Healthcare entrepreneurship occurs when healthcare-minded professionals create new businesses, often through developing services, tools or ideas. Successful business ventures typically meet or supplement a current unfilled need in the marketplace or identify a previously unseen problem and potential solution.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that jobs in the healthcare space will grow 13% by 2031, resulting in 2 million new jobs — but not all of these are physician and clinical roles. Many jobs in the future of healthcare require candidates with skills in both healthcare and business, which makes Lamar University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Administration such a high-demand degree.
What Opportunities Exist for Healthcare Entrepreneurs?
Now, more than ever, healthcare is a business — and a booming one. It is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy and represents the largest employer. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), health spending accounts for 18.3% of the nation’s gross domestic product, totaling $4.3 trillion. Moreover, the sheer size and impact of the healthcare industry make it ideal for innovation that can streamline care, foster engagement and improve outcomes.
Plus, a significant crossover exists between business and healthcare. For example, healthcare administrators utilize similar skills as businesspeople to keep their organizations afloat: product development and innovation, marketing, fiscal responsibility, leadership and human resources management.
And like any other business, healthcare faces unique challenges, particularly as the industry shifts to endemic COVID and confronts staffing shortages and an aging population requiring more complex care. However, entrepreneurs can introduce new ways of looking at problems and craft targeted interventions to relieve these pinch points.
What Are Some of Healthcare’s Most Promising Entrepreneurial Trends?
The healthcare industry has evolved dramatically in the past few years as healthcare administrators realize the benefits of several up-and-coming entrepreneurial trends, like those below.
Telemedicine and remote monitoring. Virtual care was on the upswing before the pandemic but has since exploded as patients and providers acclimate to new technology and an increasingly digitized healthcare experience. While just 15% of office-based physicians used telemedicine in 2019, 87% adopted the technology in 2021, according to HealthIT.gov. Still, physicians report that it is common for patients to have difficulty navigating telemedicine applications, which represents an area ripe for forward-thinking healthcare entrepreneurs.
Home health services. Many older adults prefer to age in place and avoid the expense of long-term care facilities, resulting in greater demand for in-home care services. Businesses offering meal preparation, home cleaning and assistance with activities of daily living can meet this need but require someone familiar with healthcare laws, payers and business management basics.
Security and data integrity. Modern healthcare is certainly data-driven, and the industry constantly looks for new ways to collect, store and analyze this information efficiently and safely. Data analytics and new modeling tools, like predictive algorithms and artificial intelligence, represent opportunities for business-oriented individuals to amass and evaluate data to improve patient care and interventions. In addition, interoperability is top of mind for many healthcare administrators and an area where innovation is needed to allow disparate IT systems to communicate more efficiently.
Can You Develop Entrepreneurial Skills?
Anyone can become an entrepreneur, especially if they have the foundational business knowledge to identify a problem and create a solution. Lamar University’s online MBA in Healthcare Administration includes graduate-level coursework every successful business owner and executive needs, such as marketing, strategic planning, information management and organizational leadership.
Students also complete a Healthcare Entrepreneurship course, exploring healthcare’s business and economic practices, the regulatory environment and the various organizations affecting care delivery. Students consider the role of stewardship in healthcare entrepreneurship and participate in in-depth discussions on not-for-profit and for-profit organizational structures and the creation of a sustainable, varied healthcare workforce.
Budding entrepreneurs have near-limitless opportunities in healthcare. The clinical side of medicine depends on innovative business ideas that can address challenges, like data security, and improve patient care and operational efficiencies.
Learn more about Lamar University’s online MBA in Healthcare Administration program.