The current growth of healthcare services is unprecedented as one of the largest demographics (Baby Boomers) demand more services and previously uninsured individuals are accessing health benefits thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Overseeing hospitals, health systems, physician practices, long-term care facilities and out patient clinics, are those trained in Healthcare Administration. This is a complex job requiring familiarity with a variety of areas including clinical requirements, quality assurance, finances and economics, marketing, insurance and reimbursement. Successful administrators have a solid foundation in administration and healthcare trends.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a 23% growth prediction for this field for 2012-2022. Salaries for healthcare administrators begin at around $53,990 (lower 10%) and rising to $150,000 (upper 10% of administrators. A median $88,580 salary for Healthcare Administration is standard nationwide.
As the need for qualified administrators increases, universities and colleges are taking advantage of online, or distance, education technologies to prepare students for those positions. Most of the online degrees may be completed in 2-3 years, sometimes, less; and, accredited programs meet all the standards and requirements of in-class participation.
In 2015, Best Medical Degrees ranked 45 schools offering 45 Best Value Master of Healthcare Management and Administration. A year later, we’ve looked to identify 10 of the cheapest degree programs, in terms of tuition costs, accreditation, rankings by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes or Princeton Review.
FINANCING A DEGREE
Paying for graduate school can be problematic, but not impossible; and, the subsequent salary potential may offset the cost. Here are some options to consider.
If you’re currently working, you should check to see if your benefits package includes employer tuition assistance; especially, if you’re currently working in the healthcare field. Many employers find this investment in an employee will benefit the organization.
Check with your Human Resources Department to see if you qualify.
Graduate students are ineligible for federal grants; but, there are bank loans that might be available. You may want to check with your school’s Financial Aid Office to see if there are additional forms of assistance available; however, regardless, you’ll need to complete the Application for federal assistance is on the Department of Education website Free Application for Federal Student Aid..
Online schools frequently cater to active duty military, veterans and/or dependents. This often comes in the form of reduced tuition cost, so check the school’s tuition policy for military personnel.
The majority of credible universities and colleges hold accreditation from an independent organization to assure programs meet educational standards as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, some degree programs hold professional memberships in organizations dedicated to a particular field. It’s recommended that you choose program that is accredited and meets any and all licensure requirements for your state.
1. Montana State University
A Master of Health Administration is offered online by this Billings, Montana, state university. MSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Founded in 1927, the school began life as a teacher’s college and has since developed into a university with an enrollment of over 4,000 students and, in addition to on campus degrees, offers 24 online degree programs.
Coursework in this MHA is broad ranged and include professional seminars, healthcare systems, evidence based methodologies, finance and accounting, health operations methods, healthcare marketing and strategy, health law and policy and requires an internship. The school estimates degree completion may be achieved from 20-24 months. There is one on campus professional seminar required each semester.
Length of Program: 49 Credit Hours
Estimated Program Tuition Cost: $10,845 (Resident); $33,075 (Non Resident)
2. Louisiana State University-Shreveport
LSU-Shreveport offers a Master of Science in Health Administration and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Part of the Louisiana state education system, LSUS was founded in 1967 and provides this MHA program 100% online and is composed of ten courses total.
Students will study healthcare organizational behavior, healthcare human resource management, healthcare systems, healthcare law and ethics as well as studies in healthcare organizational behavior, healthcare human resource management, healthcare systems, healthcare law and ethics; as well as, healthcare marketing, healthcare informatics and fundamentals of accounting and finance.
Length of program: 30 Credit Hours
Estimated Program Tuition Cost: $11,874
3. University of South Dakota
Located in Vermillion, South Dakota, this public school was founded in 1862 and is the oldest university in South Dakota. USD is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is ranked #202 in National Universities, #248 in Business Programs and #110 Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report. Princeton Review has also listed this school as a “Best School.”
This online MBA in Health Services Administration program examines finance, accounting, managerial economics, leadership development, strategic management of healthcare organizations, and advanced healthcare systems. The leadership development course has a five-day, on campus requirement following initial online coursework.
Length of Program: 33 Credit Hours
Estimated Program Tuition Cost: $14,587.65
4. Minnesota State University-Moorhead
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and located in the Moorhead-Fargo area of Minnesota, MSTU-Moorhead’s MBA Healthcare Administration and Master of Healthcare Administration degrees may be achieved online. Ranked #115 in Regional Universities Midwest, #326 in Business Programs and #139 Best Online MBA Programs of U.S. News and World Report. Established in 1888, the school now has an enrollment in excess of 8,000 students and offers 14 graduate degrees and offers tuition reciprocity for students from North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The MBA program is a collaborative between the Paseka School of Business, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Nursing/Health Services Administration; and, will include studies in, marketing management, human resources management, operations management and healthcare studies in economics, ethics, law and ethical decision making and information systems. The MHA concentrates on similar topics in healthcare and both degrees include a capstone project for successful graduation.
Length of Program: 37 Credit Hours
Estimated Program Tuition Cost: $15,910 (Resident); $29,785 (Non Resident)
5. University of Maryland University College
This Master in Health Care Administration degree was developed for currently working professionals seeking to advance their career in health care administration. UMUC is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Started in 1920 as an evening school for adult learners. It currently boasts an international enrollment of 90,000 and is one of the largest distance learning institutions in the world. This university is military friendly. and also offers a dual degree option
UMUC offers a dual degree option in Master of Science in Healthcare/Master of Business Administration. Healthcare subjects included in this study are healthcare administration, U.S. health care system, long-term care administration, financial and economic management, information technology, legal aspects and research methods.
Length of Program: 36 Credit Hours
Estimated Total Tuition Cost: $16,488 (in-state, military/spouses); $23,724 (out-of-state); $17,793 (out-of-state federal employees, spouses and dependents)
6. Colorado State University Global Campus
Ranked #129 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, this school has also received recognition for its online degree offerings in business, computer technology and graduate education and engineering programs. This Master of Healthcare Administration degree examines subjects such as organizational behavior and human resources in healthcare, healthcare policy analysis and development, healthcare information systems and strategic management in healthcare.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Colorado State is located in Fort Collins, Colorado and was established in 1870, six years prior to the Colorado territory’s entrance into the Union. Currently enrollment exceeds 32,000 students and the school offers 65 bachelor degree areas and 55 masters degree fields.
Length of Program: 36-39 Credit Hours
Estimated Total Tuition Cost: $18,000
#7. Saint Joseph College of Maine
Saint Joseph College of Maine, located in Standish, Maine, offers three different graduate programs in healthcare administration: a Master of Health Administration a MSN/MHA and a Master of Health Administration: Catholic Health Leadership Founded in 1912, Saint Joseph College Maine was founded by the Portland Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The MHA program also a member of the National Association of Board of Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators (NAB), American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) and American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE).
Depending on degree selected, students will study healthcare concerns in finance, informatics, legal and ethical perspectives and strategic human resources management. The MHA and MSN/MHA may be completed within approximately two years.
Length of Program: 42 Credit Hours
Estimated Total Tuition Cost: $20,118
8. Indiana Wesleyan University
This MBA in Healthcare Administration offered through Indiana Wesleyan University is provided 100% online. IWU was founded in 1920, in Marion, Indiana and is one of the largest private colleges in Indiana and is a evangelical Christian university of the Wesleyan Church; and, ranks #27 of U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities Midwest rankings. Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Covering a variety of subjects, students will study human resources management, business economics, applied management theory, healthcare finance, healthcare statistics and healthcare principles and policies. The program does require a capstone project for completion of the degree. This MBA may be completed within 18-24 months.
Length of Program: 42 Credit Hours
Estimated Program Tuition Cost: $22,722
9. Oklahoma State University
Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Oklahoma University has an online Master of Health Care Administration Oklahoma State University program received rankings as #152 Regional Universities and #78 Best Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report. OSU is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCASC). Founded in 1890 while Oklahoma was still a territory and has developed into six colleges and has an enrollment of over 25,000 students.
The program at OSU concentrates on one of two options in administration or in healthcare leadership and entrepreneurship. The MHA requires a creative or thesis components for successful completion. Studies include survey of healthcare administration, healthcare legal issues, organizational leadership, accounting and auditing and entrepreneurship and the health sciences.
Length of Program: 32 Credit Hours
Estimated Total Tuition Cost: $22,835 (in-state); $44,966 (out-of-state)
10. University of Cincinnati
Established in 1870, the Queen City’s University of Cincinnati continues to be acknowledged by U.S. News and World Report in its Best College Rankings by being named #135 National Universities, #90 Best College for Veterans and #64 in Top Public School. UC provides an online Masters in Health Administration.
This program offers two concentration courses in global health issues and emerging issues in healthcare systems management. Students will study healthcare issues in management, finance and economics, policy and regulation, legal and ethical issues, evidenced based decisions for managers, total quality management and culminates with a capstone project.
Length of Program: 39 Credit Hours
Estimated Program Tuition Cost: $29,548 (Resident); $29,133 (Non Resident)