October 26, 2020
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Is There a Difference Between a Degree in Health Care Management and Health Care Administration?


To the layman, healthcare management and healthcare administration sound like the same fields of study. Is There a Difference Between a Degree in Health Care Management and Health Care Administration? Although there are many similarities between the two degrees, their career paths can be quite different.

Health Care Management

A career in health care management nearly always requires an advanced degree, such as an MBA in Healthcare Management. A career in health care management requires employees to manage mainly the business aspects of health care offices.

An undergraduate degree earned in health care management focuses on coursework in entry-level management and effective communication techniques. A student can expect to learn health industry regulations, leadership techniques in healthcare, and caring for patients’ needs from an administrative standpoint.

A graduate degree earned in this field focuses on issues in health care organizations such as policies and laws, finances, and human resources.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association, or HFMA, is an excellent online source to learn more about issues health care managers face.

There are many job opportunities available to graduates of a health care management degree program. Some of the places a person in this field can expect to work include:

  • Government health care facilities
  • Consulting firms
  • Hospitals
  • Information technology companies
  • Medical device companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Outpatient care centers and
  • Regulatory agencies

Health Care Administration

A career in health care administration focuses on the management of staff at health care facilities. This includes the finer details of health care offices like staff scheduling, hiring and wage issues, patient fees and billing, and supply records. Most health care administrators start off their careers getting hands-on experience as a CNA or nurse before obtaining a degree in this field.

Health care administrators need to stay abreast of various topics in the healthcare field. MDLinx offers a great resource for learning about topics related to the field.

Unlike a career in health care management, many job opportunities only require an undergraduate degree for entry level jobs. There is growth potential for those seeking to obtain a master’s degree in health care administration.

Some job opportunities a person with a degree in health care administration can expect to see include:

  • Human resource manager
  • Social service manager
  • Training and development manager
  • Practice manager
  • Health insurance specialist and
  • Administrative services manager

According to the bureau of labor and statistics, the job outlook for both of these types of health care careers is growing much faster than average, at about 17 percent. This means that a person obtaining a degree in either of these areas can expect to find a job quickly with little concern for job loss.

The differences between obtaining a degree in health care management and health care administration are distinctive and need to be looked into before deciding which career to pursue. The question, Is There a Difference Between a Degree in Health Care Management and Health Care Administration?, is an intricate one, but easily answered when there is adequate information available.


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