Bachelor of Health Service Administration (BHSA): Degree Overview

Students in Bachelor of Health Service Administration (BHSA) degree programs approach the delivery of health care from a business and management perspective rather than a strictly medical point of view. Students can learn about budgeting, human resource management, regulatory issues and legalities in health care services.

Essential Information

Most baccalaureate programs in health service administration combine didactic learning with hands-on opportunities such as internships or field experience at health care institutions. Students may typically enter a BHSA program with only a high school diploma or the equivalent. In some cases, programs are designed to accommodate recent high school graduates, as well as individuals who have earned an associate degree in a related field. Graduates of these programs either join the workforce or pursue graduate-level education.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Other Requirements: Internship

Bachelor of Health Service Administration Degree

These programs can provide an overview of health care through courses in community and public health, epidemiology and medical terminology for future health services administrators who will direct health care programs and set policies. Instead of focusing directly on patient care and medical knowledge, much of the coursework in a BHSA degree program relates to directing or coordinating the delivery of health care services by health care systems, organizations or agencies. A typical program takes four years of full-time study to complete and can include courses like:

  • Computer information systems
  • Quality management in health care
  • Finance and accounting for health professionals
  • Health care economics
  • Health care law
  • Personnel management

Popular Career Options

Bachelor of Health Service Administration (BHSA) degree programs can prepare students for leadership and management roles in health services occupations, from entry-level to supervisory roles. Graduates could pursue positions in a wide range of health care facilities, including nursing homes and residential care facilities, physician offices, clinics and nonprofit organizations. They may also find work with insurance groups, pharmaceutical companies or government agencies. Some supervisory, management and administrative positions may require additional education. Popular career options in health services administration include:

  • Nursing home administrator
  • Medical records manager
  • Practice administrator
  • Clinical supervisor

Career Outlook and Salary Information

In 2014, medical and health services managers earned an average of $92,810 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those working in the states of District of Columbia, California, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey were paid the most at that time. The BLS projects a job growth rate of 23% for health and medical services managers from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the national average.

Continuing Education Information

The BLS reports that, while bachelor's degree holders are qualified for some entry-level positions in small health systems or facilities, many employers require a master's degree in health services administration or a related field (www.bls.gov). To advance in the field and qualify for top executive positions in health services administration, students may need to earn a master's degree in health services administration, public health, health services research or a similar discipline. The BLS also states that some professionals, such as managers of nursing care or assisted living facilities, may be required to acquire state licensure and pursue continuing education.

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