Healthcare administrator jobs in New Mexico have increased along with the number of insured residents in recent years. According to the New Mexico Economic Research and Analysis Bureau, the number of medical and health services manager jobs in the state will increase by nearly 17 percent in the ten-year period leading up to 2022. The Bureau also lists medical and health services managers as having a “High Growth Outlook” through 2022.
New Mexico stands as a shining example of healthcare reform in action. That’s because more than 220,000 previously uninsured residents in this southwestern state now receive healthcare under the state’s Medicaid program, while tens of thousands more now qualify for private health insurance, thanks to substantial subsidies in recent years.
In the last two years alone, affordable healthcare for countless New Mexico residents has become a reality. Even insured residents in New Mexico who previously could not afford to receive preventive care due to skyrocketing deductibles and co-pays now receive the care they need. According to U.S. Senator Tom Udall, “the Affordable Care Act has enabled tens of thousands of New Mexicans to get health insurance for the first time.”
This is fantastic news, not just for the residents of New Mexico, but also for the health professionals charged with overseeing the coordination of healthcare in the state. The uninsured rate in New Mexico has dropped to nearly 5 percent, and more than 860,000 residents receive care, despite their pre-existing conditions.
Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Health Administration in New Mexico
Thanks to an increasingly complex healthcare system, healthcare administrator employers in New Mexico and throughout the U.S. demand candidates who possess bachelors—and often masters—degrees. As a result, degrees in health administration are increasing in popularity and availability, offering students opportunities to purse an education in health administration both online and on campus.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration
Bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration, usually structured as Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs, provide students with the opportunity to master the basic principles and tools required to make effective decisions in finance, strategic planning, human resource management, marketing, and information systems.
These programs consist of about 120 semester credits and four years of full-time study. They prepare students to enter a master’s degree program in healthcare administration or a similar field or enter the field of healthcare administration as entry- or mid-level professionals working in a variety of settings.
Core coursework in a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration often includes:
- Healthcare quality management
- Healthcare databases and technologies
- Principles of finance
- Healthcare process measurement
- Health organizations professional practice standards
Master’s Degrees in Health Administration
Largely considered a standard requirement for senior-level healthcare administration jobs, master’s degrees in healthcare administration prepare students to become leaders in the delivery of healthcare. Graduates of these programs possess the skills and knowledge needed to take on upper-level positions in a wide array of settings, both in and out of the healthcare/hospital system.
The structure of master’s degree programs often varies, depending on the school that houses them. For example, some institutions house healthcare administration programs in schools of business, while others house them in schools of public health. Therefore, the titles of these degrees may vary accordingly:
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of Public Health (MPH) with a Concentration in Health Administration
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Health Administration
- Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a Concentration in Health Administration
- Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA)
- Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
The structure of a master’s degree program in health administration may also vary based on the type of curriculum and the admission requirements of the program. For example, many institutions offer residential programs for traditional students seeking on-campus study, while some offer executive programs for professionals possessing experience in healthcare administration. Many of today’s healthcare administration master’s degrees offer online study or hybrid models, which feature both on-campus and online course options.
Master’s degrees in health administration require candidates to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Candidates of these programs often come from a variety of backgrounds, possessing undergraduate degrees in everything from business management to finance to accounting to human resources. Many candidates possess healthcare related degrees, such as nursing.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, institutions generally require candidates to possess the following:
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Minimum GRE scores
- Admission essays/interviews
- Prior experience in healthcare administration (executive degrees)
Master’s degrees in healthcare administration allow students to develop competencies critical to the viability and success of organizations throughout the healthcare industry. Core coursework often includes topics such as:
- Health information technology and administration
- Healthcare finance
- Leadership and team development in healthcare
- Organizational design and delivery systems
- Legal, ethical, and compliance issues
- Research methods for healthcare administrators
Most programs culminate in a capstone project or master’s thesis, both of which allow students to apply their recently gained knowledge to an in-depth study of a topic in healthcare administration.
Careers in Healthcare Administration in New Mexico
The following recent job posts (November 2015), although for illustrative purposes only, provide graduates of health administration degree programs with a clear understanding of the types of jobs available in New Mexico:
Health Services Administrator, Milan
Manages the facility’s medical program activities and provides overall direction and leadership based on corporate goals, objectives, and philosophy; degree in nursing or a healthcare/business related field is required, advanced degree in nursing or a related healthcare field is preferred
Administrator, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
Develops and maintains key community, stakeholder, and political relationships; master’s degree in business or health administration or a related field
Director of Practice Operations, Espanola
Responsible and accountable for all administrative aspects of the specialty clinics; works collaboratively with hospital departments for efficient operations; requires a master’s degree in healthcare/business administration or CMPE certification, at least 5 years of experience working in a complex health environment
Executive Director, Santa Fe
Directly supports and leads the day-to-day operations of the assisted living facility, including establishing and maintaining systems that are effective and efficient to operate the facility safely and in compliance with federal, state, and local requirements; bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or healthcare administration
Resources for Health Administration Professionals in New Mexico
Recent graduates of health administration degrees often begin their job search by examining opportunities in some of the state’s largest hospital/healthcare systems, such as:
- Lovelace Medical Center, Albuquerque
- Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque
- UNM Hospital, Albuquerque
- UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, Rio Rancho
- Vincent Regional Medical Center, Santa Fe
- Los Alamos Medical Center, Los Alamos
Professional associations also serve as valuable resources for healthcare administration job seekers and for individuals interested in networking with others in their industry:
- New Mexico Hospital Association
- New Mexico Healthcare Association
- New Mexico Center for Assisted Living
- New Mexico Primary Care Association
- New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care
- New Mexico Medical Society
- New Mexico Hispanic Medical Association