As Idaho’s healthcare system receives new federal funding while continuing to experience tremendous growth, new jobs and promotional opportunities are becoming widely available for professionals in health administration and management. In fact, health administration and management professionals in Idaho can expect the number of jobs in the field to grow over the long-term by a strongly increasing amount. The Idaho Department of Labor projects that the number of jobs in this field will increase by 19.7 percent over the ten-year period leading up to 2028.
The number of of Idaho residents with health insurance is at an impressive high of 89.2 percent according to a 2020 report from the United Health Foundation, which translates to 1.64 million state residents. The state’s 2020 budget included $4.2 million to combat opioid abuse, $11.5 million to promote child welfare, $43 million for the North Idaho State Veterans Home, and funding to open up $179 million in federal healthcare support.
All of these factors combine to create an ideal environment to begin or advance a career in medical administration and management.
Earning a Degree in Healthcare Administration
Prospective undergraduate and graduate students will find degree programs available for fulltime students at campus locations in Idaho, as well as online programs designed to accommodate busy working professionals.
Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
There are several undergraduate degree programs that lay a foundation for students who want to go on to work in the medical administration and management field, including:
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Administration or Management
Programs are usually composed of around 120 semester credits in total, with 60 general undergraduate credits and 60 upper-division credits. A transferred associate’s degree will often fulfill many or all of the undergraduate credits.
Upper-division core courses of study cover topics like:
- Business finance and healthcare economics
- Healthcare business legal issues
- Organizations and information systems
- Strategic planning in a business environment
- Strategic management
- Organizational change
- Principles of management and marketing
- Analysis of financial statements
- Human resource management
In addition to online opportunities, students can find campus-based undergraduate programs in health administration located in the cities of:
Graduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
A graduate degree is the generally accepted industry standard for executive-level hospital system administrators. Examples of relevant degree programs include:
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management or Administration
- MHA/MBA dual degree program
- MSN/MBA dual degree program
Graduate Program Admission Criteria
Graduate programs will often admit students who have earned their bachelor’s degree in any field even if it is not specifically related to healthcare. Other common requirements can include:
- Completion of course prerequisites
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Essay on academic and career goals
- Letters of recommendation
- Several years of professional work experience
- Some programs require current employment in the healthcare industry
Graduate Program Content
Graduate degree programs can take 18-24 months to complete and typically include between 36-60 semester credits. Programs may culminate with a thesis or capstone research project where students focus on a particular issue or bring together what they have learned throughout their graduate education.
The graduate program curriculum will cover important topics that can include:
- Decision making based on data analysis
- Leadership and ethics
- Compliance for accreditation
- Strategy for management of large healthcare organizations
- Global economics for healthcare managers
- Medical informatics
- Quality and performance statistics
- Healthcare policy and law
- Quantitative methods for healthcare organizations
In addition to valuable online options students can also find relevant master’s-level programs in the cities of Boise and Pocatello.
Idaho’s Healthcare Administration Jobs
The following jobs and prospective employers are provided as illustrative examples only. These were sourced from job announcements from throughout Idaho (October, 2015):
Saint Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise
- Administrator of Orthopedics and Neurology – Responsible for providing leadership in organization and the administration of orthopedic and neurology lines; applicants must have a master’s degree in health care administration, business administration, nursing, or an equivalent field
- Senior Director of Women’s and Children’s Center – Responsible for all planning, organization, and leadership that takes place within this medical center; applicants must have a master’s degree in health care administration, business administration, nursing, or an equivalent field
- Senior Director of the Air Transport Program – Responsible for overseeing two transit centers, a fleet of eight aircraft, and a staff of 120-plus; preferred applicants will have a master’s degree, while a bachelor’s degree in health service administration or business administration is required
Weiser Memorial Hospital
- Chief Executive Officer – The CEO of Weiser is responsible for fulfilling the short and long-term strategic goals of Weiser Memorial through collaboration with the board of directors and medical staff; applicants must have an MHA or related degree such as an MBA, MSN, or MPH
Steel Memorial Hospital in Salmon
- Chief Executive Officer – As CEO, incumbents are responsible for all daily operations at this hospital, including planning, organization, and directing; applicants must have an MHA or MBA
Top Employers and Local Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers
Idaho’s experienced and aspiring health administration professionals alike will find a variety of resources that offer professional support:
Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers in Idaho
- Saint Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise
- Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene
- Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise
- Boise VA Medical Center
- Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello
- VA Caldwell Clinic
- Blue Cross of Idaho
- Regence BlueShield of Idaho
- Idaho Medical Group Management Association
- Idaho Hospital Association
- Idaho Public Health Association
- Idaho Health Information Management Association
- Idaho Rural Health Association
- Health Care Administrators Association
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for Medical and Health Services Managers.
Job growth projections sourced from the Idaho Department of Labor and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.
Salary figures and job market projections represent state data, not school-specific information.
Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.