Sometimes called health services administration or health services management, an associate's degree program in health services exposes students to the basics in health insurance billing and coding, medical terminology, medical transcription and medical office procedures. Most programs allow students to acquire hands-on training in a medical office.
In addition to health-related courses, the typical curricula in these two-year programs includes business-related classes, such as accounting, management and human resources, as well as a few general education courses. Prerequisites for these programs include a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Health Care Administration
- Health Information and Records Admin
- Health Information Technology
- Health Management and Clinical Administration
- Health Unit Coordinator
- Health Ward Supervisor
- Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
- Medical Claims Examiner
- Medical Facilities Management
- Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
- Medical Insurance Services
- Medical Office Computer Technologies
- Medical Office Management
- Medical Office Specialist
- Medical Receptionist
- Medical Staff Services
- Medical Transcriptionist
Associate Degree in Health Services Administration
The typical curriculum in this program focuses on instruction in health services administration and business management. General education courses in English, liberal arts and math are also included, with most programs featuring an internship. Major course topics may include:
- Health services introduction
- Accounting for managers
- Health services legal and ethical aspects
- Business management and organization
- Computer applications for health services
- Medical coding
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree in health services can be good preparation for a variety of administrative positions in a health care setting. Possible job titles include medical records clerk, admitting clerk, health care administrative assistant, clinic office supervisor, home health care administrative assistant, and medical claim service representative.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), slower-than-average growth of 2% in the number of employed secretaries and administrative assistants was projected from 2014-2024. Median annual wages for this field as of May 2015 came to $36,500, with the top 10% earning $60,640 or more, as noted by the BLS.
The BLS also notes that medical records and health information technicians are expected to see 15% growth in job openings between 2014 and 2024. This career group includes medical coders. According to the BLS, the median salary for all of these technicians was $37,110.
Those who wish to work in higher levels of management in a health care environment can pursue a bachelor's degree in health services or health services management. In some cases, credits from an associate's degree program can be transferred. Also, master's programs are available in health services or public health that focus on planning and research.
The American Academy of Professional Coders offers several credentialing options for individuals who work as medical billers, medical coders or in related health care jobs. These include the Certified Professional Coder and Certified Professional Medical Auditor, along with several other specialty coding certifications. Gaining certification involves passing an exam. Other organizations offering certification include the Board of Medical Specialty Coding and the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists.
Through classroom sessions and hands-on training, students in an associate's program in health services administration learn about topics related to medical coding, billing, office operations and business. These skills may prepare graduates for work as administrative assistants in the healthcare industry, or for work as medical coders.