Nearly a decade after Massachusetts’s first healthcare reform bill promising affordable health insurance to all residents was signed into law, 98 percent of the state’s residents are insured—compared to an average of 84 percent nationwide.
The large percentage of insured residents in the state combined with a swiftly aging baby boomer population drives the demand for medical and health services managers, landing this profession on Massachusetts’ list of jobs with the most annual openings for several consecutive years.
According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, there were 10,459 medical and health services managers working in the state as of 2012. By 2022, the Office projects this number will increase to 12,672, representing a 21.16 percent job growth rate.
Healthcare Administration Degrees in Massachusetts
Working in healthcare administration requires, among other things, a postsecondary degree. Increasingly, this means a master’s degree in healthcare administration or a similar field.
Undergraduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
Undergraduate degrees in healthcare administration or healthcare management serve as a solid educational foundation for entry-level healthcare management jobs in physician’s practices, nursing homes, and public health clinics, among others.
Most bachelor’s degree programs in healthcare administration are structured as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA) programs, both of which prepare students to develop, plan, and manage healthcare operations for many types of healthcare facilities. These programs cover such topics as business management, public policy, health law and ethics, and healthcare delivery systems operations.
Core content in bachelor’s degree programs in health administration often includes:
- S. healthcare
- Global healthcare delivery systems
- Healthcare economics and finance
- Managed care
- Human resource management in healthcare
Graduate Degrees in Healthcare Administration and Management
Graduate degrees in healthcare administration serve as the minimum educational standard for many healthcare administrator jobs in Massachusetts. Graduates of these programs are adequately prepared to take on senior-level positions in settings such as major health systems, hospitals, and managed care networks, among many others.
Some of the master’s degree programs in healthcare administration located in Massachusetts include:
- MBA in Global Health Management
- MPH in Global Health Management
- MHA in Healthcare
The structure and focus of master’s degree programs in healthcare administration is reflective of the schools that house them, whether schools of public policy, public administration, business administration, or public health. It is therefore commonplace to find these graduate-level programs structured as:
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Public Health (MPH) (health administration concentration)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) (health administration concentration)
- Master of Public Administration (MPA) (health administration concentration)
Many schools also offer dual degrees, such as:
In addition, master’s degree programs vary according to content delivery and the type of student they cater to. Master’s degrees in health administration may be structured as executive programs aimed at working professionals; residential programs aimed at traditional students receiving on-campus instruction; and accelerated programs for students completing both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. A number of institutions have begun incorporating online courses, while many employ a hybrid model, allowing students to complete some of their work online and some of it on campus.
While some students opt to complete an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration, perhaps just as many pursuing graduate degrees in healthcare administration possess undergraduate degrees in the medical field or in areas such as business, finance, and accounting. Therefore, admission requirements for most master’s degree programs in healthcare administration do not specify an undergraduate major.
However, other admission requirements often include:
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Experience in healthcare administration (executive programs)
- GRE scores
- Admissions essay
- Professional letters of recommendation
Master’s degrees in healthcare administration and management, largely recognized as an industry essential, allow students to increase their knowledge and competencies in healthcare management in the areas of human resources, finance, leadership, and quality and process improvement.
These programs cover core topics such as:
- Executive communications
- Ethical and global foundations
- Financial reporting and analysis
- Marketing management
- Managing organizations and people
- Business analytics
- Competition, innovation, and strategy
Many programs culminate in a master’s thesis or capstone project, usually in a specific topic of interest relevant to healthcare administration.
Healthcare Administration Jobs in Massachusetts
A number of recent job posts are showcase the wide array of healthcare administration and management jobs available to graduates of healthcare administration programs in Massachusetts. Although the following list is for illustrative purposes only, it does provide insight into the types of jobs that may be available in this exciting industry:
Administrative Director, Boston
Supports the budget and personnel management of director-level staff and oversees day-to-day administrative, operational, and financial management issues; master’s degree (MPH, MBA, MHA, etc.) required
Quality Improvement Project Manager, Woburn
Facilitates the development, implementation, and monitoring of health programs designed to achieve process reliability through initiatives so as to improve clinical quality and efficiency; degree in business administration, healthcare management or a related area is highly desirable
Senior Healthcare Practice Analytics Consultant, Waltham
Serves as the primary liaison between external leaders of nephrology practices and advises practices so as to accelerate practice growth and improve performance; requires a bachelor’s degree, with an MBA or master’s degree in healthcare administration or business administration desired
Manager of Quality and Compliance, Elder Service Plan, Cambridge
Plans, implements, and maintains the Elder Service Plan’s compliance with federal and state PACE regulations, including managing quality improvement/assurance activities as required by PACE; master’s degree in healthcare administration or the equivalent experience required
Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers in Massachusetts
From public policy to managed care settings, the need for healthcare administrators remains strong in Massachusetts thanks to a dynamic healthcare landscape in Boston, Worcester, and beyond.
The largest employers of healthcare administrators and managers are the state’s largest healthcare systems, which include:
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
- UMass Memorial Healthcare, Worcester
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
- Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington
Professional associations also serve as excellent resources for healthcare administrators and managers seeking to network with others and stay current on the latest trends and news in the healthcare industry:
- Massachusetts Medical Directors Association
- Massachusetts Hospital Association
- Massachusetts Association for Healthcare Quality