A Degree in Health Services Helps Leaders Focus on Medical Care and Coordination
Whether you already work in the health care field, have medical certificates or licenses, obtained an associate's degree, or simply have a goal to enter the medical career path, a health services coordination bachelor's degree could be the perfect fit for you. With increasing changes in technology, insurance, and medicine, the health care industry needs health leaders who can navigate complicated processes and issues within the field of health services management.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to coordinate with health care providers, patients, caregivers, and medical services to improve the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of an increasingly complex health care system. With a degree in health services management, you'll also be prepared to navigate emerging value-based care systems, promote patient-centered holistic care, and provide integrated care management. A bachelor's degree in health services coordination from WGU includes instruction in value-based care, care coordination, and social determinants of health. Once you've earned your degree, you'll be ready to progress in a variety of medical fields, from pharmacy to home health.
Compare this degree: The B.S. Health Services Coordination program is not WGU's only undergraduate degree focused on building leadership skills in the business and administration of healthcare, or what many call the health services management field. You may also be interested in our B.S. Business – Healthcare Management degree program, or our B.S. in Health Information Management degree program.
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Medical Terminology focuses on the basic components of medical terminology and how terminology is used when discussing various body structures and systems. Proper use of medical terminology is critical for accurate and clear communication among medical staff, health professionals, and patients. In addition to the systems of the body, this course will discuss immunity, infections, mental health, and cancer.
Healthcare Ecosystems explores the history and state of healthcare organizations in an ever-changing environment. This course covers how agencies influence healthcare delivery through legal, licensure, certification, and accreditation standards. The course will also discuss how new technologies and trends keep healthcare delivery innovative and current. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Care of the Older Adult adapts the concepts from prior coursework to the care of older adults. An understanding of the effects that policy and legislation have on how healthcare systems treat aging patients sets a foundation for improving their care. Students will apply health assessment skills and evidence-based standards in such a way to account for the specific needs of older adults. Emphasis is placed on the importance of maintaining the dignity of older adults by focusing on cultural, religious, spiritual, and communication needs, and by collaborating on care with older adults, families, and caregivers.
Introduction to Pharmacology provides information about drug development and approvals, pharmaceutical classifications, metabolism, and the effect of drugs on body systems. The course will introduce advancements in pharmaceutical technology, regulatory requirements within electronic health record systems, and the financial implications of pharmaceutical coding and billing. This course has no prerequisites.
Pathophysiology is an overview of the pathology and treatment of diseases in the human body and its systems. This course will explain the processes in the body that result in the signs and symptoms of disease, as well as therapeutic procedures in managing or curing the disease. The content draws on a knowledge of anatomy and physiology to understand how diseases manifest themselves and how they affect the body.
Technology Applications in Healthcare explores how technology continues to change and influence the healthcare industry. The course examines practical managerial applications as well as the legal, ethical, and practical aspects of access to health and disease information with an emphasis on ensuring the protection of private health information. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Financial Resource Management and Healthcare Reimbursement examines financial practices and reimbursement methodologies within the healthcare industry. This course covers the analysis of governmental regulations and laws ensuring alignment with billing and coding practices. This course also covers the evaluation of effective revenue cycle management focusing on the organization’s financial stability. This course has no prerequisites.
Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health introduces students to the concept of health equity and social determinants of health. This course analyses gaps in the delivery of healthcare related to race, ethnicity, social class, gender, nationality, and migration status. This course helps students gain an understanding of health disparities and interventions that promote health equity by overcoming social barriers. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Communication and Organizational Awareness will help students develop skills associated with change management, conflict resolution, decision-making, negotiation, and team building. The course will allow students to practice effective ways to engage with other professionals within an organization by understanding group dynamics and conflict resolution. This course will teach students to analyze organizational communication concepts as they relate to personal experiences. This course also applies contemporary organizational theories as they relate to group communication, intercultural communication, conflict management, and change management. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Introduction to Care Coordination explores the importance of understanding a patient’s illness, patient’s needs, and care of the patient as it relates to cultural and ethical norms. This course explores role development as a care coordinator, teaches understanding of the patient’s health goals in alignment with activities of daily living, and explores the influences of an interdisciplinary approach to care and how a team approach facilitates a patient’s desired outcome. This course investigates the importance of a patient- and family-centered care approach as it relates to a desired health outcome. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Roles and Responsibilities in an Interdisciplinary Team helps students understand their role as an interdisciplinary team member. This course explores attributes of an effective team and challenges traditional professional boundaries in assembling an interdisciplinary team. The course also requires students to analyze the relationship of an individual’s expertise, knowledge, and skill base with the impact on care coordination and patient outcomes. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Care for Individuals and Families focuses on the holistic care of individuals, families, and populations with multifaceted healthcare needs. This course improves critical thinking and interdisciplinary communication skills to provide information to individuals or groups in a variety of settings. The focus of the course is on managing the transition of an individual, family, or group through a variety of healthcare settings, which can include acute care hospitals, extended stay facilities, ambulatory care clinics, home care, outreach, or wellness. This course helps students develop effective professional communication skills and appropriate behaviors to ensure an individual, family, or group is successful in meeting its healthcare goals. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Navigating Care Across the Continuum concentrates on how services are used to promote general well-being, resolution of physical and/or behavioral issues, and palliative and chronic care. The course will prepare students to evaluate barriers to providing the continuity of care and ways to resolve or navigate through these barriers. The course focuses on how historical factors play a role in how care and treatment are adjusted to meet the current needs of an individual, group, or population in a variety of care settings. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Evidence-Based Practice for Care Coordination focuses on students' use of valid and relevant external evidence to make healthcare decisions as it relates to transitioning from one service area to another. This course guides students as they explore care coordination decisions through natural inquiry by focusing on the improvement of patient outcomes. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Care at the End of Life focuses on examining strategies for coping with dying and bereavement within the context of individual and cultural variations. This course will explore ethnic and cultural factors that affect an individual’s response to loss. This course will cover planning and implementing ideal interventions to help individuals, families, and groups cope with loss and grief. This course will also analyze the influences of the life cycle on an individual's reaction to death. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Health Literacy for the Client and Family helps students recognize the importance of health literacy in overcoming healthcare barriers and creating patient-focused changes through family and patient empowerment. This course demonstrates how education, research, and technology all integrate and serve as a foundation for students as they create effective resources to improve health literacy for patients and families. This course helps students become advocates for their patients and their patients’ families. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Care Coordination for the Patient will focus on the role of the care coordinator within acute care hospitals, extended stay facilities, ambulatory care, home care, wellness, and outreach. This course will also cover operationalizing how to provide care coordination for patients with chronic disease and discuss palliative and behavioral care needs and population health. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Anatomy and Physiology I examines the structures and functions of the human body. The course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology, including the interdependent operational relationships among them. Students will use a dissection lab to study organ systems of the human body in their healthy state, including the digestive, skeletal, sensory, respiratory, reproductive, nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, integumentary, endocrine, and renal systems. By examining these organ systems in a healthy state, healthcare professionals are more adept at recognizing when something is functioning abnormally, which is a key component to providing effective care to patients. For nursing students, this is the first of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study. This course has no prerequisites.
This course introduces advanced concepts of human anatomy and physiology through the investigation of the structures and functions of the body's organ systems. Students will have the opportunity to explore the body through laboratory experience and apply the concepts covered in this course. For nursing students, this is the second of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study.
History of Healthcare in America will examine individuals such as Henrietta Lacks, Elizabeth Stern, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Bennet Omalu, Gertrude B. Elion, and J. Robin Warren who contributed to the development of healthcare in the United States, from its inception to present day. This course examines how specific individuals and their scientific contributions influenced healthcare delivery and the continued evolution of healthcare, teaching from a systems or a value-based care perspective. The course also focuses on the way healthcare interacted with culture, politics, and society throughout U.S. history and how the evolution of healthcare may not have been possible without these individuals and others. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Cultural Awareness for the Healthcare Professional focuses on the differences found in cultures. It also focuses on how healthcare professionals can improve health outcomes and quality of care by understanding and contributing to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. This course explores the national standards of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) to decrease health disparities as healthcare professionals search for effective ways to provide care to a diverse population. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Nutritional ignorance or misunderstandings are at the root of the health problems that most Americans face today. Health professionals need to be armed with the most current information available about nutrition science, including how to understand nutritional content of food; implications of exercise and activity on food consumption and weight management, and management of community or population specific nutritional challenges. The Health and Wellness Through Nutritional Science course should prepare health professionals to provide support, guidance, and teaching about incorporation of sound nutritional principles into daily life for health promotion. This course covers the following concepts: nutrition to support wellness; healthy nutritional choices; nutrition and physical activity; nutrition through the lifecycle; safety and security of food; and nutrition and global health environments.
This course introduces candidates to human development across the lifespan. This will include an introductory survey of cognitive, psychological, and physical growth. Candidates will gain an understanding of the emergence of personality, identity, gender and sexuality, social relationships, emotion, language, and moral development through life. This will include milestones such as education, achievement, work, dying, and death.
English Composition I introduces candidates to the types of writing and thinking that are valued in college and beyond. Candidates will practice writing in several genres with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. Composition I is a foundational course designed to help candidates prepare for success at the college level. There are no prerequisites for English Composition I.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).
This course teaches students to think like sociologists, or, in other words, to see and understand the hidden rules, or norms, by which people live, and how they free or restrain behavior. Students will learn about socializing institutions, such as schools and families, as well as workplace organizations and governments. Participants will also learn how people deviate from the rules by challenging norms and how such behavior may result in social change, either on a large scale or within small groups.
Applied Healthcare Probability and Statistics is designed to help develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic mathematics, introductory algebra, and statistics and probability. These concepts include basic arithmetic with fractions and signed numbers; introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are now commonplace in the healthcare field. This course will help candidates make informed decisions about which studies and results are valid, which are not, and how those results affect your decisions. This course will give candidates background in what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, this course guides candidates in calculating simple probabilities based on events which occur in the healthcare profession. This course will prepare candidates for studies at WGU, as well as in the healthcare profession.
Reasoning and Problem Solving helps candidates internalize a systematic process for exploring issues that takes them beyond an unexamined point of view and encourages them to become more self-aware thinkers by applying principles of problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analyzing and interpreting information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in disciplines and professions.
Critical Thinking and Strategic Decision-Making explores the skills necessary to critique and construct arguments and analyze solutions with a system-wide focus. This course will examine how individuals and groups work to effectively solve problems and will explore the informal logic and decision-making processes used when creating resolutions for simple to complex decisions as a member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Contemporary Topics and the Influence on Healthcare Today analyzes contemporary healthcare trends currently influencing health outcomes, as an individual or group, in the United States. The course helps the student develop a comparative explanation on how internal and external structures and social, cultural, economic, and political issues influence how care is delivered. The course critically evaluates current healthcare systems and examines how contemporary issues continue to shape healthcare. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Healthcare Values and Ethics requires students to synthesize an interdisciplinary approach to decision-making as it applies to healthcare professionals. This course explores the contemporary issues facing healthcare professionals, which include patient autonomy, competence, and the health professional–patient relationships. In this course, students will develop their ability to critically analyze biomedical situations related to the ethical care of an individual along with the justice in distribution of healthcare. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Models of Care and Healthcare Trends examines the unique characteristics of healthcare models in the United States. The course explores the evolution of healthcare models from fragmented systems to cohesive, quality-centric, and patient-focused systems. The focus of the course is on emerging trends created by social and political drivers and subsequent shifts in the continuum of care as it relates to patient outcomes. This course has no prerequisites.
Community Relations and Leadership focuses on leadership principles and how to apply them in real-world contexts. The course prepares students to analyze community needs and create change through community engagement. As leaders, the students' job is to engage in collaborative approaches with an understanding that the overarching goal is sustained success. This course helps students develop their abilities to negotiate challenges, make decisions, and act to bring stakeholders together to create transformation within communities. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Health Services Coordination Field Experience provides students with real-world experiences as a care coordinator. This course requires students to record 40 hours of care coordination activities. This course allows students to conduct their field experience in a variety of settings. The course educates students on how to coordinate and execute practices that facilitate the transition of care within a healthcare setting.
The Professional Communication and Leadership in Healthcare course is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that will prepare students to weather the challenges of academic programs. In this course students will participate in group activities and complete several individual assignments. The group activities are aimed at finding support and gaining insight from other students. The assignments are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect about where they are and where they would like to be. The activities in each group meeting are designed to give students several tools they can use to achieve success. This course is designed as a five-part intensive learning experience. Students will attend five group meetings during the term. At each meeting students will engage in activities that help them understand their own educational journey and find support and inspiration in the journey of others.
Health Services Coordination Capstone is an integrative experience in which students draw from all subjects in the degree program to create a comprehensive product. The course will give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to think critically through complex healthcare situations, engage in interdisciplinary decision-making, and demonstrate effective communication to create care coordination solutions. These solutions will be a mechanism to improve patient-focused care coordination while in transition and decrease readmission rates while reducing the cost of care.
Program consists of 36 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
At the end of your program, you will complete a capstone project that represents the culmination of all your hard work—a field experience project applicable to the field of health services coordination that aims to expand the body of knowledge in the profession. All students will be required to pass a background check prior to completing the field experience portion of the program. Also, most of your courses can be accelerated based on your prior knowledge and hard work.
WGU tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit. That means if you want to move faster through the online health services coordination program, you'll pay less.
On Your Schedule
Continue working at your job and keep up with your family responsibilities all while earning a degree. You don't have to take time off work or rearrange your shifts—at WGU you don't have to log in to classes at a certain time, and your assignments don't have deadlines. You can work any time, any where.
When you earn your degree from WGU you can take your existing knowledge and put it to use. You can move through your courses as quickly as you show mastery in the material. WGU also has a generous transfer policy for students, helping them graduate faster.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
A Health Services Coordination Bachelor's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
A Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Coordination Designed to Fit Your Life
Competency-based education puts working, busy, adult students in the driver’s seat of their education. At most other schools—including other online programs—you move through the curriculum at a set pace, driven by semesters and hours in class. At WGU, your progress is driven by your ability to prove what you know, so how quickly you progress is largely up to you. Once you’ve mastered the defined competencies (knowledge and skills), you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments.
At WGU, you’re not committed to attend class at a certain time, complete homework on a given schedule, or log “attendance” hours. It’s simple: Once you’ve mastered the defined competencies (knowledge and skills), you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course. Learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s health services coordination curriculum.
Choose a Profession Where Patient Care and Health Management Go Hand in Hand
The role of the health services coordinator (HSC) is to help patients and families navigate the complex healthcare environment. The HSC connects clients and families with the necessary medical assistance by working in collaboration with a social worker or nurse case manager. The assistance that an HSC provides includes identifying resources, making appointments, and providing follow-up to questions that might be encountered following discharge from a medical facility or transition to a different environment. The HSC is an essential member of the interdisciplinary care team. The degree program does not require you to have a license, certification, or certificate, nor will you need one to provide support services and coordination. This health services management and coordination degree is the right choice for many individuals currently in healthcare or those seeking to pursue a career in healthcare.
Return on Your Investment
Gain an Advantage in Today’s Fast-Growing Patient Care and Coordination Professions
Your career in health services coordination may be nearer than you think. This program creates a bachelor’s degree pathway for experienced pre/para professionals, including LPN/LVNs, medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, home health aides, EMTs, paramedics, and military medics. It also provides a bachelor’s completion degree with a patient-facing function for AA/AS-prepared technicians. Graduates will be able to work directly with patients and families to provide health care, address early intervention issues within diverse communities, develop a process to intervene with high-risk patients, identify and close patient care gaps, provide outreach to patients with recent hospitalizations and coordinate care transitions, develop a process for medication reconciliation and adherence at each visit, and coordinate referrals and test results.
- Care coordinator
- Patient advocate
- Health services coordinator
- Patient educator
- Community health educator
Possible Work Settings
- Acute care hospital
- Extended stay facilities
- Ambulatory care
- Home care
- Wellness and outreach
WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers
Hospitals and clinics around the country know the benefit of a bachelor's degree from WGU, so your healthcare degree is valuable.
Admissions Requirements Unique to This Degree
To be considered for enrollment into the Bachelor of Science Health Services Coordination program, you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
All students will be required to pass a background check prior to completing the field experience portion of the program.
Safety Notice: WGU and the College of Health Professions (CHP) are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all patients, community members, and key stakeholders that interact with WGU students at various clinical/host sites. Interactions might include direct patient interaction, observation experiences, laboratory experiences, project development, or conducting research. Standard compliance verification for students in applicable CHP programs is required to protect the public, meet CHP program expectations, reasonably assure compliance with state regulatory board requirements, meet WGU’s contractual and legal obligations with clinical partners, and support WGU’s mission to prepare students who will be qualified to enter their desired field. Compliance items may include, but are not limited to, background checks, immunizations, and drug screens as needed.
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More About the Health Services Coordination Program
- General Program Questions
- Expert Panel
- Dr. Richard Merkin Scholar
A health service degree prepares students to work in the healthcare field as a coordinator, manager, patient-advocate and more. These careers involve working with patients to help them understand and get the care with providers that they need.
Job opportunities include:
- Care coordinator
- Patient advocate
- Health services coordinator
- Patient educator
- Community health educator
The best healthcare degree depends on what career you want. If you're looking for direct patient care, a nursing degree is best. If you want to work with patients in a more general way, a health services coordination degree can help you interact with them and get them the specific medical care they need, without providing that care.
Health services can involve information management, patient education and advocacy, coordinating with providers and specialists, etc.
Many find working in the field of health services management very fulfilling. Working to ensure healthcare facilities run smoothly, people in this field make a difference in the lives of doctors, nurses, and patients.
With a Bachelor of Science in Health Service Administration, you may be qualified for many jobs including: care coordinator, patient advocate, health services coordinator, patient educator, community health educator, and more.
The degree was developed with financial support from the Merkin Family Foundation and is possible thanks to the following expert panel members:
- Nancy A. Myers, PhD – Vice President, Leadership and System Innovation Health Research & Educational Trust, American Hospital Association
- Cassie J. Alexander – Program Director, Public Health Technology, Itawamba Community College
- David Wagner, MHCM – Chief Compliance Officer, Genuine Health Group
- Colleen Swedberg, MSN, RN, CNL – Vice President of Strategy, St. Vincent’s Health Partners
- Denise Patriaco, RN, APN-C – Administrative Director, Accountable Care Organization, Hackensack University Medical Center
- Johnpaul King RN, MSN – Nursing Director, Affinity Living Group
- Cindy Tack, LCSW, MS – Senior Director, Clinical Initiatives, MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization
- Charisse N. Hunter, MHA, RN – Vice President, Population Health, Somatus, Inc
Completion of this program awards the honor of “Dr. Richard Merkin Scholar."
This honor appears on the academic transcript or the certificate of completion depending on the program and acknowledges the achievement of specific skills related to key contemporary concepts for the transformation of healthcare. Graduates of such programs may use the email tagline “Dr. Richard Merkin Scholar” in addition to including it in resumes, CVs, bios, and social media professional profiles.
Dr. Richard Merkin has been a pioneer in healthcare innovation and transformation. Richard Merkin, M.D. is the CEO and founder of the Heritage Provider Network. He has focused on the efficient delivery of high quality patient outcomes while emphasizing early and preventative interventions. Under his stewardship, the Heritage Provider Network has become the largest physician-owned and operated integrated healthcare delivery system in the United States with over 50 related healthcare companies.
Dr. Richard Merkin scholars demonstrate competency in many cutting edge areas including:
• Decision-Making with Evidence-Based Practice
• Helping Individuals and Families Meet Healthcare Goals
• Transition of Care
• Care Planning and Service Delivery
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