With the rapid growth of all types of clinical health care demand, it is only natural that there will be more need for health services at the administrative and managerial levels. These managers and administrators are vital to make sure that health care services are delivered in an effective and affordable fashion.
Health services, which may also be referred to as health services administration in some quarters, is a growing field that is concerned with the management, leadership, organization and efficiency of health care systems, facilities and hospitals. A manager or administrator in health services will work generally in upper level management in a healthcare facility and is responsible for the entire operation of the facility.
Earning a master’s degree in health services is the most common way to get one’s foot in the door in this quickly growing area of the US economy. This graduate degree will allow you to work in one of these positions:
- Medical and health services manager: This position is often referred to as a healthcare executive or healthcare administrator. They are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating various medical and healthcare services in a healthcare facility. Many managers in this field manage a healthcare facility, a certain clinical department or possibly an entire medical practice with dozens of healthcare professionals. This professional must stay on top of constant changes in healthcare laws, technology and regulations.
- Social and community service manager: In charge of coordinating and supervising many social services programs and community organizations. They will work for many different social and human service employers. Some of these will possibly work in a particular demographic group, such as the homeless, drug addicted, children, veterans or elderly. You need to ensure that the programs as it is provided is both effective and affordable. You ensure that this is the case by collecting statistics and other information on each program.
- Recreational therapist: Plan, direct and coordinate various types of treatment programs based upon recreation for those who have illnesses, injuries and disabilities. These therapists use many different modalities, which include arts and crafts, music, dance, sports, aquatics and other games. Recreational therapists are important for helping patients to reduce their stress, anxiety and depression, and also to recover basic physical and mental abilities.
Why Earn a Master’s in Health Services?
The biggest reason that professionals are earning a master’s degree in health services and related fields is the sheer number of jobs that will come available soon. It is estimated that there will be a 19% increase in jobs by 2024 in all healthcare occupations. In fact, this job area will add more employment than any other sector.
The major driver of this explosive job growth is that the aging US population is expected to live longer than previous generations. This fact will increase the need for health care services. The recent healthcare insurance reform also will increase the demand for many healthcare services. There are millions of people who have health insurance now who did not have it a decade ago. They will be showing up in doctors offices and seeking treatments in record numbers.
While there will be many more clinical personnel needed to tend to patients, there also will be much more need for administrative and managerial workers. Those who have earned a master’s in health services will have an advantage in gaining those very desirable positions.
Admission requirements for a master’s in health services tend to be the following:
- 3.0 GPA
- Two professional or academic recommendations
- Bachelor’s in a health related field
- Updated resume
- Clinical work experience preferred
- Official transcripts
- Writing samples
Curriculum and Courses
If you are interested in a career in health and healthcare services, you may want to consider the Master of Science in Healthcare Services Management from Rutgers University. This two year online program will provide you with the insight, expertise and tools that you need to work successfully in the health services world.
This is a multidisciplinary and innovative health care administration program. It will offer you a business oriented and healthcare oriented curriculum that will improve your leadership skills. Also, you will develop a more data driven process orientation. This will help you to guide provider managers will the help they need to reduce costs and improve patient care quality.
This is a program with only 36 credits and can be easily molded to fit your schedule. Students who work only part time may be able to complete the degree in a single year.
This program is well suited for someone who is transitioning from clinical care to consulting, or wishes to do so.
Required coursework includes:
- US Healthcare Systems & Managed Markets
- Healthcare Services Management
- Data Analysis & Decision Making
- Healthcare Legal and Ethics
- Accounting for Managers
- Healthcare Operations Analysis
- Management Skills – Professional Development
- Healthcare Innovation and Technology Management
- Healthcare Marketing
- Lean Six Sigma
- Healthcare Finance
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Potential job titles in this master’s program include:
- Program manager
- Medical records manager
- Health services manager
- Healthcare administrator
- Health program manager
- Compliance manager
Job and Salary Outlook
- Medical and Health Services Manager — This field will experience above average job growth with 17% increase to occur by 2024. More people are retiring and living longer and healthier, which will increase the overall demand for health care services. This also is increasing the need for effective healthcare administrators to oversee new medical facilities and practitioners’ offices. It is expected that doctors offices will see particularly higher demand as more medical services are performed on an outpatient basis. The median salary as of 2015 was $94,500.
- Recreational Therapist — This field will see 12% increase in jobs by 2024, which is about average. More people are living longer, so there is more need for recovery services for older people who have suffered from stroke, Alzheimer’s arthritis and other chronic conditions. Recreational therapy can do a great deal of good for both the body and mind in rehabilitating patients. These services also help older people to stay healthier and more active for longer. Median salary is $45,800.
- Social and Community Service Manager — There will be a growth rate in 10% for jobs in this field by 2024, which is about average. As with the other jobs in this category, there are more older adults living longer, so there is more need for social services, such as meal delivery and adult day care. Managers who are skilled in running these programs will be greatly needed to meet the higher demand. Job demand will be most acute in industries that provide services to the elderly. Median salary is $63,000.
Scholarships and Grants
- US Army: If you are serving part or full time in the US Army, you may be able to qualify for a scholarship to earn your master’s degree in a healthcare field.
- Johns Hopkins University: Earn your master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University and you can get many scholarships and grants.
- American Public Health Association: This organization is dedicated to the advancement of public health and to advance the public health careers of its 75,000 members.
- American College Health Association: This association is focused on the health of college students and the professionals who work at college campuses around the country.