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What is Healthcare Management?

Maryland is a state that embodies the notion of a diversified economy. It’s home to two large economic centers, Metro DC and Baltimore, while also having a majestic coastline and farmland. Its top industry happens to be real estate, which may be partly attributed to the high turnover in the Metro DC real estate market.

The state's 2nd largest economic driver is professional and business services. Given that so many of the nation's federal agencies rely on contractors, this is no surprise. Thus, Maryland is in constant need of experts in a wide variety of business, administrative, and technological areas. Coming in the third is Maryland's social services sector. This so-called super-sector includes Maryland's healthcare, social services, education, and social assistance areas.

Maryland's fourth and fifth largest industries are manufacturing and finance. Maryland is a terrific state for each of these sectors since its coastal location makes it a great entry point for raw materials for manufacturing. Then, the state's proximity to Delaware and central coast position makes it a great spot for banking and insurance companies.

A healthcare manager is a professional who performs many of the same business and administrative functions as a business manager, but within the healthcare industry. They are found all over; there are managers who work closely with clinicians, such as nurses, and every doctor's clinic includes a manager.

Healthcare managers thus work in a variety of environments. We may first think of hospital administrators, who inhabit offices in a hospital. There are also health administration professionals who work in small clinics, radiology facilities, and call centers where patients call for advice or referrals.

There are also healthcare managers who work in healthcare informatics, marketing, and operations. While their duties may be analogous to workers in the regular business sectors, they must be constantly aware of the special issues that impact the healthcare industry. This is why it's important to earn a college degree in health administration or health systems management.

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Online Healthcare Management Education in Maryland

One thing that each of these industries have in common are workers that have healthcare needs. They get sick, deliver babies, and require all sorts of tests and medical treatments. The state is also home to the John's Hopkins University medical center, which is one of the nation's most important healthcare facilities. Not only are the sick treated there, but the center supports a myriad of research projects. And every clinical and research effort requires an administrative support system.

For that reason, Maryland's legislators seek to support the state's colleges and universities. They know that a strong population of healthcare management professionals will result in ever better care and the advancement of medical science.

Maryland's four-year colleges and universities all work hard to attract the best faculty members to their healthcare management program. They look for top academic talent who hold PhDs and a CV full of stellar research projects, but they also look for local professionals. Local professionals must have a master’s in health administration degree in order to teach healthcare management at the post-secondary level, and colleges also look for a strong track record of success in the field. This way, Maryland's health administration degree students receive the absolute best education possible before they enter one of the strongest healthcare markets in the nation.

Students interested in attending online healthcare management undergraduate and graduate programs in Maryland that are focused on health care leadership, health management, public health administration, health quality management, or other specialties in health care management have plenty of options to choose from, both in the state of Maryland and nearby. These options include the University of Maryland, the University of Baltimore, Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary's University, Maryland University - College Park, etc. Whether you are looking for private or public university programs in Maryland, there are plenty of options of all kinds for new students and working professionals to gain knowledge in health economics, population health, community health, leadership skills, health law, health planning, legal and ethical issues within healthcare services, and more within Maryland health systems and complex health related organizations.

Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Management (AS)

One terrific way to launch a career in healthcare management is with an associate healthcare management degree. Maryland's community colleges strive to prepare their health administration students so that they can jump into an entry-level position with a local clinic or hospital. In fact, there are many great reasons to start a college career in one of Maryland's community colleges.

One of the first reasons students choose a community college for their healthcare management degree is the location. Community colleges are found in small and large towns all over Maryland. While not every community college will support a healthcare management degree, students can often find an online associate health administration program. Further, they might choose a standard business management degree program and then find an internship with a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare enterprise.

Community colleges are also far more affordable than four-year institutions. Those who are unsure of which university will be best for their healthcare management degree may want to consider starting with a community college, where the course credits are far cheaper. Then, when they complete their four-year degree, they will have less debt while having the same education as their peers.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Management (BS)

A four-year bachelor’s healthcare management degree is probably the optimum foundation for a successful healthcare management career. A four-year healthcare management curriculum will include many special topics that students will encounter in the real world while offering students the opportunity to broaden their intellectual horizons. Students can also take advantage of the resources available in a four-year institution and complete internships or study abroad so they can see how healthcare is managed in other economies.

Since Maryland is in such a central location on the east coast, students in bachelor’s healthcare management degree programs find themselves in a very fortunate position. Not only are there terrific internship opportunities available in Baltimore and Metro D.C., but they don't have to travel very far to find opportunities in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or even New York City.

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Online Master's Degree in Healthcare Management (MS)

A master’s healthcare management degree elevates students to the next level in their career. While some may wonder why a graduate student would choose a master’s in healthcare administration over an MBA, MHA students are steeped in the special topics that inform all aspects of healthcare. For instance, there are special legal issues that impact healthcare. There are also taxation and political issues. Thus, students who completes master’s healthcare management degrees are particularly well suited to a career in healthcare.

In fact, there are some programs that offer a dual MHA-MBA program. This option may suit even more students because they can complete both master’s degrees in a mere three years. Upon graduation, they are sure to be in high demand, with a full master’s level command of both business and healthcare administration. They might then be the perfect fit for a C-level position with a major healthcare system. Another option may be to work as a consultant who assists healthcare organizations with mergers and acquisitions, or even with a public stock offering.

Online PhD Degree in Healthcare Management (PhD)

A PhD is not often at the top of a recruiters list when they try to fill a healthcare management position. This degree level is often considered to be too intellectual for the working world. However, a doctorate is exactly what certain special students need to land the career they desire most. For one thing, a PhD can be a great background for work as a consultant.

However, most PhDs in healthcare management are likely to seek work in academia. In fact, Maryland's community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities seek out PhDs for their top credentials. They can offer doctorate-level professors a tenure-track position, which usually translates into satisfactory, long-term employment. But a doctorate needn't only mean a teaching professorship. Many PhDs work in a research capacity where they can work on their passion for the subject while seeking grants that keep their positions secure.

Become a Healthcare Management in Maryland

Most people in the United States grow up with some exposure to the healthcare field. We see our pediatricians for check-ups and vaccinations, though hopefully little more. Many towns are centered around a hospital or other healthcare system where citizens go to give birth, undergo surgery, or receive treatments of various sorts. Despite the ubiquity of the healthcare industry, many are still curious as to how they might work as a healthcare manager or administrator.

There are a few approaches to the position that students can consider. First, though, students should evaluate whether or not they want to work as a clinical provider, such as a doctor or nurse. Those who are more drawn to clinical work can pursue the requisite science and allied health degree programs that best suit them. They should also know that many clinical workers eventually evolve their career into management. Thus, this is one approach to a career in healthcare management.

Others, who may have a real head for business and administration, should look to establish the best academic foundation for a successful career in healthcare. Once they determine where their talents lie, they can find the Maryland college or university that best supports their aspiration. However, they can also get started as early as high school.

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These days, there are charter schools and other options that focus on STEM subjects. Students who are lucky enough to live near to such a school can perhaps find a curriculum that exposes them to the medical field while strengthening their mathematical abilities. In fact, a high school experience that exposes students to medicine may be a terrific background for someone who aspires to manage healthcare systems.

Once the third and fourth year of high school rolls around, students should seek out the best healthcare management degree program for them. They should evaluate the curriculum for each program to see if it offers the sorts of courses they feel will provide the best foundation. And you should make certain that your top choices are adequately accredited. Most Maryland public colleges and universities will have CHEA-approved regional accreditation, but students can seek out program-specific credentials, too. Programs with AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE accreditation are considered to be among the elite. That is because their credentials are recognized nationwide.

Potential Careers for Healthcare Management Graduates

  • Administrative Support Specialist
    Every organization relies on its support staff. Healthcare administrative support specialists often have an associate healthcare management degree that informs their work in a healthcare system. Support specialists may need to have skills in bookkeeping or medical transcription. Those positions that face the public will also require that workers be able to work with patients who may not be having their best day.
  • Healthcare Consultant
    Healthcare consultants are business professionals who focus exclusively on healthcare systems. Consultants may work with healthcare informatics, healthcare marketing, or healthcare finance issues. They may help a hospital or clinic become more efficient or offer new approaches towards management or help a healthcare system through a merger or acquisition.
  • Medical Secretary
    These support workers need to have a strong sense of the healthcare industry. They may take medical transcription or manage patient files. These days, they should have strong tech skills and a customer service temperament, as well. They often work in hospitals or medical clinics next to doctors and nurses.
  • Hospice Administrator
    Hospice is a delicate practice that requires administrators to have strong interpersonal communication skills. After all, the administrator of a hospice facility may be called to sit with grieving family members or complete delicate administrative tasks. To land this position, it's ideal to have an MHA and experience working in hospice care. Some hospice nurses even earn their MHA so that they can work in this position.
  • Patient Service Representative
    Patients often feel lost in a sea of doctors, nurses, and medical terminology. If that weren't enough, they also have to sort through the red tape associated with insurance. Patient service representatives work with patients to ensure that they receive the best possible care. After all, patients may not be in their best state of mind and they may be overwhelmed with the technical jargon. These professionals can help them navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and receive the best care possible.
  • Chief Compliance Officer
    This is a very important position in any healthcare system. Compliance officers constantly review the clinical aspects of the healthcare system they work for and ensure that each doctor is utilizing the best possible practices according to the law. They thereby help protect clinicians and the hospital from legal jeopardy. Compliance officers must keep tabs on any changes to healthcare laws and pass their knowledge along to the clinical and administrative staff under their purview.
  • Assisted Living Administrator or Nursing Home Administrator
    End of life care is becoming a bigger and bigger industry all the time. Assisted living administration will thus be a growing part of the employment picture. This is one position that may be taken by a nurse who works themselves up into management, but a bachelor’s healthcare management degree or an MHA can also kick-start a career in assisted living administration.

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