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Best Online Degrees in: Business Administration Healthcare

health degree

Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration Healthcare

A degree in business administration with an emphasis healthcare is designed for individuals who are more interested in working on the business side of healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics, and physician practices, rather than doing clinical work with patients. Such a program is a good fit for people with healthcare backgrounds who would like to transition into a management role, or for students with business expertise who want to transition into healthcare leadership positions. Online business administration healthcare degrees can help give students an in-depth understanding of the organization and financing of healthcare facilities and multi-site healthcare systems.

A common educational path for students who are interested in this field of study is a bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in healthcare management or healthcare administration. While program length varies by school, online bachelor's degree programs are most often designed to be completed in four years of full-time work. However, accelerated programs are available from some schools and program length can also be shortened by transferring in applicable college credits from other schools.

Class Curriculum

Business administration healthcare degrees help build a solid foundation in general business knowledge coupled with specialization courses in healthcare management. A well-rounded business education includes courses in management, accounting, marketing, finance, and economics. The healthcare management component will generally include courses in healthcare leadership, healthcare law and ethics, human resources management for healthcare organizations, and healthcare policy. Other courses might include:

  • Financial Management for Healthcare Organizations. In this course, students are introduced to healthcare finance. Students learn how to prepare financial statements and perform accounting functions for healthcare organizations. Special emphasis is placed on the software used by most healthcare systems, cost-effectiveness, and critical decision-making.
  • Healthcare Informatics. In this course, students learn the ins and outs of health information management, electronic health records, and the systems that house these records. Special emphasis is given to the privacy of patient medical records and HIPAA laws.
  • Organizational Leadership. This courses focuses on management theory and principles as applied in healthcare settings. Students examine case studies in leadership, and a special emphasis is placed on strategic management, crisis leadership, and diversity.

Assignments in business administration healthcare programs are as diverse as the courses you take. Writing-intensive assignments might entail drafting a report on a case study detailing the leadership approach you would take in the situation being described, drawing on what you've learned in class. In a research methods course, students may also be asked to critique published research, write literature reviews, and design research studies in managerial research. Students may also be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of healthcare information technology systems and software.

Building a Career

Online business administration healthcare degrees can help prepare you for a wide variety of careers in medical and health services management. Some of those careers include nursing home administration, clinical management, health information management, administration, and assistant administration. These professionals manage the delivery of healthcare services, supervise the work of others, hire and train healthcare workers, manage finances, and organize records, among other responsibilities.

The typical minimum requirement for medical and health services management positions is a bachelor's degree coupled with several years of appropriate experience, although it's not uncommon for people in these positions to hold a master's degree in a relevant area like health services, business administration, public health, or public administration, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In all 50 states, nursing home administrators must also be licensed, and in some states, administrators of assisted-living facilities must be licensed as well, the BLS notes. Significantly high employment growth is expected in the industry as the baby boomers age, leading to a greater demand for healthcare services. As a result of this demand, the BLS projects 22% employment growth as the number of healthcare facilities increases, creating new jobs for those who manage such facilities.

The median yearly salary for medical and health services managers was $84,270, the BLS explains. However, remember that completing a degree program in business administration with an emphasis in healthcare does not guarantee you a job. The salary you receive is affected by a number of factors, such as where you live, how much experience you have, the size of your employer, and the complexity of your responsibilities.