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Healthcare Administration Schools and Training Programs

As with any type of business, the business of medical care requires trained management personnel. Health services and health care managers are responsible for planning and coordinating healthcare delivery. Some health care administrators are specialists, supervising a specific practice area or department, while others are generalists, responsible for an entire health care facility.

Health Care Administration and Management Careers

Health care administrators face unique challenges due to the changing nature of patient care, and the expected increase in the need for health care services when baby boomers retire. Health care delivery is affected by numerous regulatory concerns that must be addressed. Managers are under constant pressure to hold down costs, and must work to improve efficiency and increasingly rely on techniques such as managed care and outpatient services.

Healthcare managers have to be good decision makers. They frequently have responsibility for a physical plant with expensive, specialized equipment, and hundreds or thousands of employees. An understanding of finance, information systems, human relationships and leadership skills is essential to a successful career.

Roles of Healthcare Managers in Different Sized Facilities

In large health care facilities, such as hospitals, several assistant administrators will be in charge of areas such as surgery, therapy, and nursing. Other assistants may be responsible for medical records and health information services. There will also be other managerial personnel in non-health-care-related areas. Smaller facilities, such as nursing homes, will have a senior manager with responsibilities for most operational areas.

Part of the consolidation of the health care industry involves multiple physicians establishing a group practice. In smaller practices, administrative duties are frequently assigned to a medical office manager, who will coordinate patient relations, order supplies, and manage insurance reimbursement, billing, and financing. In group practices with more than 10 physicians, a full-time administrator is used to run the business operations. In the largest of group practices, a chief administrator may have several assistants, each one assigned to a specific area, such as patient flow, financing, or purchasing.

The work of health care managers and administrators can be demanding. Because many facilities are open around the clock, an administrator can be called in at any time to solve a problem. Despite the long hours, however, a career in health care management can be very rewarding.

Health Care Administration Training and Educational Requirements

Managers of healthcare facilities must be familiar with standard business management practices and procedures, along with the specific requirements of health care delivery. While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry-level positions at the department level, or in smaller practices, a master's degree is the standard educational requirement for senior-level generalists in most larger facilities. The degree may be an MBA, or a degree in public health, health services administration, health sciences, or public administration -- and can be earned from traditional or online grad schools.

Clinical managers, whose responsibilities include departmental administration, typically have training in the clinical area they supervise. For example, the director of a hospital's surgery department will usually be a surgeon. In this case, a graduate degree in health services administration would increase the individual's advancement potential.

Training in healthcare administration is offered by colleges and universities at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. To be admitted to a graduate degree program, either an undergraduate degree in business or health, or a degree in the liberal arts with experience in the healthcare field are preferred.

Most graduate programs take between two and three years to complete. Programs may be general in nature, covering all types of health care delivery, or they may be specific to one type of facility, such as hospitals or mental health facilities. Coursework typically includes training in hospital management, marketing, accounting, health economics, and health information systems.

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs can start their careers as assistant department heads or administrative assistants in larger facilities, or as department heads in smaller facilities. Graduates of master's level programs may start either in managerial or staff positions, depending on experience and the size of the organization.

Employment in Health Care Administration and Management Positions

Approximately 283,500 medical and health services managers were employed in 2008, with 38% working in hospitals, 19% in nursing or personal care facilities or doctor's offices and clinics, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). The remainder were employed by the government, dental facilities, or other locations.

Medical and health services managers earned an average of $93,670 per year in 2010, the bls.gov reports. The top 10 percent earners in this occupation make an average of $144,880 per year, while the bottom 10 percent makes $51,280. Pay tends to be higher in hospitals, and lower in nursing homes and other personal care facilities. The size of the health care facility and the responsibilities of the employee affects earnings as well.

Employment Growth for Healthcare Management Positions

Health care management employment is expected to grow faster than average: 16 percent from 2008 to 2018 (bls.gov, 2010). Growth will be particularly high in home health care, long term care, and managed care operations. Senior management positions in hospitals will grow more slowly as health care delivery moves towards more outpatient visits and shorter stays.

This move towards outpatient services, plus improved medical technology, will drive employment in group practices and residential facilities. These facilities will become larger and more complex, and will require experienced managers to maintain profitability and control costs.

Additional Information for Healthcare Management Degree Pursuers Found on Health-Care-Careers.org:
Medical Coding and Billing Training Program

Additional Resources for Healthcare Management School Prospects:
Healthcare Administration Association
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals Organization

Campus and Online Healthcare Administration Schools

 
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GWU-Pub Health

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Washington
Programs:
  • Executive Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Public Health
Quick Summary: MPH@GW is the online Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

Grand Canyon University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Phoenix
Programs:
  • Ed. D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Health Care Administration
  • M.S. in Health Care Administration
  • M.B.A.: Health Systems Management
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Capella University

[Online]
Programs:
  • MHA - Health Care Operations
  • MHA - Health Administration
  • BS - Health Care Administration Leadership
  • More
Quick Summary: The world of health care is changing rapidly - will you stay ahead? Explore degree options at Capella University.

Keiser University

[Online]
Programs:
  • Associate of Arts in Health Services Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Health Services Administration
Quick Summary:

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.


Platt College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Healthcare Management
  • Medical Administrative Specialist
Quick Summary: Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

Liberty University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Lynchburg
Programs:
  • Doctor of Business Administration: Healthcare Management
  • MS in Exercise Science: Community Physical Activity
  • Master of Science: Healthcare Administration
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California College San Diego

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Healthcare Administration (BS)
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Florida Tech

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Melbourne
Programs:
  • Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Healthcare Management
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National Career College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Panorama City
Programs:
  • Medical Healthcare Administration Program
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Regis College

[Online]
Programs:
  • Online Master of Health Administration
Quick Summary:

Regis is a leading Catholic university in greater Boston with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in the arts, sciences and health professions devoted to engage, serve and advance in a global community.


Northcentral University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • San Diego
Programs:
  • Health Care Administration - D.B.A.
  • Health Care Administration - PhD in Bus. Admin.
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
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West Coast University

[Online]
Programs:
  • MPH - Master of Public Health (Online)
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Argosy University

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Business Administration - Healthcare Management (BS) (Online)
  • Public Health (MPH)
Quick Summary:

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.


Concordia University Nebraska

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Seward
Programs:
  • MHA - Master of Healthcare Administration : Leadership
  • Master of Public Health - Health Policy and Administration
  • MHA - Master of Healthcare Administration : Population Health
Quick Summary:

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader.


Ashford University

[Online]
Programs:
  • MA/Health Care Administration
  • BA/Health Care Administration
  • BA/Health Care Administration - Long-Term Care Management
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