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Masters in HCA - Confused???

  1. Question Masters in HCA - Confused???
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    I have completed my Masters in Healthcare Administration last year with a GPA of 3.8/4.0 from a good university in San Francisco Bay Area. I applied for more than 1000 jobs but got an interview only from temp agencies and no direct company called me even for an interview. Temp agencies ask for a good experience which I don't have. I am confused now and seems my MHA might be a wastage of time and resources.

    I will highly appreciate your guidance or advice about any additional course or certification that would be beneficial to get a good job. I am willing to work for free to gain experience in healthcare field. Please Please help me......

  2. #2
    Fort Smith, AR
    Default Masters HCA
    What is your undergrad in? What are you interested in? Do you have any coding credentials? Since you have a master's degree, you could take a look at a post-graduate program in HIM and take a few extra classes and become eligible to take the RHIA (Registered Health Information Management) exam (as long as it is CAHIIM accredited). It's hard to break into a good job in Healthcare w/o experience in healthcare and unfortunately, some employers may consider you "overqualified" to start at an entry level position. Don't give up though. Someone is out there looking for a person just like you. Network, network, network...that is the key for newbies...
    Rachel Nelson, RHIA, CPC-A

  3. #3
    Charleston, WV
    I will be graduating in December w/my MHA. Oddly enough, my BS is in Communications with an emphasis in photography. That aside, I have been working in the healthcare field for over 23 years. I was in management before I got my CPC and started a new career path (with a BIG pay cut). Hopefully my experience will help after I graduate. My ultimate goal is to get my Doctorate in Public Health and I have a comfortable position at the moment so I'm not terribly concerned with advancing right now.

    Anyway, have you asked for feedback from the people you interviewed with? Sometimes a person can be qualified but just doesn't interview well. You may be surprised at how helpful some managers can be when you ask for feedback. Of course, some of the criticism you get might not be "constructive" but even somebody tearing you down can help sometimes. Feedback on your resume can help too. If all else fails, you might want to consider relocating.

    Hang in there and good luck!

  4. Default
    I have a Bahelors with major in Economics and worked in mortgage industry for 3 years. Then I got laid off and started my MHA. Initially, I was thinking to start in quality or compliance of healthcare but it seems there are very less opportunities in this field or they need experience.

    I am interested to start with anything (administrative, coding, billing, finance etc). But it should have a scope of growth and flexibility.

    How can I get more information to become RHIA? Are there any instructor led training centers in San Francisco Bay Area? Do you think the certification in coding such as CPC will also help? Can you suggest any good certification in the field of compliance or quality control for Healthcare?

  5. #5
    Charleston, WV
    I'm about 2500 miles away from you so I can't help with San Fran area info. For info on RHIA, you might check the AHIMA web site. I believe a BS in HIM or a post-grad certificate is required but I am not positive of that.

    There are dozens of compliance and ethics certifications available. I don't know which of these are the most valuable or legit. I believe the HCCA has a good rep. You might check their web site.

    Coding is one way into the compliance world. Getting your CPC or CCS can lead to auditing jobs (after you gain some coding experience) which can lead to compliance jobs.

    It would probably be best to research the various paths that can lead to your goal, choose the path that most interests you, and do what it takes to get your foot in. Healthcare compliance is growing very quickly and I believe, however you get there, it's a good choice.

    (Geez, i sound like a commercial).

  6. #6
    Fort Smith, AR
    Default Rhia
    Look at the University of Cincinnati - they have an online program I believe for post-bachelors certificate to be eligible to sit for RHIA upon completion.
    Rachel Nelson, RHIA, CPC-A

  7. #7
    Dover Seacoast New Hampshire
    I'm currently enrolled in an MHA program. My undergrad is in education. I have to say that all of the students in this program (St. Joseph's College) are currently managers within the healthcare field. Actually, that's a pre-requisite for admission into this program. Typically, MHA candidates have had experience in the field, and the grad education is to prepare them for or enhance their performance in upper management. That's not very helpful news for you, I'll agree, but management experience of any kind would be beneficial.

    I also agree with Rachel, take a look at obtaining your RHIA through AHIMA. Without any solid healthcare management experience, your MHA might not be a guaranteed foot in the door, but the RHIA certification and education within the Medical Records field is in high demand. You may be able to obtain an externship through the training program, which can certainly be a good opportunity.

    Good luck.
    Pam Brooks, MHA, COC, PCS, CPC, AAPC Fellow
    Coding Manager
    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
    Dover, NH 03820

    If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney

  8. #8
    Default Here's an idea
    Have you looked into teaching online? Many of the online faculty jobs require a Masters degree and a CPC if you're wanting to teach billing and coding. University of Phoenix and Herzing University are always looking to hire.

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