Earning an Online Healthcare Management Bachelor's Degree
Students interested in earning their healthcare management degree online should consider things like which careers the degree prepares you for, salary opportunities, course descriptions, the application process, accreditation, graduation rates, and potential graduate programs. This page will help prepare you by providing everything you need to know before enrolling.
Overview of Healthcare Management Degrees
A bachelor's in healthcare management online teaches students to engage healthcare stakeholders with communication and interpersonal skills, cultural competencies, and effective collaborative practices. The program also teaches students to demonstrate a knowledge of microeconomic, macroeconomic and financial principles.
Healthcare managers work in a variety of different settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, governmental healthcare agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. Online programs prepare students to work in these fields through fully online coursework. The flexibility afforded to students during their online bachelor's in healthcare management allows them to earn their degree while gaining professional experience to enhance their resumes before they graduate.
While each program has its own application process, most bachelor's in healthcare administration programs follow a similar format. Many programs require students to meet a minimum GPA requirement, and they must include high school transcripts or GED information with their application as well as any letters of recommendation requested by the university.
Some programs require students to submit an essay on a specific topic with their application. Essays help admissions teams evaluate students' abilities. Schools may even look at the type of extracurricular or public service experience students have. Anything that sets students apart from other applicants will help during the admissions and application process.
What Will I Learn?
Courses in online healthcare management bachelor's programs vary depending on the college or university, but all programs equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the industry. Students graduate from the program with a broad knowledge-base, preparing them for what they will encounter during their careers in healthcare administration.
In the healthcare economics course, students learn about the standard economic tools and principles healthcare administrators need for effective decision-making within the healthcare industry. Coursework teaches students about government policies, pricing, legislation, market supply and demand, profitability, and risk issues within healthcare economic systems.Human Relations in Administration
Human relations in administration courses teach students effective interaction skills. These skills aid in human resource development and management, resulting in higher productivity. Students learn about communications, motivation, leadership, organizational development, group dynamics, stress and time management, and management by objectives.Healthcare Marketing
This course explores key marketing concepts healthcare leaders need to plan and implement effective marketing strategies. Students learn about the marketing process, how to understand and use needs assessments, how to develop marketing campaigns, and how to evaluate the efficacy of marketing efforts.Healthcare Reimbursement
The healthcare reimbursement course reviews major issues facing the healthcare industry, including the effects of business environments and public policy on healthcare organizations. Students also learn about supply and demand theory, managed care, reimbursement systems, chargemaster management, Medicaid, Medicare, DRG prospective payment, insurance, casemix management, governmental regulations, eligibility, accessibility, budgeting, and planning.Population Health and Cultural Competence
The population health and cultural competence course explores how to take a population-based approach to understanding disease management, health policymaking, and chronic care management. Students learn how behavioral factors and environmental exposures affect a population and how to mitigate these factors.Ethical and Legal Considerations of Healthcare
Students in the ethical and legal considerations of healthcare course look at the role of healthcare policy and legal, regulatory, and quality control in ethical decision-making for healthcare. Students learn different concepts and principles of healthcare policy, ethical conduct, legal control, and regulatory environments to understand how to apply them to different healthcare environments.
What Can I Do with an Online Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Management?
In this section, students can review what skills they will learn in a healthcare management program and how to use them in their potential careers. Each career below requires students to master certain skills. These bachelor's programs ensure students have all the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their careers.
Beyond technical healthcare management knowledge, earning an online bachelor's degree in healthcare management teaches students analytical skills. Students learn how to analyze different situations and problems that can arise. They learn to identify areas for improvement and develop a plan of action to improve. Students also learn how to effectively communicate with patients, business contacts, and employees through writing, always maintaining a level of professionalism.
Problem-solving skills are a key component of healthcare management programs. Healthcare management professionals must maintain the quality of the business and ensure the operations of the facility are running smoothly. These professionals must have the ability to identify a solution and carry it out.
Potential Careers and Salaries
Graduates with their bachelor's in healthcare management online can pursue many career opportunities, some yielding high salary opportunities. Graduates can explore management careers in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, clinics, private practices, nursing homes, and other medical offices. Depending on the scale of work and employees they want to handle daily, the setting they choose to work in can vary. Primary responsibilities across fields typically entail billing and managing company finances, recordkeeping, answering phones, overseeing employees, and administering training and recruiting. A bachelor's in healthcare management online equips students with the skills and knowledge they need for any position in the field.
Health information managers maintain information and regulate record keeping, ensuring all information is transmitted and stored in an ethical and legal manner. Health information managers typically store information electronically, although some do work with paper records. They also work to develop and implement information systems related to health policy.
$54,158 per year
Hospital administrators ensure all hospital operations run smoothly. Hospital administrators also oversee the financial aspects of the hospital which often includes overseeing large staffs of anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand employees. They create plans to outline the goals of the hospital to expand operations when necessary and provide employee training when there are notable gaps or observations denoting a need for improvement.
$89,179 per year
Nursing home administrators work to improve the efficiencies and quality of care delivered within nursing homes. They regularly define and develop goals to improve facilities, recruit and train staff members, and manage all finances of the facility including patients' medical bills and fees.
$87,226 per year
Typically responsible for overseeing a single medical office, medical office managers sometimes oversee multiple locations within the same company, including hospitals and medical clinics. Often, private practices hire them to streamline the functions physicians must perform. These managers oversee the daily operations in the office and handle expenses, schedules, employees, paperwork, and accounts receivable.
$48,286 per year
In charge of planning, directing, and coordinating medical and health services, clinical managers ensure the facilities they work in remain up-to-date on all procedures and relevant laws. They prepare and monitor the company budget and create work schedules.
$69,344 per year
Will I Need a Graduate Degree for a Career in Healthcare Management?
A bachelor's degree in healthcare management provides students with the foundation to pursue a variety of entry-level careers. However, an advanced degree is a good idea for those interested in leadership, mid-level, clinical, or more specialized roles. These roles offer higher salary opportunities and more career advancement possibilities. Professionals with a bachelor's degree can still advance in the field without continuing their education. Many employers hire professionals with a bachelor's in healthcare management and offer promotions based on the time they dedicate to their employer and the quality of the work they deliver. Before making the decision of how far you want to take your education, figure out which career opportunities interest you and what the minimum education and experience requirements are.
Accreditation for Healthcare Management Bachelor's Programs
Accreditation should be one of the key factors students look for when deciding which program to enroll in. There are two main types of accreditation: regional and national. Nationally accredited programs typically get excluded from tuition reimbursement plans even though they often feature lower program costs than regionally accredited programs. The credits from nationally accredited institutions do not easily transfer to other learning institutions and employers often turn down candidates from these programs. Regional accreditation is the most widely accepted form. Regionally accredited program credits easily transfer to other higher learning institutions. These programs qualify for tuition reimbursement plans, and are regulated by accrediting agencies based on region to maintain the highest quality standards. Programmatic accreditation exists in some programs that offer a specialized degree, so healthcare management students may encounter programmatic accreditation at their already regionally-accredited institution. These programs often catch the eye of employers, making candidates stand out.
Healthcare Management Professional Organizations
Graduates who earn their healthcare management degree online should consider joining a professional organization to broaden their career and networking opportunities. Networking opportunities allow members to connect with other professionals to create lasting relationships that can lead to job referrals and professional references. Healthcare management organizations provide members with resources that make their jobs easier and help them develop professionally.
AAHAM is one of the top professional organizations in the healthcare management field. They provide education, networking, certification, and advocacy for healthcare management professionals.
AHIMA is a health management organization that benefits professionals in the field and those interested in joining the field. AHIMA dedicates itself to improving the quality and delivery of healthcare by providing management professionals with the necessary resources, tools, and information to improve their standards of care.
NAHAM focuses on promoting best practices, establishing subject matter expertise among healthcare professionals, and maintaining the highest possible standards. Members of NAHAM enjoy many different opportunities including functions, networking, educational opportunities, and certification options.