Changing demographics and the ever-evolving nature of the health care system has created a great number of exciting career opportunities for qualified professionals. The field of medical billing is one of them and it is only poised to grow in terms of the number of people it will likely employ. Since medical billing began as an interface between patients and insurance companies, it has come to encompass numerous facets of how health care is run on both a day-to-day and a larger, industry-wide basis. To help interested parties find the best possible school, we have compiled a list that evaluates each school based on the credential programs it offers, the degrees it can award and the relative rigor and subsequent real-world preparation of its curriculum. Interested applicants should carefully evaluate potential options based on what specific path they would like to pursue. Each degree program offers a different emphasis within this rapidly growing and developing field. A candidate who wishes to specialize in more pragmatic infrastructural matters may choose a different program than a candidate who is intrigued by the potential of specializing in the means of innovation itself. In each case, these brief summaries of each school’s offerings should help to point candidates to the best program for their current and future needs. Without further delay, here are the 10 Best Online Masters in Health Informatics/Health Information Management Degree Programs:
1. Arizona State University
With 34 credits needed to achieve accreditation with an emphasis on “Master of Healthcare Innovation,” Arizona State University believes in creating a comprehensive curriculum that helps students prepare for future innovations in the field by studying aspects of technology, system design programs, change theory, and entrepreneurship among others. S tudents from a wide variety of backgrounds including finance, journalism, nursing and engineering, are encouraged to apply. This program receives such a high ranking in part because it encourages progressive, forward-thinking, instead of rote learning, enabling participants to prepare for a career, not merely a temporary job. The cost of the online program is $768 per credit hour.
For more information about Arizona State University’s Online Masters Program, go here here.
2. Boston University
With ten courses needed to achieve certification, Boston University’s Online Master of Science in Health Communication offers students the opportunity to explore and focus on the nuances of communication among multiple systems and types of work environments. The program, which can be completed in under two years, takes into consideration the changing nature of both physical and infrastructural environments. For those students who wish to develop the skills needed to effectively communicate with the public and the media, this program is an excellent way to begin learning the needed skills. An awareness and mastery of ethics, as well as a background in fundamental communication tools, are integral parts of the curriculum.
For more information about Boston University’s Online Masters Program, go here.
3. University of Tennessee
For those students who wish to focus on the management of information within a medical billing context, the University of Tennessee offers an online masters program that delves into the intricacies of both in-house decision making and interdepartmental coordination. The relationship between various governmental agencies, including regional and national databases is explored, as well as the development of more effective data management and sharing within particular institutions. The program is rooted in the notion that students will encounter a rapidly changing and chaotic world when they decide to put their degree to use. Therefore, all the courses emphasize an approach that enables them to make rapid but sound decisions in terms of data management within a variety of different environments.
For more information about the University of Tennessee’s Online Masters Program, go here.
4. Drexel University
The psycho-social nature of the health care industry and the inherent issues that result form one of the fundamental tenets of Drexel’s online master degree program. Here, students immerse themselves in a series of courses that allows them to conceive of the vast political and infrastructural landscape of health care as it is, not as many wish it to be. This pragmatic approach, which is vested in the idea that excellent communication skills and a thorough understanding of complex systems enable people to pursue careers in a variety of fields, is geared towards those who wish to undertake a collaborative yet easily implementable educational approach. However, the program does not take a defeatist approach towards realpolitik, but rather an inclusive one. Students are encouraged to master the world and then make changes to improve its processes.
For more information about Drexel University’s Online Masters Program, go here .
5. Kaplan University
Kaplan’s program takes a more technology-oriented approach towards medical billing. Here, students begin with a fundamental understanding of the linkage between information science, computer science, and health care. The degree is also open to those who wish to expand on previous experience in the health care field, especially health informatics professionals who would like to sharpen and more specifically apply the basic skills they’ve picked up in the field. This emphasis on combining real-world, learned skills with the potential of integrating new approaches and concepts is ideal for students who are invested in the health care industry as a long-term career choice. Existing professionals will appreciate the directnesss and applicability of the offered courses.
For more information about Kaplan University’s Online Masters Program, go here.
6. Regis University
Regis’ program is tailored specifically to professionals who already have experience in nursing, healthcare administration, and other medical experience and wish to understand the new realities of medical billing and data management. Doctors who may have years in the field but only a few minutes of computer experience will benefit from this course of study, which aims to demystify the complexities of the process while simultaneously introducing helpful techniques to keep professionals abreast of the latest changes in the industry. Professionals may select a particular emphasis, including studies in business management, medical practice management, and administration and program direction. The program has a core requirement of 36 credit hours, which are evenly split between HL Specialization requirements and core requirements.
For more information about Regis University’s Online Masters Program, go here.
7. Walden University
Although Walden welcomes the uninitiated into its comprehensive and practical degree in Health Informatics, medical professionals will find this program to be particularly useful in terms of developing their data management skills. The program is rooted in the notion that a fuller understanding of how data management works enables medical professionals to contribute better holistic care in all areas of their practice, whether they have an individual business, or are part of a massive hospital system. Students will find that the program integrates real world scenarios with abstract conceptual explorations of the reach and influence of technology and the effects of data tracking and management. This focus helps professionals interact with their patients in a way that does not neglect the human element of patient care, yet simultaneously helps them create a better and more efficient process for dealing with a large number of patients.
For more information about Walden University’s Online Masters Program, go here.
8. Herzing University
Herzing approaches healthcare from the vantage point that it is not only one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the United States, but also likely one that will grow in complexity both from an administrative and ethical standpoint. The sheer number of professionals involved, combined with the wide geographic span and different cultural norms and expectations, makes this field both dynamic and incredibly challenging. To prepare students for entry into what will undoubtedly be a fast-moving and demanding field, the program emphasizes the development of management skills. This enables program participates to effortlessly segue into becoming a Director of Development or a Chief Executive Officer. In this sense, Herzing’s program is perfect for those students or professionals who envision themselves in a governance role, and wish to master the skills necessary to see that career path through.
For more information about Herzing University’s Online Masters Program, go here.
9. Southern New Hampshire University
Understanding how to effectively motivate, manage, and coordinate a business in healthcare is a course requiring an ample amount of study and background. Southern New Hampshire University offers its students the opportunity to study the intricacies of psychology and management while also interacting with other students and teachers via special live conferences and meetings. This aspect of the program is vital for students who wish to understand how the complexity of human interaction fundamentally changes the dynamics and environment of any business, but especially one with as many nuances and potential challenges as those based in health care. The University is ranked highly in part because of its extensive credentialing in the MBA field. This solid business understanding will enable those who participate in the program to approach any healthcare situation with confidence and capability.
For more information about Southern New Hampshire University’s Online Masters Program, go here.
10. American Sentinel University
The 36 hour health informatics degree offered by American Sentinel enables students to quickly adapt to real-world scenarios, including the need to effectively present complex data to both technologically savvy and non-savvy groups. The program also emphasizes the notion of concise analytics across a wide variety of data sets, which is a vital skill in what is predicted to be not just a growing field, but an intensely complicated one. By understanding how to relate to a wide swath of stakeholders, students will quickly become invaluable members of any team they join by providing the translation between deeply technical, possibly obscure data formats and newer, more accessible platforms and tools. Although technology exists nearly everywhere in the world, those who can effectively interpret it, especially in a time-sensitive health care situation, are expected to be among the most wanted new professionals in this industry.
For more information about American Sentinel University’s Online Masters Program, go here.