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The Master of Health Administration or Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) is a masters-level professional degree granted to students who seek careers in health administration. This involves managing hospitals and other health services organizations, as well as public health infrastructure and consulting. Degree programs differ according to health care setting. Although practitioner-teacher model programs are typically found in colleges of medicine, health professions, or allied health, classroom-based programs can be found in colleges of business or public health.
The programs typically require students to complete hands-on experiences as well as course work in areas such as population health, healthcare economics, health policy, organizational behavior, management of healthcare organizations, healthcare marketing and communications, human resource management, information systems management and assessment, operations assessment and improvement, governance, leadership, statistical analysis and application, financial analysis and management, and strategy formulation and implementation. The degree program is designed to give graduates of health disciplines (in particular) greater understanding of management issues and prepare them for senior management roles.
The American College of Healthcare Executives offers a guide that identifies what to consider if you are trying to decide between various masters degrees in health-related fields like the Healthcare MBA, the MHA, the MPA, or the MPH. The two key factors they feel are critical are 1. a persons prior education and 2. professional experience. These will dictate which of the four degrees is likely the best choice for their career advancement. You should also note that there are many certifications that enhance the careers of healthcare administrators, including those from Healthcare Financial Management Association, National Board of Public Health Examiners, American Hospital Association, Professional Association of Health Care Office Management, and more.
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