With Delaware’s healthcare sector expanding to accommodate a growing number of patients with access to medical care, skilled healthcare administrators and managers are in high demand as the need grows for greater efficiency in the management of staff and fiscal resources. As the demand for experienced professionals in health administration grows, compensation packages designed to attract top talent are increasing accordingly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare managers and administrators in Delaware earned an average annual salary of $112,100. Additionally, the Delaware Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information reports that this field is set to experience an 18 percent job growth rate during the ten-year period from 2012 to 2022.
When the Affordable Health Act (ACA) was introduced in Delaware, there were immediate effects on the state economy. Federal funding to support the implementation of the Act helped sponsor the National Health Service Corps, which provides approximately $1.5 billion in scholarships and loan repayments for medical professionals, which in turn has created more residency positions.
Earning a Healthcare Administration Degree in Delaware
There are degree programs designed to accommodate new students and working professionals with a variety of different needs and preferences. From those looking to pursue undergraduate education in healthcare administration, to those with experience working in the field, to those with a bachelor’s degree in other fields interested in beginning a career in health administration.
Undergraduate Degrees in Health Administration
A few examples of relevant undergraduate degree programs available to students in Delaware are listed below:
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in Health Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Health Administration (BSHA)
- Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
These bachelor’s degrees are normally made up of 120 credit hours that students typically complete over the course of four years. During the first two years, students are required to take general education courses. They then are able to take major-specific courses during their last two years of the undergraduate program. Course topics may include:
- Business administration and communications
- Healthcare policy
- Finance and accounting
- Human resources
- Healthcare compliancy
Students in Delaware have numerous online options to choose from and can also opt to take on-campus programs that are currently being offered in the Wilmington metropolitan area.
Graduate Degrees in Health Administration
A graduate degree in health administration is currently the industry standard for senior-level career in healthcare administration and management. Delaware students pursuing a master’s degree in healthcare administration have a variety of programs to choose from:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in Healthcare Administration
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
Graduate Program Admission Criteria
Though specific criteria may vary from program to program, the following things are commonly required for admission into a graduate program:
- Official bachelor’s degree transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement or essay
- A minimum GPA requirement (varies by school)
Though applicants are not required to have earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or business in order to be accepted, those without a related undergraduate degree may be required to complete additional prerequisite courses. Graduate programs welcome healthcare professionals with graduate degrees in a healthcare related dicipline.
Graduate Program Content:
These graduate programs are usually completed in approximately 18-24 months, and consist of 36-54 credits. Students may be required to also complete a capstone project or thesis at the end of their program. Course topics typically covered in this major include the following:
- Data Analysis
- Legal and ethical standards of healthcare
- Healthcare operations
- Financial management
- Strategic leadership
- Public health
- Decision management
- Quality and process improvement
For Delaware students who wish to be a part of a more traditional on-campus degree program, there are multiple programs offered in the Wilmington metro area.
Healthcare Administration Jobs in Delaware
The following job postings were gathered from medical facility job vacancy advertisements across Delaware. These descriptions can be very helpful in noting what employers are looking for when it comes to an applicant’s experience level and educational background (These examples are shown for illustrative purposes only. They should not be interpreted as job offers or as a guarantee of employment.):
Bayhealth Medical Center
- Officer of Finance & Billing Compliance – Oversees and performs internal auditing processes to ensure compliance with healthcare regulations; MBA in accounting, finance, or healthcare is preferred as well as 6 years of auditing experience and 3 years of management experience.
- Credentialing Specialist – Responsible for all credentialing or re-credentialing processes for all providers within the medical group, manages current data for each provider, ensures accuracy in records; associate’s degree required, bachelor’s degree preferred.
- Patient Financial Services – Assists financial director in daily operations, ensures compliance with policies and procedures, responsible for records in patient financial accounts; bachelor’s degree preferred, 2 years of experience in medical field is required.
Westside Family Healthcare
- Scheduler – Handles communications with patients to gather relevant patient information, schedules appointments, and organizes physician calendars; bachelor’s degree preferred, minimum of one year of work in a healthcare environment required.
Top Employers and Professional Resources for Healthcare Administrators in Delaware
Healthcare professionals in Delaware have a number of professional resources available to them. These can be helpful resources for those seeking employment, professional support, or further education in the healthcare field.
Delaware’s Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers
- Christiana Care Hospital
- Bayhealth Medical Center
- Beebe Medical Center
- Delaware Psychiatric Center
- Dover Behavioral Health System
- Meadow Wood Behavior Health System
- Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
- Rockford Center
- Health Care Administrators Association
- American Health Care Association
- Delaware Medical Group Management Association
- American College of Health Care Administrators
- American College of Mental Health Administration
- Health Care Administrators Association