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What Are the Different Types of Health Care Management Degree Programs?

Health care management focuses on the business aspects of medicine.
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  • Written By: Florence J. Tipton
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2014
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There are several types of health care management degree programs for anyone interested in the administrative side of medical services. Certificate programs in health care management are usually beneficial to someone with an undergraduate degree in a related field. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs can provide educational credentials for leadership and executive positions in the medical field. With healthcare management online degree programs, students have an opportunity to begin an administrative career in medical services.

In health care management degree programs, students do not learn how to practice medicine. Rather, coursework essentially teaches how administrative services support medical care. For example, students might learn about local and regional legislation that set requirements and professional standards of care. With this knowledge, students will learn how to recruit medical personnel that earn the educational credentials to meet those standards.

Generally, health care management degree programs combine business coursework with medical care services and issues. The goal is normally to provide a fundamental education in business knowledge and skills at a health care facility. To accomplish this, health care management degree programs allow students to pursue several types of studies: certificate, undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and online diploma programs.

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Most health care management certificate programs are for people with an undergraduate degree in the same or related field. These programs can prepare enrollees for greater responsibilities in supporting the delivery of medical services. Typical courses may focus on economics, health care laws, and human resource development.

A few certificate programs in health care management might require enrollees to have a graduate degree. Years of management work experience is usually another requirement to enroll in a certificate program. For this reason, the curriculum might eliminate basic instruction and include high level coursework in health care management.

Before obtaining a healthcare management certificate, most people will complete an undergraduate degree. In general, undergraduate degree programs in health care management are structured for students to learn basic business operational procedures. Courses for this type of program may focus on technology, regulations, and health care policies. Students could also study how the political environment can affect existing healthcare policies. Additionally, courses may include other internal and external dimensions that impose on medical delivery systems.

Graduate degree programs for health care management are typically appropriate for working administrative professionals. Most enrollees currently hold medical administrative positions at a hospital or treatment facility. Often, the graduate degree program is used as a career advancement tool for executive management positions within medical services.

An alternative to the certificate, undergraduate, or graduate degree programs is an online diploma. Students can obtain a healthcare management education without enrolling in a traditional academic institution. Online diploma programs may offer an educational opportunity to enter the administrative field of medical care services. Although a diploma may begin a career in healthcare, a traditional education is often necessary for career advancement.

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