Health administration or healthcare administration is the field relating to leadership, management, and administration of hospitals, hospital networks, health care systems, and public health systems. Health care administrators are considered health care professionals.
A master’s degree is considered the “standard credential”for most health administrators in the United States. There are multiple recognized degree types that are considered equivalent from the perspective of professional preparation.
The Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) is the accrediting body overseeing master’s-level programs in the United States and Canada on behalf of the United States Department of Education. It accredits several degree program types, including Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA),Master of Business Administration in Hospital Management (MBA-HM), Master of Health Administration (MHA),Master of Public Health (MPH, MSPH, MSHPM), Master of Science (MS-HSM, MS-HA), and Master of Public Administration (MPA).
There are numerous professional associations related to health systems management, which can be subcategorized as either personal or institutional membership groups. Personal membership groups are joined by individuals, and typically have individual skill and career development as their focus. Larger personal membership groups include the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Institutional membership groups are joined by organizations; they typically focus on organizational effectiveness, and may also include data-sharing agreements and other best-practice sharing vehicles for member organizations. Prominent examples include the American Hospital Association and the University Health Systems Consortium.