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What is Healthcare Administration?
Hospital systems or other organization health services are managed by healthcare administrators. The facilities and services manager may assist with a variety of programs, manage staff, work with other organizations, and manage budgets, depending on the type and size of the company. Physicians and clinicians have daily contact with patients, but healthcare managers and administrators typically do not. As leaders in many health-related organizations, they shape policy and make necessary changes to health care systems.
If you've decided on a career as a health administrator you've made an excellent choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states this profession is projected to grow at a rate of 32 percent over the next decade, and in New Hampshire the rate is 17 percent. You should have a good selection of jobs to choose from when you graduate.
While almost one-third of health administrators hold a bachelor’s degree another third holds a master’s or doctorate, so you should plan to continue your education once you earn your undergrad degree. It usually takes another two or three years to earn your master’s and combined with the experience you've accrued in the interim you'll be able to apply for the most prestigious and highest paying positions.
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Healthcare Administration Education in New Hampshire
Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration (BSHCA)
The undergrad program for health administration is quite rigorous because it covers such a wide range of subjects as mentioned above. While each school will have different program and course titles they will cover the same subjects.
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The most important thing to remember when choosing an undergrad program is to make sure it is accepted in a future master’s degree program. Verify that your school of choice has the proper accreditation and coursework for several different master’s programs, so you'll have a choice once you're ready to continue your education. Because the top positions usually require a combination of work and experience many people in this profession earn their bachelor’s degree and then seek employment before beginning their master’s degree. That way they have a better idea about the specialty areas available and know what type of positions they prefer.
The health administration degree curriculum focuses on healthcare as it relates to business, ethics, technology, policy, and quality management.
Here are some examples of the type of courses you'll take while earning your undergrad degree:
- Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
- Statistics for Healthcare Professionals
- Business Systems Analysis and Design
- Healthcare Economics
- Healthcare Marketing
- Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Healthcare Reimbursement
- Healthcare Finance
- Healthcare Strategic Management and Policy
- Healthcare Research and Evaluation Methodologies
- Healthcare Administration Capstone
- Principles of Epidemiology
- Population Health and Cultural Competence
- Ethical and Legal Considerations of Healthcare
- Healthcare Quality Management
- Human Relations in Administration
- Human Resource Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Healthcare Data Management
- Communication and Technologies
- Healthcare IT Infrastructure and Network Management
- Patient Safety Systems and Strategies
- Healthcare Regulatory Compliance and Accreditation
- Performance Improvement Measurement and Methodologies
Because this career involves overseeing a large group of employees your core classes should include speaking, writing, and other communication courses. Since most employers prefer to hire those with experience you should keep this in mind when choosing an internship as it can become a vital feature of your resume.
Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA)
In order to advance in the field of health administration you should earn your master’s degree as soon as possible. This graduate degree usually takes two or three years but can take longer if you're working full-time and taking classes at night or online. A Master's in health administration covers a variety of topics in depth such as policy, law, finance and economics, strategic planning, and informatics. You may also take several courses in a specialty area such as information systems or nursing home management depending on your personal interests and career goals.
Here are some samples of the types of courses you'll take when working on your master’s degree:
- Population-Based Epidemiology
- Human Behavior in Organizations
- Healthcare Informatics
- Global Health and Diversity
- Marketing, Communications Strategies and Outreach
- Healthcare Quality and Improvement
- Health Policy and Law
- Economic Principles of Healthcare
- Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement
- Program Design, Planning and Evaluation
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Leading/Managing Not-For-Profit Orgs
- Healthcare Administration Capstone
Your Capstone is a paper or project that goes into detail on a subject of your choice, usually within the specialty you've chosen. It is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skill set based on your education and is a requirement before graduation. Depending on the school you enroll in you may also need to complete an internship and/or a thesis before your diploma is awarded.
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Although health administrators in general do not need to be licensed if you plan to work in a nursing home you must have state licensure. Likewise, while certification or at the minimum an associate's in healthcare administration is optional, it's a good idea to obtain certification in one or more specialty areas as it shows you are adept in your position.
Careers and Salary Outlook
Salary and Earnings Potential
The mean annual income for health administrators in New Hampshire is $120,490. The lowest 10 percent, typically representing those with the least education and experience, earn an average of $66,570 per year, and the highest 10 percent in the field earn $195,700. That means earning your master’s degree can double or triple your income once you have experience in your profession.
Health administrators can hold a wide range of titles, so a variety of titles can be found in both degree programs and job postings. Healthcare administer, healthcare executive, and Facility manager can all be used in place of health administrator.
Many who enter this career hold a degree and position in another field. That's because health administration requires a combination of accounting, business, human resources, and medical knowledge to fulfill the position. Nurses, medical information specialists, and administrative assistants often complete their master’s degree in this field to round out their education and move up to better positions.
Most positions in the health administration field are clustered in specific metropolitan areas and around major hospitals and medical providers. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physician’s groups, and clinics are all overseen by health administers. Large hospitals may have a director who oversees the entire operation as well as several administrators over different departments such as nursing and information technology.
As mentioned above job prospects for health administrators in New Hampshire are excellent. When you're ready to apply for positions remember to check a variety of titles that encompass the field of health administration.
Here are some samples of potential job titles available:
- Bachelor’s degree in management or healthcare field
- Minimum three years practice management experience
- demonstrated leadership skills
- Minimum of three years of administrative experience
- EMR experience preferred
- Customer/patient relations experience highly preferred.
- Experience with staff supervision, account payable and account receivable processes
Practice Manager II
- Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration or Business Administration
- Minimum three years of experience in a healthcare or clinic setting
- Prior leadership or management experience in a physician practice highly preferred.
- Experience managing a general surgery clinic or practice's P&L.
- Experience managing surgical providers and staff is preferred.
- Physician Practice marketing expertise with a variety of tactics to grow and develop business.
- Knowledge of managing surgical schedules is preferred.
- Proven track record in growing physician practice revenues and volumes.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration or related field. Current Nursing Home Administrator License
- Five plus years experience in nursing home administration or related health care administration preferably in a Life Plan Community (CCRC)
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Proven leadership skills with broad operational experience
- Master’s degree with major study in public health, health, or business administration, health education, nursing, communications, or a related field.
- Eight years’ experience in a public health agency, five years of which must have been in a management level position involving administrative or supervisory duties concerned with program administration, program planning and evaluation, business management or related management experience.
Additional Helpful Resources
Prominent Employers in New Hampshire
Health administration jobs in New Hampshire are spread equally around the areas of the state, both metropolitan and rural. In fact, the west central New Hampshire rural area has the second highest non-metropolitan concentration of health administration jobs in the nation and is also the second highest in pay.
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Here are the largest employers in the state:
|Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center||Lebanon|
|Capital Region Palliative Care||Concord|
|Southern NE Medical Center||Nashua|
|Southern New Hampshire Health||Nashua|
|Catholic Medical Center||Manchester|
Keep in mind there are many other employers clustered around these and look for public health departments, mental health clinics, veteran’s hospitals, and clinics as well as physician’s groups, insurance companies, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes that are affiliated with the major hospitals and are all also employers of health administrators.
Health Administration Associations
As you begin your education and career in health administration professional associations will be an invaluable tool and resource. Membership in these organizations will provide many benefits such as networking opportunities with your peers, mentorship as you work towards your degree, and opportunities to attend events, seminars, and conventions. You'll be able to access books, classes, and other material to help you through the rough spots and when you're ready to enter the job field you'll have employment postings and resources.
There are four associations for health administrators in New Hampshire:
- Home Care Association of New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Health Care Association
- New Hampshire Health Information Management Association
- New Hampshire Public Health Association
In addition, there are many national organizations you can join to help you with your career in health management:
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- Healthcare Administrators Association
- American College of Healthcare Administrators
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- American Hospital Association
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- National Association of Health Services Executives
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration
Getting started in health admin is a great way to land a solid career in New Hampshire. Your first step is to begin the education required for this role.