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Bachelors and Masters in Health Management and Administration in Maine

Maine’s large population of residents aged 65 and older is contributing to an unprecedented demand for healthcare services in the state. With nearly a quarter million state residents that fall within this category, representing 18.3 percent of the state’s total populace (US Census, 2015), Maine is home to more older adults than almost any other state in the nation. Much of the new demand for healthcare services is in acute care, which accounts for the highest utilization of staff and other resources. As the pressure mounts for more and better quality patient care services, the demand for skilled health system administrators and facility managers responsible for the allocation of these resources is also growing.

The definitive proof for this rise in demand comes from the Maine Center for Workforce and Research Information. This state agency projects that the number of jobs for medical and health services managers will increase by 12.6 percent in the ten-year period leading up to 2022.

Executive Master of Health Administration Online – George Washington University

This web-based Master of Health Administration program allows you to earn your MHA through GWU’s respected Milken Institute School of Public Health without disrupting work and family life. This innovative program combines a web-based platform accessible from anywhere in the world with face-to-face online classes and immersions that allow you to get the most from your learning experience by collaborating with professors and peers.

Click here for admissions information.

However, there are other factors driving the demand for healthcare services, and by extension the demand for hospital system administrators and facility managers. The recently passed Affordable Care Act has opened up Maine’s healthcare marketplace to an ever-increasing number of residents as the state makes use of more than $6.8 million in federal grants to expand healthcare coverage. According to a recent Gallup poll, the period from 2013 to 2014 saw the state’s uninsured rate drop from 16.1 percent to 11.6 percent.

Earning a Degree in Health Administration

For today’s healthcare administrators and managers, a relevant degree is an indispensable industry standard. With Maine’s health administrators earning an average annual salary of $97,710 (US Department of Labor, 2014), new students seeking undergraduate programs and advancing professionals interested in graduate study are glad to invest in the proper education.

Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management

While a general degree in business would provide a sound foundation for a career in healthcare administration and management, choosing to major in the field would provide the most relevant education. Some examples of relevant programs available to students in Maine include:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Management or Administration

These bachelor’s degree programs typically take four years to complete and include at least 120 semester credits. The first half of the degree program is comprised of undergraduate requirements and major prerequisites, and schools will often accept a transfer associate’s degree as fulfilling these initial 60 credits.

Once students begin their upper-division core major courses they will cover important topics that directly pertain to healthcare administration, business, and management. These include:

  • HR in the healthcare workplace
  • Principles of management and marketing
  • Analysis of financial patterns in the healthcare marketplace
  • Strategic planning and healthcare forecasting
  • Healthcare economics
  • Legal issues in the healthcare business environment
  • Healthcare decisions based on data

Healthcare administration and management undergraduate majors in Maine can find relevant degree programs online, as well as through schools with campus locations in:

  • Standish
  • Fort Kent
  • Portland
  • Gorham
  • Lewiston

Graduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management

Positions like CEO, CFO, and agency director are examples of the executive level jobs that often require applicants to have an MHA or related degree. Relevant graduate degrees such as these have become the industry standard for advanced positions in health administration:

  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management or 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

Graduate programs will often admit students who have completed their undergraduate degree in any field. Students who completed their bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field may need to take additional prerequisite courses. Other common admission requirements for graduate schools in Maine include:

  • Personal essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Professional work experience
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA
  • Employment or experience in the healthcare industry

Graduate programs can vary in length and credit load, but typically consist of somewhere between 30-60 semester credits taken over 12-24 months. Programs may also culminate with a thesis paper assignment that delves into a particular topic of research, or capstone project that ties together important aspects of the curriculum.

Core courses in the graduate major will cover important topics that can include:

  • Quantitative methods for healthcare organizations
  • Leadership and ethics
  • Advanced financial management
  • Compliance for accreditation
  • Healthcare marketing
  • Advanced healthcare management and administration
  • Management of large healthcare organizations
  • Global economics for healthcare managers
  • Managing based on data
  • Healthcare policy and law

Online schools admit competitive in-state students, while campuses located throughout Maine can be found in the cities of:

  • Portland
  • Gorham
  • Lewiston
  • Standish

Healthcare Administration Careers in Maine

Graduates can start their job search or seek more advanced positions after earning a qualifying degree. The following job descriptions are provided as illustrative examples only and are not meant to imply the availability of jobs. These examples were sourced from job boards throughout Maine in order to give candidates an idea of the type of health administration and management jobs that may be available in the state (November, 2015):

Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick

  • Director of Materials Management – As the overall department manager, this professional is responsible for delegating purchasing tasks, overseeing warehousing, and working with buyers; preferred applicants have an MHA or MBA

Calais Regional Hospital

  • Chief Executive Officer – The CEO is responsible for all daily activities at the hospital, especially directing, planning, and organizing; applicants must have an MHA or MBA

Mercy Medical Group in Brewer

  • Administrator – In addition to daily administrative responsibilities, this professional must also oversee the standardization and optimization of business procedures throughout all of Mercy Medical; preferred applicants will have an MBA in a field such as health administration or management, or a related degree such as an MHA

Eastern Maine Medical Center in Brewer

  • Practice Manager for Husson Internal and Family Medicine – This professional is responsible for improving the performance of physician practices, especially in the areas of efficiency, quality, and financial performance; preferred applicants will have a master’s degree in the healthcare (MHA) or business (MBA) fields

Maine Medical Partners in Portland

  • Director of Orthopedics Practice Operations – This professional is responsible for strategic planning, practice coordination, financial oversight, and financial planning; applicants must have an MBA or a related master’s degree such as an MHA

Local Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers

Once students have graduated they will be prepared to start their new careers or apply to advance up existing verticals. Graduates can find helpful resources throughout Maine that provided valuable information regarding employment opportunities and professional advancement:

Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers

  • Maine Medical Center in Portland
  • Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick
  • Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle
  • Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston
  • Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor
  • MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta
  • Mercy Hospital of Portland
  • Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport
  • Maine Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta
  • Fort Kent Access Point Clinic
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
  • Aetna

Professional Resources

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