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Become An Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services

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Working As An Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Developing and Building Teams
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $104,666

    Average Salary

What Does An Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services Do

Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.

Duties

Medical and health services managers typically do the following:

  • Work to improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
  • Develop departmental goals and objectives
  • Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with new laws and regulations
  • Recruit, train, and supervise staff
  • Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
  • Create work schedules
  • Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within allocated funds
  • Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
  • Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
  • Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads

Medical and health services managers work closely with physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, and other healthcare workers. Others may interact with patients or insurance agents.

Medical and health services managers’ titles depend on the facility or area of expertise in which they work. The following are examples of types of medical and health services managers:

Nursing home administrators manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building, as well as care of the residents in nursing homes. All states require licensure for nursing home administrators; licensing requirements vary by state.

Clinical managers oversee a specific department, such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy, and have responsibilities based on that specialty. Clinical managers set and carry out policies, goals, and procedures for their departments; evaluate the quality of the staff’s work; and develop reports and budgets.

Health information managers are responsible for the maintenance and security of all patient records and data. They must stay up to date with evolving information technology, current or proposed laws about health information systems, and trends in managing large amounts of complex data. Health information managers must ensure that databases are complete, accurate, and accessible only to authorized personnel. They also may supervise the work of medical records and health information technicians.

Assistant administrators work under the top administrator in larger facilities and often handle daily decisions. Assistants might direct activities in clinical areas, such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or health information. They also handle administrative tasks, such as ensuring that their department has the necessary supplies and that equipment is operational and up to date.

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How To Become An Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services

Most medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Educational requirements vary by facility.

Education

Medical and health services managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Graduate programs often last between 2 and 3 years and may include up to 1 year of supervised administrative experience in a hospital or healthcare consulting setting.

Prospective medical and health services managers typically have a degree in health administration, health management, nursing, public health administration, or business administration. Degrees that focus on both management and healthcare combine business-related courses with courses in medical terminology, hospital organization, and health information systems. For example, a degree in health administration or health information management often includes courses in health services management, accounting and budgeting, human resources administration, strategic planning, law and ethics, health economics, and health information systems.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many employers require prospective medical and health services managers to have some work experience in either an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other healthcare facility. For example, nursing home administrators usually have years of experience working as a registered nurse.

Others may begin their careers as medical records and health information technicians, administrative assistants, or financial clerks within a healthcare office.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Medical and health services managers must understand and follow current regulations and adapt to new laws.

Communication skills. These managers must effectively communicate policies and procedures with other health professionals and ensure their staff’s compliance with new laws and regulations.

Detail oriented. Medical and health services managers must pay attention to detail. They might be required to organize and maintain scheduling and billing information for very large facilities, such as hospitals.

Interpersonal skills. Medical and health services managers discuss staffing problems and patient information with other professionals, such as physicians and health insurance representatives.

Leadership skills. These managers are often responsible for finding creative solutions to staffing or other administrative problems. They must hire, train, motivate, and lead staff.

Technical skills. Medical and health services managers must stay up to date with advances in healthcare technology and data analytics. For example, they may need to use coding and classification software and electronic health record (EHR) systems as their facility adopts these technologies.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require licensure for nursing home administrators; requirements vary by state. In most states, these administrators must have a bachelor’s degree, complete a state-approved training program, and pass a national licensing exam. Some states also require applicants to pass a state-specific exam; others may require applicants to have previous work experience in a healthcare facility. Some states also require licensure for administrators in assisted-living facilities. For information on specific state-by-state licensure requirements, visit the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

A license is typically not required in other areas of medical and health services management. However, some positions may require applicants to have a registered nurse or social worker license.

Although certification is not required, some managers choose to become certified. Certification is available in many areas of practice. For example, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers certification in medical management, the American Health Information Management Association offers health information management certification, and the American College of Health Care Administrators offers the Certified Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator distinctions.

Advancement

Medical and health services managers advance by moving into higher paying positions with more responsibility. Some health information managers, for example, can advance to become responsible for the entire hospital’s information systems. Other managers may advance to top executive positions within the organization.

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Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services Career Paths

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Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services Demographics

Gender

Female

58.3%

Male

38.9%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

5.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services Education

Schools

University of Memphis

9.3%

University of Phoenix

9.3%

Walden University

7.4%

University of Kentucky

5.6%

New York University

5.6%

Northeastern University

5.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.6%

University of Kansas

5.6%

George Mason University

5.6%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.7%

Westfield State University

3.7%

Boston University

3.7%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.7%

San Francisco State University

3.7%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.7%

University of Hartford

3.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.7%

Seton Hill University

3.7%

Johns Hopkins University

3.7%

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

3.7%
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Majors

Nursing

16.5%

Social Work

14.1%

Clinical Psychology

11.2%

Psychology

10.2%

Counseling Psychology

9.2%

Business

8.3%

Mental Health Counseling

6.8%

Health Care Administration

5.3%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Human Services

2.4%

Special Education

1.9%

Management

1.5%

Public Health

1.5%

Family Therapy

1.5%

Education

1.5%

School Counseling

1.0%

Human Development

1.0%

Theology

1.0%

Public Administration

1.0%

Educational Leadership

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

53.9%

Doctorate

15.1%

Other

13.8%

Bachelors

11.6%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

1.7%

Diploma

0.4%
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Top Skills for An Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services

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  1. Mental Health Issues
  2. Compliance
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored the facility's monthly psychotropic medication usage to ensure compliance with state regulations.
  • Stabilized grant status, upgraded grant report procedures, developed and implemented Behavioral Health Care programs and provided clinical counseling services.
  • Developed & managed the state behavioral health services budget, including salaries, consensus caseload, Medicaid, & SGF funds.
  • Initiated and provided Adolescent Substance Abuse and Parenting Groups
  • Train Nonviolent Crisis Intervention to employees so they can effectively and safely implement physical management techniques with violent individuals.

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Top Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services Employers

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