Free Online Healthcare Administration Courses

A successful healthcare system relies on a the coordinated efforts of many professionals. Doctors, specialists, nurses, and individuals not directly involved in the delivery of healthcare — such as billing, coding, and finance professionals — provide intricately related services. Thankfully, the entire academic arena of healthcare administration is dedicated to organizing and continually improving the industry. Students can preview this dynamic field through an array of free online healthcare administration courses.

Administrators are charged with both day-to-day decisions and long-term business strategies. Some are responsible for policy decisions, others for department management and others take on human resources too, all wrapped into one job description. The nature of this dynamic profession ensures no two days will be the same.

The Princeton Review describes healthcare administrators as those who coordinate the delivery of care and assist in the management of health facilities. Sometimes called medical and health services managers or healthcare executives, the role of these professionals will vary depending on the size and type of the healthcare organization.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), healthcare administrators might manage an entire facility or oversee a specific clinical area or department, such as nursing, surgery, physical therapy, cardiology, or gerontology. A nursing home administrator might be tasked with staff management, admissions, finances, facility administration and providing care to residents. A bigger hospital will have subsets of managers or assistant administrators in specific departments.

Sample Courses

The bachelor’s curriculum for a healthcare administration degree will encompass a breadth of classes relating to management for the practice, skills, and attitudes of healthcare organizations. Many programs also ask students to apply their newly acquired knowledge in an internship or practicum experience.

The following courses are required for healthcare administration bachelor’s programs around the country:

Legal

  • Healthcare Law
  • Healthcare Employment Law

Healthcare organization

  • Intro to Healthcare Organizations
  • Healthcare Supervision
  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • Management and Organizational Behavior
  • Healthcare Human Resources
  • Healthcare Finance

Medical

  • Healthcare Quality Improvement and Patient Care
  • Psychology of Aging
  • Healthcare for the Elderly
  • Ambulatory Care Services: Organization and Administration

Misc.

  • Public and Community Health
  • Healthcare Ethics
  • Contemporary Issues in Public Safety
  • Concepts and Issues in Public Planning
  • Healthcare Administration History, Culture, and Language
  • Statistical Methods for Health Science Research

Possible Specializations

Students who pursue healthcare degrees at the graduate level will see increased options for specialization. Most often, students can focus in areas that match certain kinds of medical or healthcare facilities, such as mental health centers, group medical practices, or hospitals.

In addition, students at certain universities can pursue specialized master’s degrees that combine healthcare administration with another complementary field. Master of Health Services Administration degrees are geared toward the organization, financing, marketing, and management of health care institutions. Those who enroll in Master of Public Health programs, which take a more holistic approach to all the factors that influence healthcare, often find work in the public sector. Some schools even offer an MBA in Healthcare Administration that incorporate much-needed business skills into the curriculum.

Degree Types

The BLS states that a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for positions in the healthcare sector, but most entry-level employees come equipped with at least a master’s degree. There are many different associate degrees with a focus in healthcare administration, but most entry-level positions would require the student to transfer their associate credits to obtain a four-year degree. A Ph.D. enables administrators to pursue teaching, researcher, or consultant roles.

While a bachelor’s or master’s degree program is the most common educational pathway to the profession, those with healthcare experience may be able to advance into the profession through on-the-job experience. For example, a nurse or physical therapist might have a credential from the field, and then advance into a management position over-time.

Ideal Candidates for Healthcare

Professionals need a variety of skills to succeed in this fast-paced, complex industry. The BLS suggests strong analytical skills are important for understanding and adapting to changing regulations. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are critical since an administrator must work effectively with a variety of health professionals. Detail-oriented problem solvers will also have a leg up in the field.

Career Pathway

Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020. Demand will be greatest in areas that serve the aging generation of baby boomers, such as nursing care administrators.

Pay varies a lot depending on organization size, but it is a generally well-paid profession: in May 2010, the median salary for medical and health services managers was $84,270. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,000 and the top 10 percent earned more than $144,000, according to the BLS.

Use this guide as a jumping off point in your research into the field. Shadow a professional, spend time volunteering and talk to university admissions or guidance counselors to figure out the best academic pathway for reaching your career goals.

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Connecticut’s Appellate Court recently ruled that hospitals and doctors can successfully sue their patients’ attorneys for filing a vexatious malpractice suit. The Court also ruled that the trial judge’s decision that the patient’s suit was vexatious will often create an estoppel against the attorney. The attorney will consequently be precluded from contesting that decision. The only issue will then be the amount of damages—double or treble—that the attorney and her firm will be obligated to pay the hospital or the doctor.

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Healthcare Administration in the News

Source: American Medical News

Our Favorite Healthcare Administration Blogs

  • Healthcare Administration in General

    • Health Management Insights

      This blog from WebMD covers the latest developments in population health management trends, best practices, new products, and event information.

    • HealthCare.gov

      Navigating the healthcare landscape can be daunting, but HealthCare.gov tries to make it a little less so.

    • The Health Care Blog

      Written by a number of healthcare professionals, this blog covers everything healthcare.

  • Emergency Preparedness

  • Financial Management

    • HFMA Blog

      The official blog of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

    • The Business of Healthcare

      The Health Care Blog's take on the business of healthcare.

    • Vital Signs

      Modern Healthcare's blog dedicated to the business end of healthcare.

  • Hospital Administration

Healthcare Administration Journals & Trade Magazines

Healthcare Administration Grants & Scholarships

  • Scholarships

    • ACMPE Scholarship Fund

      Deadline: May 1

      Award Amount: $1,000 - $2,500

      This annual scholarship is awarded to recipients in undergraduate or graduate degree programs relevant to medical practice management.

    • AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarships

      Deadline: September 30

      Award Amount: $1,000 - $2,500

      These scholarship opportunities are offered to currently enrolled outstanding undergraduates in health information programs.

    • Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

      Deadline: March 31

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Offered annually, this scholarship is offered to minority students in their final year of a healthcare management graduate program.

    • David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship

      Deadline: April

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Available to first year master’s health care administration degree programs students.

    • Elliot C. Roberts Health Care Scholarship

      Deadline: March 31

      Award Amount: $1,000

      Those eligible for this scholarship include first or second year graduate students pursuing a degree in healthcare administration or a comparable degree.

    • Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

      Deadline: March 31

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Offered annually, this scholarship is offered to students in their final year of a healthcare management graduate program.

    • Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship Program

      Deadline: May

      Award Amount: $5,000

      This scholarship is open to undergraduate students working on a health care or medical degree field in their next to last or last year of study.

    • Gates Millenium Scholars

      Deadline: varies

      Award Amount: varies

      Awarding 1000 scholarships each year, this foundation offers a broad range of scholarships including healthcare administration and management.

    • Harry J. Harwick Scholarship

      Deadline: May 31

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Applicants for this scholarship must attend an ACEHSA or AUPHA-accredited school and have employment history in the healthcare field.

    • Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

      Deadline: February

      Award Amount: varies

      Sociology majors interested in pursuing careers in public service can apply to become a Truman Scholar.

    • The Bachrach Family Scholarship for Excellence in Health Care Administration

      Deadline: May 1

      Award Amount: $1,000 - $5,000

      Available to students in a health care administration graduate program who wish to pursue a career in medical practice administration.

    • Transamerica Retirement Solutions Leaders in Health Care Scholarship

      Deadline: January 31

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Recipients of this scholarship are first and second year graduate students, pursuing degrees in healthcare administration or a comparable degree program.

    • Tylenol Scholarship

      Deadline: June 15

      Award Amount: $5,000 - $10,000

      Applicants for these scholarships must be college sophmores and above and studying in the medicine and health care field.

Healthcare Administration Internships

Healthcare Administration Student & Professional Organizations