The United States spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare in 2018. As the population continues to age, experts expect the field of healthcare to see expanded employment opportunities across the country.
Medical and health services managers work in hospitals, physicians' offices, and other health-related facilities. They help ensure efficient office operations, from staffing of clinical areas to processing insurance payments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 18% job growth for these managers between 2018 and 2028.
A bachelor's degree in healthcare management prepares graduates to succeed in this growing field. Read on to learn more about the skills developed while earning a healthcare management degree and the career opportunities available after graduation.
What Is Healthcare Management?
Healthcare management refers to the application of business principles to organizations or industries that provide healthcare services. While healthcare managers may have little contact with patients or medical providers, their jobs impact the quality of care and service provided by a facility.
In addition to budgeting and finance skills, healthcare managers need skills related to human resources, marketing, and computer information systems. They must also understand how healthcare policy impacts their facility and its employees.
Healthcare managers can pursue a general degree or specialize in a specific management area like finance, quality assessment, or human resources.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Healthcare Management Programs of 2020?
|1||University of St Francis||Joliet, IL|
|2||Colorado State University||Greenwood Village, CO|
|3||University of Oklahoma||Norman, OK|
|4||Southeast Missouri State University||Cape Girardeau, MO|
|5||Mercy College of Ohio||Toledo, OH|
|6||University of Maryland - Global Campus||Adelphi, MD|
|7||Bellevue University||Bellevue, NE|
|8||Champlain College||Burlington, VT|
|9||University of Minnesota - Crookston||Crookston, MN|
|10||Anderson University||Anderson, SC|
Should I Get a Bachelor's in Healthcare Management?
Individuals who earn a bachelor's degree in healthcare management develop core business skills in accounting, marketing, and human resources. Coursework also prepares students to address the healthcare industry's unique needs, covering topics like electronic health records implementation, insurance payment processing, and quality care policy reforms.
A bachelor's degree in healthcare management can lead to lucrative and in-demand careers. The BLS projects 18% job growth for medical and health services managers between 2018 and 2028. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $100,980.
Some programs offer concentrations in areas like information technology, leadership, and policy. Each concentration leads to specific career opportunities in medical facilities and/or with the businesses that serve those medical facilities.
What Will I Learn in a Healthcare Management Graduate Program?
Each school develops its curriculum to align with the needs of the healthcare management industry. The courses and concentrations listed below are common examples that you may encounter while pursuing a bachelor's degree in healthcare management.
Most programs include a core business curriculum. Some schools also offer internships and other fieldwork opportunities.
- Healthcare Policy
This course introduces students to local, state, and federal healthcare policy, including reform under the Affordable Care Act. Assignments prepare students to complete thorough healthcare policy analysis while taking into account the interests of public health and individual rights.
- Healthcare Safety and Quality
This course provides an overview of safety and quality care analysis, as well as intervention strategies. Students review the evolution of quality care and how quality initiatives relate to modern healthcare policy.
- Information Technology and Systems for Healthcare
This course introduces learners to information management systems in healthcare settings. Students learn to evaluate system limitations and benefits to provide a benefit analysis. Coursework also focuses on challenges in implementing electronic health records.
- Healthcare Organization and Management
This class looks at corporate and government structures for healthcare organizations in the U.S., covering professional roles, models of service delivery, and public policy reform. Students also explore theories and principles related to human resources, facility management, and strategic planning.
- Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare
Students evaluate and explore ethical considerations related to staffing, patient concerns, biomedical ethics, and fiscal and ethical decision-making. Coursework often features case reviews, team presentations, and reading assignments.
- Public Health Administration
This concentration considers how public health agencies can impact patient and community health. Students also develop public speaking and marketing skills. Graduates can find work in public health agencies and nonprofit organizations.
- Healthcare Law and Policy
This concentration focuses on the delivery of healthcare in the U.S. and the legal and regulatory issues that impact organizations. Graduates can work in healthcare systems, public health agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
- Healthcare Management
Students in this concentration develop skills in human resource management, facility management, and strategic management. Learners study finance and economics while also learning about healthcare regulations. Graduates can find work in hospitals, clinical departments, and physicians' offices.
- Health Informatics
This concentration combines computer science and business management, preparing graduates to administer information technology systems in a healthcare setting. Courses include information security, data analytics, and computer science.
- Healthcare Finance
In this concentration, students cover the economics and financing of healthcare, including insurance and private payments. Courses in financial analysis, accounting, and managerial financing help students navigate the complex system of healthcare financing. Graduates can find work as financial officers and executives in healthcare organizations.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Healthcare Management?
Many industries need the business and healthcare expertise students gain while earning an on-campus or online bachelor's degree in healthcare management. Healthcare offices, medical centers, and large healthcare systems hire graduates for various management roles.
Graduates may also find their skills in demand at companies that serve the healthcare industry, such as insurance companies, medical technology developers, and government agencies.
- Medical and Health Services Managers
Employed by physicians' offices, clinics, and hospitals, these managers ensure efficient and quality healthcare through proper hiring, scheduling, and budgeting. They prepare annual budgets and ensure regulatory compliance. They can also work in nursing or residential care facilities, government agencies, and outpatient care centers.
Median Annual Salary: $100,980
- Financial Managers
Financial managers may take on positions like controller, financial officer, treasurer, or credit manager. They prepare financial statements and monitor legal financial reporting requirements. They evaluate reports to identify cost savings and analyze market trends for business expansion.
Median Annual Salary: $129,890
- Computer and Information System Managers
These managers evaluate networks and hardware to ensure security and efficiency, recommending upgrades when necessary. They oversee the installation and maintenance of information systems, establish security protocols, and provide support and training to the overall organization. They often supervise a team of technicians and analysts.
Median Annual Salary: $146,360
- Administrative Service Managers
These managers oversee clerical and administrative staff, establish department goals and deadlines, and monitor department budgets. Facility managers ensure that facilities remain in good condition, monitoring maintenance plans and evaluating the need for upgrades or expansions.
Median Annual Salary: $96,940
- Management Analysts
Management analysts set long-term goals. They consider current and anticipated organizational needs and problems and devise procedures or projects that address those issues. Their plans include comprehensive reviews of cost-benefit analysis, equipment and personnel needs, and organizational changes.
Median Annual Salary: $85,260
How to Choose a Healthcare Management Bachelor's Program
Many schools offer healthcare-focused degrees in business and management. Selecting the best school for your needs requires a thorough review of available courses, a school's reputation, and cost.
Your degree should align with your career objectives. Consider the concentrations, electives, and complementary minors available at each prospective school.
If you already have some college experience, look at an institution's transfer policies. Transfer credits can reduce tuition costs and the time you must spend finishing your degree. Some schools also award transfer credit based on professional and military training.
Consult this ranking of the top online degrees in healthcare management to learn more.
How to Get Into a Healthcare Management Bachelor's Program
Admission requirements vary by school. Typical requirements include a high school or GED diploma and ACT or SAT scores. Schools may also consider extracurricular activities, community service, and letters of recommendation.
Some colleges or universities also require that applicants gain separate admission into the school of business or management before taking upper-division courses. To be admitted, candidates may need to meet minimum college GPA requirements — often between 2.5 and 3.0.Read Our Guide to Undergraduate Applications
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's in Healthcare Management?
To earn a bachelor's degree in healthcare management, students typically need to complete 120 credits. Many full-time students complete their degree in four years.
Some schools offer accelerated or self-paced programs. In an accelerated program, students may attend school year-round while taking shorter terms. This schedule allows students to focus on 1-2 classes each term. Alternatively, self-paced programs may allow students to move on to the next course after demonstrating competency of course objectives.
Several organizations offer professional certifications tailored to specific industries or roles in the healthcare management field. These certifications include certified medical manager, certified nursing home administrator, and certified compliance technician credentials. To earn these professional certifications, candidates must meet certain education and work experience benchmarks and pass an exam.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor's in Healthcare Management?
Undergraduate students paid an average of $10,440 for in-state tuition and fees at public universities in 2019-2020. Out-of-state students at these institutions paid $26,820. These figures do not include costs for books, computers, and other supplies.
However, online degrees in healthcare management are often less expensive than on-campus programs, as distance learners do not have to pay for on-campus housing or transportation. Some online programs also allow out-of-state online students to pay in-state tuition.