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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Health Services Administration

Majors Overview February 18, 2014

Receive information about Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in health services administration and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.A. Programs in Health Services Administration

Schools typically offer bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in health services administration that cover personnel supervision and management subject areas in addition to medical office procedures. However, associate’s degree programs in business office administration can also be found – these focus on medical office management devised to equip students with an array of skills relevant to office management healthcare firms. Students can expect to become adept in transcribing physicians’ dictation, recording and encoding medical diagnoses, and supervising office personnel. Admission criteria in most associate’s degree programs typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework related to an associate’s degree in health services administration is devised to teach students about topics areas specifically related to the healthcare field apart from rudimentary administrative and business skills. Courses may also be taken by students in technical writing, mathematics and computer technology, in addition to subject areas such as:

•Computer fundamentals
•Medical insurance billing and coding
•Medical terminology
•Business communication
•Health care management and supervision principles
•Healthcare finance and accounting

Career Choices

Health service administrator works in several facilities related to nursing facilities, hospitals, small clinics, and outpatient care centers among other medical services. Individuals who have relevant associate’s degrees may be hired by health care organizations that are small in scope or scale where their job responsibilities require them to fulfill various clerical and organizational duties in medical offices. Those who aspire to work for larger organizations may need to earn bachelor or master degrees in healthcare administration; however, entry-level jobs are available to holders of associate’s degrees, opting for roles such as:

•Medical biller and coder
•Medical secretary
•Medical transcriptionist

Continuing Education Choices

Students might pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree in health services administration that would result in enriching their knowledge and broadening their career choices. While coursework in associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs may overlap to an extent, bachelor’s degree programs typically include more classes in healthcare policy, accounting and business administration. More general coursework in computer technology, mathematics and analytical and expository writing may be included in bachelor’s degree programs.

Those who aspire to become health services managers would usually need to earn a master’s degree. Additionally, they may need to obtain licensure in order to seek employment in nursing care facilities, or assisted-living facilities. Completion of a state-approved training program in health services administration, and the passage of licensing exam would be needed, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, in order to obtain licensure.

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