When pursuing a career in healthcare administration, or healthcare management, it is necessary to obtain a Masters in health administration degree. People who have successfully completed MHA programs can use their MHA degree to manage hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare agencies. A person with a masters in health care administration may also pursue career options outside of medical institutions by seeking employment with health insurance providers, medical supply manufacturers or even pharmaceutical companies. Regardless of the career path chosen, membership in a professional health administration organization or association can help further both current and future career goals. When considering these types of associations, it is important to research the organizations core values to best understand how they help administrative professionals to get the most of their Master of health administration degree or online MHA. Students enrolled in MHA programs can join many of the following organizations even if they are still working towards their masters in health care administration. Students working to get their masters of health administration through an online MHA program may find it beneficial to join a professional organization. Once a student has completed their masters of health administration, the organization they belong to may be able to help them with job placement.
Health Care Administrators Association
The Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA) is a membership organization that represents third party administrators and associated professionals, such as insurance carriers, health care consultants and medical management. It was formed in California in 1980 as a not-for-profit advisory group for third party administrators and service providers. Members who join HCAA, have access to networking events, legislative updates, publication and educational opportunities. In addition, HCAA also provides legislative updates and acts as the voice of third party administrators in Washington. Organizations such as the Health Care Administrators Association can also be joined by students pursuing their masters in health administration.
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) is a membership organization for healthcare management professionals, many of whom have a masters in healthcare administration. The AAHAM was originally founded in 1968. At that time, it was known as the American Guild of Patient Account Management. During the organizations early years, its purpose was somewhat different than what it is today. At the onset, it was an organization that was only meant to aid the interests of the managers of hospital patient accounts. Today, AAHAM serves all healthcare administrative management in several ways, such as providing information and education as well as serving as an advocate for members’ rights.
AAHAM has several certification opportunities for its members. Twice a year, members who are accounting professionals, can take the Certified Patient Account Manager exam and the Certified Clinic Account Manager exam. These are called the Professional Certification Exams. The Technical Certification exams are another set of examinations offered by AAHAM. These examinations include the Certified Patient Account Technician exam, Certified Clinic Account Technician exam and the Certified Compliance Technician examination. In order to keep either the professional or technical certifications current, members must stay up-to-date on their dues, complete the mandatory amount of continuing education units and be in good academic standing. Those holding a master of health administration can join this organization to help further their education. There are two levels of AAHAM membership, professional and student. The professional membership is for people who have already completed their MHA program and have obtained a masters in health administration degree. Student memberships are available for people who are still working towards their MHA degree via live or online MHA programs.
American College of Health Care Administrators
Another organization for people who have a master of health administration degree or are enrolled in MHA programs is the American College of Health Care Administrators. Founded in 1962, the organization’s core values are to identify, recognize and support long-term care leaders and to serve as the voice. Members of the association may be either established or new executives and must abide by the organizations Code of Ethics. Members are eligible for benefits such as continuing education, networking opportunities and leadership development. Networking and leadership opportunities often come in the form of national, regional and local conferences. Certification programs are another benefit to members, particularly those that work for nursing homes and for assisted living programs so those with an MHA degree are able to pursue continuing education. These administrators may be eligible for the Certified Assisted Living Administrator (CALA) or the Certified Nursing Home Administrator (CNHA).
Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals
The Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals is a not-for-profit organization for healthcare executive assistants, administrative assistants and supporting management. Members include masters health administration degree holders. Its goal is to provide education opportunities and recognition for its members, as well as serve as an advocate for administrative professionals. There are two types of memberships, general and associate. General memberships are for professionals who provide administrative support to the executives and senior management such as those with a masters in health care administration. Associate memberships are for companies that support healthcare administrators, or provide them with products. There are currently nine membership regions across the United States. The opportunity to apply for the Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional certification, access to educational resources, industry recognition and an annual conference for further education and networking opportunities for those with a masters of health administration, are just a few of the benefits of joining AHCAP.