The health care industry has faced many changes in regulation, legislation, and delivery of care based on patient needs in recent decades. The changes health care has undergone have created the need for specialized administration of care and health care organizations throughout the industry. Within both bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs, future health care administration professionals are able to specialize in particular concentrations to prepare to best make a difference in the field of health care.
Health Care Informatics
Health care informatics includes specialized courses in health care information systems, business intelligence, and data analysis. Students will also take courses in ethics in information management, health care strategic planning, electronic patient records, health care systems and applications, and security and privacy. Graduates with this particular specialization are likely to find employment positions outside of traditional health care settings, working in insurance, residential care, public health, or research in addition to hospitals, medical care offices, and long term care facilities.
Health Care Management
Health care management includes courses in health insurance, health care policy, and managed care, but also includes business-focused courses in marketing, principles of management, and human resources managements. Courses also include quality assurance, mergers and acquisitions, decision making in managed care, and organization communications. For additional information on the health care management specializations, visit the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) at http://www.aaham.org.
Health Care Financial Management
Health care financial management includes advanced courses in budgeting, health services finances, and forecasting. Additional courses include accounting, venture development, and economics specifically for the field of health care. Because health care faces challenges that change frequently based on regulation and patient need, the focus of these courses on the health care industry in particular is important in order to prepare students for making decisions in the health care environment. Professional certifications are also helpful for financial management specialists in health care administration. Additional information on the Certified Self-Funding Specialist, one such designation, can be found on the Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA) website at http://www.hcaa.org.
Health Care Law and Policy
The constantly changing regulation and legislation relating to health care requires qualified administrators to understand and make decisions to implement the changes within various health care settings. The health care law and policy specialization includes courses in health systems, ethics in health care, applied health care law, and health policy. Additional courses might include public health, public health care regulation, policy analysis in health care, and health service delivery theory.
Health Care Administration Careers
Health care administration requires a diverse set of knowledge in order to effectively analyze and create policies that help in the delivery of care across various health care environments. In each of the specializations, health care administrators must have knowledge in health care and in business functions. An education in health care administration is the beginning to learning how to effectively work within the industry in order to lead, make decisions, and handle the additional administration tasks of a variety of health care settings, from hospitals and managed care facilities to insurance companies and public policy organizations.
Additional Resource: Top 10 Best Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs