Understanding medical billing, coding, and insurance claims are all key to the successful operation of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Such skills are frequently taught through associate's degree programs in health services administration, which typically result in an Associate of Applied Science degree. Other relevant programs include medical collection and accounting.
Graduates learn to manage health insurance claims, ensure that confidentiality regulations are followed, and understand data collection and reimbursement processes. These programs generally take between 18 and 24 months to complete. Both traditional classroom-based and distance-learning options are available. Standard admissions requirements include a high school diploma or the equivalent and ACT/SAT scores. Minimum grade point averages and test scores vary by institution.
Associate's Degree in Hospital Business Management
In addition to general education and business classes, students complete a variety of courses related to hospital business management. Class topics will commonly include:
- Medical terminology
- Insurance coding and reimbursement
- Administrative medical office procedures
- Claims processing
- Facility and physician billing
- Legal issues
Popular Career Options
Graduates of health services administration programs are prepared to work in a variety of roles in healthcare administration. Specific roles include medical claims clerk, medical admissions clerk, medical records clerk, patient account specialist, medical office assistant, and hospital administrative assistant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical records and health information technicians earned a median salary of $37,110 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Jobs for these technicians were expected to increase by 15% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS.
Students interested in pursuing additional education in hospital business management may earn a bachelor's or master's degree in healthcare administration, business administration, or law. Such programs may lead to eligibility for a variety of leadership roles, such as manager in a hospital's billing department.
An associate's degree in hospital business management prepares students to enter a fast-growing field as medical records and health information technicians or to pursue further education at the bachelor's or master's level. Such programs teach students how to manage insurance claims in addition to providing instruction in billing and coding.