Potential health services managers or administrators can initially pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in health services administration or health care management. Those seeking advancement in the field would generally need a graduate degree and could enter a Master of Science or Ph.D. program in Health Policy and Management or a Master of Public Health (MPH).
Common concepts students can expect to study in these types of programs include:
- Public health issues
- Medical terminology
- Health care informatics
- Health care delivery systems
- Health care ethics
- Health care laws and regulations
Many programs include an internship at a health care facility to give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a practical situation.
List of Common Courses
Managing Health Services Organizations Course
This class provides an in-depth study of U.S. health services organizations. Students are introduced to the models and theories commonly used in structuring and operating them. Topics include government and private sector groups, financing health care groups and determining health care needs. Organizational theory, management principles and economics are other topics that could be addressed in this course.
Health Economics Course
This course discusses how economic pressures govern segments of the health care system. Students discuss economic theories and apply their principles to issues in health care management. Topics include market competition and efficiency, choices in treatment methods and health manpower substitution. Other material covered includes health insurance, the role of uncertainty in treatment and anticipating consumer responses.
Health Services Marketing Course
Students study various marketing techniques and learn to use and modify these methods to meet the needs of health care groups. They develop marketing research skills, learning how to construct an effective survey and interpret its results. The course covers market targeting and positioning, health services promotion and effective pricing strategies.
U.S. Health Care System Course
Students get an overview of the components of the U.S. health care system, such as health care institutions, insurance providers and managed care companies. Health care costs, payment methods, public health and clinical processes are among the topics addressed in this course. Other topics might include the impact of cultural, ideological and historical events on the U.S. health care system and public policy.
Health Care Policy Course
This course will provide an overview of federal health care regulations and policies. It will discuss how these policies are developed and implemented and what changes have occurred in health care policies through the years. How these policies impact the health care system is a main topic that will be covered in this course.
Students learn the methods used by epidemiologists to study chronic health problems. They develop the ability to identify risk factors that create opportunities for disease outbreaks. Topics include treatment approaches for communicable and non-communicable diseases and data collection for outbreaks. Other subjects discussed include common health concerns and epidemiology's role in protecting public health. Population health evaluation, survival statistics and monitoring practices are also covered.