2022 Best Online Masters in Health Information Management Programs

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If you enjoy data analysis and have a passion for healthcare, a masters in health information management can help you advance your professional qualifications in this growing field.

Best Online Masters in Health Information Management Programs

The sector of health information management is an opportunity for people who are not interested in practicing medicine to play an important role in a health care facility.

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Masters programs in health information management offer a balance of skills in leadership, data analytics, and information management. A graduate degree in this field can often help you qualify for senior or leadership positions.

Online Masters in Health Information Management Programs

Colleagues taking online master's degree in health management

Health information management graduate programs are a strategic choice for those who have combined interests in healthcare and information systems.

Graduates from these kinds of programs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, insurance offices, and extended-care facilities. Possible roles include health information managers or technicians, data managers, and medical records specialists.

Although specific course requirements differ between programs, most masters degree in health information management programs online cover similar topics, including:

  • Data management policies and procedures
  • Technology use in managing patient data
  • Data analytics and research techniques for healthcare enterprise planning
  • Compliance with health information laws and regulations
  • Financial management in health care
  • Human resources
  • Leadership skills in health care
  • Management of health information databases
  • Roles of statistics and data analytics in health care

Health information management is unique in that it simultaneously includes aspects of administration, patient records, and quality of care. It is particularly well-suited to people who have a wide range of interests in the field of health care.

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An online health information management master’s degree may help you quality for a position in which you can make a real difference in other people’s lives. For example, data security has become a vital concern to medical facilities of all kinds because patient records contain sensitive information.

Health information management professionals can help ensure that patient privacy is protected while also helping to improve patient care.

HIM Careers & Salaries

Masters in HIM Careers & Salaries

Graduates with masters degrees in health information management may be well-qualified for a number of positions within medical facilities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the career paths associated with the advanced study of health information management.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $179,520
Computer and Information Systems Managers $159,010
Database Architects $123,430
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340
Systems Analysts $99,270
Database Administrators $96,710
Operations Research Analysts $82,360
Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars $55,560
Medical Records Specialists $46,660
Information Clerks $37,450

In addition to higher than average salaries, some of these positions are also expected to see faster than average job growth over the next ten years.

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For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 32% job growth for medical and health services managers. The projected 11% growth rate for computer and information systems managers is also faster than average.

Master of Health Information Management Curriculum

People taking Health Information Management, studying together

The curriculum for a masters in health information management degree program differs based on the institution you attend, but you may take courses similar to the following:

  • Human Resources for Health Care Managers: In this course, you’ll learn how principles of human resource management, such as recruitment and retention, apply to health care settings.
  • Health Information Management Applications and Systems: This class teaches you about a broad range of topics, including revenue management, coding, and developing professional identity.
  • Health Care Statistics: You’ll learn about the use of descriptive and inferential statistics in health care.
  • Health Care Data Analytics: This course focuses on how to contribute to effective data analytics and performance improvement.
  • Leading as a Health Information Professional: Leadership skills are the primary subject of this class, which examines ethics, training, and policy development.
  • Data Management and Data Quality: This class centers on the collection, evaluation, and use of data and on the management of patient health information systems.
  • Managing Compliance: In this class, you’ll learn about applicable laws and regulations in health care and how to ensure that a health care facility is compliant.
  • Health Information Management Planning and Financial Management: In this course, you’ll examine the healthcare revenue cycle and learn about strategic planning principles, including analytics, reimbursement models, and forecasting.
  • Health Information Governance: This class focuses on data governance, regulatory requirements, and compliance.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Information: In this course, you’ll learn about data security, privacy, confidentiality, risk management, and disaster recovery plans.

In addition to taking core courses, many programs also require you to complete a capstone project and take elective classes.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing requirements for Master of Health Information Management

These are some of the common admissions criteria for masters degree programs in health information management:

  • Degree. It’s necessary to have completed a bachelor’s degree.
  • References. Most colleges request letters of recommendation from previous instructors.
  • Statement of purpose. You might be asked to write a brief essay explaining your interest in the program.
  • GRE scores. A growing number of schools no longer require GRE scores, but a high score might still help boost your application.
  • Transcripts. You’ll send official transcripts from your undergraduate studies.

Some schools also ask you to show evidence that you took courses related to healthcare as part of your undergraduate program.

Accreditation

University offering Master of Health Information Management

When choosing a graduate school, accreditation is an indicator of a quality institution. Regional accreditation is considered the gold standard. To earn this status, colleges must pass a rigorous assessment by a regional accrediting organization.

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Regional accreditation is beneficial because it helps ensure that you will receive a solid education. It can also boost your chances of being able to transfer your credits to another school or program. Attending an accredited school is a common precondition for financial aid eligibility as well.  

CAHIIM Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) monitors the quality of academic programs in these disciplines.

A CAHIIM accredited health information management program has proven that it meets industry standards and has a high level of academic quality. In addition, graduating from a CAHIIM accredited program is one of the criteria for pursuing the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential. Becoming a certified RHIA is a requirement for many positions in health information management. 

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Master of Health Information Management Financial Aid

There are financial aid options available that can help qualifying grad students pay upfront tuition costs. You can apply for federal student loans and work study programs by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Your state may have additional financial aid programs available. If you are currently working in the field, your employer may offer tuition assistance or reimbursement opportunities. You can also research scholarship programs that may be available to students in your discipline.

What Can You Do with a HIM Master’s Degree?

Man with HIM Masters degree, working as Database Administrator

Many graduates of health information management master’s programs go on to work in various kinds of healthcare facilities.

With this kind of degree, professionals may be qualified to work as medical and health services managers, information systems managers, medical records specialists, or administrative services managers. These are essential positions for health clinics, hospitals, and government agencies. With experience, some health information professionals go on to become chief information officers (CIOs).

Is Health Information Management in Demand?

The need for healthcare employees is generally expected to grow over the next several years, especially as the population grows.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many jobs in health information management are in high demand. Medical and health services management positions, for example, are expected to grow at a rate of 32% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.

Medical records specialists and health information specialists are expected to see 9% job growth over the same period (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

How Long Is a Master’s Degree in Health Information Management Program Online?

Computer & Info Systems Manager discussing with the team

Although there is variation among schools, most online master’s degree in health information programs require between 32 and 48 credit hours. If you attend full-time, you may be able to finish such a program in 1 to 2 years.

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You may be able to receive your degree more quickly if you have credits to transfer into the program or if you enroll in summer courses. Part-time enrollment and a thesis requirement could potentially extend your time to completion.

What’s the Difference Between a Master in Health Information Management vs. Healthcare Administration?

Although both healthcare administration and health information management are important for health care facilities, there are notable differences between the fields.

Health Information Management Healthcare Administration
  • Primarily focuses on medical records and patient data
  • Is considered a healthcare-related degree
  • Emphasizes skills in data analytics, statistics, and information systems
  • Deals with the day-to-day operations of a medical facility
  • Is considered a business-related degree
  • Emphasizes leadership and administrative skills, like human resources management

Despite these differences, both a masters in health information management and a masters in healthcare administration can be beneficial. It is helpful to determine your personal preferences and career aspirations when choosing between the two.

What’s the Difference Between a Health Informatics vs. Health Information Management Masters Degree?

Health informatics and health information management are both centered on the use of data in healthcare settings, but they differ in approaches.

Health Information Management Health Informatics
  • Involves a combination of management and data analysis skills
  • Includes a greater level of interaction with the people involved in data collection
  • Helps professionals qualify for careers in management
  • Predominately focuses on using data and data analytics
  • Is typically more limited to the data itself
  • Helps professionals qualify for analyst careers

If you have an interest in leadership or management and data, a health information management degree may be a fitting choice.

Is a Master’s in Health Information Management Degree Worth It?

Database Administrator presenting to the medical team

Yes, a master’s in health information management degree is worth it for many professionals. Careers in health information management are generally expected to experience positive growth over the next ten years. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 32% job growth for medical and health services managers, which is much faster than average.

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A graduate degree in health information management is also desirable by many different kinds of employers, such as health care facilities, insurance companies, hospitals, and government agencies. Employment in the healthcare  field is typically more secure because it is a constant necessity.

Universities Offering Online Masters in Health Information Management Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

American Public University

American Public University

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY SPS is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Dakota State University

Dakota State University

Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Davenport University

Davenport University

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Drexel University

Drexel University

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

East Carolina University

East Carolina University

East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Franklin University

Franklin University

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Purdue University

Purdue University

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Rutgers University

Rutgers University

Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Temple University

Temple University

Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Texas State University

Texas State University

Texas State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The College of St. Scholastica

The College of St Scholastica

The College of St. Scholastica is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Tufts University

Tufts University

Tufts University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Maryland

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

University of Massachusetts Lowell

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Washington

University of Washington

The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Masters in Health Information Management Online

Man taking his Masters in Health Information Management online

There are many kinds of jobs in healthcare. An MS in Health Information Management can help prepare you for roles involving data analysis, compliance, management, and protection of patient records.

Completing an online health information management program can help you qualify for more senior or leadership roles in the field, but it’s strategic to enroll in the program that’s right for you. You can look for regionally accredited schools that offer CAHIIM accredited programs to ensure that you are getting the best possible education for your invested time and money.

If you’re ready to continue your educational and professional journey, you can start exploring available online masters programs in health information management today.

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Kama Offenberger
WRITTEN BY
Kama Offenberger
Kama has a master's degree in English from Virginia Tech and a bachelor's in English from Concord University. She previously taught college-level English composition, literature, and English as a second language courses. She is now a full-time writer in the education field, with a particular focus on educational technology and pedagogical best practices for English language learners.