayScale.com revealed that annual earnings of regulatory compliance consultants ranged between $58,394 and $109,902 as of September 2010. Recent bachelor’s degree program graduates will usually start out at the lower end of the scale; professionals with extensive experience and advanced education typically command the highest salaries.
Most employers require regulatory compliance consultants to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as law, business administration or healthcare administration. Some may give preference to candidates with an advanced degree, such as an MBA with a specialization in healthcare management.
The first step toward a successful regulatory compliance consultant career can be a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in healthcare management. Coursework typically includes strategic management, healthcare organizations, law, medical ethics, and health planning and policy management.
Employers can be confident that graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in healthcare management are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to further your education.
Becoming a healthcare regulatory compliance consultant requires a diverse range of talents, including excellent leadership, interpersonal, and written and verbal communication skills. An aptitude for finance, computer systems and data analysis is also important, as is an understanding of healthcare legislation. If you aspire to a regulatory compliance consultant career, you can develop the necessary skills and knowledge by completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in healthcare management.