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If you can think out of the box and have the ability to create innovative solutions and carry them through, you may be able to significantly impact the healthcare industry. There are unprecedented changes occurring in this industry—medically, technologically, legally and economically. These changes, together with increased demand for services by the retiring baby boomer population and the millions newly covered by the Affordable Care Act, create a need for healthcare administrators who can meet these challenges with new knowledge and methodology.
There are excellent graduate healthcare administration programs in Missouri universities that will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for this profession. The schools that are accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management (CAHME) carry the stamp of professional approval for comprehensive, up to date training.
Contact those schools listed below that offer Master's in Healthcare Administration programs in Missouri to learn more.
The Masters of Health Administration (MHA) Program
There are three types of graduate level Master's in Healthcare Administration (MHA) programs available from Missouri universities: residential, blended and online Master's in Health Administration degrees. Some of these programs provide opportunities for dual degrees with Business Administration, Health Informatics or Health Law.
1. The standard Residential MHA two year program covers fundamental management concepts and healthcare applications. An internship is scheduled during the summer between the first and second year. This provides the student with an opportunity to work with professionals to get real world experiences in a healthcare organization. Some of the courses will involve the students in team projects where the concepts learned are applied to actual problems occurring in health care.
2. The Executive MBA is a blended program combining online courses and Saturday sessions on campus where students interact with faculty to explore and problem-solve. This program serves working professionals from three sources:
- healthcare managers who want to complete an MHA to improve their career prospects
- other experienced healthcare professionals who want to move into management positions
- those employed outside the healthcare industry who want to become health administrators
The program uses state-of-the-art distance technology to mirror the residential MHA program with the same projected outcomes. Students can complete this blended option in two to four years.
3. Online MHA programs are also available at universities located outside the metropolitan area of St. Louis. Courses can be completed online and include chat room interactions. Some campus courses are offered for face-to-face interaction with regular students and faculty. Students are allowed five to seven years to complete the degree.Admission Requirements
MHA programs in Missouri typically require a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 grade point average, one to three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal essay and an interview. Some may require GRE or GMAT scores of 50th percentile or higher.
Programs for working professionals will require one to three years of work experience in a healthcare or related field and a statement of support from the applicant's employer.
The applicant should bear in mind that the colleges are seeking students with a potential for leadership, problem solving, innovation and decision making. Your resume and personal essay, as well as your presentation in the admissions interview, should reflect these qualities in the way you portray your experiences.Financial Assistance
The financial aid office at the school you choose can provide information on loans and scholarships to all incoming students. There are a number of scholarships available for the MHA program among which are the following:
- The Lowell C. Kruse Healthy Choices, Healthy Lives scholarship awards $10,000 yearly to a first year graduate student who is a permanent resident or who originates from the Heartland Health service region. These towns are: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, and Worth.
- Corris Boyd Scholars Program awards $40,000 scholarship toward tuition and other expenses for a student of color (African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latino/Hispanic, Multiracial). The graduate school must be a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).
The MHA curriculum aims to equip the student with an in-depth understanding of the entire scope of work of a healthcare administrator. Besides the courses on health organization and management, required courses will cover the following areas:
- Information technology
- Health Economics
- Accounting and financial management
- Strategic planning and marketing
- Organizational theory
- Human resources
- Health policy
- Health insurance
- Health service research
Job Outlook and Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Medical and Health Service Managers in the nation made an average annual salary of $101,340 in 2013. The top salaries in the health industry went to administrators of general medical and surgical hospitals whose annual salaries averaged $108,210. Healthcare administrators can also qualify for positions in organizations related to the health industry such as pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing, where annual average salaries in 2013 reached $165,400.
In Missouri, 2013 annual salaries for Medical and Health Service Managers were slightly lower than the national average, at $94,730.
BLS predicts that this occupation will see a 23 percent rise in employment nationally between 2012 and 2022. Missouri graduates in healthcare administration can expect to find job opportunities upon graduation. The universities offering this program report job placement for their graduates in general and specialty hospitals, private medical groups, consulting services, insurance companies and government agencies.
Submit your requests for more information to the schools in Missouri that offer MHA degrees to learn more about your options.