Health care (or healthcare) management has evolved as a distinct profession with the advent of managed health care. Twenty five years ago, the only health care administrators in the field were hospital administrators and public health executives. Now there are management positions in the health care industry that are developing as the industry is evolving. As an example, there are degrees available today that specialize in the management of health care information technology. Personal health care records are subject to important privacy restrictions and are often kept in electronic form. Moreover, they are transferred with regularity as health insurance coverage increasingly dictates who and where your health care provider is going to be.
Because it is an evolving profession, many people who enter health care are doing so as a choice of career change. They are often working adults who see an opportunity in the business, or people who came into the healthcare industry at the entry-level and wish to move up. For people in this position and for college- age students who must work, online colleges provide an excellent alternative to the traditional, campus-based course of study.
For the most part, management positions are going to require at least a bachelor’s degree. There are some jobs, such as medical office management, that are open to people with an associate’s degree or who have completed an intensive course of study on the specific job function and received certification for the position. An example of these intensive, certificate-oriented programs can be found at Everest College, an institution with nine campuses and an extensive online program. They offer certification courses in medical assistant; medical administrative assistant; medical insurance billing/coding; and an associate’s degree in medical assistant as well.
Warren National University offers online degree programs in health administration at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate level. They also offer people who have a bachelor’s degree in science with mid-career courses of study to develop areas of expertise in health administration. Those three courses of continuing education include concentration in health care marketing, concentration in human resources management and a concentration in general management.
University of Phoenix Online has a thorough lineup of health administration degrees available, many of them infused with business courses. Their degree programs include:
- Bachelor of Science/Health Administration
- Master of Business Administration/Health Care Management
- Master of Health Administration
- Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing/Health Care Education
- Master of Science in Nursing/Integrative Health Care
- Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration/Health Care Management
- Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Health Administration Doctor of Health Administration
One of these degrees is an MBA with specialization in health care management. Two are dual master’s degrees in nursing; one paired with an MBA and the other with a master’s in health administration. Those programs comprise some serious academic focus on the business side of the health care business. The combination of medical expertise and business training is going to be invaluable in the health administration field, according to projections in a U.S. Department of Labor report.