Bachelor's degree programs in healthcare administration--also known as health systems management and healthcare management--teach students about the business of healthcare delivery and its relationship with society. Bachelor's degree programs in health information management focus on the technical aspects of gathering, storing and sharing medical information, statistics and patient data. In addition to technical knowledge, undergraduate students gain management, budgeting and communication skills. Select programs may require previous college-level coursework before admission. Graduates of a health information management program can pursue certification from the American Health Information Management Association.
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
Degree programs are designed to give healthcare administrators the ability to create policy, make financial decisions, manage staff and interact with the community. Depending on a program's focus, medical management degrees may be offered through a school's business, public administration, nursing or allied health departments. Some programs require a minor in business administration. Undergraduate healthcare administration coursework includes:
- Financial management of healthcare systems
- Healthcare economics
- Healthcare information systems
- Healthcare administration law and ethics
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
Bachelor's degree programs in health information management focus on the technology and analysis of data collection, which includes gathering and interpreting statistics. Medical management coursework includes:
- Health information privacy
- Databases and data analysis
- Quality management in healthcare
- Electronic records management
- Finance and budgeting for healthcare
- Computer information systems
Popular Career Options
Health information managers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, consulting firms, rehabilitation centers, government agencies and insurance companies. Specific roles may include:
- Systems management
- Data quality assurance
- Training and education
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 17% job growth in the field of medical and health services management from 2014-2024. Employment opportunities should be strongest for graduates with experience in the fields of healthcare and business. Employers may include hospitals, private medical groups, government agencies and health insurance companies.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates from a bachelor's degree program in health information management are qualified to register for Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification, which is administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Students may also pursue a master's degree in this field. According to the BLS, there are only three CAAHEP-accredited health information management master's degree programs in the United States. A master's degree in business or healthcare administration is often required for senior management positions. Additionally, healthcare administrators working in nursing homes and long-term care facilities must obtain state licensure.
Bachelor's degree programs in medical management are for individuals who want to work in the health care field but who also like to work in the administration field as well. Graduates of the program can register for certificates and then go on to pursue graduate level degrees.