This article will tell you about health service management degrees, and will describe what types of course that you will study in this program. We also will advise you on how to choose the best health service management degree program and some possible schools to consider.
What Is a Health Services Management Degree?
A health services management degree teaches you the skills and knowledge that you need in the field of health services management, which involves the supervision, coordination and direction and delivery of health care services. Most graduates in this field work in medical, surgical and healthcare facilities. Normally they are are in charge of facility management, or possibly a department or program earlier in their career.
Health services management degrees can be either bachelor’s or master’s, and they both will provide you with a good understanding of the management principles and organization of many types of health care facilities.
Why Earn a Degree in Health Services Management?
The general field of healthcare is growing by leaps and bounds in the United States. It is estimated that healthcare jobs will grow by 19% by 2024, which is a very rapid growth rate. In fact, healthcare occupations will add more jobs than any other type in this time period. The growth of the aging population, and healthcare insurance reform will increase the numbers of people who have healthcare insurance.
As a consequence, there will be more healthcare facilities and departments that need capable and skilled managers and leaders. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the field of medical and health services managers – also referred to as healthcare administrators – will see a 17% increase in job demand by 2024, which is much faster than average. With your health services management degree, you will have the advantage of many jobs to choose from in many US markets.
Medical and health services managers are greatly needed because they help to improve the efficiency and quality of health care service delivery, while managing costs. They also ensure that the facility’s staff is completely up to date and fully compliant with all new laws and regulations.
Also, in a time of increasing healthcare costs, medical and health services managers must effectively manage facility finances, including patient fees and billing. Preparing and monitoring budgets and spending by various departments also are very important to managing the healthcare organization.
With a degree in health services management, you may work in one or more of the following roles in your health care career:
- Nursing home administrator
- Clinical manager
- Health information manager
- Assistant administrator
Regarding pay, medical and health services managers who manage an entire health care department or facility can earn as much as $95,000 per year. That level of compensation is usually for administrators with their master’s degree.
Health Services Management Degree Online Options
You have the opportunity today to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree online with few if any visits to a college campus. But how do you know if the university and program is good for you? Given that you probably will not be visiting the campus before you enroll, it will greatly benefit you to do your homework about your possible college. Keep these factors in mind:
- Is it a fully online or hybrid program? There are some health services management programs that are 100% online, while others may require you to visit campus once or more during the program. Others may have a mixture of online and on campus classes. All of these options are fine, but you need to know up front if any campus visits will be needed.
- Is there a capstone course required? Most master’s programs in this field will require you to complete a capstone that shows you have mastered all of the competencies that are laid out in the program’s curriculum. If your university does require a capstone, you will need to work closely with your faculty capstone advisor to come up with a suitable topic.
- Are your health management classes offered at any time, or do you need to be available at specific times? For students who work and have children, you may need the most flexible degree program possible, where you can take classes when you have time. Taking classes on your own without a ‘class’ of fellow students may feel isolating to some students, so bear this in mind.
- How much interaction is there with your classmates and instructors? Many quality online universities have excellent interaction with plenty of group assignments, group chatting boards, skype sessions with classmates and more.
- How much career services support does the university offer? You should look for a school and program that will assist you in finding work in your area upon graduation.
The online universities we outline below are high quality universities that are fully accredited:
Bachelor of Science – Virginia College
Virginia College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management that will help you to jumpstart your health administration career. This college will allow you to transfer up to 90 credit hours as well, so you may be able to graduate in as little as two years.
This program can be completed full or part time and will enhance your professional skills in health care administration, and it will improve your ability to work in a diverse and growing medical community. Your classes have been designed to provide you with the skills that you need to direct, plan or coordinate health services for all types of medical facilities.
You will learn about how the current healthcare system has evolved, and you will gain new skills in strategic planning, streamlining healthcare operations and accounting procedures and financial management.
Vital topics that are covered include:
- Medical and healthcare terminology
- Healthcare accounting principles
- Mid level manager roles and responsibilities
- Conflict resolution and leadership
- Health care statistics
- Medical ethics and law
- HR management and planning
- Quality care and budgeting
Upon graduation, you will have the leadership skills, business knowledge and understanding of medical processes to be a highly professional manager in a healthcare organization.
Master of Science – University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati offers a Master of Science in MHA Health Administration that contains 39 semester hours, which begins with a 10 hour, 10 course curriculum of core classes. The entire program may be completed online in two years.
This accredited master’s program in health services management and health administration will provide you with the real world knowledge and skills that you need to be a successful health care manager. You will enjoy an individualized curriculum that will prepare you for a high level of competency by giving you a deep understanding of the modern health care industry.
Your core classes will provide you with an excellent introduction and overview to healthcare leadership, management and organizational concepts and principles. You will study readings, lectures, and do many written assignments that deal with different healthcare organizational perspectives and experiences.
Required classes are:
- Health Systems Management 1: Organization & Delivery
- Health Systems Management 2: Principles of Leadership
- Health Care Finance 1: Analysis
- Health Care Finance 2: Decision Making
- Health Care Marketplace 1: Health Economics
- Health Care Marketplace 2: Strategic Success
- Health Policy 1: Health Policy & Regulation
- Health Policy 2: Legal & Ethical Issues
- Health Quality 1: Evidence-Based Decision Making for Managers
- Health Quality 2: Total Quality Management
It is important for your university to be accredited by a respected accreditation body. This shows that the program is of high quality and will be accepted as a quality degree by potential employers. We recommend that your university be accredited by one of the regional accreditation agencies that are approved by the US Department of Education:
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Higher Learning Commission
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities