Bachelors and Masters in Health Management and Administration in Louisiana

The Louisiana Workforce Commission projects that the number of medical and health services managers working in the state will increase by 17.6 percent between 2012 and 2022 to keep pace with the staggering growth the state’s healthcare industry is experiencing. In addition to a strong job market that creates opportunities for entry-level jobs while supporting upward mobility for experienced professionals, Louisiana’s health administrators earn higher salaries on average than their colleagues in most neighboring states (US Department of Labor, 2014).

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A number of factors are key in contributing to the expansion of the state’s healthcare industry and the growing demand for skilled administrators. As of 2014, US Census figures showed that at least 632,356 Louisiana residents were at least 65 years of age, representing 13.6 percent of the state’s entire population. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, 85,878 residents have gained access to healthcare services, with the overall uninsured rate in Louisiana dropping to 17.2 percent. To-date, Louisiana has received approximately $1 million in federal grants to expand healthcare coverage for its residents. If the governor decides to expand Medicare, it could mean an additional 100,000 residents would enjoy coverage and improved access to healthcare services (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2015).

Louisiana also supports its healthcare sector and associated management professionals because it is one of the state’s most important economic engines. The US Department of Commerce reported that from 2009 to 2013 Louisiana’s healthcare industry increased revenue by $1.5 billion, and contributed a total of $13.7 billion to the state’s GSP (Gross State Product) that year.

Health Administration Degrees in Louisiana

Prospective students and working professionals in Louisiana will find a range of options when it comes to choosing an undergraduate or graduate degree in health administration. Options include programs available at campus locations designed for traditional full-time students, as well as flexible online programs designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals.

Undergraduate Degrees in Health Administration

There are a few bachelor’s degree options available in Louisiana that will prepare graduates to compete for entry and mid-level jobs in health administration. Among these are:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in Health Administration
  • Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Administration

The bachelor’s degree program is usually comprised of 60 semester credits of general undergraduate coursework and healthcare prerequisites, followed by 60 semester credits of upper-division core courses in the health administration major.

A transfer associate’s degree is often accepted as fulfilling all or most of the initial 60 credits. Students can expect to complete their entire program in four years. Core major courses will cover important subjects like:

  • Healthcare organization management and marketing
  • Human resource management
  • Business and administration leadership
  • Legal issues in the healthcare business environment
  • Managerial economics
  • Supply chain and operations management for healthcare organizations

In addition to online options, relevant bachelor’s degree programs can be found at campus locations situated in:

  • Monroe
  • New Orleans
  • Ruston

Graduate Degrees in Health Administration

Professionals with experience in this field know that a graduate degree in health administration is quickly becoming an industry standard. In-state residents can pursue a number of relevant degree programs, including:

  • Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Administration
  • MHA/MBA dual degree program
  • Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
  • JD/MSHA dual degree program
  • MSN/MBA dual degree program

Graduate Program Admission Criteria

Each graduate school may have its own unique admission requirements, however, they also often share common elements. Schools typically admit students who have earned their undergraduate degree in any field so long as they arrange to complete any outstanding prerequisite courses. Other common admission standards include:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA
  • Academic and professional personal essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Professional work experience
  • Current employment in the healthcare industry

Graduate programs in this field can range between 30-60 semester credits that are taken over the course of 12-24 months. Upon nearing completion of their program, students may be required to complete a thesis paper or a capstone research project.

The wide range of important topics that can be covered in detail throughout the course of a graduate program include:

  • Healthcare economics, policy, and law
  • Quantitative methods for healthcare organizations
  • Compliance for accreditation by national/international healthcare organizations
  • Advanced healthcare management and administration
  • Strategies for management of large healthcare organizations
  • Global economics for healthcare managers
  • Managing healthcare mergers and acquisitions

In addition to online opportunities, prospective graduate students can find relevant graduate programs located in the cities of:

  • Baton Rouge
  • Ruston
  • New Orleans
  • Lake Charles

Starting or Advancing a Career in Health Administration in Louisiana

The following job classifications are provided as illustrative examples only and are not meant to suggest any assurance of employment. These examples are provided to give new and advancing professionals alike an idea of the types of health administration jobs that may be available in Louisiana’s healthcare industry. These are sourced from a survey of vacancy announcements posted for locations throughout the state in November 2015:

Christus Health

  • Executive Director for Cardiovascular Services, region-wide – Responsible for responding to the business challenges posed to the healthcare facilities in an assigned region, working closely with physicians and other healthcare providers; candidates must have an MHA or MBA
  • Executive Director for the Cardiovascular Service Line in Lake Charles – Directs and manages all business functions that relate to the service line, including care quality, operations efficiency, financing, growth, and strategic planning; applicants must have an MHA or MBA

LHC Group in Lafayette

  • Compliance Auditor – The primary duties of this professional are to ensure LHC Group programs in Lafayette adhere to federal and state guidelines and remain eligible to accept patients on Medicare and Medicaid; preferred applicants have an MHA or MBA, or a professional certification from American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

Franklin Foundation Hospital

  • Chief Executive Officer – The CEO with Franklin Hospital is responsible for all daily operations, including planning, leadership, and organization; applicants must have an MHA or MBA

Ochsner Health System in Slidell

  • Director of Case Management – Responsible for leading case management at Ochsner Medical Center-Northshore, ensuring the department adheres to high standards of customer satisfaction and long-term planning; applicants must have a BSN, and can qualify with either three years of management experience and an MHA, or five years of management experience and a BSN

Louisiana’s Local Resources for Health Administrators

Just as Louisiana residents can find attractive options when it comes to earning a degree, graduates can avail themselves to the state’s professional organizations and largest employers to find helpful resources for employment and career advancement.

Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers

  • Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge
  • Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans
  • Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport
  • East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie
  • Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier
  • Saint Francis Medical Center in Monroe
  • American Legion Hospital in Crowley
  • Alexandria VA Health System
  • Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in New Orleans
  • Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana
  • Coventry Health Care of Louisiana
  • UnitedHealthcare of Louisiana

Professional Resources

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