Online graduate certificate programs in health services management are relatively easy to find and require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree to enroll. Coursework is typically available in a fully online format. For hybrid programs, proctored exams and internships may require in-person attendance. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the minimum educational level needed to work as a health services manager varies by employer, but a bachelor's degree is typically required, and master's degrees are common.
Graduate Certificates in Health Services Management
The goal of this program is to prepare students for leadership and management positions in the health care system. Critical thinking and analysis skills are highlighted in the curriculum. Prerequisites for these programs include a bachelor's degree and school-specific GPA standards. Students may also need to complete specific courses prior to enrolling.
Program Information and Requirements
The learning portions of these programs are offered fully online. In some cases, depending on the school, a student may be required to take exams proctored by employers, local librarians or other acceptable individuals. Some schools also allow students to participate in an internship program as part of their studies to gain practical experience.
Many schools even allow students to purchase books and other study materials at their bookstores via online shopping. Technical requirements will vary slightly from school to school, but most programs can be accessed through stable, high-speed Internet connections.
Because certificate programs have a highly concentrated curriculum, general education classes aren't required. Common courses offered in this program cover subjects such as health care policy creation and the effects of these policies on consumers and health service providers.
Health Care Financial Management
This course gives students the tools to understand the financial aspects of public and private health care providers. With these tools, students learn to work with issues like reimbursement systems and third-party payment structures.
Health Care Quality Assessment
In this course, the student will be taught how the industry defines quality in regards to health service delivery methods. By collecting and analyzing data, the student will learn how to use empirical knowledge to improve possible system issues.
Health Service Law and Ethics
Legal and ethical strictures related to health services are explored in this class, primarily those related to liability issues. Armed with this knowledge, the student will be prepared to tackle issues such as biotechnology, genetics, health care rationing and access to services.
According to the BLS, openings in health care services management should increase by 17%, faster than the average for all occupations, between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the largest employment rate was found to be in California, while the highest wages were paid in the District of Columbia. The BLS noted that at this time, the national median salary for medical and health service managers was $94,500.
Continuing Education Information
With a bachelor's degree, a student may find entry-level jobs in health service management positions and a certificate or master's degree may be required for advancement. Those working in nursing care facilities will be required to have a license as well.
Students who earn a certificate in the field may be able to transfer their credits into a master's degree program. Those who are looking to earn a promotion within their own facility may only need a graduate certificate to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to earn a promotion; however, those who are looking to change employers may find that a master's degree will make them a more attractive applicant.
In online graduate certificate programs in health services management, students gain knowledge related to health services, including financial management, health care quality assessment, and laws and ethics. Additional education is available at the master's degree level, and having a graduate certificate or master's may help advance graduates' careers.