Oversee and Manage Healthcare Teams
Many people are just born to help others. Some are destined to be doctors, others desire to be nurses. Some do social work and others work in hospitals or treatment centers. But to keep health services flowing, a health administrator manages the daily ins and outs of health care facilities.
There are more than 50 programs in the United States where a person can earn their Master’s in Health Administration. One of these is offered at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas. According to the school’s website, students interested in the Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) must have the following qualifications before applying:
- A conferred bachelor’s degree
- A grade of B or higher in economics, statistics, and managerial accounting or finance
These qualifications are similar in other programs across the United States.
Examples of Courses and Specializations
Once accepted, candidates will complete the following core coursework:
Foundations of Public Health
Introduction to the field of public health and to rural health conditions, issues, professions, organizations, and policies relevant to the health of rural communities.
Principles of Environmental & Occupational Health
Overview of nature and magnitude of environmental and occupational disease; sources of exposure, methods of monitoring and modeling exposure; review of target organs and potential effects of specific chemicals; discussion of workplace hazards and monitoring programs.
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
An overview intended to familiarize students with the basic principles and applications of epidemiological concepts in the study of disease occurrence
Analytical techniques to support managerial decision making in health care.
Public Health Systems
Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing, and delivery of health services and public health systems in the United States.
Introduction to Health Policy & Management
Examining public and private sector institutions responsible for health policy development at the national and state levels, the interaction of national and regional health systems to create and implement rural health policies, and public programs providing health coverage, particularly those targeting rural residents.
Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health
Overview of theories and principles focusing on social and behavioral determinants of health, the social-ecological approach to the examination of health and health behaviors, social patterns of health behavior, and an introduction to health promotion and public health interventions.
Other coursework will round out the candidate’s concentration work:
Strategic Planning and Marketing
Introduction to strategic planning and management in health services organizations. Elements of market assessment, environmental analysis, and strategy development are presented.
Management of Human Resources
Introduction to the range of human resources issues facing the health delivery system administrator, from benefits to grievances, and human resources management in health organizations.
Health Care Quality Evaluation & Utilization Management
Provides an overview of evolving health delivery system quality mechanisms, and approaches for maximizing quality control in health care organizations.
Organized around the types of tactical and operational decisions made by health care operations managers.
Health Care Financial Management
An overview of health financing and techniques for financial management in health services settings. This course also examines major sources of public and private health services funding.
Health Information Management Systems
Introduces computer-based information systems, architectures, and applications in the management of health services organizations.
Health Law and Ethics
Covers torts, contract law, corporate liability, malpractice, key federal and state regulations, and records management relative to health care. Important health case law is discussed. Ethical considerations are discussed as they relate to the law and management of health delivery systems
Health Policy and Politics
This course examines public and private sector institutions responsible for health policy development at the national and state levels, the interaction of national and regional health systems to create and implement rural health policies, and public programs providing health coverage, particularly those targeting rural residents
Introduction to Health Economics
Basic concepts in economic theory and analysis applied to health care delivery in the United States. The course addresses supply and demand issues for health services, reimbursement systems, and health insurance.
Health Systems Leadership (Capstone)
Provides an opportunity to integrate essential content presented in health policy and management curriculum by assessing issues confronted by health service organizations leaders, and employing tools acquired in prior courses to address the issues.
Field placement experience where students work closely with a departmental faculty member and (an) appropriate field professional(s) where they can apply skills and techniques acquired through course work.
Once a candidate completes the coursework, they will be ready to start looking for their next position. The MHA offers a wide range of job opportunities in the future. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) and study.com, jobs in the field include the following:
Chief Executive Officer
CEOs are responsible for providing strategic leadership, and working with a board of directors and executive management teams to create and promote long-range goals, plans, and policies.
Chief Operations Officer
COOs provide management oversight for the development of high-quality, cost-effective, and integrated clinical programs within hospitals, as well as exercise management responsibility over the hospital, and ensuring efficient services that are designed to meet the needs of patients, physicians, public, and staff.
Clinic manages are responsible for administrative and sometimes medical duties, including managing clinic staff and day-to-day operations. They hire and train staff as well as develop and maintain budgets for the clinic.
Department or Division Director
While the job responsibilities will vary within each distinct department, general duties include overseeing staff hiring, training, and retention; carrying out necessary policies and procedures; and evaluating staff.
Responsibilities for this job include acting as a liaison between staff and department members, maintaining a safe and secure environment, and providing the necessary tools and equipment needed to maintain the facility.
Health Care Consultant
Consultants often act as management analysts who evaluate the efficiency, profits and structure of the organization. Post evaluation, they report suggestions for improvement to the CEO and COO.
Health Services Manager
Responsibilities of this position include ensuring that healthcare facilities provide the most effective patient care. They plan and manage services in health care facilities, and oversee single departments or complete facilities.
Hospital administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the health care facility. They organize, direct, and coordinate medical and health services in accordance with policies set by a governing board of trustees.
Medical Records Manager
People in this position often supervise, lead, encourage and assess their employees and implement department policies. They conduct job interviews, hire candidates, and train new staff members.
Nurse managers evaluate the performance of staff nurses, provide feedback and mentoring, develop education programs, contribute to professional development for staff, interviews and hires nurses and medical staff, develops budgets, and maintains inventory of all necessary supplies, instruments, equipment, and medications.
Nursing directors supervise the nursing staff and oversee patient care, as well as administrative functions like record keeping and budgeting.
Employees in this position act as a liaison between clinical staff and patients. A healthcare operations manager oversees the daily functioning of a healthcare facility. This position manages the financial well-being of a healthcare facility, implements policy, and manages the medical and non-medical staff.
CEOs and COOs will make in excess of $180,000 annually if they are working for a large health care organization. Department managers and directors garner a salary of approximately $100,000 annually in large organizations.
Administrators, records managers, and consultants average a salary of $90,000 annually with a Master's in Health Administration.
The outlook for employment in the health care field is continually growing. The OOH predicts the field will grow at a rate of 20% per year over the next ten years.
For nurses, medical assistants, or others in the field looking to expand their future opportunities, obtaining a Master’s in Health Administration may be a great choice.