Students exploring healthcare administration programs can look forward to a number of employment opportunities across several kinds of workplaces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare administrative opportunities are growing faster than most careers, with jobs available in nursing homes, group practices, and hospitals.
Professional Healthcare Organizations
Prospective students can find academic funding opportunities, such as merit-based scholarships and grants, with honors societies like Upsilon Phi Delta and university-based chapters. Current professionals can gain upward mobility within their fields by pursuing healthcare certification credentials with some of the following organizations.
- Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society - This academic society was founded in 1965 to recognize strong academic performance within healthcare administration studies. This organization is a subsection of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. Students can find details about several scholarship opportunities on the UPD website, including awards like the Corris Boyd Scholars Program, the Bugbee Falk Book Award, and ACHE-sponsored scholarships.
- The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) - AUPHA serves as a resource for prospective students, current scholars, faculty members, and departmental leaders. This organization has extensive online databases of healthcare administration programs and career opportunities. Members can also take professional certification exams in order to gain AUPHA undergraduate certification.
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP) - AHCAP is one of the main certification agencies for healthcare professionals. Those who pass the examination process earn a cHAP designation, which shows employers that you have a knowledge base and skill set that meets AHCAP standards and regulations. Members gain access to exclusive publications, career boards, and forums. AHCAP hosts an annual networking conference and webinars for continued professional growth.
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) - AAHAM provides multiple professional certification programs for leaders in healthcare administration. Some of these credentials include the Certified Revenue Cycle Executive (CRCE) and the Certified Compliance Technician (CCT). Members gain access to management training, periodicals, seminars, and conferences.
- Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA) - The HCAA was established in 1980 in California, dedicated to members from multiple disciplines that work in healthcare administration. This organization regularly posts job and sponsorship opportunities. Members can also pursue the Certified Self Funding Specialist credential, for professionals who wish to work with self-funded health care plans.
Open Healthcare Courseware
Brush up on healthcare policies, history, and management techniques by enrolling in an open course. Several well-known academic institutions provide courses that supplement healthcare administration studies, free of charge. Keep in mind that these course do not provide participants with credentials or credits upon completion.
- Population Medicine - This course was led in 2006 by Tufts University instructors Richard Glickman-Simon, Ruth Palombo, Richard Dupee, and Margo Woods. They train healthcare professionals to look at the big picture, examining the health of a population as a whole. This can help administrators revise policies and advocate for changes that benefit a society, rather than a few individual patients.
- History of Public Health - This is a course provided by the John Hopkins University, led by Professor Graham Mooney. Like the "Population Medicine" course listed above, students will tackle the history of healthcare from a public health perspective, analyzing this field's impact on societies, rather than individuals. This course will give students important insight into how our healthcare systems evolved into their current iterations.
Open Access Healthcare Journals
Stay in touch with current developments in healthcare policy, legislation, insurance policies, and leadership styles by reading through these academic and professional journals. Most of these periodicals contain articles that address current workspace challenges and academic concerns.
- Journal of Healthcare Leadership (JHL) - This annual periodical was first released in 2009, with an editorial board hailing from multiple states and countries worldwide. The JHL welcomes manuscripts that deal with healthcare policy, risk management, leadership processes, and ethical issues within healthcare environments. Authors must pay a publishing processing fee if their work is accepted into this journal.
- Journal of Hospital Administration (JHA) - The first volume and issue of the JHA was released in 2012, with an editorial team based in several international locations. This periodical publishes articles pertaining to patient safety, healthcare challenges, insurance, hospital facilities, and public health. Authors can submit their manuscripts and publishing fees online via the JHA website.
- Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research - This is the oldest journal included in this list. It was founded in September 1973, with six issues published every year. This makes it an excellent resource for healthcare administration professionals who want the most up-to-date information on policy and workflow developments. This journal welcomes articles about healthcare administration practices, reviews, and letters to the editor that pertain to the field of mental health.
- Administrative Issues Journal - This is a relatively young healthcare administration journal, launching back in 2011. It is managed by Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and welcomes papers regarding many different types of administration, including business, healthcare, education, and nursing. SWOSU hosts annual conferences for participating school representatives to gather together, network, and discuss their articles.
These books can help students find a specialization within the field of healthcare administration, such as a finance or legal emphasis. Some of these books serve as excellent reference materials, addressing fundamental concepts in healthcare administration.
- Healthcare Finance: An Introduction to Accounting and Financial Management - This textbook covers several fundamentals of healthcare administration and finance, including medical coding, provider taxes, and fund accounting. New editions are released to keep up with current health care reform and legislation. Author Louis Gapenski covers managerial accounting topics such as cost classifications, operating leverage, and profit analysis. This is an excellent primer for health administration professionals who specialize in financial operations.
- Essentials of Managed Health Care - Peter Kongstvedt delves into the complicated history of health insurance in the United States, explaining different insurance systems and detailing various governance systems. Readers will learn about the importance of utilization management, ancillary services, and claims processing. This enormous volume covers managed health care systems from A to Z.
- Management Principles for Health Professionals - This textbook is available in both print and digital formats. Joan Liebler and Charles McConnell have written a comprehensive guide for healthcare managers. They break down the hierarchy of the health care administration system, explore major shifts in technology, and address the role of healthcare administrators now that the Affordable Care Act has changed the insurance landscape. They describe the many facets of this industry, addressing suppliers, advisers, clients, controllers, and adversaries within their own sections.
- The Law of Healthcare Administration - If you're looking for a definitive legal reference book for healthcare administration, this is probably the book for you. J. Stuart Showalter delves into the history of our legal system, health reform processes, medical contracts, negligence cases, and the role that healthcare administration plays in an organization.
Online Healthcare Magazines
Aspiring health managers can get a well-rounded sense of future industry changes and work environments by keeping an eye on these digital periodicals. You can access interviews, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes content in video and audio format - a major advantage over print publications.
- Managed Care - This online magazine posts articles in several categories, including news, commentary, Q&A, and management. Managed Care's target audiences are PPOs, health care groups, TPAs, hospitals, and HMOs, welcoming articles on biotechnology and medicine. Managed Care even has their own Vimeo channel, which is dedicated to recording expert interviews.
- Modern Healthcare - This is an extensive online magazine that explores several healthcare topics, such as finance, government legislation, IT concerns, economic stimulus, and healthcare reform. Unlike many of the other magazines mentioned here, Modern Healthcare has a dedicated op-ed section for professional surveys and observations.
- Healthcare Informatics - This periodical is dedicated to the tech side of healthcare, exploring issues such as disaster data recovery, tech refresh schedules, health record databases, and clinical documentation. These are extremely vital considerations, since the healthcare industry has experienced a dramatic shift to digital records. This magazine can help students address "what if" questions about technology, and come up with solid backup and security strategies.
- Medscape - This healthcare publication is run by WebMD, one of the premier medical reference sources online. Medscape contains features on an impressive range of specialties, including allergies, emergency medicine, public health, and dental health. The News section is a great spot to catch up on FDA developments, medication concerns, and medical research reports.
Blogs can help you keep tabs on federal healthcare reform updates and give you the inside scoop on the experiences of current healthcare professionals. Some blogs listed below act as a window into a hospital's daily operations. Blogs give authors an opportunity to connect on a more human level, breaking away from the business and science of healthcare administration.
- Healthcare.gov Official Blog - Keep tabs on the newest developments surrounding the Affordable Care Act and Healthcare.gov. The federal government keeps this blog updated with major UI changes, marketplace updates, deadlines, and legislative news.
- Fierce Healthcare - This is a comprehensive healthcare blog that addresses hospital leadership, industry news, union campaigns, software solutions, and IT concerns. This blog is distributed by FierceMarkets, bringing the publication to thousands of readers via email newsletters and RSS feeds.
- Healing Hospitals - Nick Jacobs has over two decades of experience in hospital management. His blog deals with administrative leadership concerns in the age of the Affordable Care Act. He also delves into population health analysis, healthcare app reviews, and hospital IT issues. Jacobs often takes his management advice on the road, delivering talks at conferences hosted by the World Health Organization and the American College of Healthcare Executives.
- Not Running a Hospital- This blog chronicles the professional experiences of Paul Levy, the former CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His blog is extremely high-profile, since he started it in 2006 while working at the executive level. Levy is an active voice in reducing hospital deficits, process improvement, and cost effective care.
Who to Follow on Twitter
Twitter gives healthcare students and professionals the opportunity to ask leaders questions directly. The following Twitter accounts serve as excellent hubs for breaking industry news and interaction. These groups and individuals provide a look at the healthcare system from a personal level all the way up to the federal level.
- @GiaSison - Dr. Gia Sison is one of the leading female voices in healthcare, placing an emphasis on breast cancer awareness, international healthcare news, and medical news. She is intimately familiar with the healthcare system from the perspective of a patient's experience, since she is a breast cancer survivor herself. Dr. Sison frequently engages with her followers in conversations via Twitter.
- @Healthcare.gov - Keep tabs on the newest additions to the federal healthcare website by following them on Twitter. They regularly post deadline updates, links to informational livestreams, and coverage updates. Their social media team also posts current enrollment numbers and statistics.
- @DrHubaEvaluator - Dr. George Huba is one of the most well-known healthcare news sources on Twitter. He shares links to current healthcare administration news, disease updates, and insurance developments with an audience of over 60,000 followers. Dr. Huba currently serves at the CEO for the Measurement Group, a company that evaluates social and health services.