What is a Professional Organization?
There are various organizations in the private, public, profit, and non-profit sectors, each with its particular agenda and membership requirements. However, there are some commonalities associated with the majority. These entities strive to educate, disseminate information, provide networking, hold conferences, offer professional development, and issue publications.
Individuals making a career in the field of health administration should learn about the latest developments. There’s an age-old adage in securing a job: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. An organization may help with who you know by networking with others in the same line of work. And the educational benefits of the organization might help you expand your horizon by becoming a wealth of current information.
What are some of the essential associations in this industry? And why should you consider joining one or more of the health administration organizations?
American College of Healthcare Executives
The organization has provided professional services to over 48,000 healthcare managers, administrators, and executives for more than 85 years. Their capstone is the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership that involves the assemblage of more than 4,000 participants to exchange research, policy updates, and industry innovations.
Membership requires a minimum of an undergraduate degree and $160 for the first and second years, then $265 for three to five years. After that, the annual dues are $345. Students within 60 days of graduation from a health administration or related program pay only $75 a year.
ACHE offers education, career development, networking, and the prestigious FACHE credential. The Fellow of American College Healthcare Executives distinction attests to one’s attainment of the professional and educational requirements. Being awarded the FACHE credential recognizes your commitment to the profession, as well as your knowledge in healthcare management. Candidates must have a master’s degree to be eligible and at least two years of health management experience.
The American Association of Healthcare Administration Management
Located in Fairfax, Virginia, AAHAM started in 1968 as the American Guild of Patient Account Management. Its primary purpose was to serve hospital patient account managers, which eventually expanded to represent all healthcare professionals. Those in healthcare have a career development source via publications, seminars, certification, and networking. Their directory lists 30 local chapters scattered across the nation.
For less than a dollar a day, members have access to AAHAM’s Annual National Institute three-day conference. You can also earn recognition in your job by participating in their elite certification program. An example is the Certified Revenue Cycle Professional (CRCP) for management-level personnel. Other benefits include job postings for those eager to change or assume more responsibility elsewhere. Also, you have access to all U.S. hospital associations and members-only social networks.
National Association of Healthcare Access Management
Located in Washington, D.C., the entity dedicates itself to managing patient services in various medical facilities. Some of these include long-term care, rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, and physicians’ offices for those involved in patient finance, scheduling, admissions, and registration who will benefit from membership. They also offer the Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM) and Certified Healthcare Access Associate exams.
NAHAM’s education hub provides live, on-demand, and purchase materials to upgrade your knowledge. For example, the site has a webinar on the Best Practices for Streamlining Patient Access Processes for COVID-19 in February 2021.
Membership dues are $220 for those in a management position (Active Member), and Associate members pay only $65 per calendar year. Those who join in October through December do not pay for the entire following calendar year.
American Health Information Management Association
This organization is geared towards employees in the health information (coding and informatics) business. Their website affirms that 75% of members earn over $50,000, and many do not have a four-year degree. Instead of a baccalaureate, members opt for certification to enhance their credentials. A place to start is the CCA or Certified Coding Associate – a non-academic accreditation for those with six months of coding experience.
There is a two-year and four-year RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician) offered at accredited schools if you prefer an academic setting. Candidates must have an Associate degree in Health Information Management (HIM) to be eligible.
Annual membership is $49 for students, $135 for Active members, and $199 for Premier Membership. They also offer a two-year $79 charge for new members to the organization.
Healthcare Financial Management Association
The association is not just for professionals working in healthcare finance but includes leaders working in the health care system, university faculty, students, and clinicians. Some of the benefits consist of professional certifications – the Certified Healthcare Finance Professional (CHFP) and the Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (mentioned above). In addition to finance employees, the former is open to clinical and non-clinical leaders and student members. Members may also earn the Certified Specialist Accounting and Finance (CSAF) and the Certified Specialist Business Intelligence (CSBI), and the Certified Specialist Physician Practice Management (CSPPM), and other credentials .
These healthcare organizations are for professionals set on careers in healthcare management, leadership, administration, health information, and related fields. If your healthcare goal is to land a decent-paying job, then move on when opportunity strikes, then joining an organization may not be beneficial. However, if you aspire for management in this field, then the membership perks and credentials available are highly recommended for career advancement.
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