While the health care industry is growing nationwide, that is especially true in Louisiana, a state with an over-65 population constituting nearly 14 percent of residents. The health care industry is one of the state’s largest, and the demand for positions for administrators in the field will continue to increase. In fact, if you go as far as to earn a Master of Health Administration, or its equivalent, your healthcare administration career will surely soar.
Overview and Salary
Overall, the demand for health administrators is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2016-2026, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than average job growth. The field is expected to increase by more than 72,000 such jobs over the decade. The 2017 median pay was $98,350 annually, or $47.29 per hour.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the number of health care administration jobs should increase by 17.6 percent in the decade between 2012 and 2022. Health administrators in Louisiana earn higher average salaries than do those in most neighboring states. As of 2014, the state’s top salaried healthcare administrators with salaries in the 90th percentile earned, on average, $104,044, while those whose salaries where within the 10th percentile earned an average of $60,307 annually.
Undergraduate Program Overview
LSU Ruston Healthcare Admin Programs
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Informatics and Information Administration through its College of Applied and Natural Sciences. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). Students completing the program may sit for the registration examination of the American Health Information Management Association during their final quarter of study. Graduates passing this examination may use the credential RHIA, Registered Health Information Administrator.
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University HCA Programs
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, Baton Rouge, offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences/ Health Services through its School of Health Professions. Applicants must have completed an associate’s degree in the field from an accredited institution of higher learning. Students must complete 122 semester credit hours and have a grade point average of at least 2.0 on all college work with grades of C or better in all courses leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.
McNeese State HCA Programs
McNeese State University, Lake Charles, offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management through its College of Nursing and Health Professions. Students may focus on concentrations in healthcare management, care coordination or healthcare quality improvement. The program consists of 120 credit hours, with a required senior level internship before graduation. At least 320 field-based hours are mandated for the final semester of the program. Graduates must receive at least a “C” in all courses required for the major to receive their degree.
SLU HCA Programs
Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, offers a joint program with the same degree and areas of concentration as McNeese State University.
LSU Alexandria HCA Programs
Louisiana State University, Alexandria, offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Eldercare Administration. The time for program completion varies, but a total of 121 credit hours is required. The online courses include Healthcare Economics; Corporate Finance; Principles of Management; Healthcare Administration and 39 hours of general education courses.
University of New Orleans HCA Programs
The University of New Orleans’ College of Business Administration offers a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management. Courses include The Future of Healthcare Management; Healthcare Ethics, Law and Policy; Reimbursement Systems and Revenue Management; Healthcare Information Technology; Healthcare Organizational Leadership and Improvement; Community Health Research and Management and an internship in healthcare management. Students must take 34 credits of core healthcare management courses, as well as courses in various business disciplines.
Graduate Program Overview
LSU Healthcare Admin Programs
Louisiana State University, Shreveport, offers an online Master of Health Administration. The program involves ten graduate courses, including Healthcare Organizational Behavior; Healthcare Human Resource Management; Healthcare Systems; Healthcare Law and Ethics; Healthcare Marketing; Healthcare Informatics; Healthcare Finance; Healthcare Economics; Healthcare Policy and Healthcare Strategic Management, all of which are three credits. The program is accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Candidates may pursue courses on a full or part-time basis, and the school notes it is possible to obtain the MHA degree within one year. The tuition and fee schedule is the same for both Louisiana and out of state residents. The program admits students six times annually, in December, February, April, June, August and October.
Louisiana Tech HCA Programs
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston offers a 45-hour online Master of Health Informatics. The program is accredited by CAHIM. While admission does not require GRE scores, each qualified applicant is reviewed by the Admissions Committee after they have received the following items: Application form, application fee, essay, reference letters, and all applicable transcripts. Candidates must possess a minimum of two years of work experience in industries directly translating to health informatics, including IT, health care, law, health information management or consulting. Candidates without such a background must complete an essay on why they want to enter the program or send in their GRE score.
University of Louisiana Lafayette HCA Programs
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers an online Master of Business Administration: Health Care Administration Concentration. Thirty-nine credit hours are required, and it is possible to complete the degree in 18 months. The program is AACSB accredited, and consists of 13 courses or internships. The courses include Health Care Law; Health Care Economics; Quality Management in Health Care; Organization Behavior in Health Care; Health Care Information Systems; International Business; Marketing Management; Advanced Financial Management and Policy; Analytical Methods for Planning and Control; Policy Formation, Strategy and Administration and Managerial Economics. Two internships, each three credit/hours, are required for a total of six credit/hours for the MBA in Healthcare Administration program. Some students may have to take additional business courses at the foundation level.
Tulane University HCA Programs
Tulane University offers a Master of Health Administration and a Masters in Business Administration/Masters of Health Administration dual degree. The former is offered by the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, while the latter is offered by the Freeman School of Business. Candidates must receive admission to both schools and approval from the Joint-Degree Program Committee to enroll in this program. The Masters in Health Administration program consists of 60 credits of graduate coursework, including Management of Health Care Organizations; Organizational Behavior; Financial Management; Population Health; Health Care Economics; Leadership and Professionalism in Health Care; Marketing and Communications and Information Systems and Analysis. The program is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and the Council on Education for Public Health. Admission requirements include the Graduate Record Exam, but the program also accepts the GMAT, MCAT or LSAT in addition to the GRE. The culminating experience is an oral comprehensive examination, consisting of a case study and four competency-specific questions.
Tulane’s law school offers a joint Juris Doctor/MHA program.
Job Prospects for Louisiana
A July, 2018 snapshot of available healthcare administration jobs in Louisiana includes hospital administrator at Compass Behavioral Health Center, Alexandria; an administrator at Ocean’s Healthcare, Alexandria: program director at Healogics, Baton Rouge; hospital administrator, Compass Health, Houma; strategic analyst at Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge; grant manager, Daughters of Charity Health Center, New Orleans; care management associate at Aetna, Baton Rouge and healthcare informatics consultant at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Baton Rouge.
Largest Employers of Health Administration Professionals in Louisiana
The largest employers of health administration professionals in Louisiana include HMO Louisiana, Inc., Baton Rouge; Oschner Health System, Jefferson; Amedisys, statewide; LHC Group, Lafayette; LCMC Health, New Orleans; LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans; Gulf South Health Plans, Baton Rouge; Acadian Ambulance, Lafayette; Baton Rouge General Medical Center; East Jefferson Hospital, Metairie; Lafayette General Health; North Oaks, Hammond and Bienville Medical Center, Arcadia.
Health Administration Associations for Louisiana
Health administrators in various fields should find an association in the state focusing on their specific professions, as well as state chapters of national health administration organizations.
The Louisiana Chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society “promotes technology use and facilitates knowledge exchange through conferences and education sessions accessible to healthcare professionals.” HIMSS itself is a “global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information and technology,” leading efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes via information technology.
The Louisiana affiliate of the National Association of Healthcare Access Management goals are establishing “best practices and subject matter expertise; provide an array of networking, education, and certification opportunities; and enable our members to influence and promote high quality delivery of Patient Access Services.”
The Louisiana chapter of Healthcare Executives has a mission of providing “opportunities for professional networking and development through collaborative educational programs. Our goal is to advance healthcare leadership and management excellence in the communities we serve, while promoting the highest level of ethical standards and conduct.” It has four districts in the state, comprising Orleans, the Southeast, Southwest/Bayou and Central, Northeast and Northwest.
The Louisiana Society for Healthcare Facilities Management mission is encouraging members in developing knowledge and increasing competence in fields relating to healthcare facility management through regular meetings, conferences and educational programs. The LSHCM also serves in an advocacy role in the development of “codes, regulations and legislation that affect healthcare institutions.”
Headquartered in Slidell, the Medical Group Management Association of Louisiana’s mission is “dedicated to supporting the professional growth and development of its members and, in turn, the medical practices with which they are affiliated.” MGMA-LA’s vision is that it will become “the premier association representing the interests of medical practices and their management throughout the state of Louisiana.”