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Healthcare administration professionals work primarily in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and physicians' offices. This field is growing rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that positions for medical and health services managers will expand by 32% between 2020 and 2030. Graduates of online associate degree in healthcare administration programs can work in several supporting roles if they decide not to pursue a four-year diploma.
This guide highlights what it takes to earn an associate degree in healthcare administration online, including:
- Admission requirements
- Common coursework
- Job and salary outlooks
- The importance of accreditation
- Scholarships that can help you save money along the way
Earning Your Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration
For many busy individuals, earning a healthcare administration associate degree online allows them to graduate without neglecting their professional and personal responsibilities. Given the flexibility of distance learning, degree seekers can complete assignments without ever visiting campus, saving them both time and money.
How Long Does It Take to Earn Your Healthcare Administration Associate Degree Online?
Many prospective students wonder how much time they need to carve out in order to get a healthcare administration associate degree online. The short answer? It depends.
Most programs require two years of full-time study, but there are other paths. Some learners find they need to enroll on a part-time basis to balance other responsibilities. Additionally, students who completed a number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school can generally transfer those credits to the program and lessen their time to graduation.
Admission Requirements for an Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration
Degree programs at the associate level tend to feature less strenuous admission requirements than four-year institutions, but that doesn't mean they don't set specific expectations. Students hoping to gain admission should possess either a high school diploma or GED. They should also supply transcripts from any schools they've previously attended. Some community colleges require scores from standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT, while others maintain an open-door policy. Check with a school's admissions coordinator if the website does not adequately explain the process.
Students may also need to submit a personal statement detailing their reasons for enrolling or ask trusted advisors, supervisors, or teachers to write letters of recommendation on their behalf.
Courses in an Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration Program
Here are some courses you can expect to take:
Medical Office Management
Typically taken in the first semester, this introductory course teaches common office procedures. Specific topics covered include processing and coding insurance requests, managing records properly, understanding medical terminology, maintaining professionalism with staff and patients, and following ethics requirements.
Health Records Management
Given the sensitivity of patient records and medical histories, this class teaches students how to properly and securely manage documentation. Topics include the using records, common database systems, and properly sharing health records across internal and external networks.
This course hones in on the specifics of billing and insurance claims management and teaches students about intricate coding methods for keeping everything organized. Students look at common insurance plans to understand how to process them before studying topics like reimbursement and extenuating claims.
Healthcare Human Resources
Students in this class learn about managing human resources in a healthcare setting. Specifically, they cover topics such as hiring, training programs, affirmative action, equal access to employment, and benefits.
Healthcare Law and Regulations
This class teaches local, state, and federal laws governing healthcare delivery and administration. Healthcare administrators must understand the legal implications from a staffing and managerial perspective.
Job and Salary Outlook for Online Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration Graduates
Completing one of the many online healthcare administration associate degree programs available qualifies graduates for several entry-level positions in administrative support or medical administrative assistance. To qualify for work as a healthcare administrator, you need a bachelor's degree at minimum.
Potential Careers and Salaries
Median Salary : $40,990
These professionals work in several types of office settings to support the clerical needs of other staff. They create and oversee budgets, arrange staff meetings, schedule appointments, maintain and update calendars, coordinate travel plans, edit internal and external documents, and keep track of receipts and other business reimbursements.
Median Salary : $35,330
Similar to administrative assistants, office clerks ensure their workplaces run smoothly. They answer and process phone calls, handle mail, complete data entry, welcome visitors, take notes, and maintain files.
Median Salary : $35,270
Medical transcriptionists work with doctors and other medical professionals to transcribe recordings of healthcare notes or other relevant information. They use dictation software to collect information and correct errors, and they use their knowledge of medical terminology to provide the long-forms and layperson's terms of medical jargon.
Accreditation for a Healthcare Administration Degree Online Program
Before enrolling in an online healthcare administration associate degree program, prospective students should ensure their school maintains proper and current accreditation. Accreditation can affect a student's ability to transfer credits to another school, receive admission to a four-year program, compete with other job candidates from accredited schools, and seek licensure.
When looking at accreditation, notice that it exists in two forms: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation further divides into two sections: regional and national. While national accreditation may sound more legitimate, most nonprofit schools are regionally accredited.
Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Scholarships
Like many other careers, many positions in healthcare administration require applicants to hold a degree. Fortunately, you can pursue a variety of relevant scholarships to help allay the costs.
Who Can Apply: This award is offered to full-time undergraduates pursuing degrees in healthcare administration and related subjects. Applicants must maintain MGMA membership and submit documentation.
Who Can Apply: Students with active memberships through the Society for Public Health Education can apply for this award if they're pursuing a full-time degree related to healthcare administration at the undergraduate level.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship exists for students enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program that has some focus on healthcare information and technology.
Who Can Apply: Students must pursue an undergraduate degree focused on healthcare administration, identify as a minority student, and possess a GPA of 3.0 or above. They must also maintain membership with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.
Amount: Up to $40,000
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