With so many baby boomers retiring and living longer, it is only logical that there is growing need for more health care workers and facilities. Healthcare is a business like all others, and it requires good management to be run effectively and efficiently. Today there are more than 300,000 people working as health administration professionals as the demand for healthcare services is growing so quickly.
Healthcare administration professionals work on the business side of health care. They ensure that policies are developed that maximize patient outcomes, and lead to lower costs and higher profits. Given that there is so much pressure today to reduce healthcare costs, there is a strong and growing demand for healthcare administrators. Many professionals in the clinical side of healthcare decide to eventually transition into healthcare administration management for new, exciting challenges.
Master’s in Healthcare Administration – Key To Rewarding Career
You can join this dynamic and growing profession by earning your master’s degree in healthcare administration. By doing so, you can work in as a medical or health service managers. These managers also may be referred to as healthcare administrators or healthcare executives in many organizations.
They are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services. Many healthcare administrators may manage the entire facility, a certain clinical department or possibly a medical practice for a large number of doctors. Generally, these managers work to boost efficiency and quality in the delivery of all healthcare services.
There are several specific types of healthcare administrators; their duties will vary somewhat depending upon the type of facility in which they work:
- Nursing home administrator: They manage the nursing home staff, accounting and finance, care of the facility and the health and well being of all nursing home residents. You will need to have a license to work as a nursing home administrator; state requirements vary.
- Clinical manager: These managers usually will oversee a specific department, which could be surgery, nursing, physical therapy or oncology. Clinical managers must carry out effective policies, set staff goals and procedures, and evaluate the level of quality of the work performed. They also need to develop budgets and reports and present them to higher management.
- Health information managers: They are in charge of security of patient data and records. They have to stay current with the latest information technology and security developments. Also, they must be knowledgeable about the latest ways to maintain and store large amounts of medical data securely.
- Assistant administrators: They will work under the top healthcare executive in the organization. This is often the case in a very large healthcare organization. The assistant administrator will often be responsible for making daily clinical decisions and report to the senior administrator each day or week.
Why Earn a Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
Our aging population is living longer and demanding more healthcare services. They want to live more active and healthy lives, so they are going to healthcare providers more often than in decades past. This causes higher demand for all healthcare workers, including administrators.
Also, behind every busy healthcare facility that is run effectively is an effective healthcare administrator. When the facility is running well, it is very easy to forget about what the administrator does. But experts say that a good healthcare administrator is often just as important for patient outcomes as excellent clinical staff.
The biggest reason to work in healthcare administration is that there will be strong demand in this field for the foreseeable future. Employment for all medical and health service managers will increase by 17% by 2024. It is especially likely that demand will increase in health care practitioner offices. More healthcare services that were once offered in hospitals are now being offered on an outpatient basis.
Featured Online Healthcare Administration Programs
Admission into a master’s of healthcare administration program will have these types of requirements:
- Statement of purpose
- 0 GPA in undergraduate work
- Three letters of recommendation
- Writing samples
- GRE scores may be required
- Bachelor’s in the sciences is helpful, not required
Curriculum and Courses
The Penn State World Campus offers a Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Administration. This program is a good choice if you want to combine your health related working experience with a top tier business management education. This degree will allow you to greatly enhance your qualifications for tough leadership roles in healthcare.
This esteemed healthcare administration degree program is a close collaboration between Penn State World Campus, the university’s Department of Health Policy and Administration, and the School of Public Affairs. This unique partnership will connect each student with highly respected and experienced faculty in many parts of the university.
This healthcare administration program is built on the success of the MHA program on campus that has been a national leader for decades.
This program is a good choice for workers who have several years of healthcare experience, such as nurses and other related clinical professionals. Most of the students who graduate from this program work in one of these areas:
- hospitals and health systems
- medical group practices
- clinics and outpatient care centers
- home health care agencies
- skilled nursing facilities
- insurance companies
- consulting firms
- federal regulatory and public health agencies
Required classes in this two year health care administration program include:
- Financing Healthcare
- Introduction to Health Services Organization and Delivery
- Leadership Ethics in Health Services Organizations
- Health Services Organizational Behavior
- Financial Management in Health Institutions
- Managing Health Care Operations
- Management of Health Services Organizations
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Earning your master’s in healthcare administration can lead to these exciting, in demand types of positions:
- Program manager
- Healthcare administrator
- Healthcare executive
- Health services manager
- Hospital administrator
- Compliance officer
- Healthcare consultant
Job and Salary Outlook
- Medical and Health Services Manager — Job demand for all healthcare administrators and executives will climb by 17% by 2024. In addition to the demand caused by our aging population, experts in the industry think that the wide use of electronic health records or EHRs will create more demand for managers who have a high level of knowledge about health information technology. The median salary in this field is $94,500.
- Human Resources Managers — Some healthcare administrators also may work in a human resources capacity for various healthcare facilities. The job outlook in this field is good; job demand will increase by 9% by 2024. More HR professionals who are knowledgeable in healthcare related laws and regulations will be needed to make sure that companies and healthcare organizations are adhering to new laws. The median wage for human resources managers is $104,400.
Scholarships and Grants
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration: This leading health administration association has several scholarships for qualified students in healthcare administration, such as the Corris Boyd Scholarship and the David Winston Scholarship. The latter is a $10,000 scholarship.
- Georgia State University: The Institute of Health Administration at GSU offers the RC Williams Honor Award and the RJ Knobel Scholarship to master’s students in healthcare administration.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management: This is the largest and most well known professional organization dedicated to the interests of healthcare administrative managers.
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals: This is a large partnership of mentors, friends and healthcare administration professionals that rely on each other for education and professional development.