This year, Virginia's General Assembly approved Medicaid expansions which will extend coverage to approximately 400,000 residents. But the fight to organize and provide quality health services to Virginians does not end there; it is reported that more than 300,000 residents will still remain uncovered.
Luckily, there are 60 free clinics in the state which serve uninsured people, but the uncertainty regarding Medicaid inscriptions and future funding for these clinics (usually NGOs) means that now more than ever the state is in need of well-educated, experienced health professionals capable of planning and executing efficient programs within complex, community-wide and state-wide systems.
If you work in the field of health and are interested in pursuing a career in Health Administration in Virginia, you have a number of options to choose from.
The George Washington University’s (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs for healthcare professionals, including a BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management.
Click for program information.
What Can a Health Administrator Do?
Virginia is home to 125 hospitals, including some of the best in the nation. According to a recent search, MHA recipients looking to enter the industry in Virginia may find work as Senior Administrators in general hospitals, as program directors for academic institutions, and as general directors of private clinics, to name just a few examples.
And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia employs over 7,500 health managerial professionals, with an average salary of $114,900: noticeably higher than the national mean.
Common Master’s in Health Care Administration Degree Concepts
Below, we have listed several MHA courses offered by Virginia universities, and which may be indicative of the general coursework you can expect with such a program.
This course aims to examine the structure and functioning of the U.S. health system. Emphasis is placed on the core concepts necessary to understand and analyzing health and illness patterns, and their relationship to healthcare cost and quality.
These courses offer students a foundation with regards to healthcare financial accounting, budgeting, and short-term financial decision making. Students can expect to become acquainted with accounting concepts of providers and payers.
Students are introduced to the analytical techniques most commonly used to study and measure the health status of entire populations, in order to effectively design, evaluate, and correct programs.
Online (and Onsite) MHA Programs in Virginia
Below, we have listed just two examples of flexible, in-state MHA programs which allow students to combine online and on-campus coursework. Of course, you should investigate additional options which might suit you.
George Mason University
Located in Fairfax County and originally a part of the University of Virginia system. George Mason has been an independent research institution since 1972. They are one of the only colleges in Virginia which offer an MHA degree plan that can be completed entirely online.
Their Master’s of Health Administration in Health Systems Management is meant to provide students not only with strong analytical and decision-making skills but also with a broad base of knowledge of the health industry’s history and functioning.
This CAHME accredited program comprises 47 credit hours and can be completed in two years.
It is meant for working professionals with experience in the health industry, and its flexible, online plan means that students can study when and where they want.
In addition to the coursework, students also attend an annual week of conferences in Washington D.C., where they will be able to learn first hand from the experts and congressional members who determine the nation’s health policies. Students also complete a capstone project, in which they address a real-world issue of their choosing in the field of health.
As of the 2018-2019 school year, tuition for this program was $978 per credit hour. A similar, on-campus MHA program is also available to those who have the ability to attend weekly courses.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Located in Richmond, VCU offers two-degree plans for those who wish to obtain their MHA: a traditional MHA, and a Master’s of Science in Health Administration.
The MSHA is an executive program meant for professionals working in the field and allows students to complete coursework through an online class system. In addition, MSHA students must attend six on-campus sessions over the course of their degree plan, which has an average completion time of 22 months. Generally, MSHA students are mid-career professionals with at least five years of experience.
Students who live in or near Richmond and can take standard on-campus classes might consider the traditional MHA as well: ranked the third such program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, this is a three-year program which includes a 12-month paid administrative residency, meant to ensure that students have the experience necessary to enter the workforce upon graduation.
For this plan, in-state students can expect to pay a base tuition of $6,067 for a semester of 9-12 credit hours of class
Out-of-state residents are charged a higher fee of $12,474. Costs vary depending on whether or not you are a full-time student, and additional fees may apply.
Be sure to investigate the VCU graduate program’s Office of Financial Aid to see what scholarships and tuition-reductions you might qualify for.
If you are interested in working in this growing field, and pursuing an MHA through a Virginia university, you might consider any of the options listed below.