Online associate's degree programs in health administration are widely offered. Students typically earn an Associate of Science in Healthcare Administration. These programs may be completed entirely online, with lessons and tests all administered from the student's home. The regular length of the degree program is two years, and coursework includes general education classes. The specialized instruction focuses on anatomy, physiology, medical office management, customer service, and medical coding. Many students choose to continue their education into a bachelor's degree after graduating.
Associate's Degree in Health Administration
An online associate's degree program in health administration is designed for students interested in administrative and managerial healthcare careers. Students learn skills like medical record keeping, office management, and medical coding procedures. There are no prerequisites for most programs, although experience in the field can be beneficial.
Information and Requirements
Most health administration programs are completed entirely online. Course content is delivered via audio and video that can be accessed online by students at any time. A computer with Internet access is required.
An associate's degree program in health administration includes general education courses like biology and algebra. A typical administrative health curriculum also requires enrollment in business courses like office management and economics.
Healthcare Administrative Services
Students learn administrative support procedures for private and public healthcare systems in this course. Topics like billing, insurance claims, and scheduling are introduced.
Terminology in Medicine
Healthcare administrators use medical terminology on a daily basis to communicate with doctors, nurses, and medical staff. In this course, students learn technical terms pertaining to surgical, post-operative, and therapeutic procedures.
Introduction to Medical Coding
The different medical codes used to document a patient's symptoms, diagnoses, and disorders are discussed in this class. Particular attention is paid to ICD-9-CM coding.
Students learn how to transcribe a doctor or nurse's charts and dictations into proper medical terminology in this class. Transcription formats include cardiology, pathology, and obstetrics.
Ethical Practice in Healthcare
Professional ethics and medical law are the primary points of discussion in this course. Students analyze case studies involving issues of fraud, negligence, and confidentiality in private and public practice.
Graduates of an associate's degree program in health administration can pursue entry-level positions as medical receptionists or medical coding specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for medical records and health information technicians are projected to grow by 15% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the national average. Payscale.com reports that medical receptionists make between $20,829 and $35,338 per year, while medical coding specialists earn between $25,684 and $52,380 annually as of 2016.
Continuing Education Information
Health administrators who have received their associate's degree may pursue a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in healthcare administration. Some bachelor's degree programs are completed exclusively online, but most require a clinic-based internship. Master's and doctoral degree programs typically include online and campus-based components.
Health administration associate's degrees are commonly available in fully online formats, preparing students for work in healthcare offices as receptionists, office managers, coding specialists, and more. Many graduates choose to pursue a bachelor's degree, with graduate options available following that.