The healthcare field is a fast-paced and constantly growing environment. When we first think of this field, we get an image of busy doctors and nurses working hard to manage a plethora of ill patients. However, behind the scenes there is a multitude of hard-working men and women that fill in the gaps and maintain a stable and smooth working environment for all involved.
Healthcare administration professionals are at the heart of the healthcare field. Without these professionals, it would be nearly impossible for hospitals and other medical facilities to operate so seamlessly on a day-to-day basis. Our experts have broken down the different aspects of this career field to provide the best guide for individuals that are getting ready to become a part of this intriguing domain.
Online Health Administration Degrees
Deciding on health administration is the first successful step to a better career. There is really nothing more reliable than a healthcare related degree in this day and age, considering the medical field is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. One this is for certain in the world we live in – people will continue to need healthcare.
Consider featured accredited online MHA programs seeking applicants for a Master's of Health Administration:
- The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University's online Master of Health Administration is for aspiring leaders with at least three years full time experience. With the program’s interactive design, students learn from each other’s experience as much as they learn from faculty. Click for Admissions Information.
The method of obtaining your degree will decide how your time will be spent over the next few years, so it is important to consider online options as a possibility. Online health administration degrees provide quality education with less effort than traditional programs. In the online form, health administration degrees can be found at varying degree levels, depending on what students are searching for.
Online Bachelor’s of Science in Health Administration
The online Bachelor’s of Science in Health Administration consists of basic knowledge of the healthcare system alongside general education requirements. At this level, students will be introduced into theory and education surrounding hospital operating systems, employee management, and financial aspects. It is at this point that students will be able to see the different aspects of health administration as it is introduced in course format. Career availability began after students obtain this level of degree, but some find it more profitable to move forward into graduate level programs.
Online Master’s of Science in Health Administration
With the addition of online master’s programs, the internet has become a popular place for undergrads to continue their education. If you are interested specifically in the field of health administration, there are several accredited universities providing the MS in Health Administration online. During this degree program, students will use online course rooms and forums to dig deep into the healthcare field.
Through research and practice, students will become accustomed to financial policies, healthcare regulations, and proper management techniques that are associated with this line of work. Having a higher degree can sometimes provide more career opportunities through a professional lifetime and possibly even substantially more pay.
What is Health Administration?
Health administration at its core is the brain of the healthcare industry. The functioning of the system in which it represents is its main priority, and it includes various aspects that touch on financial, operational, and consistency of the system as a whole. Health administrators can also be found in the form of executives or managers, which brings a more familiar understanding of the responsibilities of the people in charge of medical facilities. Since the job duties of this particular profession are so broad and diverse, we have put together a list of focuses and facilities that are associated with this career choice for you to review.
Focus of Health Administration
- Healthcare Laws and Regulation
- Budgeting and Cost-Cutting
- Maximizing Facility Efficiency
- Staff Management and Scheduling
- Facility Networking
- Financial Allocations and Purchases
- Planning and Coordinating of Healthcare Services
Potential Work Settings
- Specialty Clinics
- Medical Laboratories
- Health Research Centers
- Private Practices
- Local, State, or Government Agencies
Bachelors in Health Administration
Starting at the most standard level, the BS in Health Administration begins with general education requirements. In an effort to ensure that students have a basic understanding in math, science, and humanities, colleges typically place a minimum hour requirement of around 36 on students in this major. After all prerequisite courses are satisfied, students are permitted to move forward into more concentrated courses that will be the foundation of their knowledge in health science.
Students entering into this program from a previous associate’s level acquisition may be required to take some prerequisite courses prior to moving into concentrations as well. This is all dependent on a formal admission’s review by the institution.
For health science majors, the coursework will include many different topics concerning business and healthcare. Our experts have taken a look at different colleges offering this degree program in order to give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of concentration courses. As you will see when browsing the list, this major includes all of the aspects of running a successful healthcare business from patient health to marketing. We have provided a list of popular courses below.
- Principles of Marketing
- Information Systems Management
- Healthcare Management
- Community Wellness
- Healthcare Law
- Financial Management in Healthcare
- Human Resource Management
Length and Tuition
After looking over several colleges offering a BS in Health Administration, our experts determined that the estimated completion time for this program is 4-5 years. Depending on how much effort a student puts in, the time could be potentially shorter. Tuition is another topic that can vary from one university to the next, but one college in particular bills students at a rate of $220 per credit hour, not including student fees. With 120 credit hours required for graduation at this level, total tuition is at $26,400.
Fees can include the initial application fee, technology fees, and student access fees, and are different depending on the school. Students should take the time to financially plan for higher education and consider possibly financial aid options prior to enrolling.
Masters in Health Administration
With the bachelor’s program focusing on preparing students for a busy career in the healthcare field, the Master’s of Science degree in Health Administration (view MHA programs) fosters a graduate’s ability to manage at higher levels while refreshing on ideas learned in previous learning. During the MS program in health administration, students will be given the opportunity to pick a specialty such as geriatrics or health informatics, but are not required to have a specialty to graduate. Courses are designed to build upon knowledge already gained and shape professionals into effective health administration experts.
The graduate programs are constructed to provide an even more in depth look into the healthcare system from a business perspective. Students are given the change to excel in projects and team building exercises that test their ability to solve problems and find solutions to even the most difficult problems. Take a look below at some of the common courses found in the MS degree in Health Administration.
- Health Care Economics
- Leveraging Informatics in the Health Sector
- Advanced Health Policy
- Advanced Health Quality
- Evidence-Based Decision Making for Management
- Strategic Success
Length and Tuition
MS degrees in Health Administration can potentially be completed in less than 2 years. Most schools offering this degree program have a minimum credit hour requirement of 36 hours, with all courses focusing on health administration specifically. At one university offering this program, students are charged a rate of $732 per credit hour, which totals $26,352 for tuition alone.
Health Administration Careers
Degrees in health administration can open doors to management careers in many different settings. Hospitals and other health-related entities look fondly on health administration experts for their knowledge of the financial and management perspectives of the healthcare field as a whole. With this field comes a great responsibility to patients, employees, and the community. Health care is something that people value, making administrators a vital resource to people that seek information and services from healthcare providers. Becoming a part of this field can be a rewarding choice for people that have the desire to help people and the dedication to lead. Graduates can seek out careers as some of the positions listed below, but are not limited to this selection by any means. The healthcare field can be ever-providing for health administration specialists.
View the ultimate Public Health Career Guide.
Hospital administrators are the planners, coordinators, and overseers of hospitals or clinics. From balancing budgets to scheduling work for employees, the range of responsibility for this professional is vast and demanding. In order to have a lawfully abiding agency that provides reputable services to the community, hospitals must employ able administrators to help guide decisions on a daily basis. Administrators in this field ensure that medical facilities run efficiently and follow protocol set forth by healthcare laws and regulations.
Long-Term Care Administrator
Long-term care facilities provide a delicate service to the aging population, as well as individuals suffering from serious injuries or illnesses. In order to ensure that business is conducted ethically and by certain standards, long-term care administrators are tasked with keeping up with inspections, training employees, and providing support to families and the community. As a professional in this field, individuals will be responsible for a large staff and many daily tasks that can be predictable or unexpected.
Medical Equipment and Supply Management
Hospitals and other medical facilities all over the country have a high demand for medical equipment and supplies on a daily basis. In order to properly supply these companies with the things that they need, medical supply specialists work hard to take orders, fill orders, and deliver goods regularly. Medical Equipment and Supply Managers manage a steady flow of incoming orders and make sure that medical facilities get the equipment they need through a smooth transactions. Individuals in this positions must have a great financial understanding of business as well as a profound knowledge of medical terms and processes.
Community Health Awareness Supervisor
There are services provided in many cities that focus on the health of the community. Through a group effort, these agencies provide health education to individuals, groups, schools, and organizations. Community Health Awareness Supervisors are responsible for managing a staff of health educators and associates in an effort to raise awareness on health and wellness for people in their general area. In order to be in this position, candidates must have great team building skills as well as a respectable work ethic in order to fully meet the needs of their community.
Behavioral Health Center Executive
In medical facilities that provide behavioral health services, executives are needed to ensure that the practices being used are ethical and safe for their clients. Behavioral health center executives not only ensure that their services are up to par, but also maintain budgets, schedules, and training for new employees. It is important the healthcare centers such as these operate without issues, so executives in this position are truly an extremely important asset. While this job relates similarly to hospital administrators, the expectations of practice for people with behavioral problems will vary from standard medical patients.
Specialty Clinic Supervisor
There is a wealth of specialty clinics available to patients with different diseases, illness, and injuries. Most clinics operate under the authority of larger hospitals, but some are privately owned and separate from large medical providers. Outpatient clinics are some of the most common clinics available, which require an on-staff administrator to oversee operations. Other specialty clinics such as cancer treatment centers, cardiac health facilities, and hospice clinics require the same leadership in order to remain stable in financial and daily maintenance. Choosing one of the specialty fields gives administrators some variety in their work environment while still giving them the opportunity to lead a team of employees in helping people lead healthier lives.
Top Health Administration organizations
There are multiple organizations you should know if you are going into a career in health administration.
- Accreditation and Educational Organizations
- Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME): The CAHME is the leading accreditation agency for healthcare management positions. This organization is extremely useful to students that are preparing for collegiate education in health administration as it provides lists of accredited universities all across the United States.
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA): AUPHA provides networking for educational programs that teach health policy and administration. Groups such as this one work hard to better educational programs so that graduates get more from their education and provide better services to the communities in which they serve.
- Professional Organizations
- The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM): AAHAM is a professional organization that current professionals can join in order to network with other professionals in their field, gain information about changes and policies, and contact advocates when needed. Joining a program such as this one provides multiple benefits for individuals choosing this career field.
- Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA): The HCAA sets itself apart from other professional organizations in that is asks for people to voice their opinions about changes and policies needed for specialists in this area. This is a great organization for current professions to be a part of in an effort to further their knowledge of health administration and be an active member of the health community.