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What Is An MHA Degree? 4 Burning Questions Answered.
Healthcare administration is a broad category of professions that encompasses everything that allows healthcare facilities—such as doctors' offices, surgical centers, hospitals, and specialty clinics—to run smoothly.
A Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) is an advanced degree that prepares you to become a healthcare leader. This specialized degree gives you the skills to navigate a complex industry, while balancing patient needs with fiscal responsibility.
If you’re a highly motivated and ambitious professional looking to advance your career in healthcare, an MHA can be the credential you need to succeed. Let’s look at the value of an MHA degree and the types of career opportunities it will prepare you for.
What Do You Learn In An MHA Degree Program?
A Master of Healthcare Administration is a graduate-level degree designed to advance your professional qualifications and career skills.
Master of Healthcare Administration programs are often compared to Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs due to their cross-disciplinary approach to teaching leadership and management. Some professionals even debate which of these degrees to pursue.
However, while an MBA is applicable to many different industries, an MHA degree focuses specifically on management within the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is especially complex and nuanced, with specific policies, regulations and ethical considerations that impact how a healthcare organization is run. These considerations make an MHA a better choice for individuals who are dedicated to a career in healthcare.
An MHA program will give the ability to excel in the ever-changing healthcare industry by providing in-demand skills such as:
- Healthcare leadership and strategy: Run an organization that delivers quality patient care, ensures financial stability and captures forward-thinking opportunities.
- Healthcare operations management: Lead operations in accordance with patient needs, government regulations and organizational policies.
- Healthcare law and policy: Ensure ethical management, quality assurance and regulatory compliance are top priorities and woven into the culture of a healthcare organization.
- Healthcare accounting and finance: Develop annual budgets, project revenue and monitor key metrics to ensure fiscal responsibility and cost-effective service delivery.
- Management and workforce development: Attract, retain and train top talent, while ensuring competitive compensation and benefits.
What Are The Average Requirements and Costs Of An MHA Degree?
Typical MHA degree programs requirements range from 32 to 60 credits. Students enrolled full time can complete most online master's in healthcare administration programs within two academic years. Some programs, like Franklin University’s online MHA, can be completed in as few as 14 month by taking nine 6-week classes.
Costs of MHA programs vary widely. Cost per credit hour can range from $200 to $1,500 and total cost can range from $6,500 to $75,000. With this wide range of costs, make sure you thoroughly research the institution's accreditation status, curriculum and industry relevancy. The cheapest option may not be the most valuable.
Why Should You Earn An MHA?
An evolving healthcare system needs qualified leaders to spur innovative ideas, improve bottom-line results and maintain high-quality patient care. An MHA will qualify you to meet these demands while setting you apart in the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, candidates with a master’s degree in health administration or a related field will likely have the best growth prospects in the growing field of healthcare management.
What matters most when choosing a master’s program? Compare features, benefits and cost to find the right school for you.
Here are 3 of the top reasons you should earn an MHA:
- Meet the demand for Medical and Health Services Managers, which expects 32% growth by 2029 (BLS).
- Improve salary expectations with a median salary of $104,280 for Medical and Health Services Managers.
- Increase long-term job stability as the healthcare industry navigates major challenges, such as the aging Baby Boomer population and rapid technological advances.
The accelerated growth of online MHA programs makes earning your MHA easier than ever before. From 2012 to 2020, online MHA degree completions increased by 153.5% (EMSI). This figure shows the popularity of online MHA degree programs, as well as their increasing reputation in the industry.
What Are Common Career Paths and Salary Expectations for MHA Graduates?
Healthcare administrators work in a variety of healthcare settings. Group medical practices, public health organizations, nonprofits, and hospital systems all need qualified healthcare administrators to successfully lead them through operational challenges—from process improvement and risk mitigation to managing physicians and staff.
Let’s look at 5 of the top careers and average salaries for positions that are an ideal fit for MHA degree graduates.
Physician Practice Operations Manager | Average Salary: $116,606 (Salary.com)
A Physician Practice Operations Manager coordinates administrative and clinical services for one or more physician offices. They establish work procedures and standards to improve efficiency and effectiveness, while supervising medical, nursing and clerical staff to ensure proper patient care.
Nursing Home Administrator | Average Salary: $119,365 (Salary.com)
Nursing Home Administrators act as the director of a long-term care facility and are ultimately responsible for resident care and business decisions. The top priorities of these professionals are quality and safety, which requires pairing leadership and financial skills with a thorough understanding of the aging process and medical industry.
Healthcare Consultant | Average Salary: $84,012 (Salary.com)
A Healthcare Consultant is focused on improving efficiency at healthcare organizations. Through data capture and analysis, these professionals identify problem areas and then propose solutions. Typically, solutions are related to technology, personnel and administration changes.
Hospital CEO | Average Salary: $179,299 (Salary.com)
The Chief Executive Officer of a hospital is responsible for strategic planning, hospital performance and regulatory compliance. They’re also the top administrator, overseeing day-to-day operations and personnel at the highest levels of the organization.
Medical Policy Manager | Average Salary: $119,415 (Salary.com)
Medical Policy Managers evaluate and create policies and reimbursement guidelines to effectively manage and control medical claims costs. They’re responsible for ensuring that all claims are reviewed, settled and processed in compliance with contract arrangements and mandatory regulations.
Find The Right MHA Program To Reach Your Career Goals
As an aspiring healthcare leader, you want to maintain career momentum while advancing your education. Finding a flexible, online MHA program designed for working professionals is key to your success.
Franklin University’s online Master of Healthcare Administration will prepare you for a career at the forefront of healthcare. Our contemporary curriculum and instructors with extensive industry experience will provide the skills and insights necessary to lead complex healthcare organizations. You’ll also get to connect and collaborate with our Healthcare Community of Practice, helping to expand your professional network.
Learn more about the outcomes of the Master of Healthcare Administration to see if it’s right for your goals. Our admissions team is also happy to meet with you one-on-one to discuss how the MHA program can help you advance your career.