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RICHMOND, Ky. — Eastern Kentucky University’s newest online program is the bachelor’s degree in health services administration. Two concentration areas – health care management and health informatics and information management – will prepare students for one of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields.

Online students will take the same courses from the same professors as face-to-face students. Dr. Colleen Schneck, interim dean in the College of Health Sciences, said the success of existing online programs played a role in their decision to offer the program virtually. “Students and employers have been pleased with our online programs in nursing and occupational therapy. There’s a need for quality online instruction and a high demand for health management professionals, so this is the perfect time for us to add another program in an essential health care discipline,” said Schneck.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for medical and health services managers will increase 32 percent by 2029. Nationwide, median pay for these types of careers ranges from $58,000 to more than $100,000 annually.

A degree in health services administration is ideal for anyone interested in entering the health care industry. Those already working in the field, such as registered health information technicians (RHITs), should consider the program in preparation for career advancement. Jobs are available in hospitals, doctors’ offices, local clinics, treatment centers, nursing homes, residential care facilities and outpatient care centers.

Students can customize their EKU degree to their interests with one of two concentrations. Health care management will position graduates for entry level staff and management positions that require business expertise and fundamental knowledge of health care. Health informatics and information management focuses on data collection and analysis for administrative decision-making, which is increasingly in demand due to the widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs).

The health informatics and information management concentration is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Those who successfully complete the degree are eligible to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam. The Kentucky Health Information Management Association reimburses eligible candidates who pass the exam within six months of graduation.

“With the advancement of health communication and information technology, health information professionals are needed, and our exam pass rates significantly exceed the national average, so we are particularly excited to be able to give more students a chance to enter this field,” said Schneck.

Applications are now being accepted. Classes start in January 2021. For more information, visit go.eku.edu/hsaonline2020 or call 859-622-8560.

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