When people seek a bachelor’s in healthcare administration degree, they will often come across the term healthcare management as well. This can lead to confusion for prospective students wondering about healthcare management vs healthcare administration. What is healthcare management, and how is it different from healthcare administration?
What can also confuse people is that the healthcare management definition often looks interchangeable with the one for healthcare administration. However, when it comes to healthcare management vs healthcare administration there are some differences. Those differences can help a career seeker choose which path to take when pursuing their bachelors in healthcare administration degree.
Healthcare Management vs Healthcare Administration
To put it in the simplest terms, the healthcare management definition includes people who run or manage an organization centered on healthcare. What is healthcare management if not exactly what it says?
By contrast, the healthcare administrator will handle staffing and other administrative duties for a healthcare organization or facility. The two terms have some overlap and can often seem interchangeable. To make things even more confusing, some people use the term “administrator” to refer to a manager of a sufficiently sized healthcare organization.
People pursuing their degree need to pay attention to what kind of focus they are following. In this way, they will not wonder what is healthcare management, because they will know that healthcare management is the thing they are specifically pursuing.
Is healthcare management a good major? Yes, it is an excellent major, but so is healthcare administration. The degree achieved can go towards both avenues as they are both technically part of the same healthcare management definition and discipline.
Education in Healthcare Administration
To major in healthcare administration, applicants will have to find proper healthcare management degree schools, choose one, and begin their administration healthcare management major. For people interested in a major in healthcare administration or a healthcare management major, there is a tremendous number of ways to go about getting your degree.
The best schools for healthcare administration undergraduate programs are not always the same for everyone. For example, applicants can find schools dedicated to medical degrees, or even take these programs at a business school. A search will reveal healthcare management degree schools and healthcare management major college programs are plentiful.
That means it is not always about finding the best schools for healthcare administration undergraduate programs, but finding the best schools to fit an individual applicant’s needs. However, applicants must not choose just any school. As with any higher education institute, online or offline, choosing the right place to major in healthcare administration depends on some research and diligence.
Accreditation for Healthcare Administration Colleges
When seeking healthcare administration colleges or programs, applicants must ascertain if the program or school has proper accreditation. This is one of the most important criteria for choosing a healthcare administration colleges and programs. Accreditation will tell an applicant if a program or school meets or exceeds quality standards set by a recognized accreditation body.
In this way, accreditation is just as important as the group that gives the accreditation status. Accredited online healthcare degrees and degrees obtained traditionally all have more weight and will receive more consideration when the applicant starts seeking jobs and careers
Different Types of Healthcare Administration Accreditation and Certification
Healthcare administration colleges and programs have a number of accrediting bodies. There are also various groups that issue certifications to these programs. Certifications are not exactly the same as accreditation, but, depending on the group involved, they can hold just as much weight and prestige. To start with, the regional accreditation from one of the regional accreditation bodies is important.
After the regional accreditation comes to the special or programmatic accreditation bodies. For applicants looking for the best experience, these accreditors and certifiers should represent what they are looking for:
- AUPHA accredited schools
- AUPHA certified schools and programs
- CAHME accreditation
- CAHME accredited online programs
- HIMSS certification
- HIMSS membership
Other groups exist, but these are the ones applicants should focus on. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) has the distinction of DOE and Council of Higher Education recognition. Accreditation from the CAHME is very important for applicants who may want to pursue graduate studies beyond their bachelor’s degree.
CAHME accredited online programs also count, so applicants do not have to assume accreditation only applies to traditional universities. Is CAHME accreditation important? Outside of the regional accreditation, the CAHME accreditation is possibly the most important thing for an applicant to look for in a school or program.
The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) is a collection of colleges and others in the health administration field who promote growth, excellence, and high standards. Applicants will want a program that is part of AUPHA. In fact, the AUPHA has criteria for programs to join that usually includes the program or college having CAHME accreditation.
What does HIMSS stand for? The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). HIMSS membership means the program or school takes an active interest in promoting modern IT and healthcare management systems.
The goal of HIMSS membership is to promote better health with information and technology. The HIMSS certification of a school or program means applicants will receive an education in line with current technology standards in the field.
Applicants would do well to seek out these accreditations and certificates in a school or program. Even for accredited online healthcare degrees, an applicant will know they are getting the education they need.
Types of Healthcare Management and Administration Degrees
A few different types of BS healthcare administration degrees exist. As previously stated, pursuing a bachelor of healthcare management can also coincide with pursuing a bachelor of health administration. Applicants will also have to decide if they want a Bachelor of Arts in health administration or a Bachelor of Science healthcare administration degree.
It is possible to pursue a healthcare administration career with both types of degrees, but there is a small difference between the two. The Bachelor of Arts health administration degree requirements have a focus on more general studies, liberal arts, and some business. This degree delves adequately into administration and management.
In comparison, a Bachelor of Science healthcare administration degree will focus more on the science involved in healthcare administration. If the applicant thinks they will deal more with managing people, then the Bachelor of Arts will work fine. In either case, the average bachelor’s in healthcare administration or management will last 4 years of full-time study.
If the applicant thinks they will do more technical or clinical work, then the Bachelor of Science healthcare administration degree will likely work better. A bachelors of science in healthcare management typically represents the BS healthcare administration degree people are looking for.
No matter the type of degree, a BS healthcare administration degree will allow applicants to pursue a specialty. That way, no matter what, the applicant can ensure they are on the path they want to be on towards their career goals.
Several specialties exist, which means applicants can usually find BS healthcare administration degrees they can tailor to a specific goal. The first thing an applicant should consider is if they want to become a generalist or a specialist. Generalist positions include things like:
- Facility management or department management
- Patient outcome supervisors
- Systems management or information technology support
Meanwhile, even more specialized healthcare administration programs can include positions like:
- Administrative management
- Finance specialists
- Healthcare informatics
- Program support and directors
Choosing the type of focus will depend a lot on the applicant and what they want to accomplish. For example, one applicant may want to work in a large hospital while another may want to work in a hospital-adjacent field.
One applicant may want to deal with finances while another may want to manage a nursing home. In all cases, a bachelor of health administration or a bachelor of healthcare management can help the applicant achieve their goals.
Online Healthcare Management Education
Yes, applicants can absolutely pursue online healthcare degrees. The most important criteria for online healthcare degrees is their accreditation status as mentioned previously. Since online healthcare degrees are now quite ubiquitous, applicants will have a rather large choice to pick a school or program from. However, when choosing a healthcare administration degree online, applicants must pay attention to what they are getting into.
Some online healthcare degrees follow very traditional trajectories, while some others may not. Most online programs will be bachelor’s completion programs, finishing the last two years of a degree after an associate’s. For example, while looking for a healthcare administration degree online or a healthcare management degree online, applicants may come across listings such as:
- Online bachelors in healthcare management
- Online healthcare administration degree
- Online healthcare management
- Online healthcare management degree
- Online hospital management degree
Once again, when confronted with different names for healthcare administration degrees, applicants must research what the curriculum offers and what the online healthcare degrees actually offer. Since so many degree names have interchangeable usage, it is best to figure out the accreditation status, focus, and courses offered by the individual school or program. Costs for online degrees can vary greatly as well.
Still, the best online schools for healthcare management will include everything needed for an applicant to pursue their healthcare administration or management goals. For many, the best online schools for healthcare management and administration will allow applicants to move along at their own pace, which is something online healthcare degrees excel at.
Another option presented mostly by online healthcare management programs is the accelerated degrees. These accelerated programs can help an applicant achieve their degree faster than they otherwise would – sometimes as quickly as 12 or 18 months. Applicants may come across programs listed as:
- Accelerated health administration degree
- Accelerated healthcare administration degree online
- Accelerated healthcare administration programs
- Accelerated healthcare management degree
- Accelerated healthcare management degree online
As before, when presented with these options, applicants must ascertain if an accelerated course is right for them. They must also figure out what the program means by “accelerated,” as each program or school may have a different time length associated with that word.
With online healthcare degrees, applicants should not seek the cheapest online healthcare administration degree. Instead, they should focus on their needs and goals, and then narrow their options by price afterwards.
An online healthcare management degree, an online hospital management degree, or an online healthcare administration degree can sound great, but applicants must always make sure they are choosing something that will give them a good return on their investment. Before taking a healthcare management online course, figuring out the logistics first is key.
Healthcare Administration Certifications and Licenses
Healthcare administrators and managers do need licensing and certifications. However, the needed licensure and healthcare management certification will depend completely on what career path the applicant chooses. Different industries require different types of licensing or certification. Equally, different specialties may require career seekers to hold one or more certifications specifically for that particular duty.
For example, a healthcare administrator for a nursing care facility will require state or even national licensing. Someone who wants to do the same job in an assisted living capacity may not require a license, depending on the state. Career seekers should always first check their respective state licensing agencies to be sure.
Healthcare management certification is a little different from licensing. Typically, certification becomes a requirement when a career seeker wants to work in a specialized capacity. To receive the certification, applicants will usually need to go through some training and take a test. Just like with the program or school, the training program requires accreditation.
For healthcare administration and management, that accreditation will usually first have the blessing of the CAHME. Beyond that, specialized accreditation will come from professional groups such as:
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)
- Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
- Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM)
Certifications from these groups are absolutely necessary for some specialties, but some certifications are good to have in general as well. Certification from one of these respected and recognized groups can give career seekers a better chance of landing the jobs they really want. Healthcare management certification from one of these groups will also come with some requirements on the part of the applicant.
When seeking certification programs, applicants can see if some of the healthcare administration programs offer a path towards them so they applicant won’t have to go out of their way to find them. Nevertheless, gaining the top healthcare certifications means going through these organizations.
The AAHAM certification is really one of many depending on the applicants chosen specialty. AAHAM certification can include the healthcare Executive Certification, Professional Certification, Specialist Certification, and any of a number of others.
The PAHCOM offers the CMM certification. This Certified Medical Manager certification gives applicants the credentials needed to work as a manager in a healthcare setting. The CMM certification is not the only one offered by PAHCOM, but it is an important one for applicants seeking a management position. The FACHE certification means the applicant has the necessary training to take on a leadership role.
Note that healthcare management certification is not always necessary, but it is always a plus. CMM certification or FACHE certification alone can make an applicant look far better than their peers when seeking a career. In addition, applicants should know online healthcare programs certifications are just as viable as any other is if the programs have the right accreditation.
Finding healthcare management certification online requires the same amount of diligence and attention to details. Applicants can rest assured knowing their online healthcare management certificate is just as good as any other.
The listed certifications represent some of the top healthcare certifications. Still, before becoming a certified professional in health and hospital administration, applicants should know the best healthcare certifications to have will depend on their chosen career path. Applicants should always check beforehand which certifications will work best for their chosen path.
Careers: Entry-Level Healthcare Management Jobs and Beyond
Healthcare management jobs are only growing in number. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare administration and management is growing by as much as 20% over the next decade. With a bachelors in healthcare administration jobs and opportunities will start to become increasingly available. Everything from entry level healthcare management jobs to entry level jobs in healthcare administration are a good start.
For those with career goals in healthcare administration, going beyond entry level is easily possible. Healthcare management jobs and healthcare management career paths are plentiful, but career seekers must have an idea of what they want to get into beforehand. That is because the list of healthcare management careers is a long one. A healthcare administration career options include:
- Community and Social Service Managers
- Healthcare Administrators
- Healthcare Consultant
- Healthcare Managers
- Human Resources
- Medical Office Administrator
Generally, any healthcare management jobs that require management or administration of people, finances, or other aspects of business can represent a healthcare management career path. Applicants should know healthcare administration career options are absolutely viable with just a bachelor’s degree. With a Bachelor of Science in business administration, healthcare management jobs become available.
A bachelor of science in healthcare administration job description will typically show exactly what kind of education the healthcare management jobs expect. Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration jobs may have some slightly different criteria than bachelors in healthcare management jobs, but the differences are not vast.
Healthcare Management Degree Salary Expectations
With a bachelors in healthcare administration, salary numbers look good. A healthcare management degree salary will largely depend on location and occupation. For example, a hospital department manager salary will look different from a healthcare management major salary giving for another position.
According to the BLS, Medical and Health Services Managers with a bachelors in healthcare administration salary can have a median of $98,000 a year, or $47 an hour. By contrast, an Administrative Services Manager has a median salary of $94k. As these are medians, pay can still vary depending on several factors when it comes to healthcare administration careers salary.
As with most professions, some healthcare management careers come with high salaries because they are currently in high demand. Right now, project managers are earning a lot more than consultants are. On the same token, titled positions often come with higher starting salaries than other positions. Since what is considered high demand can change from place to place, applicants should look for opportunities where they plan to work.
Just because some job lists have high salaries in one place does not mean the same job in another place will also pay that much. With a little searching and resource, career seekers may find a surprising path that fits their goals and pays well that is not the same as what is stated as in demand within the healthcare administration field.
Professional Organizations in Healthcare Administration and Management
As with most professions, professional organizations do exist for healthcare administrators and managers. These healthcare associations can exist at the local, state, national, and even international level. Some of these professional healthcare management organizations include:
- Administrative Professionals Association
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- Healthcare Financial Management Association
- Health Care Compliance Association
Many more healthcare industry associations and other healthcare associations exist. Professional organizations in healthcare administration can help applicants, students, career seekers, and even those already happily employed. If an applicant chooses no other association, they would still do well to at least look into the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Why You Should Consider Joining a Professional Organization
At a basic level, professional organizations in healthcare administration offer people to get in contact with others who have interests that align with their own. These organizations represent a place where people can share knowledge and learn new things. On a broader level, these organizations come with benefits that can help someone in their careers in various ways.
For example, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association offer resources, career advice, and access to proven professionals in the field. These organizations often have members that help to literally create the rules for the profession. Healthcare associations are often the first to publish new information, advances in techniques, career opportunities, and paths to further education.
Maybe most importantly, these associations give professionals the ability to make new contacts and develop relationships that can help someone on a career path more than anything else can. If an applicant wanted to know the local rules and laws concerning a particular job, they can ask a member who is both local and a certified professional in health and hospital administration.
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