This health care field is going to see booming job growth in the near future

Chronic care management has the potential to become a $50 billion industry. You might want to get involved.

This health care field is going to see booming job growth in the near future

Mobile health care got a boost last year when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would reimburse the cost of non-face-to-face chronic care management services for people with two or more chronic conditions. This change means that the cost of monthly phone- or tech-based consultations that providers use to help their members manage chronic conditions, or to coordinate care for conditions such as cancer or diabetes, will now be reimbursed—and that has implications for chronic care management careers.

“Whenever CMS creates revenue opportunities for anything around Medicare or Medicaid, there are companies that will aggregate supply and demand for those services, and you’ll see that with chronic care management,” says Kevin Palisi, an HR and executive search consultant with more than 14 years of recruiting and talent acquisition experience in health care. He is the founder and managing director of Ancora Search in Milford, Connecticut.

The changes will create opportunities for companies in the chronic care management—which is potentially a $50 billion industry—to scale their services, he says. And that will also mean shifting roles for professionals who help patients manage chronic conditions.   

With the wide range of skills needed, there are plenty of opportunities for people who are interested in working in chronic health management. Here are 10  options. (Salary data is according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook and Payscale).

Software developer

What you’d do: Software developers and other IT developers build the solutions that provide the backbone to the m-health initiatives that make remote care of chronic conditions possible, Palisi says.

Experience needed: People in this position should have experience with Web and mobile app design; positions may require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, as well as previous experience developing user-friendly mobile solutions that work across different platforms.

What it pays: $100,690 per year / $48.41 per hour

Data analytics professional

What you’d do: Health care analytics professionals may analyze large data sets related to population health or other groups, then develop algorithms and programs that can help providers manage symptoms or diseases, including for chronic health conditions. “The advent of Big Data in digital health brings big opportunities,” Palisi says, referring to the deep analysis of large amounts of data to find previously hidden insights.

Experience needed: People in these positions often need a bachelor’s degree in math, health care informatics, information systems, finance or similar subjects.

What it pays: $55,036 per year / $26.46 per hour

Office coordinator

What you’d do:Office coordinators help with billing, scheduling and other office operations for health care organizations of various sizes, including management services firms and large health systems.

Experience needed: Strong computer skills and medical billing knowledge, especially for chronic care management measures, are vital. An associate degree is usually required, as is a strong background in office operations.

What it pays: $31,200 per year / $15 per hour

Chronic care nurse

What you’d do: Chronic care nurses provide primary health care services periodically, such as weekly or monthly, to ensure a patient’s chronic condition doesn’t get worse. If telehealth hardware isn’t available, duties may involve home visits for people who can’t travel to a clinic, and hours may vary.

Experience needed: You’ll need a nursing degree; bachelor’s degrees are often preferred.

What it pays: $58,240 per year / $28 per hour

Chronic care physician

What you’d do: Chronic care physicians perform home-care visits or telehealth consultations. “It’s a great opportunity for physicians or nurses who want to get out of a hospital setting,” Palisi says. “You can keep working, but you don’t have to be at the clinical site. For providers who are looking for an alternative career path, approving or coordinating care remotely can be an attractive position.”

Experience needed: Medical degree and internal or family medicine backgrounds; training in geriatric medicine often is required.

What it pays: $187,200 per year  / $90 per hour (physician)

Social worker

What you’d do: Licensed social workers are often needed in chronic mental care management to help educate patients about services offered and coordinate care with physicians, if necessary. They may work with children or adults, and need to be able to identify and recommend specialty care.

Experience needed: You’ll need a background in social work and a license to practice.

What it pays: $45,900 per year / $22.07 per hour

Care coordinator

What you’d do: Some health care organizations have one person who coordinates the physicians, midlevel providers, staff and other professionals that help patients navigate the system while also dealing with chronic issues.

Experience needed: These positions are often filled by nurses; an associate degree is usually required, but a bachelor’s degree is often preferred. Strong communication and collaboration skills are needed as well.

What it pays: $40,600 per year / $19.52

Marketing specialists

What you’d do: Using telehealth tools to manage chronic conditions is predicated on consumer and patient engagement, Palisi says, and in many cases consumers need to be educated by marketers about their options.

Experience needed: These positions usually require a bachelor’s degree as well as previous experience in marketing, excellent communication skills and an understanding of health care IT.

What it pays: $124,850 per year / $60.03 per hour

Information security analyst

What you’d do: HIPAA becomes much more mission-critical with mobile health, Palisi says, and those who can protect personal information as telehealth grows will be in high demand. An information security analyst monitors and responds to security threats, and analyzes networks and platforms to ensure they’re secure.

Experience needed: Often requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science and some experience managing a security infrastructure.

What it pays: $90,120 per year / $43.33 per hour

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