What is Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare administrators often work in offices, but often interact with other professionals, like physicians, surgeons, nurses, and technicians. Despite the fact that some of these jobs will not directly involve patients, they require some patient interaction. In addition, workers might also have to deal with insurance companies. In order to obtain a career within this field, skilled communicators must have knowledge and experience of health care delivery and financial structure, as well as a solid grasp of medical terminology as well as an understanding of the structure and dynamics of health care organizations.
New England has some of the largest healthcare facilities in the country, and Maine is the largest state in the region. Healthcare has been and continues to be a major component in Maine employment, and its percentage of employment is only expected to grow over the next decade. The aging population alone will produce demand for nursing home managers and other healthcare administrators. Nearly one quarter of Maine’s residents are aged 65 and over, one of the highest percentages in the nation and fueling the demand for more healthcare services and subsequent healthcare administrative positions. If healthcare management is the career for you, keep reading to learn more about how to land a healthcare administration job in Maine.
Healthcare Administration Education in Maine
Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration (BSHCA)
- University of Southern Maine HCA Programs
The University of Southern Maine, Portland, offers a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Sciences in Health Care Administration through its College of Science, Technology, and Health. Students must take 36 credits in the health sciences core, followed by 30 credits for the health care administration track. These courses include management, accounting and economics. The university is accredited through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
- St. Joseph’s College HCA Programs
St. Joseph’s College, Standish, offers an online BS in health administration. The 21 credit health administration core includes classes in health care systems, ethics, quality control, financial management, human resources and the legal aspects of health care. Students may take 18 electives relating to health care management, which include topics such as informatics, long-term care, strategic planning and leadership. The school’s fast track Master of Health Administration degree allows students to substitute certain graduate level courses for similar undergraduate courses, thus allowing them to earn the MHA more quickly. Students in the BS program can complete their undergraduate degree in four years if enrolled fulltime, but many students enroll part-time or have credits from other schools that are transferable toward the BS degree.
- Purdue Global HCA Programs
Purdue Global, formerly Kaplan University, Lewiston, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration. The program is designed to help students understand the practices and principles of health care regarding administration, law, management, policy and economics, as well as consider the forces influencing modern health delivery systems when making health care management decisions. Students will also analyze and uphold the professional, legal and ethical standards of health care administration.
Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- University of Southern Maine Graduate HCA Programs
The University of Southern Maine offers an MBA in Business Administration in Health Management and Policy Concentration at its Portland campus through its School of Business. The 30 credit MBA core curriculum includes accounting, finance, management, marketing, economics, marketing, business ethics and international business. Student must then complete a 9-credit concentration requirement, including courses on the American healthcare system and quality improvement. They must choose an elective in either public health or healthcare ethics and law. The school also offers a Master of Public Health degree with a health management specialization through its Muskie School of Public Service. This specialization focuses on the performance and costs of healthcare systems. Accreditation is through AACSB International.
- St. Joseph’s College HCA Programs
St. Joseph’s College offers a Masters of Health Administration degree. Candidates must complete 42 graduate credits, and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher for f Saint Joseph’s College courses. The core curriculum consists of ten courses, along with three elective courses and a capstone course. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of “relevant and substantive” experience in a health related field. The core courses, all 3 credits, include United States Health Care Systems; Leadership in Health Care Administration; Ethical and Legal Perspectives; Health Services Administration; Medical Informatics; Research Methods; Health Care Financial Management; Strategic Human Resources Management; Strategic Planning and Management and Quality Management and Performance Improvement. The capstone course is either an applied research paper or an applied management project.
- Purdue Global HCA Grad Programs
Purdue Global, formerly Kaplan University, South Portland, offers an online Master’s in Health Care Management degree. The 52 credit Master’s program takes approximately 18 months or less to complete. The program focuses on comparing theoretical health care principles essential to leadership positions, designing effective strategies based on leadership and management concepts within the industry, assessing the impact of economics, ethics, professional standards, and law has on healthcare administration, developing needed policies and programs addressing healthcare industry concerns and analyzing statistical and financial methods for current healthcare practice evaluation.
Purdue Global also offers a Masters of Health Information program, with courses in organizational development and management for health information; health care financial management; human resources for health care managers and leadership in health care. The capstone project to earn this degree is practice focused and conducted under a faculty advisor mentorship.
- University of New England HCA Programs
The University of New England, Biddeford, offers a Master of Health Management program through its School of Health. This program is designed for those planning careers in health-related positions in finance, accounting, human resources, management, information systems, marketing, insurance, medical devices, biotechnology healthcare delivery and the pharmaceutical industry. The University of New England also offers a Master of Philosophy in Health Management, which covers a range of disciplines. This program is offered online or in a traditional classroom format. This program may be completed in two years if students are enrolled on a full-time basis or four years for part-time students. The university is accredited through the New England Association of Colleges and schools (NECS).
Careers and Salary Outlook
Salary and Earnings Potential
Overall, the demand for health administrators is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2016-2026, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than average job growth. The field is expected to increase by more than 72,000 such jobs over the decade. The 2019 median pay was $100,980 annually, or $48.55 per hour.
The outlook for health administration personnel is expected to increase steadily in Maine. In the decade between 2012 and 2021, such employment is expected to rise 13 percent. The average salary for a Maine medical manager is $95,600 annually.
A July, 2018 snapshot of available healthcare administration jobs in Maine includes a compliance manager for InterMed, South Portland; a practice manager at York Hospital, Moody; vice president of outpatient services at Calais Regional Hospital, Calais; practice manager at Pine Health Services, Caribou; patient care coordinator at Mount Desert Nursing Association, Northeast Harbor; compliance officer at EMHS, Brewer and provider relations specialist at St. Joseph Healthcare, Bangor.
Additional Helpful Resources
Prominent Employers in Maine
Many of Maine’s top employers are in the healthcare field, including nursing homes. These include the number one employer in the state, MaineHealth, which offers healthcare administration jobs in hospitals and clinics statewide. Member affiliates include Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Maine Medical Center, New England Rehabilitation Hospital and Waldo County General Hospital. Other large employers include Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor; Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston; Southern Maine Healthcare, Biddeford; St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, statewide; Mercy Hospital, Portland; Mid-coast Hospital, Brunswick; Idexx Laboratories, Brunswick; St. Joseph Hospital, Bangor; York Hospital, statewide; Aroostoock Medical Center, statewide; Penobscot Bay Medical Center, statewide and Martins Point Healthcare, statewide.
Health Administration Associations
As befits a state with a high concentration of residents employed in the healthcare field, Maine has numerous organizations for the health administration professional.
The Maine Association of Healthcare Administrative Professionals’ mission is “to establish a network liaison between members with common positions at healthcare organizations throughout the state of Maine and to provide high quality educational programs to increase job knowledge and skills of members.” The MAHAP maintains an affiliation with the Maine Hospital Association: An Association of Maine Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations.
The Maine Association for Healthcare Quality’s mission is “to improve the quality of healthcare by advancing the theory and practice of quality management in healthcare organizations and to support the professional growth, development and education of healthcare quality management professionals.” Membership is open to all those with a professional interest in promoting quality health care.
The Northern New England Association of Healthcare Executives includes members from neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont. It is an independent chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Its mission is “to meet the professional, educational and leadership needs of its members; to promote high ethical standards and conduct; to advance healthcare leadership and management excellence; and to promote the mission of the ACHE.”
The Maine Health Information Management Association is the state chapter of the national American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To join the Maine chapter, members must first join AHIMA.
The Pine Tree Chapter of the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management serves as Maine’s state chapter for the AAHMA. It offers free memberships to fulltime students in the field and eligible students may apply for the William Batty Memorial Scholarship to further their education. The Pine Tree Chapter focuses on professional development and education for members and offers opportunities through conferences and seminars, professional certification and networking and publications.
The Maine Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association is “the leading professional resource for financial managers in all healthcare settings.” It supports professional development opportunities through education, information, certification and peer interaction, along with promoting understanding of healthcare finance and economics. The MCHFMA establishes and promotes the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.
The Maine Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration calls itself a “local starting point for networking, information, professional development and continued support of excellence in Human Resources.”