Choosing a Career With an MHA Degree
Healthcare is a complex business. With insurance reimbursement contracts, government regulations, and life-and-death decision-making all affecting what can and can’t be done, managers in the industry have to possess a lot of specific knowledge. But no one person—or even one organization—can manage every aspect of healthcare.
In the U.S., the healthcare industry employs over 15 million people1 and accounts for $3.5 trillion in annual spending.2 If you want to be part of healthcare, you have to choose a specific field and, from there, a specific career. And that’s as true for managers as it is for any other type of employee—even if you earn a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA).
While an MHA degree can help you qualify for top healthcare jobs, you’ll still need to decide what type of career you want. Common MHA career paths include:
- Hospital administration: Overseeing a specific department or providing administrative leadership to an entire hospital or hospital system
- Clinic management: Handling the business side of a clinic by negotiating with insurers, managing staff, overseeing billing, and managing other administrative duties
- Group practice administration: Providing administrative leadership to a multi-provider practice so the providers can focus on care
- Compliance management: Ensuring a hospital or other healthcare organization is complying with government regulations
- Managed care administration: Managing a hospital’s or insurer’s managed care program, ensuring costs and policies make sense for providers and patients
- Long-term care facility management: Handling the day-to-day operations of a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- Patient access management: Overseeing the admission/registration of patients to ensure all legal, ethical, financial, and patient care needs are met
- Academic administration: Managing the business/administrative needs of a hospital’s or other healthcare organization’s educational efforts
- Research administration: Managing a healthcare organization’s research department
- Health informatics: Overseeing a healthcare organization’s use of data and helping data analysts uncover new efficiencies and ways to improve patient care
- Marketing: Developing marketing campaigns and other communications that promote a hospital or healthcare facility
- Business development: Seeking new opportunities to expand health services in ways that make sense for revenue streams and patients
- International care administration: Working for social change by helping manage international care organizations like Doctors Without Borders
- Policymaking: Assisting a government agency or nonprofit with the development of healthcare policy
With so many MHA career paths to choose from, you’ll need time to decide which would be best for your personality and interests. But you shouldn’t hesitate to go through the process. Selecting a preferred path or two before you enroll in an MHA program can help you decide which university to attend, as not all programs offer the same master’s in healthcare administration specialization opportunities.
Not all programs offer the same level of convenience, either. Many working adults find it difficult to attend a campus-based MHA program, as those often require you to live near campus and attend class at inconvenient times of the day. Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid this issue: online education.
When you earn your healthcare administration degree online, you won’t have to change where you live and/or dramatically alter your daily schedule. Instead, the online learning format allows you to earn your master’s degree via the internet. This, in and of itself, is a great convenience. But it’s made all the better by the fact that many online degree programs also offer flexible scheduling, giving you the power to choose when in the day you attend class.
Deciding between the many MHA career paths will take time and careful consideration. But deciding on online learning is, for many, an easy choice. It’s a great way to earn an MHA degree while continuing to work full time and handle your other responsibilities.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Healthcare Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
1 Source: www.bls.gov/emp/tables/employment-by-major-industry-sector.htm
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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