Tuesday, May 23rd

Find Your MBA Program

Typical Curriculum for Healthcare MBA

May 6, 2016 9:31 pm

Completing a Healthcare MBA will set you on the path to become a top business executive and administrator in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations. The MBA is classed as a generalist degree, but because it has increased so much in popularity, concentrations, like the one in healthcare, have become available. This means that students are equipped with the generalist business skills they need, but also with the knowledge to apply this specifically to the world of healthcare. So what will you learn during this program?

What Is an MBA?

First of all, you need to understand what a Master in Business Administration (MBA) actually is. It offers a core curriculum that looks at strategic thinking at top executive level. Graduates have a background in a variety of subjects that relate to the world of business. The MBA is known as a terminal degree, which means you can take on a top level management position as soon as you have graduated.

What Is the Healthcare MBA?

The healthcare MBA contains the same core curriculum as a regular MBA. However, you will also have to complete a number of more specific courses as well as, most of the time, an internship specific to the field of healthcare. Usually, you will have to complete a number of core MBA courses, a few core healthcare courses, and a number of electives.

How to Get into a Healthcare MBA

One of the reasons why the healthcare MBA is so popular is because you don’t have to have a business related undergraduate degree, which is different from a regular MBA program. This is why it is popular, for instance, with those who have completed the BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) first. People from all types of backgrounds, academic and professional, can enroll in this program. These include nursing, medicine, English literature and language, philosophy, history, political sciences, economics, mathematics, physical sciences, and more. However, all schools will have a number of prerequisites, such as GMAT/GRE scores, an accredited bachelor’s degree, a minimum GPA, a personal statement or essay, and letters of recommendation.

Healthcare MBA Curriculum

The healthcare MBA curriculum is different from other programs. It combines business skills, but focuses uniquely on the field of healthcare. This means that students learn about things such as healthcare financing, healthcare policy, and healthcare delivery systems to name but a few. Graduates are equipped with excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as leadership skills. They also become true critical decision makers. The program is designed for those who want to become hospital CEO, medical office manager, or healthcare administrator for instance.

Business Fundamentals

First of all, you will learn some of the business fundamentals that are the core part of all MBA programs. Some of the specific areas you will learn include:

• Financial statement analysis
• Financial management
• Managerial statistics
• Managerial economics
• Quantitative analysis
• Micro and macro economics

Healthcare Management Fundamentals

On top of the standard core MBA courses, you will also have a focus on healthcare management. This includes such courses as:

• Conflict management
• Business data analytics
• Operations management
• Marketing management
• Strategic human resource management

In a regular MBA program, there is a strong focus on human resources and people management. In the healthcare MBA program, this is also included through the above courses, but it focuses specifically on the wide variety of professionals, from clinical to administrative staff, needed in the industry.

Advanced Healthcare Leadership

The MBA sets itself apart by being an advanced degree. This means that you will into much greater details about the leadership skills needed in the field of healthcare. Courses that you can expect include:

• Values based leadership
• Healthcare business ethics
• Business communications

Advanced Healthcare Management

Similarly, you will also learn how to manage within the field of healthcare. Many of these courses will be taken together with those who study towards a general MBA, or towards an MBA with a different concentration. This also provides you, as a student, with excellent networking opportunities. Some of the courses you are likely to take include:

• Economics
• Finance and accounting
• Risk management
• Policy and law
• Project management
• Strategic management

Healthcare Management Delivery Systems

Healthcare management delivery systems are complex and unique to the industry. This is where much of your MBA coursework will really start to get in-depth. The delivery systems apply to any field of healthcare, from public health departments to hospitals and from elderly hospice facilities to home based car systems. You will take classes that provides you with an insight into the delivery systems across all these various elements, but generally specific to public health departments, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Healthcare Management Administration

Next, you will start to focus on healthcare management administration specifically. This is because the MBA focuses very strongly on policies and practices relevant to administration. You will study subjects like:

• Human resource management
• Written and oral communication
• Information systems

Healthcare Management Policy

MBA graduates are policy drivers and decision makers. This is because policy management is a vital part of the degree program. As such, you will take classes in areas, such as:

• Ethical standards
• Legal issues
• Policy

Furthermore, it is likely that you will have to take part in some self-directed learning at this point, which will enable you to interact with the various healthcare regulatory agencies, found at federal, state, and local levels. You may also be able to complete this element as part of your internship. The focus is strongly on planning for future developments and on the legal elements of managing a healthcare facility.

Healthcare Management Finance

The MBA being business degree, there is also a very strong focus on finance. The finances of a healthcare organization are highly complex, however, as they include government funding, insurance companies, grants, personal payments, and more. A lot of people struggle to see that healthcare is a business, as it is technically a public service. This is why MBA degree holders are in such high demand, as they have a true understanding of how a public sector organization still needs to make money and watch how money is spent. The economics in different departments, institutions, programs, and facilities are often all very difficult, and the curriculum will teach you how to manage them all. Some of the specific classes you may be offered include:

• Marketing for healthcare managers
• Healthcare accounting practices
• Healthcare public finance
• Healthcare economics
• Insurance

How to Be Successful with a Healthcare MBA Program

To be successful with your healthcare MBA program, you have to be an excellent time manager, a skill that will also benefit you after graduation. The curriculum, as you can see above, is vast and challenging and you will often be expected to balance it with work and networking at the same time. Luckily, most schools offer fantastic alumni, faculty, and fellow student networks that you can reach out to for help, assistance, and guidance.

Once graduated, a huge range of job opportunities will open up to you. Not only will you be able to find work in direct healthcare delivery settings, but you can also get to work in financial institutions, banks, educational institutions, academia, professional services, management consulting, government, and more. Clearly, graduating from a healthcare MBA is an excellent step towards your professional future. Because the basis of the program is the core curriculum of an MBA, you have very strong transferable skills, meaning that you can also work outside of the healthcare world if you so choose.

Resources and References:

Online MBA in Healthcare Management – Information on online MBA program for healthcare management. (Southern New Hampshire University)
Curriculum MBA in Healthcare Management – Information on the curriculum for MBA in healthcare. (Loyola University Chicago)

Take the First Step

In an increasingly global, competitive marketplace, having MBA-level management and leadership skills are absolutely critical to your career progression. With a top level, online MBA degree, you will become a business leader who can run a leaner, more efficient business, create a better business dynamic in your company, and also discover new, better paying business opportunities to expand your career.

Use our website to learn about all of the online MBA options available to you today.