Distance learning programs in healthcare administration can be completed entirely online or through hybrid studies. Students can choose between associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree and graduate certificate programs in this field. Some courses may allow students to complete work at their own pace, taking into account deadlines for assignments. Other courses may require students to participate online at specific days and times, through virtual chat forums or web teleconferencing. In addition, some degree programs may require students to complete a practicum.
Associate's Degree in Healthcare Administration
Online training in healthcare administration can lead to an Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Services Administration or an Associate of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare administration. Students learn about the clerical and administrative responsibilities of a medical assistant. They also explore the components of health records within various healthcare settings.
In addition to general education requirements, specialized online training includes classes in the following areas:
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Office Procedures
- Medical Records
- Business Management and Leadership
- Project Management
Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration
Students are provided with a sound foundation in general management and economic policies related to healthcare, as well as ethical, religious, legal and social perspectives. Since this is usually a degree completion program, students are expected to complete their general education requirements prior to beginning specialized training. Students taking online classes at the baccalaureate level can earn one of the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration
- Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management
This online training consists of the same upper-level, junior and senior year classes one would take in an on-campus program. Examples include the following:
- Healthcare Ethics
- Management of Healthcare Systems
- Health Systems Administration
- Organizational Behavior
- Financial Management for Healthcare
- Leadership and Management in Healthcare Systems Administration
Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration
Online degree programs at the graduate level can lead to a Master of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management. Students learn about integrating various business functions in healthcare systems. In addition, they learn about planning, implementation and management of corporate resources, products and assets.
The entire group of courses needed to earn a master's degree can be completed in as little as a year. Review common class offerings below.
- Systems in Healthcare
- Health Policy
- Leadership and Ethics for Managers
- Strategic Management
- Business Research for Decision Making
- Managerial Approach to Marketing
Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration
An online certificate program is typically made up of 15 credit hours and is intended for working professionals looking to pursue distance learning in the field part-time. The program is designed to flesh out training for healthcare workers with non-administrative degrees and administrative-related degree holders with no healthcare experience. Without the length of a master's degree program but offering some of the same training, this type of program increases the qualifications and broadens the marketability of individuals wishing to advance in the field of healthcare administration.
Positions in healthcare administration can be found within the following organizations:
- Pharmaceutical corporations
- Healthcare facilities
- Insurance companies
- Marketing firms
- Law firms
- Medical practice organizations
- Managed care organizations
Graduates of an associate degree program are prepared for various entry-level positions in the field of healthcare administration. These include the following:
- Admitting clerk
- Patient services representative
- Healthcare supply coordinator
- Front office medical assistant
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program qualify for administrative and managerial positions in the field. Master's-level training prepares individuals to be senior administrators and managers.
There are a wide variety of online programs available in the field of healthcare administration. Undergraduate programs offer an introduction to the basic financial and medical aspects of the field, while graduate programs cover management-related topics so that students can advance to higher level careers in the field.