What Is the Difference Between a Medical Administration and Health Services Administration Degree?

Medical administration and medical office administration degree programs prepare you for entry-level medical office positions, including those involving secretarial work. Administrative or managerial positions in health care-related industries usually require a bachelor's degree or higher in health services administration. So, although the names are similar, these two degree programs are very different. Read on for a more in-depth discussion of the differences between the two. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Medical Office Administration vs. Health Services Administration Degrees

You are more likely to see medical administration and medical office administration programs at the associate's-degree level, and health services administration programs at the bachelor's- and master's-degree levels. A medical office administration degree program will prepare you for such positions as medical office assistant, medical transcriptionist or medical secretary.

To work as a medical or health services manager, a much more lucrative career, you must earn a bachelor's degree or (preferably) a master's degree in health services administration. You can use an associate's degree in medical office administration as a precursor to a bachelor's degree program in health services administration, many of which encourage previous medical education or experience.

Medical Office Administration Degrees

These programs generally culminate in the Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree, and can be found at many community colleges and vocational schools. They usually consist of 62-71 credit hours and can be completed in approximately two years. You can usually select an emphasis or track, such as insurance billing and coding, medical transcription or management support services, in order to support your specific career goals.

You'll learn about medical office procedures, computer applications, medical terminology, procedure and diagnosis coding, medical records management, legal and ethical issues, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. All of this knowledge prepares you to perform administrative duties in medical or dental offices, clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, long-term care facilities and other health care-related organizations.

Health Services Administration Degrees

Health services administration degrees are available at the bachelor's- and master's-degree levels. Sometimes graduate schools offer dual degrees, combining a Master of Business Administration with a Master of Health Services Administration. These programs are generally meant for those with some clinical or technical experience in the medical industry, though this is not always required.

The bachelor's degree program is designed to provide you with the managerial, analytical, supervisory and business skills necessary to find employment in an entry-level position in the health care industry. For higher-management positions, a master's degree is usuallyrequired. You will encounter such topics as financial accounting and economics, organization and management techniques, epidemiology, marketing, human resources, physician relations and an in-depth study of American health care systems.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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