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Masters in Healthcare Administration Requirements

Masters in Health Care Administration Requirements

The MHA is often primarily designed for mid-career professionals looking for an academic upgrade in order to move into management ranks. Some schools offer an executive version of this degree that is designed for healthcare professionals who have significant work experience and wish to continue working while completing the degree. Several of the accredited online MHA programs accept part time enrollment for students who find that a full time academic responsibility would lead to an overload situation when combined with professional and personal responsibilities. Master of Health Care Administration degrees can have areas of specialization such as public policy or clinical management; some schools provide these options but more often the course of study includes all of the social and administrative elements required for knowledgeable management in a wide variety of healthcare settings.

Master of Health Care Administration Basics

The MHA is a rigorous academic pursuit at most schools. It is generally a two year course of study that in some cases is compressed into an Executive MHA format but in all cases requires a substantial number of mandatory core courses in order to provide the administrative training for multiple healthcare service environments and professional roles. The unique nature of healthcare economics is among those basics; core courses are going to include classes in healthcare finance & reimbursement, healthcare finances & decision making, and strategic healthcare planning. This industry is a unique blend of public and private services combined with a complex web of payment mechanisms, all of which a graduate level healthcare education program must address.

Public health and private healthcare systems are both topics in the MHA curriculum. Each environment has its own financial issues; accordingly there are classes in healthcare consumer issues and healthcare marketing for the private side. Every health services organization is feeling the strain of heavy service requirements, which makes classes in capital management and facilities oversight mandatory as well. Public health issues are addressed in courses on clinic management, public health policy and health legislative development.

Advanced Health Care Administration Courses

Good management of any enterprise requires attention to product quality. In a thorough MHA curriculum the issue of healthcare quality assurance is covered in detail with courses about facility inspection, facility accreditation and the problems of maintaining service levels in an environment that is constantly stretched to capacity. As long as there are tens of millions of uninsured U.S. residents that need healthcare, there are going to be daily exceptions to payment guidelines and functional structure. Courses in policy analysis are important for future healthcare administrators, because operational guidelines are in a constant state of flux. Healthcare policy in many environments is a combination of insurance company guidelines, governmental mandates and organizational budget strictures.

Policy concerns are also addressed with courses in epidemiology, quantitative research methods, and organizational behavior tied to human resources management. Personnel are always a budgetary issue as well, requiring strategic planning for meeting staff needs for clinical, technical, and administrative services. Most MHA programs will also finish up with a capstone course that may expose students to a working environment on an internship basis or under the guidance of a professional mentor.

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