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When Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen unveiled his Cover Tennessee plan to provide affordable, portable health insurance to uninsured residents.

Tennessee Enjoys its Healthy Reputation

When Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen unveiled his Cover Tennessee plan to provide affordable, portable health insurance to uninsured residents, it reaffirmed what many healthcare executives already knew: Tennessee is ahead of the curve in healthcare.

As components of this groundbreaking program, health insurance will be provided to uninsured children, and to adults who can afford insurance, but don't qualify due to pre-existing conditions. Plus, the state's new public health initiative, Project Diabetes, will address the recent dramatic increase in diabetes and obesity.

Bredesen himself created HealthAmerica Corp., a Nashville-based healthcare management company that was eventually traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Clearly, Tennessee's progressive approach to healthcare starts from the top, and is fully embraced throughout the state by healthcare executives. Perhaps that's why the National Institute of Health is including the state in a new national study to research different approaches to diabetes prevention, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality awarded Tennessee a grant of almost $2 million to help expand upon web-based health record-keeping.

For those considering a career in healthcare management, there's no better way to get started than with a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration from Tennessee.

A Career in Healthcare Management
Healthcare managers (also called administrators or executives) direct healthcare organizations medical, operational and financial activities. They are responsible for improving a facility's quality and efficiency in a highly complex regulatory environment. Healthcare management positions range from department head to CEO, and they occur in hospitals, physician offices, clinics, nursing facilities, universities, or research institutions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says these jobs will grow faster than average through 2014, and the minimum training requirement is a bachelor's in healthcare administration. The median annual salary of medical and health services managers is around $67,000.

A bachelor's in healthcare administration qualifies you to become a health information or medical records administrator, an administrative assistant, assistant department head, or department head -- depending on the organization. All states require nursing care facility administrators to have bachelor's degrees. Plus, many healthcare management graduate programs prefer students who have earned bachelor of healthcare administration degrees.

Follow the Healthcare Leader
Tennessee is known worldwide as a healthcare pioneer. Memphis has 22 hospitals and four major research institutions; 11 percent of its jobs are in healthcare. And Nashville is home to the Hospital Corporation of America, the world's largest private hospital operator, as well as nearly 300 other healthcare companies.

So if you're thinking about a healthcare management career, the best prescription is a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration from Tennessee.

Sources
Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Medical and Health Services Managers"
The Chattanoogan, "Bredesen Unveils 'Cover Tennessee' Healthcare Initiative"
Tennessee.com
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, "AHRQ Awards Over $22.3 Million in Health Information Technology Implementation Grants"

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