The online MHA degree is designed for working healthcare professionals who seek advancement in the administrative sector. Specializations in the degree include financial management, human resources, program management, and patient advocacy. But before students enroll into a program, it is essential to understand the MHA Degree Programs fully. In this section, we will walk you through the full details of Online MHA Programs.
Time to complete an online master’s in healthcare administration program
The timeline depends on the number of credit-hours and internships required for graduation, as well as if the master’s student is full-time or part-time. Generally, most online programs take two or three years to complete.
Curriculum in Online MHA Programs
Online MHA course requirements vary by program. Some include on-site internships, some do not. Core coursework can include studies in:
- Health Care Finance
- Strategic Planning
- Organizational Leadership
- Total Quality Management
- Policy and Legislative Development Processes
- Healthcare Law and Ethics
- Medical Informatics
- Health Services Marketing
- Principles of Population Health in Public Health
- Health Informatics
- Health systems management
- Health services management
- Health Law
CAHME Accreditation for Online MHA programs
The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is voluntary for programs and universities. However, a CAHME regional accreditation provides assurance to employers that their programs adhere to strict professional guidelines respected by healthcare employers. It also shows that an MHA-grad didn’t come from a substandard diploma mill. Employers may favor the hiring of candidates who graduate from a CAHME Accredited institution. According to the Commission, over 90 percent of graduates of accredited programs land a healthcare management job within three months following graduation. In January 2015, CAHME announced accreditation for wholly online MHA programs.
It’s important to search each prospective university to determine the quality of the degree program. CAHME reports that just over 80 percent of all programs hold CAHME accreditation. All the programs listed in this guide are CAHME accredited.
These also vary by each program.
- Undergraduate Degree: Generally, online master’s in healthcare administration degree programs require the student to hold a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA.
- Professional Experience: Many expect master’s students to have two years or more of healthcare administrative experience.
- Background: Schools may require a specific performance level on graduate exams. Helpful undergraduate courses include studies in economics, marketing, finance, biological and clinical sciences.
- Letters of Recommendation: Master’s students should compile two to three recommendation letters from former professors and employers familiar with their career objectives, academic advisers and colleagues. Letters should focus on a student’s work ethic, financial/analytical skills, leadership qualities, public health and collaborative skills.
- Statement of Purpose: In most cases, grad students also must submit a personal statement. The essay should address a master’s student’s career objectives, professional experience, reasons for selecting their MHA degree program, and the progression of their interest and education toward their career.
- GRE Test : Some universities require a GRE test score.
Concentrations in Master’s of Healthcare Administration
If you have always envisioned a career in the healthcare field but aren’t quite sure you want to go to medical school, a master’s degree in healthcare administration may be right for you. A health administration degree can open up the opportunities for a wide assortment of career options. Healthcare administration involves the management and supervision of different health systems in our society, including public health systems and hospital networks. There are several concentrations you students can focus on when earning your Master of Healthcare Administration.
Educators in the healthcare industry provide patients with information and help professionals learn new skills and take on more responsibilities within their scope of practice. A Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in education will help individuals learn how to develop a curriculum and assess and evaluate various approaches to teaching and learning. Once you graduate from a program like this, you’re typically ready to provide continuing education to professionals in the healthcare field. You’ll be a leader who knows how to effectively harness the changing trends in the industry and deliver appropriate knowledge to a variety of audiences.
One of the crucial aspects of healthcare administration is dealing with patient information. Privacy is of utmost importance in patient care, and regulations for managing clinical information are constantly developing as the scope of the healthcare industry progresses. A Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in informatics focuses on the organization, storage and use of information such as patient records. With a degree in informatics, you can help medical practices optimize their recordkeeping so patients retain privacy and information is easily accessible, helping the organization runs as efficiently as possible.
The average lifespan has increased in the past century. As more and more seniors are retiring and trying to balance their health with a high-quality lifestyle, more medical providers are necessary to assist them. In fact, the Administration on Aging estimates that in 2060, the number of people aged 65 and older will double from what it was in 2013. Elder care does not just involve medical treatment; it also encompasses aging adults’ physical, emotional and social needs. Individuals completing a Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in gerontology may go on to develop strategies for medical practices that specialize in elder care to humanize the aging process and remain aware of the comprehensive needs of aging adults.
A concentration in operations will provide graduates of a master’s program in health administration with the skills and knowledge to help healthcare organizations reach their goals. It takes much more than skilled medical professionals to run a successful medical practice. Efficiently managing all the moving parts, including employees, patient records, professional knowledge, marketing and finances is required for a fruitful future. When you graduate with a Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in operations, you can go on to direct or manage a healthcare facility, operate in an insurance company or laboratory or work as a healthcare consultant.
A Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in health policy is ideal for individuals who have strong health-related job experience and business administration skills. Health policy is changing quickly, and individuals who are interested in being leaders at the forefront of these changes will excel in a health policy career. Graduates from a program like this can work at medical facilities, consulting firms, federal regulatory agencies and public health agencies to help create solutions for healthcare issues facing society today.