Online degree programs in health care management are relatively easy to find at both the bachelor's and master's levels. Both 100% online and hybrid programs are available at bachelor's and master's level, with 100% online programs more common at the master's degree level. At the bachelor's level, students may complete an abbreviated schedule, which only consists of 1-2 courses per semester. Master's degree programs require a prior degree and experience in the field.
Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management
Students in an online health care management bachelor's program must complete general education courses in the sciences, arts and humanities in addition to their major coursework. Within the health care management major, students take introductory classes in medicine, public health and psychology. They also study the business and legal aspects of managing health care programs, with coursework in accounting, management principles and medical law.
Information and Requirements
With consistent course enrollment, students can complete an online bachelor's program within 4-5 years. Those who have previously completed college classes may be able to transfer credit and graduate more quickly. Applicants should generally hold at least a high school diploma.
Assignments, lectures, exams and other course materials are offered online, with many programs requiring no campus attendance. Others operate as hybrid programs, in which students complete some classes online while traveling to campus for others. In online classes, students watch lectures as video files, access resources from an electronic library and participate in online message board discussions with classmates. Some universities offer courses in abbreviated terms of several weeks rather than adhering to a traditional semester schedule, allowing students to focus on 1-2 courses at a time.
Common Course List
Online courses in health care management draw from business, finance, law and medicine.
In an online accounting course, students learn the basic principles of managing accounting and bookkeeping, including payroll, invoicing and account management. Specialized medical billing topics are discussed.
Health Care Policy
Students examine prevailing government and corporate health care practices in the U.S. and abroad. Overviews of significant historical developments are discussed.
A business law course looks at U.S. laws that apply to corporations and organizations. Particular attention is devoted to laws that are relevant to medical organizations.
Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management
In an online health care management Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, students complete a general MBA curriculum in business, finance and management principles, with specialized coursework on the medical field. Graduates often work in administrative positions at clinics, hospitals, or other medical providers' offices. Applicants to an MBA program must usually hold a bachelor's degree. Previous experience in business or the health care field is helpful.
Information and Requirements
Numerous MBA programs are offered entirely through distance learning. Students can complete a program with 2-3 years of consistent part-time course enrollment.
Readings, lectures and assignments are available online, and students interact with each other and their professors via e-mail, message boards or chat rooms. In addition to word-processing software and Web browsers, students may need software to display lectures in various audiovisual formats. Separate textbook purchase may also be required.
Common Course List
Some courses in a health care management MBA program draw from the general MBA curriculum, while others are specific to the health care field.
In an online technology management course, students learn about the management concerns that go into planning information systems for an organization. Students examine techniques for planning and implementing technology policies in light of budgetary, security and human-resources factors.
A health insurance course looks at medical insurance from the point of view of insurance organizations, health care providers and patients. Coursework examines various models for providing health insurance, such as HMOs, government-subsidized plans and individual policies. Legal and financial considerations are discussed.
Electronic Health Records
In this online course, students learn about contemporary methods and mechanisms for maintaining EHRs in the U.S. health care system. Current technology, privacy concerns and relevant laws are covered.
Graduates of an online health care management bachelor's program might work as administrators in hospitals or clinics. They might also seek employment with pharmaceutical companies, medical textbook publishers or health insurance companies. Some consulting firms and educational organizations also employ of health care management graduates.
The BLS (www.bls.gov) predicted that job opportunities for health care managers would increase by 17%, much faster than the average for all occupations, from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the median salary of a health care administrator was $94,500. Salaries vary substantially according to size and type of health care provider.
Health care management degree programs are available online at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. These programs provide education and training in areas such as health care policy, business law, accounting, insurance and technology management.