Best Online Health Services Administration Degrees
| Staff Writers
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Enrolling in an online health services administration program prepares students for a variety of career paths in medical and health services. Some online health services administration degree-holders work with staff members to drive the highest-quality patient care. Others work with numbers and data.
Aspiring health services administrators should obtain a health services administration degree from an accredited college or university. Full-time students typically complete their bachelor’s degree in four years. Graduates can pursue many different health services administration jobs in various settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals. They can also pursue certification from the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) to advance their careers.
Continuing education requirements vary by position. Professionals may not need to complete any continuing education coursework. However, those in leadership roles may need to complete regular continuing education credits to maintain current licensure.
Health services administrators earn a median annual salary of $104,280, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10% of these professionals earn less than $59,980 per year. The highest 10% earn more than $195,630.
Read on to learn about the best online health services administration degrees, including common courses and certification opportunities.
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Q. What degree do I need to become a health services administrator?
Aspiring health services administrators need a bachelor’s degree in health services administration or a related health field. Employers may require a master of healthcare administration (MHA) or an equivalent degree for graduates who seek upper-level management positions.
Q. What kind of jobs can you get with a health services administrator degree?
Graduates with a degree in health services administration can work as hospital administrators; healthcare office managers; or insurance compliance managers at nursing homes, outpatient care facilities, hospitals, and health agencies.
Q. Is health services administration in demand?
Yes. The BLS projects jobs for medical and health services professionals to grow 32% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the need for healthcare services will stay in demand.
Why Get a Degree in Health Services Administration?
Earning an online health services administration degree can help graduates pursue a variety of career paths. Learners who enjoy leading others and ensuring proper procedures may especially find value in this degree.
Students who enroll in an online program in health services administration can continue their careers while they earn their degree. A flexible schedule allows them to view lectures, participate in classroom discussion boards, and take exams on their own time.
How Much Does a Health Services Administration Degree Cost?
The cost of an on-campus or online health services administration degree varies depending on many factors, including the school type and learners’ residency. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board cost about $17,800 at public institutions and $42,690 at private institutions for the 2017-18 academic year.
Online enrollees typically spend less on their degree than on-campus learners since they do not incur fees for commuting, parking, or living on campus. Online learners also do not pay for campus resources, such as health services. However, online students may need to pay additional fees for their major. The section below outlines these fees, which vary by institution.
Additional Online Student Fees for Health Services Administration
In addition to tuition, prospective online students should budget for books, online course materials, distance learning fees, and graduation fees. Additional technology costs may make up $250 more in fees than students in similar in-person classes.
In 2019-20, students spent an average of $410 on required materials, a slight decrease from the previous year. However, students’ average spending on digital course materials and technology for classes increased by about $105.
Learners should also factor in certification fees. Certification allows students to stay current on healthcare trends and improve their earning potential. Health services administrators do not typically need to complete continuing education coursework. However, earning specialty certifications, such as certified revenue cycle specialist (CRCS) can help them advance their careers. The CRCS full exam costs $100 and section retakes cost $50 each.
To help cover the cost of tuition and fees, learners should research each prospective school’s financial aid options.
How Much Do Health Services Administration Majors Make?
Health services administrators who work in hospitals may recruit and train staff, oversee hospital policy, and supervise policy implementation. They may also manage organizational resources and oversee their facility’s general management. This responsibility level may require certifications or additional education. Health services administration majors may want to pursue an MHA.
Courses in Health Services Administration
An online health services administration degree at the bachelor’s level requires about 120 credits and takes full-time students four years to complete. Learners develop research and analytical skills, learn planning initiatives, and work to solve challenges in the healthcare field. Students develop these skills through projects, class discussions, and exams.
Enrollees may take specialized courses in areas such as long-term care administration, health services policy, and managed care. Learners may also explore key health legislation such as Medicare and Medicaid, cost controls, and regulatory compliance and oversight.
See below for some common courses in health services administration programs.
Introduction to American Health Systems
This course offers a macro look into the structure and operations of the American health system, its subsystems, and components. Enrollees discuss the contemporary issues affecting the hospital system, public health system, finances, and health services delivery systems. The class helps students gain an in-depth understanding of the field.
This course shows learners how to manage health services organizations using data collection techniques, prospective payment systems, and value-based purchasing. The course revolves around strategic plan alignment and regulatory compliance and oversight, with an overall goal to optimize patient care. Learners who prefer the field’s technological side often enroll in this course.
Healthcare Services Policies and Administration
This course discusses regulatory reform and health services policies at the federal, state, and local levels. Learners study the historical process of key health legislation such as Medicare and Medicaid, cost controls, and political factors related to how health policy works in the United States.
How to Become a Health Services Administrator
Aspiring medical and health services managers need at least a bachelor’s degree. Many graduates must attain a master’s degree to apply for administrative roles in hospitals or other healthcare facilities.
Health services administrators can also progress from an associate degree to a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree. Some students also choose to get their Ph.D. in administration.
Those in the field do not necessarily need to major in health services administration or health administration. Many health services administrators boast previous experience as registered nurses or nurse practitioners. Others may earn business degrees as an undergraduate, then tailor their master’s degree toward health services administration.
Certifications and Licensure for Health Services Administration
Certifications can help health services administrators expand their career opportunities and boost their earning potential. Some certifications require specific prerequisites. See below for some potential certifications for health services administrators.
Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist
Individuals involved in managing patient accounts in healthcare may want to take the CRCS exam. Revenue cycle staff can prove their knowledge of patient access, billing, account resolution, denial management, and customer service. The exam helps current professionals update their registration, billing, and credit and collections knowledge. Candidates need at least one year of experience in the field to take the exam.
Mid-level supervisors and managers can take the CRCP exam. The test covers billing, credit, and collections, as well as key components of revenue cycle management. Candidates need two years of experience in a healthcare-related field or an associate degree from an accredited institution.
Senior and executive leaders in the healthcare revenue cycle industry can take the CRCE, which designates a mastery of the art of revenue cycle management. National AAHAM members with at least four years in a healthcare-related field can take the exam. A two-year associate degree or a degree from an accredited university or college can substitute for a lack of experience.
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