Healthcare Administration | Southwestern College Professional Studies

Bachelor and Master Degrees from Southwestern College - Professional Studies

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Healthcare Administration

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration

Program Description

The Healthcare Administration program is committed to preparing healthcare leaders for the current and emerging challenges in the healthcare industry. Responsible citizenship at the individual and corporate levels, including ethical, legal, and socially responsible behaviors and business practices, are emphasized. Learners apply healthcare administration concepts and practices across a range of healthcare settings within the context of organizational mission and patient care needs.

Successful learners acquire knowledge and develop skills in decision making and operations management that include strategic planning, human resource management, financial management, business development and marketing, quality improvement and information management. They also gain the ability to interpret and apply healthcare policy, law, regulations, compliance requirements and accreditation standards.

Admission Requirements

  1. Have completed a minimum of 6 post-high school college credits
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.0


MASC110: Statistics & Probability

This course acquaints learners with the tools and major components of statistics. Learners will apply technology to analyze data. The course also includes the foundational terminology and practices used in contemporary statistics, such as data collection, metrics, score interpretation, and experimental design. Additionally, this course will promote the skills that learners need to be able to take information from the world around them and use it to make sound decisions based on solid evidence.

MASC115: College Algebra

This course provides learners with the algebra, reasoning, and problem‐solving skills needed for everyday life. The course focuses on simplifying expressions and solving equations in real‐world situations using variables for unknowns. Learners will solve problems using algebraic principles and tools and then incorporate these mathematical concepts into realistic business, consumer, science, and statistical contexts.

Core Major Requirements

HCA280: The Healthcare Industry

Knowledge of the healthcare industry’s complex environment equips those in healthcare administration roles for current and emerging roles and responsibilities. Learners study the U.S. healthcare industry from a historical perspective to the present. Learners examine the organization, management, resources, delivery, and financing of health services in the United States. Learners assess the political, cultural, social, behavioral, demographic, economic, and historical factors that shape the U.S. healthcare industry and their potential impact on the future of healthcare delivery in the U.S.

HCA306: Accounting in Healthcare

Accounting for healthcare organizations must address several requirements that are either unique to healthcare or to human services in general. Knowledge of these and other basic accounting practices is essential to effectively use financial analysis tools and reports. Learners explore for-profit, not-for-profit, and fund accounting, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as well as legal, regulatory, and financial reporting requirements for healthcare organizations. Learners analyze financial statements and the general ledger and explore how the data is used in the preparation of externally required and internally desired financial reports for healthcare organizations.

Prerequisite: MASC115 - College Algebra. This course may be substituted for ACCT285 – Financial Accounting.

HCA305: Healthcare Policy, Law, Regulation & Accreditation

Healthcare policies, laws, regulations, and accreditation in the U.S. heavily influence a healthcare organization’s market and organizational environment. Knowledge of these factors is essential for effective strategic and operational management of healthcare organizations. Learners explore the requirements and management challenges of healthcare policies, laws and regulations, and accreditation. Learners examine the ethical, legal, and regulatory compliance requirements and practices for healthcare funders and payers, provider networks and organizations, individual practitioners, and consumers.

Prerequisites: HCA 280 - The Healthcare Industry and HUM 201 - Ethics. Prior study of professional communication is recommended.

HCA315: Economics of Healthcare

Diverse factors, such as legal, regulatory, contractual, and reimbursement models and methods, contribute toward a complex economic environment for healthcare organizations in the U.S. Learners explore the economic characteristics of the healthcare industry in the United States. The impact of public policy, laws, regulations, and private sector behavior on healthcare delivery and payment systems is explored. The interplay of economics, healthcare payer, provider, consumer, healthcare utilization, and behavior is analyzed and assessed. Learners compare the economic characteristics of the U. S. healthcare industry to those of other countries.

Prerequisites: HCA 305 Healthcare Policy, Law, Regulation, and Accreditation and MASC115 - Statistics and Probability

HCA340: Managing Healthcare Human Resources

A key factor of success for an organization is how well its employees are engaged in its initiatives and routine operations while maintaining human resource legal and regulatory requirements and generally accepted practice. Specific considerations for healthcare organizations include clinical governance, credentialing, and licensure. Learners examine the interrelationships of human resource, clinical governance, and the delivery of patient-centric care and services. In addition, they explore staffing and employment functions; training and development; compensation and benefits; labor relations; credentialing and licensure; and legal and regulatory requirements. Management considerations within a multicultural environment are also addressed.

Prerequisite: COM 125 - Speech. Prior study of healthcare legal, regulatory, and accreditation requirements is highly recommended.

HCA405: Healthcare Marketing & Development

Information systems contribute to the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare service delivery, management, and administration. The requirements of information systems continue to evolve with integration with health information exchanges, telemedicine and its disciplinary counterparts, and other emerging technologies. Learners examine the ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements for information systems and their integration with strategic, clinical, and operational decision making, as well as routine organizational processes. The methods for assessing feasibility, selecting, implementing, evaluating, and securing the use of information systems and technology to support current and emerging healthcare trends and applications are also explored.

Prerequisites: HCA 280 - The Healthcare Industry and HUM 201 - Ethics. Prior study of healthcare legal and regulatory requirements regarding information systems, security, and patient privacy is highly recommended.

HCA430: Financial Management in Healthcare Services

Managing financial resources effectively in a complex and disruptive economic environment presents significant challenges for healthcare managers. Learners study the financial management of healthcare payer, network, and provider organizations in the U.S. Reimbursement mechanisms, funding indigent care, industry costs and competition, and other ethical, legal, regulatory, and financial management challenges are critically assessed. Learners engage in preparing and managing budgets, using financial tools, and applying financial management best practices. The collaborative role of fiscal management in the delivery of patient-centric care and services is also explored.

Prerequisites: HCA 306 - Accounting in Healthcare and HCA 315 - Economics of Healthcare. Prior study of professional communication recommended.

HCA438: Quality Management of Healthcare Services

Quality and performance improvement are critical elements to the success of a healthcare organization in the delivery of patient care and services. Healthcare organizations are held accountable for ensuring that the quality of care and services meets the expectations of patients, healthcare professionals, the general public, regulatory, and accrediting bodies, payers, and other stakeholders. Learners explore the role of leadership in the success of quality and performance improvement initiatives. Quality management (including patient safety, risk assessment and prevention, peer review, and patient experience and satisfaction) and performance improvement and management concepts, systems, practices, and technologies are examined.

Prerequisites: HCA 280 - The Healthcare Industry and MASC110 - Statistics and Probability. Prior study of professional communication recommended.

Prerequisite: ACCT285

HCA480: Strategic Management of Healthcare Services

Successful strategy development and execution are essential for an organization to continually meet patient care needs and to fulfill its mission. Learners study strategic management theories and principles and examine best practices for developing and executing successful strategy in a complex, ever-changing marketplace. Learners consider means for leading and motivating employees to effectively execute those strategies. Patient-centric care and services, quality management, collaboration, and partnering with stakeholders and other organizations are emphasized.

Prerequisites: All major courses with the exception of the Capstone. Prior study of professional communication recommended. This course may be substituted for HCA 420 – Management in Healthcare Services.

HCA497: Healthcare Administration Capstone

Learners engage in two projects that assess their achievements and preparation for pursuit of professional aspirations in the field of healthcare administration. Through application and assessment, learners examine the knowledge and skills gained throughout the program, achievement of the program outcomes, their roles as individual responsible citizens and in encouraging corporate responsible citizenship, and their preparation for healthcare leadership.

Prerequisites: All major courses. Prior study of professional communication recommended.

Foundation Requirements

CORE101: Developing Academic and Professional Strengths

How does higher education help create the type of person that businesses want to hire? Learners will explore the answer to this question, and in doing so, help lay the foundation for academic and professional success. Each learner will develop a core set of skills needed to be both an effective college student and a successful professional in the 21st‐century workplace. Learners will develop and practice practical strategies with which to become more efficient and effective learners, while also developing higher‐order learning skills to reflect on critical issues relevant to both academic and professional environments such as personal responsibility and ethics.

CORE110: Information Literacy

This course is designed to provide learners with the skills that are fundamental to becoming an information‐literate professional who can locate, evaluate, organize and communicate information. The abundance and rapid flow of data requires skill development in the understanding of information resources, accessing information sources, determining the credibility of Internet information, logically organizing sources and finally presenting the information professionally.

ENGL101: Composition 1

This course helps learners develop writing skills that are transferrable to any academic or workplace writing task. The course guides learners through the process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading academic and workplace writing. Learners will develop skills necessary to craft coherent sentences and paragraphs, to edit editing their writing for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will learn about narrative structure and techniques as well as the elements of successful argumentation and persuasive discourse. This course also guides learners through every stage of the research process. Learners will develop a research plan, conduct research, organize and draft a research paper, and then revise, edit, and proofread that research paper.

ENGL102: Composition 2

This course builds on the thinking and writing skills introduced in Composition 1. Learners will write critical, argumentative essays based on their interpretations of nonfictional texts, including literary, film, and cultural texts, and in doing so, will recognize the role of rhetoric in the writing situation as they craft persuasive discourse. In doing so, they will learn methods of questioning, analyzing, and evaluating their own beliefs as well as the perceptions and perspectives of others. These methods of critical thinking are intended to improve the quality and organization of learners’ writing for any purpose, including academic and workplace purposes. In addition to writing essays, learners will develop more advanced research strategies, as well greater proficiency in APA style.

Prerequisite: ENGL101

COM 125: Speech

This course helps learners majoring in any discipline strengthen communication skills essential for success in academics and the workplace. Learners will focus on listening, evaluating, and delivering spoken discourse based on audience and purpose. Learners will evaluate why some people are more effective than others as public speakers, analyze speeches and audiences, study ethical considerations for speakers, research and organize findings on a topic, and present findings before an audience, and learn techniques for identifying and reducing speech anxiety.

HUM 201: Ethics

Ethics introduces learners to moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy that questions what is good and bad. The course surveys a number of important ethical theories—ethical relativism, objectivism, egoism, altruism, utilitarianism, duty‐based moral theory, natural law, natural rights, and virtue ethics—as they examine reasons why certain actions are morally right or wrong. Learners will apply ethical theories in the evaluation and analysis of current controversial issues, question ethical matters from a variety of angles, and acquire new tools to assist them in making ethically sound, well‐informed decisions throughout their lives.

COM 301: Professional Communication

This course prepares learners to communicate effectively in business settings by helping them develop their written and oral communication skills. The course focuses on traditional and Web‐based forms of communication used in business today, including e‐mail, letters, memos, reports, proposals, and presentations. The course teaches learners to plan, write, and revise communications for a variety of audiences and in different mediums. It also teaches learners to communicate with greater clarity, economy of language, and vigor, as well as how to communicate professionally with employees, customers, and hiring managers. Learners will participate in interactive online activities and complete real‐world assessments that help them produce, evaluate, and improve their own written, oral, and multimedia communication skills.

Prerequisite: ENGL102. A final grade of C or higher for this course is required for learners to enroll in the capstone course.

*MASC110 Statistics & Probability, or MASC115 College algebra, or more advanced college credit bearing mathematics course requiring college algebra or higher as a prerequisite

Disciplinary Perspective Requirements

  • Humanities (6 credits)
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics (4 credits)
  • Social Sciences (6 credits)

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete all foundation and major courses with an overall GPA of 2.0
  2. Complete a minimum of 124 credit hours, with at least 60 hours at a bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  3. Complete at least 30 credit hours with a C average or above from Southwestern College

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Professional Studies Catalog for the most current degree requirements.