The unprecedented size of the U.S. patient population has pushed the leaders of hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities to seek more employees to deliver their services. Hiring, educating and training skilled medical practitioners is only one aspect of solving this issue. Experienced and educated leaders are also key to delivering quality care to the constantly growing number of patients.
Healthcare administrators are in high demand, but candidates with graduate degrees and advanced certifications can stand out when applying for the most distinguished and lucrative positions. The online Master of Health Administration (MHA) can be an especially valuable option for aspiring health administrators to pursue because it allows students to hone their ability to think critically, communicate, and lead interdisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals that can quickly adapt to ever-changing trends in their field. Students also have the opportunity to specialize in a health concentration, which may help them earn competitive MHA degree salaries.
Pursue Specialization in Several Health Concentrations
Duquesne University’s online Master of Health Administration features a core curriculum that teaches leadership and management in healthcare settings. Courses include Human Resource Management, Healthcare Law and Ethics, and Healthcare Financial Management. Students also develop specialized skills by selecting one of the following degree concentrations:
Health Informatics and Data Analytics
Healthcare administrators across the world use information technology. The Health Informatics and Data Analytics concentration helps graduates qualify for technologically complex leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Developing an in-depth understanding of these tools and their functions can complement the administrative skills taught in the core MHA curriculum. Students in this concentration learn how to optimize various business processes by designing, developing, adopting and applying innovative information technology-based solutions. They also learn how different types of data manipulation, such as database management, data mining and data analytics, can be used to identify, organize and evaluate information that may be useful to an organization’s operations.
Healthcare Compliance and Risk Management
All MHA students are taught the basics of healthcare ethics and law, but those who opt for the Healthcare Compliance and Risk Management concentration can study more complex legal aspects of the healthcare industry. For example, the Medical and Regulatory Compliance course teaches students how to navigate the laws and regulations that govern healthcare entities. These laws discuss misdeeds such as billing fraud and abuse. In addition, the Healthcare Litigation and Risk Management course explains the healthcare litigation processes and details the role of administrators in each step, from the filing of a formal complaint to the actual trials. By studying the healthcare industry from a legal perspective, future health administrators gain knowledge to implement best practices that reduce legal risk and prevent regulatory violations.
To specialize in population-based medicine, students can select the Population Health concentration. In the Managerial Epidemiology course, students learn about the large-scale application of epidemiology for planning, organizing and managing health services. This knowledge allows educated health administrators to make decisions that improve population health using cost-effective and high-quality healthcare services. An epidemiological perspective of healthcare is useful for developing new policies that help prevent disease and promote health. This ties into the Health Promotion course, which prepares students to create and implement health education programs, as well as evaluate them over time to ensure their effectiveness.
Qualify for a Competitive MHA Degree Salary
Experienced healthcare managers are in high demand at every level of the healthcare industry, but professionals with advanced education are often better positioned to qualify for the most distinguished positions in their field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of medical and health services managers to increase by 18% between 2018 and 2028. While this growth is far faster than the average for all occupations (5%), recruiters won’t settle for mediocre candidates. The BLS suggests that employers prefer health administrator candidates with five years of relevant work experience and a master’s degree. Therefore, acquiring a Master of Health Administration may help aspiring healthcare administrators access significant advancement opportunities.
Have a Greater Ability to Make an Impact on Patient Lives
Aiding in the delivery of quality health services should be every healthcare professional’s priority. An online Master of Health Administration offers graduates a suite of skills they can apply to their future workplace to maximize their positive impact on patients’ lives. They can combine their extensive knowledge of healthcare practices, law, ethics and leadership to improve care quality and patient satisfaction. For instance, students learn to develop health policies that have a direct impact on how an organization delivers health services. This ties into their quality management coursework, which expands on a variety of techniques that administrators can use to solve complex operational issues that may reduce the quality of care.
Earn a Higher Salary
In most industries, employees with higher levels of experience, education and certification are rewarded with greater compensation, such as higher salaries and enhanced benefits packages. Health administrators across the U.S. earned a median salary of $99,730 in 2018, according to the BLS. Salaries varied based on where they worked, as government administrators earned $110,460, hospital administrators earned 108,730, outpatient care center administrators earned $92,390, physician’s office administrators earned $90,920, and nursing and residential care facility administrators earned $84,260. Across these fields, the top 10% of health administrators earned a median wage of $182,600. These figures represent the potential MHA degree salary that hardworking graduates can earn.
Learn How to Become a Healthcare Leader and Earn a Competitive MHA Degree Salary
An MHA degree curriculum allows students to improve important professional qualities, such as interpersonal communication, leadership and decision-making. As a result, graduates can flourish in workplace scenarios that require them to collaborate with senior health staff and other professionals. They can contribute to effecting widespread change throughout the medical facilities they work for by using their knowledge to help develop creative solutions to administrative challenges.
Duquesne University’s online Master of Health Administration covers healthcare business practices, policy, economics, leadership and quality management, all of which are essential to the role of healthcare administrator. To further sharpen their expertise, students can choose one of three concentrations, which will allow them to pursue more specialized roles in health administration. Whether they choose Health Informatics and Data Analytics, Healthcare Compliance and Risk Management, or Population Health, MHA graduates will be equipped to change hospitals and clinics for the better.
To learn more about how health administrators keep the healthcare industry operational, and to find out how to obtain an MHA degree online, check out Duquesne University’s Master of Health Administration program through the John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences.