Masters in Healthcare Administration
With the healthcare industry being one of the fastest-growing industries out there at the moment, those with a natural sense of organization and leadership may wish to pursue a Masters in Healthcare Administration. Coursework will prepare a student to work in the department of any health care facility, including policy planning, preventive medicine, community health, and budgeting. Human resources, marketing, and policy analysis are all also skills that may be required of a department administrator. As part of the field of studies, most students will need to complete an internship in a health care facility.
In a fast-paced world, it makes sense to obtain an online degree for many. These often have the same level of respect and academic reliability that students could expect from a traditional classroom setting, but offer a higher level of convenience that fits into busy schedules. By obtaining a degree on their own time, students can then go forward with their career plans without having to take the time to commute to a physical campus, and can work in coursework when they have time. It's always a good idea to research the online Healthcare Administration Master's Programs as well as the physical ones, when deciding to go back to school for this field of study.
The job outlook for healthcare administrators is quite bright, and is expected by experts to grow anywhere from 21% to 35% in the coming few years. Graduates may find employment in home health care and nursing homes, along with more traditional hospital or clinic settings. Those who work in large hospitals with many different branches will have the highest level of job security, although they may be switched in between departments. The average salary, accordion to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, can range from $95,000-$250,000.
Additional Graduate Healthcare Administration Schools
- Virginia Commonwealth University has a rigorous three year program for the Master of Health Administration (MHA). It is described as heavily "industry specific," which means that students have the option to focus on nonprofit management, healthcare systems management, and the third party payor business sector of healthcare. The program includes a twelve month field placement where students work alongside experienced healthcare executives.
- University of Missouri is acknowledged as one of the schools for graduate work in health administration. The campus MHA program is offered at the Columbia campus; there is also an online Executive MHA degree available that is a two year course of study for individuals with three to five years in clinical or administrative health care.
- New York University offers the MPA in Health Policy & Management, judged to be among the known health administration graduate programs in the country. This program offers several specialization options for the degree, including Health Services Management, Health Policy Analysis, Health Finance (Public Finance), and International Health. Like many graduate health administration programs today, this one includes a global health option because of resources being channeled to health care provision in developing nations.
- St. Louis University offers two degrees in this field, the Master of Health Administration and the Master of Public Health in Health Policy. The MHA degree is a sixty credit hour program that requires two years of full time study. There are joint degree options available for nurses (MHA/MSN), law students (MHA/JD), and business students (MHA/MBA). There is also a five year program leading to a combination of a bachelor's in Health Information Management and a Masters in Health Administration.
- University of Iowa has one of the health administration programs in the nation according to US News & World Report. The MHA program at Iowa is business oriented, with core course that include Managerial Finance, Corporate Financial Reporting, and the Legal Aspects of Health Administration. There are several electives that provide technical background including a course in Hospital Management, one in Health Informatics, and one in Health Insurance & Managed Care.
Health Administration Professional Associations
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management is a professional society for people working in healthcare management that has a strong national core and chapters located in thirty six states. This organization is for mid level administrators in many different technical medical areas and healthcare management functions. The Association offers credentialing for several healthcare professions involving such areas as case management and informatics.
- American College of Healthcare Executives is the premier organization for management level healthcare administrators. The organization has chapters in many of the states, some of which have their own educational programs. The national office conducts a continuing education program in the form of seminars and also offers a career database, a newsletter, and a networking platform for members.
- American Health Care Association is a group for long term and post-acute care providers - an association primarily for business entities, but one that can be of great service to a health administrator working in the extended care field. The organization is active in legislative and policy advocacy, with a national office and branches in ten states. They research trends in the industry, cover quality and staffing issues, and have a consumer information resource for families.
- American Hospital Association is a large organization of hospitals, healthcare networks, health service systems, and 37,000 individual members who are engaged in healthcare services delivery. While it is primarily a policy and advocacy organization, there are several member services that provide up to date information on legislative or regulatory changes affecting the industry.
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration is the premier organization for health administration educators, schools, and organizations that are active in healthcare improvements through academic innovation. There are organizational divisions for faculty members, students, and student advisors. There is also a career database available on the Association website.
Health Administration Accreditation
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education is the only organization for accreditation of masters programs in healthcare administration that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. It's an important factor in choosing a MHA academic program.
- American Health Information Management Association has a credentialing program for health information professionals working in several areas. There is a program for certification as a Health Information Administrator; in addition there are certification programs and exams for informatics security experts, health information analysts, information technicians, and several other fields.
- FACHE Credentialing: The American College of Healthcare Executives offers a credentialing exam program leading to recognition as a Fellow of the organization, or FACHE. The organization refers to this achievement as becoming a board-certified healthcare executive.
- National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards is an organization of licensing agencies for long term care facilities. Every state requires licenses for these facilities, and the credentials of their management staff are part of the process. This website has a database of licensing agencies and requirements.
- American Academy of Medical Administrators has a certification program leading to recognition as a certified member, AAMA, or CAAMA. This exam-based credential is designed to provide medical administrators with recognition for their experience and credibility as a professional when engaged in a job search.
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