Online Health Services Administration Bachelor's Degree

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

An accredited online health services degree prepares graduates for exciting, rewarding careers leading health organizations. As healthcare providers and policymakers struggle with healthcare costs, patient access, and quality services, health administrators ensure they keep their organization strong with long-range strategic planning, smart day-to-day management of resources, and ongoing excellent patient care.

Below, learn about the many career opportunities available for individuals earning their health services management degree online and the range of industries where your talents can be put to work. Also consider how you can tailor your coursework and electives to specialize within a specific role of health administration, while developing a broad understanding of the skills and knowledge necessary to launch your career.

What Is Health Services Administration?

Healthcare administration includes the business and financial responsibilities necessary to operate a successful healthcare organization. Administrators must ensure the staff has access to appropriate medical technology and clinical specialists to serve patients. They must ensure the office or facility complies with all healthcare regulations, maintains necessary accreditation, and properly bills insurance providers. Administrators also collect data to help inform healthcare policy development and implementation. Online health services degrees incorporate multiple disciplines in the curriculum, ensuring graduates understand workplace responsibilities.

Since a health services administration online degree draws heavily from areas of finance, management, and marketing, graduates find they have multiple career options available. Individuals with some clinical background, such as physical therapy assistants or nurses, find career advancement opportunities that combine their clinical knowledge with the business side of healthcare, allowing them to impact more patients and providers with quality, efficient care.

Graduates may also take on quality assessment jobs, work as community health educators, or find themselves in the management suite of a hospital. They may manage electronic health records and use their technical skills to improve patient privacy and increase insurance reimbursement. Nursing homes, hospitals, community health organizations, schools, and other industries all need the analytical, technical, and leadership skills gained through top health service administration online degrees. The curriculum also prepares graduates for continued education at the master's level, which may increase earning potential.

What Can I Do with an Online Health Services Administration Bachelor's Degree?

A health services administration degree offers a broad introduction to the various disciplines that manage health organizations. Within that general field, students may specialize in areas of human resources, community health, information management, or finance. Each specialization provides career opportunities in the growing healthcare industry and employment with a variety of healthcare organizations. Consider your strengths and interests when choosing the career path you wish to follow.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

When earning your health services management degree online, you gain critical thinking and decision-making skills, such as how to analyze data to make strategic business decisions. Healthcare administrators must handle day-to-day operations and need an understanding of human resources, facility management, and finance. They must also continually evaluate market conditions and the need for technology systems updates, ensuring a healthy future for their organization and access to high-quality health services for their patients.

Health services administration online degrees include courses in accounting and economics, marketing, information systems management, and organizational leadership. Also, students learn about the legal and ethical considerations of the healthcare industry, theories, and concepts of U.S. health policy, and quality care assessment and improvement. Some schools may offer specializations in a particular area of interest, such as information management. Students can also earn a related minor in business or marketing or take electives to further tailor their degree to their career goals and professional interests. Individuals interested in working with electronic health records, for example, may complement their degree with computer science and database management courses. Individuals interested in community health education careers benefit from the campaign planning and communication courses of a marketing minor. Many programs require students to intern with a healthcare organization, gaining valuable hands-on skills before seeking employment.

While hospitals provide most job opportunities for health service managers, graduates should also consider residential care facilities, outpatient care centers, and physician offices. Government agencies also need employees with the decision-making and leadership skills gained from a health services administration online degree. These skills also prepare graduates for jobs in related careers, such as health insurance underwriters, human resource managers, social service administrators, and computer systems managers.

Careers and Salary Potential

Careers in healthcare continue to grow, from the need for more nurses and physicians to careers in allied health and support fields. Each of these industries relies on the management expertise of health service administration online degree graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 20% growth in employment for medical and health service managers, particularly individuals with technical expertise to deploy and integrate electronic health records across an organization. The business and management skills from the degree are also useful in social service management and health education.

  • Healthcare/Medical Services: This field encompasses all care delivery organizations, from large hospitals and residential care facilities to physician group practices and home health agencies. Administrators may manage the hiring of appropriate personnel, schedule facility maintenance, and ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Health Insurance: Insurance agencies need the clinical and business expertise of health service administrators to develop billing and reimbursement policies in compliance with state and federal laws. An employee with strong business and financial skills can confirm that the insurance company will maintain its fiduciary responsibilities for members.
  • Healthcare IT Services: Health organizations continue to implement electronic health records to track patients and their outcomes and ensure proper reimbursement for services. In addition, new technology allows for remote healthcare delivery, such as telehealth and video conferencing.
  • Nonprofit: Nonprofit agencies may provide health services to under- or uninsured patients. They may also tackle community health problems like infectious diseases, addiction, or obesity through a variety of public service outreach efforts including community events, public speaking engagements, and public service announcements.
Medical and Health Services Managers

Median Annual Salary: $99,730

These executives manage clinical and business aspects of medical facilities, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations while providing appropriate medical care. They may specialize in recruiting new providers, managing finances, or developing quality improvement plans.

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Median Annual Salary: $46,080

Health educators connect medical professionals to the community and share important health information. They may collect data that helps measure community health outcomes, or they may develop public awareness campaigns to educate the public.

Social and Community Service Managers

Median Annual Salary: $65,320

These managers supervise community service organizations and social workers who provide client care. They often gather data, oversee administrative tasks, and manage staffing and finances. They may also serve as grant writers or prepare funding proposals.

Healthcare Administrator

Median Annual Salary: $64,915

Administrators may work in hospitals, correctional facilities, physician practices, or nursing homes. They serve as management personnel, responsible for clinical and administrative functions throughout the facility. They must ensure the facility meets standards for healthcare.

Medical Practice Manager

Median Annual Salary: $59,900

These managers oversee daily operations for medical offices. They may hire and manage staff, schedule patients, and oversee medical records and billing. They often carry out strategic growth plans or upgrades to medical office systems.

Source: BLS/PayScale