This month, the University of Louisiana system’s Board of Regents will receive a letter of intent from the University of New Orleans announcing plans to establish a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration. We are doing this for two key reasons.
First, we have a wonderful master’s degree in healthcare administration and want to help feed students into that program.
Second, development of the long-anticipated medical corridor in Mid-City is underway. Considering the needs of the new hospital complex and the needs of existing healthcare systems and health service agencies in the greater New Orleans area, we believe there will be high demand for a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration.
The new medical corridor will include two major medical centers expected to anchor a new Bio Medical District, bringing private and public medical practicioners, researchers and research dollars to the surrounding area.
The Times-Picayune recently announced that the new $1.1 billion Veterans Administration Hospital plans to hire 1,100 new people when it opens in February 2016. In all, the 29-acre complex at South Galvez and Canal Streets is expected from the outset to employ approximately 2,500 people and not all of them are doctors and nurses. More than half of those jobs will likely be for hospital staff and administrators, who make up the bulk of healthcare administration staff in most healthcare systems.
Six months later, Louisiana State University plans to open the University Medical Center next door. With 434 beds, the $1.2 billion 34-acre University Medical Center now under construction is expected to be substantially larger than the 29-acre 200-bed VA Hospital and LSU has already voiced plans for possible expansion.
According to LSU, the UMC and VA medical centers are expected to generate an annual $1.26 billion economic impact and create more than 19,700 permanent jobs in the New Orleans area.
As I wrote in the University’s letter of intent to the UL System Board of Regents, the University’s proposed Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration will give students a specialty, a focus.
Students who pursue the University’s new Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration will be able to graduate and go straight to entry-level administrative positions at these new hospitals or in other healthcare systems ― running supplies for the emergency room, working in marketing, working in the budget office of the hospital, processing insurance and legal paperwork, for example.
They will also be able to work in a public health agency, such as the Orleans and Jefferson Parish Health Departments or the state health department, which has offices in New Orleans. They may also work in the West Jefferson and East Jefferson Parish hospitals and other hospitals in New Orleans. There are many, many, many healthcare administration jobs in the area and around the nation.
Typically, hospitals, health care agencies or other organizations in the healthcare system hire young graduates who have bachelor’s degrees and then train them. Students who graduate from the University of New Orleans healthcare administration program will be largely trained already. They’ll understand what Medicare is; they’ll understand what patient needs are; they’ll understand what insurance needs are; they’ll understand disease. They will probably spend several weeks interning at a large hospital or large clinic.
Students now studying business administration at the University will be able to heighten their focus ― and become better prepared to join the healthcare industry. Instead of taking courses in business law, for example, these students will receive an introduction to healthcare law, so they can understand healthcare regulations and policy-making, evolutions of the Medicare and Medicaid systems, HIPPA regulations and other business fundamentals that will help or be required on the job.
We’ve already received support from Ochsner Health Care System, West Jefferson Medical Center, East Jefferson General Hospital, Peoples Health and several other healthcare organizations in the Greater New Orleans area and around the state. This new degree is an exciting development for our university.
Read more about the expected University Medical Center