A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum educational requirement for a career as a health services manager. Online associate's degree programs in health management are available and may offer credits that can be transferred to a bachelor's degree completion program. Both fully online and hybrid programs are available. Some programs may require an in-person internship. Other majors in the field include health information management, health care administration and health information technology. Program coursework for an online associate's degree program in health management will likely include introductory courses in health information systems, medical office management, health laws and ethics.
Associate Degree in Health Management
Students of an online associate's degree program in health management learn about health care systems, health laws and the ethics that apply to positions as health services managers. In addition to health management, aspiring health services managers might major in health information management or health care administration. An associate's degree program in health information technology can also serve as preparation for a baccalaureate degree in health management. These programs can result in Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees.
Program Information and Requirements
An online associate's degree in health management, health administration or health information management can be obtained in about 20 months, and in some cases as little as 16 months. Programs are generally delivered entirely online, although some schools might mix both on-campus and online courses. Some schools might include an internship.
Common Health Management Courses
Courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, management principles and health care statistics might be included in the curriculum. General education classes in algebra, accounting, sociology, psychology and computer proficiency generally need to be completed.
Health Information Systems
These courses address the history and current trends in U.S. health information systems. Students learn about the various systems used in different types of medical settings, along with the ways these systems are regulated.
Medical Office Management
Students develop the management and leadership skills needed to control medical offices. Courses might address patient scheduling, record keeping, staffing and inventory control.
Health Laws and Ethics
Courses in health laws and ethics address topics such as patient rights and confidentiality. Bioethics, social issues and patient-physician relationships might also be discussed.
Career Information for Graduates
Health care managers typically work in hospitals, private physicians' offices and nursing homes or other short- and long-term health care facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for medical and health services managers was expected to be 17%, much faster than the average for all occupations, between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the median yearly salary for medical and health services managers was $94,500, reports the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Those who earn associate's degrees will generally need to go on to acquire bachelor's degrees in health management, as most employers require 4-year degrees for even entry-level positions in this field. Several colleges and universities throughout the United States offer online bachelor's degree programs in health management.
Health management associate's degree programs are available completely online and may cover topics such as health information systems, ethics and management principles. Graduates of these programs will need to transfer to a bachelor's degree program in the field to qualify for employment as health services managers.