What is Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare administration is the management of organizations that provide healthcare, focusing on delivering high-quality care to patients. It entails the execution of business functions in the healthcare industry. Healthcare administration can be done by either an individual or a team. The team consists of health care professionals who have experience in their area of expertise and know how to manage a company effectively. The role of Healthcare Administration is to ensure that a company runs smoothly and efficiently by making sure they have all the necessary resources and policies in place. Healthcare administrators also help with strategic planning, preparing budgets, risk management, and marketing.
Connecticut ’s health administrators don’t have to worry about their jobs disappearing any time soon. University students who plan to major in health administration also have good prospects for their intended profession. A career in health care management is sure to be long, fruitful, and rewarding.
Healthcare Administration Education in Connecticut
Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration (BSHCA)
Many undergraduate students planning to major in health administration are exposed to a career-focused program. Depending on which degree program students choose (accelerated or traditional) to take, they will gain a wealth of understanding so that, when they begin working as an entry-level health administrator, they will be comfortable with their duties. In accelerated programs, students can take advantage of flexible scheduling, so they won’t have to leave work during the day.
Students learn leadership, analytical and technical skills that will aid them as they make and carry out sometimes difficult decisions. If students don’t have a medical background, this doesn’t matter—all they need to have is a desire to help provide efficient, caring healthcare to their patient population. Rather, they will focus on administrative, technological, regulatory and financial factors that impact the delivery of medical services to patients.
Every class has an expected outcome, with students learning all aspects of the administration of healthcare. They will learn the core disciplines of healthcare administration; healthcare finance, healthcare structure/organization; healthcare policy and public health. All this knowledge helps them to make the best decisions possible as they manage their health care facility.
Students will become familiar with federal and state health policies in order to analyze all different issues that develop in healthcare.
On the business end, students learn to apply quantitative, statistical and economic thought at a basic level, learning to make the best decisions for their employers.
Finally, an undergraduate degree exposes students to ethical values that help support healthcare institutions (respect for people, justice and beneficence) as they make decisions.
Most undergraduate programs start with a core curriculum required by the state of Connecticut; they can also take several electives that help to enrich their lives.
Many Connecticut schools offers an online bachelor’s degree in health care administration. This is ideal for students already working in the healthcare management field or in a related profession. For instance, those who are working in finance might pursue healthcare administration with a focus on healthcare finance courses. Other management level professionals might also hone thier skills and transition into healthcare management.
Some programs are even more business-like in nature, offering several business courses, as well as business courses within the health care field. Students in this program take accounting, leadership courses and other courses that focus solely on healthcare business practices.
Program offerings include an introduction to the major, health-related business courses, insurance and risk management, and law and policy.
While this isn’t mandatory, a student internship helps the student round out their learning as they work in a healthcare-related environment. They gain needed knowledge and insight into this field of business. Some internships may be paid. The internship is generally a full-time, short-term program that happens after the student has completed their junior year.
Internship locations include Yale-New Haven Hospital, Blue-Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Medical Risk Management, Towers-Watson, Hartford Hospital UMass Memorial Hospital, CT Department of Public Health and Hartford Medical Group. This is only a small listing of the internship possibilities.
Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA)
At some Connecticut schools, graduate students enroll in the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA) program. The history and future of healthcare are a part of the curriculum, rounding out the education for students in this major. There are also online Master of Health Administration (MHA) programs, and Master of Business Administration programs that offer a health care concentration or master certificates in healthcare administration. Healthcare degrees in Connecticut are rather diversified and students can find specialties such as a health care marketing concentration, managed care specialties, and even medical group management. Note that programs can use varying lingo such as Healthcare Management, Health Care Administration, and Health Services Management.
Coursework falls into one of five healthcare management domains. Students will complete 36 graduate credits, with 27 being required courses and nine being elective courses.
They will be exposed to the U.S. healthcare system and its management. Health care Management information systems (computer-related) work is also required.
Business-type courses, such as finance, communication and law as related to public health are also required.
Elective courses are all related to healthcare and healthcare delivery.
Classes introduce both theory and practice, emphasizing a managerial focus. Students also learn about managing healthcare organizations and get the chance to focus on their career plans through the elective classes they select.
Careers and Salary Outlook
Salary and Earnings Potential
In 2020, the median hourly pay for health administrators was $62.75; annually, they earned $130,510. At the least, they should hold a bachelor’s degree in health -administration, so they are prepared to walk into their jobs ready to work on the first day.
The outlook for health administrators in Connecticut is good. This profession is anticipated to grow by about 32 percent, mainly because the large population of Baby Boomers is aging. Even though this population is staying active until its later years, they will still need medical services as they develop health conditions related to age.
Students who have earned their master’s degrees in health administration can find work with several health-related programs or businesses.
Some positions include:
- Director of Quality and Value Based Initiatives. Graduates should hold a degree in nursing or health administration, although a master’s degree is preferred.
- A practice manager position is open, requiring the health administrator to work closely with the employer’s administration and physicians.
- A director of growth and development position is open within a medical group. A private clinic has announced a position for director of care management and education.
- A practice and site administrator with a hospital is open; a northeast university has announced a clinical practice manager position.
- A medical center has an opening for a practice administrator; a health manager position is available in a New Haven hospital.
- A primary care medical group needs a practice manager.
- A health and hospital management director position is open at a Connecticut university.
- An executive director/director of operations has opened up with a senior living facility in Connecticut.
- A director within a credentialing verification organization is open for the right candidate.
- A practice administrator is needed for a multi-location practice.
- Another practice administrator position is open in a Connecticut medical facility.
- A health system in New Haven needs a health and safety manager.
- A university health center needs an administrative program coordinator. This facility also needs an administrative manager for clinical trials.
- Apply for an associate vice president - clinical business services for a university health center. This facility also needs a technical analyst.
- A healthcare agency is looking for a health administrator
- A social services organization needs a program coordinator/health administrator
- A private organization needs a healthcare director
- A health organization wants to hire a performance improvement analyst, requiring a health administration degree.
- A health organization is looking for a resource coordinator within the psychiatric pre-admissions clinic.
Additional Helpful Resources
Prominent Employers in Connecticut
Although Connecticut is a small state, job opportunities for health administrators are plenty. For instance:
- Coventry Health Care employs more than 14,400 people
- IMS Health Inc. has 14,001 employees
- Yale-New Haven Hospital employs more than 11,500 workers
- Hartford Hospital employs more than 6,000 people
- Hartford HealthCare employs 5,100 workers
- The Yale New Haven Health System in New Haven employs 5,001 people
- In Farmington, U Connecticut Health employs 5,000 workers
- St. Francis Hospital & Med Center employs 4,545 employees
- Aetna, a health insurance company, employs 4,545 employees
- Another health insurance company, Cigna, employs 4,000 workers
- At St. Francis Hospital-OB/GYN, 4,000 people are employed
- The Wilton Surgery Center employs almost 4,000 people
- The National Home Health Care Corp. employs 3,680 people
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center employs 3,597 people
- In Danbury, the Western Connecticut Health Network employs 3,176 workers
- The Bridgeport Hospital employs 3,152 people
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals employs 3,121 people
- Danbury Hospital employs 3,000
- Connecticut Valley Hospital employs 3,000
- Eastern Connecticut Health Network employs 2,846
Health Administration Associations
Health administrators benefit from joining and networking in related associations. The Connecticut Association of Healthcare Executives aids in the professional development of health administrators. It is an inclusive group, welcoming men and women who work as health administrators. Members work in health systems, hospitals, physician associations and health plans.
Women Executives in Healthcare is another professional organization that helps female executives to network with each other. Members receive encouragement in developing their professional and educational plans.
National Women’s Health Network isn’t exclusive to Connecticut. Its national focus invites female health administrators to join and add their voices to policy change and consumer support.
The Connecticut Medical Group Managers Association assists health care management professionals as they manage the medical associations and health organizations where they are employed. Members benefit from a job board, networking, meeting new health care management professionals, free live and on-demand webinars, a membership directory, salary survey, advocacy and legislative news, website resources and leadership opportunities.