Non-metropolitan Kansas is home to the highest number of medical and health services managers of all rural areas in the nation. Statewide these professionals earn an average annual salary of $98,140 (US Department of Labor, 2020). While these factors bode well for careers in this field, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Kansas Labor Information Center projects that between 2018 and 2028, the number of medical and health services managers will increase by 10.5 percent. While a significant amount, this may be an underestimate, as it was released before the convergence of a number of growth factors; namely an aging population and easier access to health services.
According to the US Census, in 2019 474870 Kansans were at least 65 years of age. Just more than 16 percent of the state’s entire population, this represents a significant percentage of the populace that will be requiring more and more healthcare services in the coming years.
Added on top of this is the recent Affordable Care Act legislation. Since its passage, more than 26,000 Kansans have gained health insurance, and if Kansas chooses to expand its Medicare program this will open the door for an additional 100,000 residents. The state has already received $32.5 million in federal funding to make healthcare accessible to all residents in the state.
Healthcare Administration Degrees in Kansas
While a degree in business can be a good starting point for a career in healthcare administration, new students and working professionals looking to advance can also explore undergraduate and graduate degree options specific to health services administration and management
Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
Some examples of specifically relevant undergraduate degree programs include the following (offered online and on-campus in Kansas):
- Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Management or Administration
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Students can expect to spend four years completing 120 semester credits before graduating. The first two years of a bachelor’s program are usually comprised of general undergraduate requirements. Many schools accept transfer students with associate’s degrees that cover general undergraduate requirements.
The latter two years of a bachelor’s program focuses on the specifics of a particular major, such as healthcare management or administration. Important subjects covered throughout the academic curriculum can include:
- Strategic planning/marketing in a business environment
- Analysis of financial statements
- Human resource management for healthcare
- Business and administration leadership
- Healthcare economics
- Legal issues in the healthcare business environment
- Operations and supply chain management
- Organizational change
In addition to online options, students can find relevant degree programs with schools located in:
- Overland Park
- Kansas City
Graduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
For today’s professional, a graduate degree is the generally accepted industry standard in the field of healthcare management and administration. Examples of relevant programs include:
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), especially with a focus on Healthcare Management or Healthcare Administration
- Dual degree programs:
Graduate Program Admission Criteria
While each graduate school will have its own admission requirements, programs will commonly accept students who have earned their bachelor’s degree in any field as long as the prerequisite course requirements are fulfilled. Additional admission standards can also include:
- Current employment and/or experience in the healthcare industry
- Minimum GPA requirement
- Letters of recommendation
- Essay on personal motivations as well as academic and professional goals
Graduate school can take between 18 and 24 months to complete, and is comprised of 30-60 semester credits depending on the program. Students will often crown their studies with a capstone project or thesis research paper.
Advanced subject matter covered over the course of graduate studies in this field will include important topics such as:
- Data and evidence-based management decisions
- Advanced financial management
- Compliance for national/international accreditation
- Healthcare decision management
- Management of large healthcare organizations
- Healthcare management and global markets
- Medical informatics
- Quantitative methods for healthcare organizations
Prospective Kansas graduate students can find relevant opportunities online as well as with schools located in:
- Kansas City
- Overland Park
Healthcare Administration Careers in Kansas
Students who have graduated with competitive qualifications can start the process of applying for their first job in the field or advancing to a higher professional level as the case may be. The following jobs are shown as illustrative examples only to provide a sense of the healthcare management job options in cities throughout the state (surveyed October, 2015):
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) Physician Services Group (PSG) in Overland Park
- Cardiology Clinic Manager (non-licensed) – Works with physicians to hire, train, and orient new staff; preferred applicants hold at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, business administration, or an equivalent field
- Pediatric Services RN Navigator – Serves as an intermediary between patients and doctors, social workers, specialists, and other members of the wider healthcare community; applicants must have a valid RN license, while preferred applicants will have an MHA, MSN, or APRN
Via Christi Villages
- Executive Director in Wichita – Responsible for implementing strategies that accomplish overall program goals, as well as budget oversight, long-term planning, and customer relations; preferred applicants will have an MHA, MBA, or similar degree
- Director of Practice Management in Manhattan – Develops departmental goals, plans all staffing activities, and prepares annual budgets; applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, with relevant fields including healthcare administration, business administration, and healthcare management
Genesis HealthCare in Kansas City
- Admission Director – Managing customer flow, the admissions process, and marketing are the key responsibilities for this professional; applicants must have at least some college background in healthcare administration, business management, marketing, or public relations
Local Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers
Whether to start a new career or move up the ladder to a senior position, those pursuing professional goals in the field of healthcare administration and management will find many insightful resources throughout Kansas.
Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers
- University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City
- Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center in Topeka
- Olathe Medical Center
- Community HealthCare System in Onaga
- Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth
- Colmery-O’Neil VA Medial Center in Topeka
- Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
- Coventry Health Care of Kansas
- Kansas Health Care Association
- Great Plains Health Alliance
- Kansas Hospital Association
- Medical Group Management Association of Greater Kansas City and the State of Kansas
- Kansas Health Information Management Association
- Kansas City Area Healthcare Engineers
- Heart of America Chapter and the Sunflower Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association
- Health Management Associates
- 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 Kansas 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.