Do you think you have what it takes to go through a degree in health care management? May be not, but simply knowing how the whole health care management system works will enable you to understand the system and how you can choose a good health care insurance. Or who knows, this may be the best path that will take you to your success.
Health care management is becoming well-known as people tend to prioritize their health. More and more people especially those reaching senior years are demanding proper health care. As the government focuses on the health of its citizen, the more they need people to work with a degree in health care management.
A degree in health care management is a type of business degree awarded to students who have finished a college, university, or business school program with a focus on health care management. A degree of some kind is almost always required to work in the health care management field. There are some entry-level positions that can be obtained with a diploma, certificate, on-the job training, or work experience. However, it will be much easier to pursue and secure most management, supervisory, and executive positions with some type of degree in health care, business, or health care management.
A bachelor degree is the most common requirement for a health care manager, health services manager, or medical manager. However, many people in this field also hold a master degree. Associate degree and PhD degree holders are less common but can be found working in many different positions.
Although the curriculum in a degree in health care management program can vary depending on the level you are studying at as well as the school you attend, there are some topics you can expect to study while earning your health care management degree. These topics include ethical issues, finance, accounting, health services, management, and legal issues related to health care. To fully understand the different degree in health care management, here are the lists which are arranged on levels form lowest to highest.
- Associate Degree in Health Care Management – An associate degree program in health care management typically focuses more on general education courses but will also include several classes devoted specifically to health care management. These programs usually take two years to complete. After earning an associate degree, you could seek entry-level employment in the health care management field or go on to pursue a bachelor degree in health care management or a related area.
- Bachelor Degree in Health Care Management – A bachelor degree in health care management will take approximately four years to complete. While enrolled in the program, you will take a core set of general education courses in addition to courses focused on health care management topics. A bachelor’s degree is enough for some entry-level positions in health administration, a few senior-level positions in smaller operations, and for some middle management jobs in larger organizations. Many schools and colleges offer undergraduate degrees with a concentration in health services management. The purpose of a baccalaureate education in this area is to provide the initial education for professional careers in health services management. The Association of University Programs in Health Administration provides a list of undergraduate programs that are certified to provide undergraduate health administration education. However, an undergraduate degree in health services management is not required to become a health services manager or to enter into a health administration graduate program. Degrees in other areas, such as business, nursing, or liberal arts, may also qualify you.
- Master Degree in Health Care Management – A master degree in health care management focuses specifically on health care management topics. Depending on the program you attend, you may have the opportunity to choose your electives so that you can specialize in a particular area of health care management. Most master programs take two years to complete. However, there are accelerated MBA programs available through some business schools. A master’s degree is required for almost every position in the healthcare management field. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education provides a list of accredited graduate health administration programs. In the past, most students chose the traditional route of a master’s degree in health administration or public health. Today, however, students are investigating other options, including graduate degrees in business and public administration, with course concentration in health services management. Some schools offer a joint degree—a master’s degree in both business administration and public health, or in both healthcare management and law, for example. Graduate programs generally last two years and lead to a master’s degree. They include course work in healthcare policy and law, marketing, organizational behavior, healthcare financing, human resources, and other healthcare management topics. This program may also include a supervised internship, residency, or fellowship.
- Doctorate Degree in Health Care Management – A doctorate degree program in health care management involves intense study, a great deal of research, and a thesis. These programs usually take three to five years to complete. However, program length can vary.
There are many different types of careers that can be pursued with a degree in health care management. Every health care operation needs someone in supervisory positions to handle administrative tasks and other employees. You could choose to become a general health care manager. You may also decide to specialize in managing specific types of health care organizations, such as hospitals, senior care facilities, physician’s offices, or community health centers. Some other career options may include working in health care consulting or education. With a degree in Health Care Management, you have different job opportunities such as:
- Medical Office Manager – Medical office managers, also known as medical practice managers and medical office administrators, oversee daily operations in a medical practice. They may be responsible for scheduling, staffing, supervising employees, supply ordering and inventory, and accounts receivable and payable.
- Health Services Manager – Health services managers, also known as health care managers and medical managers, oversee operations and employees at health care facilities. Depending on the size of the facility, responsibilities may include employee supervision, financial management, risk management, record management, and communications management.
- Health Information Manager – Health information managers oversee the maintenance and security of patient records. Their responsibilities may include securing databases, maintaining confidentiality, and communicating changes in health care laws and regulations.
- Health Care Project Manager – Health care project managers are increasingly in demand. These professionals are charged with overseeing specific projects and teams. They may be responsible for project planning, scheduling, budgeting, risk management, and much more.
Whatever career you may wish to pursue, it is always better to make sure that you choose what is the most suitable for you. Passion normally comes from a complete knowledge on something that you do. To be able to love what you do, make sure you know you can overcome any obstacles that may come your way or at least be ready to anything that may come along. With that, you may need to consider some of these tips before pursuing a degree in health care management.
- Learn more about healthcare management careers. Talk to professionals in the field, visit career planning Web sites, tour a nearby hospital or other healthcare facility, or participate in a healthcare-focused volunteer program.
- Read about healthcare. You can find interesting articles in local newspapers, national magazines such as Newsweek and Time, and trade publications such as Healthcare Executive, Frontiers of Health Service Management, Journal of Healthcare Management, or Modern Healthcare. Visit university libraries.
- Investigate many educational programs. Discuss your interest in a healthcare administration career with a guidance counselor and ask for help in identifying appropriate colleges. Check out both undergraduate and graduate programs as well as financing opportunities such as scholarships and financial aid. For information about financial aid call the Federal Student Financial Aid Information Center at (800) 433-3243.