Updated on January 25, 2021

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A load of daily challenges like office operations, staff management, and budgeting falls on healthcare administrators for many practices. 

Most of us thought that all our problems would disappear by the New Year, but unfortunately, some things require more than just a year to fix. And despite the notable improvements in medical technology, the healthcare industry continues to face challenges. 

Different offices will face other challenges based on location, staffing requirements, patient demographics, etc. Still, some universal challenges require frequent dealing. There’s no doubt that the American healthcare system is convoluted. A history of half-measures and patches covering those past challenges has created a rickety structure – one that USA’s healthcare administrators have the tricky job to operate flawlessly.

Despite the various efforts by skate holders, more still needs to be done due to the dynamic problems that are increasing wildly. Some of the tough challenges healthcare administrators will be facing in 2021 include:

  1. Unfortunate Patient Outcomes

When it comes to solving one problem, many healthcare administrators start with healthcare costs and reimbursement. Once these issues receive importance, other issues begin to rise. In one of those problems, the most significant area of concern lies in patient outcomes. 

Indeed, the American healthcare system is the most advanced, but it is also expensive. And despite the advanced treatments and breakthroughs pioneered here, the absence of universal coverage leads to a problematic inconsistency. Patient outcomes have experienced a massive decline since most healthcare organizations spend far less on it. 

To better manage these administrative challenges, most aspiring or current healthcare leaders return to school to advance their education with a master’s degree. For instance, students in the administration program consider doing an Online Master of Health Administration to explore the latest regulations, best practices, trends, and policies in the field.

  1. Alterations In Healthcare

There’s no denying that every healthcare sector faces new challenges each day. The “solving” process is pinned on administrators to address and strategize these issues. These challenges come from various factors, including the advances in technology, the shift of patients towards expert providers, and new legislation.

  1. Protecting Against Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity means a significant challenge in 2021 for leaders in healthcare administration. Also, hackers are becoming more strategic and smarter. At the beginning of 2020, when healthcare administrators got caught in other pressuring issues related to the pandemic, cyber attackers took advantage. During February and May, there were 132 breaches. According to professionals, the healthcare industry is very vulnerable to these threats:

  • Data breaches
  • Insider threats
  • Ransomware
  • Business e-mail compromise
  • Scams
  • DDoS attacks 

Healthcare administrators and hospital executives must continue to work effectively with their information systems and software experts to maintain their guard and keep sensitive information secure.

  1. The need to specialize

The most crucial threat to traditional hospitals is the overwhelming amount of special facilities that have received popularity in the United States. The US Government Accountability Office states that a hospital in which two-thirds of its inpatient claims were for surgical diagnosis-related groups. Or two-thirds were for one or more major diagnostic categories. These specialty hospitals are bound to provide a high quality of care and control.

While most physicians are starting their outpatient surgery centers, healthcare administrators must revert by developing a specialized care strategy. When choosing a track, healthcare administrators must evaluate the providers in their areas and the demographics that they serve. After discovering a feasible approach, health administrators must assist their hospitals with qualified members to carry the plan and execute a top-notch system. 

  1. Adjustments in repayment methods

Tinkering with a few social safety net reforms creates future changes in coverage and compensation. Still, previous changes always come into consideration because they make multiple challenges for medical professionals. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, MARCA, was declared in 2015 and drastically enhanced reimbursement through a phase-in acceptance of priority-based billing systems. 

MARCA is a government initiative, and it finds ways to confuse the move to priority-based systems even more. However, the shift to priority-based reimbursement is not limited to government insurance. Many private insurers are shifting towards priority-based systems. Sure, they might prove to be better for the healthcare systems after all, but the industry is still not likely to use a particular model at this time.

  1. Uncertainty

In the name of healthcare reform, the past decade has witnessed plenty of turmoil. With good intentions, the Affordable Health Care Act declared its fair share of challenges before being enacted. The ending of enhanced patients demanding healthcare has put much pressure on many local healthcare professionals.

Furthermore, the all-new administration’s theory to overhaul the Act, include better reforms leaves room for massive uncertainty. With such undefined times comes panic among every stakeholder and persistent queries of what lies ahead.

  1. Rising drug costs

In 2021, consolidation and drug shortages by pharmaceutical companies will lead to increased drug prices. To manage this, healthcare administrators must learn negotiating skills in seeking better costs for their hospitals. Leveraging on some advantages of scale will be essential to counter the increased cost and drive up discounts.

  1. Expanding the use of virtual healthcare and Telehealth

During the COVID-19, Telehealth gained a lot of recognition as doctors and hospitals got forced to practice virtual care and hold remote appointments. Currently, most healthcare leaders are rooting for the permanent improvement of Telehealth outside the end of the public wellbeing emergency.

While the development of Telehealth would offer numerous benefits for patient care, it will also pose new challenges. Such as patient privacy issues and cybersecurity – for healthcare administrators.


Are the upcoming challenges encouraging you to step into the world of healthcare administration? Well, we better warn you that you must have a steady and big brain to deal with these advanced problems. 

Indeed, each of these challenges makes the position of healthcare administration a tough one. Balancing fiscal responsibilities and patient satisfaction can give quite the trauma. Yet, most hospitals are ultimately businesses making handling these challenges in productive ways a huge necessity.

Therefore, there is no dancing around the healthcare system. The above-said difficulties were just for now; who knows what else hospital administrators have to tackle in the future. The key is to remain focused and prepared; the solutions will come to you naturally.

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.