Natasha Beeton, freelance medical writer on Kolabtree, provides a quick guide on how to hire a healthcare consultant, how much it costs, and tips for working with a freelancer.
Healthcare consulting is the interface between healthcare and management consulting. Healthcare consultants use their knowledge of business and the healthcare industry to maximize the efficiency of healthcare-related companies and entities. They can advise on issues ranging from how to increase profits to optimizing infrastructure and improving the quality of patient care. The role these consultants play is crucial to the success of healthcare organizations in an increasingly competitive industry.
Healthcare consultants can work across several subject areas, not limited to:
- Strategy and business management
- Health economics and outcomes research (HEOR)
- Medical technology and medical devices
- Clinical research and operations
- Healthcare delivery
What does a healthcare consultant do?
Healthcare consultants can advise and assist with implementation in several areas, including:
- Overall strategic management
- Increasing profits by increasing revenue and/or cutting costs
- Human resources and benefits
- IT strategy
- Improving work efficiency
- Improving the quality of patient care
- Improving patient safety
- Equipment planning
- Marketing and brand management
The various responsibilities of healthcare consultants are many and varied:
- Delineating the problem the client wishes to have fixed
- Examining all data available related to the problem (e.g., finances, staff turnover, medical statistics)
- Interviewing employees and managers
- Performing site inspections and on-site analyses
- Studying organizational structure and information flow
- Reviewing patient feedback
- Developing quality and efficiency benchmarks
- Drafting procedural manuals
- Ensuring compliance with healthcare laws, regulations, and policies
- Using the information gathered to make recommendations and design new systems and procedures
- Drawing up a report in writing for the client
- Meeting with the client to discuss the findings
- Assisting the client with implementing the recommendations if need be
- Assisting with mergers and acquisitions
Healthcare consultants will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in management, business, public health, nursing, or a related field. However, many employers prefer a master’s degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Health Administration (MHA), or a Master of Public Health (MPH). Certification is recommended (e.g., the Certified Management Consultant certification in the US).
Healthcare consultants can be self-employed, work internally for a healthcare company, or work for a consulting firm. Larger companies tend to hire healthcare consultants on a full-time basis to constantly help them find ways to improve their business, whereas smaller and medium-sized companies may hire them only when they need to address a particular area of their business. The clients of healthcare consultants include hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, medical device companies, payers, and insurance providers.
The job titles of healthcare consultants are many and varied due to the nature of their work; these include Healthcare Research Consultant, Healthcare Quality Improvement Consultant, Primary Healthcare Manager, Academic Healthcare Consultant, Public Health Consultant, Clinical Healthcare Consultant, and Health Systems Expert.
How much does it cost to hire a freelance healthcare consultant?
To hire a freelance healthcare consultant, the fee generally ranges from USD 40−150 per hour depending on the required skillset and the level of experience necessary.
Experienced regulatory consultants can charge between USD 150-200 per hour, whereas medical writers can charge between USD 40-60 per hour. A medical device consultant can charge upwards of USD 100 per hour for design & development consulting, whereas a medical statistician can charge between USD 30-60 per hour.
The hourly fee can be negotiated upfront based on the estimated number of project hours, or a flat fee (for projects of a defined scope) can be discussed. If you need short-term/temporary access to healthcare consulting, then hiring a freelance healthcare consultant on our platform is a convenient and cost-effective way to harness their expertise.
How do you write an effective job post to hire a freelance healthcare consultant?
The best way to attract top freelancers in this field is to make your project description informative. You will need to provide information on the following:
- Skills required (e.g., expertise regarding patient quality of care)
- What the project area is (e.g., patient care at a large state hospital)
- What the project entails (e.g., healthcare consulting regarding cost-effective ways in which to improve patient quality of care in the face of budget cuts)
- What the deliverables are (be specific about what you need the outputs to be)
- Duration of the project (provide an estimate of how many hours work you will need per week/by when you need the project to be completed)
- By when you need to hire (having more leeway on this will give you more time to choose the best expert for your needs)
- Your budget (per hour or fixed fee)
If you are unsure what exactly is required, providing as much detail as possible will allow the experts to still make an informed bid for your project and suggest the best routes forward.
The Kolabtree platform makes it easier than ever before to connect and collaborate with top healthcare consultants who can enhance your business. Find a healthcare consultant or post your project for free and get quotes within hours.