The opportunity to work in an environment that supports career mobility and high salaries is a key factor that leads Hawaii’s healthcare professionals and new, aspiring students to pursue a degree in healthcare administration. With an average salary of $110,730, the tenth highest in the nation, Hawaii’s healthcare administrators earn an average of $7,000 more than the national average for this profession (US Department of Labor, 2014).
When it comes to employment security and job growth, the outlook in Hawaii is also promising. Hawaii Workforce Infonet projects a long-term growth rate of 15 percent in the number of jobs for medical and health services managers throughout the islands from 2012 to 2022.
Thanks to Hawaii’s expanding population of residents over the age of 65, the demand for healthcare services is expected to continue its dramatic rise well into the future. In 2009, the US Department of Commerce reported that Hawaii’s healthcare industry generated $3.65 billion. Five years later in 2014, that number had risen to around $4.4 billion, representing 1.4 percent of Hawaii’s total economic output that year.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act made healthcare more readily available to a greater number of state residents. Since the act’s passage in 2010, 94% of Hawaii’s residents enjoy healthcare coverage. In addition to bringing in more people, the ACA has also brought a significant amount of funding into Hawaii’s healthcare industry – $205 million in grants as of 2015.
All these factors come together to create an environment that encourages current healthcare professionals and new, aspiring students alike to pursue careers in healthcare administration.
Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management in Hawaii
A degree in healthcare administration or healthcare management is considered a standard requirement for professionals aspiring to work in this field. Fortunately, between online and campus-based options available in Hawaii, there are several choices when it comes to selecting an undergraduate or graduate degree program in healthcare administration.
Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
Earning a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in healthcare administration or a Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA) is an ideal choice for aspiring undergraduates interested in a career in healthcare administration.
Bachelor’s degree programs in healthcare administration consist of approximately 120 semester credits, with colleges and universities often accepting transfer credits from an associate’s degree to fulfill up to 60 general undergraduate credits.
Students will complete approximately 60 upper-division credits from courses that focus specifically on the healthcare administration/management major. These can include topics like:
- Principles of marketing
- Analysis of financial statements
- Business and administration leadership
- Healthcare economics
- Legal issues in the healthcare business environment
- Organizations and information systems
- Strategic planning in a business environment
- Organizational change
Healthcare Administration and Management Graduate Degrees
Holding a graduate degree is a generally accepted industry standard for professionals advancing to jobs in healthcare administration and management. Prominent degree programs in this field are:
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) – For professionals striving for managerial and top administrative positions within individual facilities and multi-facility hospital systems
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management or Administration – For professionals looking to establish a firm business grounding in healthcare management and administration
Admission Standards for Graduate Programs
Each graduate school has its own specific admission requirements, with common standards including:
- Completion of undergraduate prerequisites
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Personal essay regarding professional and academic goals
- Letters of recommendation
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field
- Years of professional work experience
- Some programs require current employment in the healthcare industry
Graduate Program Details
Typically students can expect to complete between 36-60 semester credits over the course of 18-24 months. Towards the end of their program, students may need to complete a thesis or capstone research project that ties together their entire graduate program or examines a particular aspect of healthcare administration in close detail.
Course topics that can be covered throughout the graduate program include the following:
- Advanced healthcare management
- Management strategy for large healthcare organizations
- Global economics for healthcare managers
- Medical informatics
- Quality and performance statistics and improvement
- Healthcare policy and law
- Service line development
- Decision making data analysis
- Advanced financial management
MHA and MBA programs in healthcare administration or healthcare management are offered from at least two different universities based in Honolulu.
Healthcare Administration/Management Careers in Hawaii
The following career titles and associated requirements are offered strictly as illustrative examples. These represent a sampling of careers, surveyed from job boards throughout Hawaii in October of 2015:
Kaiser Permanente in Honolulu
- Account Management IV – Responsible for the improvement and direction of the account management team, including leadership and strategic direction; applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field, while preference is shown to those with an MHA, MBA, or MPH (master of public health)
- Senior Director of Clinical Operations – Provides strategic management for the administrative operations of clinical services; applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, a related field, or at least four years of directly related experience
- Program Manager – Provides technical expertise, analytic support services, and management to achieve specific program goals; applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in health, business administration, a related field, or four years of directly relevant work experience
The Queen’s Health Systems
- Director of the System Finance Center – Responsible for directing strategic initiatives, anticipating problems, and implementing solutions; applicants must have a master’s degree or MBA in healthcare, a related field, or a bachelor’s degree in accounting
- Financial Planning Analyst – Plays a lead role in monitoring, developing, and preparing operating forecasts and budgets; applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare finance, business, or a related field
General Dynamics in Pearl Harbor
- Healthcare Facility Program Manager – Responsible for managing and implementing programs at the Tripler Army Medical Center; applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, clinical facility management, or medical logistics, while a master’s degree is preferred
School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene in Manoa
- Institutional Support Administrative Offices – Responsible for managing daily operations while coordinating with the executive director, conducting activities such as the implementation of statewide programs; applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in administration, management, or a closely related field such as healthcare administration
Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers in Hawaii
Hawaii offers many professional resources for aspiring, advancing and stationary healthcare administrators.
Significant Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers
- The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu
- Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu
- Castle Medical Center in Kailua
- Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe
- Hilo Medical Center
- VA Medical Center in Honolulu
- VA Pacific Islands Healthcare System
- Kaiser Permanente of Hawaii
- Hawaii Pacific Health
- Healthcare Association of Hawaii – HAH
- Hawaii Association of Health Plans – HAHP
- Hawaii Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association – HFMA
- Hawaii Public Health Association – HPHA
- Health Care Administrators Association — HCAA
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management – AAHAM