Modern medicine involves doctors, nurses, and patients, plus a profusion of data that can help providers and insurance companies better serve patients. Health analytics directors are skilled at analyzing data to implement advanced methods of identifying, managing and measuring risks, keeping costs down and targeting patient coverage. A career as a health analytics director can begin with enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Healthcare Management.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of operations research analysts, including health analytics directors, will increase rapidly in coming years. Job growth will occur as technology advances and the demand for efficiency in the healthcare field continues to grow. Individuals with advanced degrees should have the best job prospects.
Health analytics directors typically work with cutting-edge technology to identify employee benefits, healthcare trends and project costs. These professionals collaborate with senior healthcare managers and decision makers to clarify objectives and ensure successful implementation of methods to achieve them.
Creating “what if” scenarios to compare objectives to plan variances could be one aspect of a health analytics director’s job. Another typical duty is using a universally recognized underwriting method to forecast healthcare claims. Health analytics directors have traditionally used predictive modeling and other analytics to set rates. New models include financial and clinical algorithms, which allow for advances in managing and measuring risk throughout a population.
Communicating results of data analysis is another important duty for health analytics directors. They often produce executive-level reports for administrators, governing boards and executives. They may also contribute to lowering employee medical insurance payments by identifying wellness programs and recommending incentivizing benefit packages.
Health analytics directors usually work a 40-hour week in a private office. At times, they may work in the field conducting direct observations. Depending on the employer, travel might be required.
BLS data from May 2009, indicate the average annual salary for the category that includes health analytics directors was $75,370. The middle 50% earned between $51,970 and $94,920 per year, while the lowest 10% brought in around $40,030. The top 10% of professionals in this occupation category were reported to earn approximately $119,140 annually. Salary levels are typically commensurate with education, professional credentials and experience; those holding advanced degrees often earn salaries at the top end of the range.
While some entry-level positions may require a bachelor’s degree, higher degrees are preferred by many employers. In addition, experience in the healthcare sector is generally required. A background in mathematics, engineering and management can also be helpful.
Individuals seeking to enter the health analytics field and compete for a director position can gain an advantage by earning an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management. Coursework typically includes organizational behavior, managerial accounting, healthcare policy and legal aspects of healthcare.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management are able to:
A solid foundation of healthcare business acumen plus professional and technical ability will prepare you for the challenges of a health analytics director career. In addition, you’ll need to be detail oriented, with quantitative skills and a knack for performing complex research. You can acquire the specialized knowledge you need by earning an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management. With solid skills and an MBA, becoming a health analytics director could be the right career choice for you.