Those who have an MBA in Healthcare Administration are able to see a healthcare facility as both a service delivery area and a business. Their role is to manage the financial and human resource sides of this type of operation. Essentially, they ensure that every human being is able to receive the best possible medical care, while at the same time ensuring that the facility can run within budget or even at a profit.
What We Do
Someone with an MBA in Healthcare Administration manages and plans the way health care services are delivered. The main duties are related to various business functions, which include admissions, finance, personnel and operations. If the health care facility is quite small, those who have this degree will generally take on all of these responsibilities. In larger facilities, however, they will usually focus on one of these at a time. Regardless, the goal is to ensure high quality care is delivered in an efficient manner.
Small health care facilities usually look for a generalist, needing someone to direct each of the different operational aspects. With larger facilities, on the other hand, there is usually a more specific focus. Often, the focus is on a certain department or element, such as medical records, information systems, nursing or surgery.
Those who take on more specialized positions are generally responsible for the development of policies and procedures, as well as the budget within a certain department. They will also coordinate with overlapping departments. In many cases, these more specialized professionals have a health care background as well.
Why It’s Hot
One of the reasons why this is such an interesting career is due to salary. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a health care administrator ranges from $59,000 to $250,000 per year, depending on where they work. Additionally, these jobs often come with profit sharing and bonuses, further increasing salary.
Another reason why it is a hot career choice, however, is due to the healthcare reforms, including the Affordable Care Act. Essentially, these reforms have changed the face of health care and have increased the requirement to have knowledgeable people run facilities with a business orientated mind. Hence, those who hold an MBA in Healthcare Administration are generally in very high demand.
Most health care administrators work in surgical hospitals and general medical centers. However, more and more nursing homes, physician’s offices, outpatient care centers and home health care services are also starting to look for these types of professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently some 310,320 healthcare administrators employed in various health care settings.
How to Do It
In order to complete any type of MBA, it is necessary to first have a four year bachelor’s degree. While there are no specific requirements for the bachelor major for someone who wants to do an MBA in Healthcare Administration, the majority do come from a healthcare background. Indeed, the MBA is very popular with those who currently hold a nursing degree, for instance.
Admissions to MBA programs are incredibly competitive. You will likely have to pass the GMAT exam and your score will weigh heavily towards your acceptance. It is also advisable to apply for a number of different schools in order to improve your chances of being accepted to at least one.
MBA in Healthcare Administration Online
Numerous schools offer fully or partially online MBA programs as well. These are beneficial for a variety of reasons, not in the least that they allow people to study and work at the same time, although the commitment required to complete a degree should not be underestimated. Additionally, online studying means there are also opportunities to study with a university abroad, thereby increasing international healthcare administration knowledge at the same time.
Some of the online options you may want to consider include:
- *Online Health Care Administration – MBA – (Editor’s Pick) – Northcentral University – Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral. The focus of the MBA degree with a specialization in Health Care Administration is to help you develop essential managerial knowledge and skills in financial management, legal and ethical issues of health care, and to examine and develop health care policies.
- *Online MBA in Healthcare – (Editor’s Pick) – The George Washington University Online – The George Washington University online Healthcare MBA is immersed in values, rigorous in theory, and experiential in practice and is based on the concepts of ethics, global business, and leadership. Designed for working professionals, the GW Healthcare MBA presents effective business and management strategies and applies them to healthcare environments, connecting these new concepts with your existing experience. The curriculum consists of 27 core courses with the remaining 6 courses reserved for elective courses.
- *Online MBA in Healthcare Practice Management Concentration – (Editor’s Pick) – Maryville University – Maryville was Founded in 1872 as a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County. The MBA is a key driver and today’s unspoken prerequisite for top administrative positions in the healthcare industry. Study advanced topics in healthcare industry and practice management, healthcare practice management operations, medical law, ethics, risk management, and quality and population health management.
- *Online MBA Healthcare Management Specialization – Northeastern University – (Editor’s Pick) – A program that focuses on the evolution of the healthcare industry in this country. It reviews recent reforms and policy changes and how these have affected service delivery and management. It also focuses on the interaction between the economic, regulatory, political and social aspects of the healthcare system. No GMAT is required.
- MBA Healthcare Management Online – Western Governors University – This program is designed for those seeking to advance their healthcare career. The school understands just how much the industry is booming and tries to deliver graduates who will play an important role in the future development of healthcare.
- Fast-Track Online MBA in Health Administration (Online) – Eastern University – This is an accelerated degree program that can be completed either online or on campus in as little as 36 credits. The school prides itself on its affordability and specific healthcare focus.
- Online MBA Healthcare Management – The University of Scranton – The curriculum of this program delivers truly excellent graduates. Indeed, graduates are in high demand all across the country. No GMAT is required. Scranton is featured in our 2017 rankings of America’s Best Online MBA Programs.
- MBA with Focus in Healthcare Administration – UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management – This program is known to be one of the most rigorous in the country. It mixes public health with business to delivery well-rounded graduates. GMAT is required, except for applicants who already hold a master’s degree.
- Online MBA in Healthcare Management – FIU Online – This program is ranked 16th in the country by America Economia, as well as receiving top rankings from the U.S. News and World Report. No GMAT is required.
- Online Flexible MBA – Health Administration – Florida Atlantic University College of Business – This is a highly flexible program, which means students are able to arrange it to suit their personal needs. It also offers over 70 electives, so students can focus on specific areas of health administration. No GMAT is required.
- MBA Online Course Mode Healthcare Management Emphasis – West Texas A&M University – The health care administration specialization is one of a few specializations that the school offers. It consistently ranks as one of the best schools in the country for MBA programs in various reports. No GMAT is required.
- Online MBA/Health – Suffolk University – This degree is very popular with international students. This is why the program comes so highly recommended, as it allows for strong international networking. No GMAT is required for those with a GPA of 3.4 and who have at least four year’s relevant professional experience.
Pros & Cons
Every degree program and every profession has its pros and cons. Because achieving any type of MBA is a significant commitment, it is important that you weigh up these pros and cons properly.
- A very high earning potential, depending on chosen career. Salaries of $250,000 per year, not counting bonuses and profit sharing, are achievable.
- You will have an opportunity to make a true difference to the lives of people by improving health care delivery.
- Job security is impressive.
- You may have to work very long and often unsociable hours.
- As you will have to shoulder a lot of responsibility, stress levels can be high and the chance of burnout is also increased.
- You will need to get to grips with complex regulatory and legal procedures, and they may not always feel as if they are in the best interest of the patient.
- University of Scranton offers some financial aid options.
- UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management offers financial aid including military financial benefits.
- Florida International University has several financial aid options.
- Florida International University Online provides several scholarship opportunities.
- Eastern Carolina University has a number of graduate scholarships.
There are hundreds of different career options for someone with an MBA in Healthcare Administration. This is due to the fact that there are so many different healthcare settings that you could be employed in, ranging from huge metropolitan university hospitals to small rural clinics, and from specialty offices such as a private cosmetic surgeon, to charity organizations such as drug rehab facilities. However, the four best jobs in terms of job outlook and salary are:
- Hospital CEO or Hospital CFO, managing either the entire hospital or focusing specifically on the finances of the setting. Average earnings are $106,000 per year nationwide.
- Hospital Administrator, where you will be responsible for everything that goes on behind the scenes in a hospital. Much of this work is about complying with laws and regulations, but you will also have to work directly with patients and other service users to ensure they are happy with the quality of care. Average salaries are around $110,000 per year.
- Pharmaceutical Product Manager, where your role will be on the development, testing, marketing and sale of new pharmaceutical products. Usually, you will be required to also have some sort of education in pharmacology. Average annual salaries for these positions are $90,000.
- Administrator of Physician Group, where you will manage the operations of a busy physicians’ office. Most doctors are far too busy seeing patients to manage the administrative affairs of medium sized and large medical practices. You will ensure that all business areas of the practice are well managed. This includes purchasing, personnel, budgeting, accounting and adhering to all government regulations. Typical salary is $72,000.
- Social and Community Service Manager, where you will work with healthcare professionals, community organizers, social workers and others to come up with health care and public health programs that help families, individuals and communities. The typical salary in this role is $65,000.
- Administrator of Insurance Company, where you will manage the business affairs of a health care related insurance business. You will be challenged to learn the fully array of knowledge of how health care and insurance intersect, and also will need to focus on how to obtain funding. Further, you will most likely need to work on finding the newest, innovative methods to provide excellent care with limited resources. Median salary is $122,000.
- Nursing Home Administrator, where you will manage the staff, finances and admissions of a long term care or nursing home facility. You also will need to keep the buildings and facilities of your facility in good condition. The median salary is in the range of $96,000.
- Administrator for Medical Equipment Company, where you must be adept at managing the patent and marketing process of new medical devices. You also must have excellent knowledge of FDA device regulations to ensure that your company is in full compliance. You often will be the point person for FDA audits of your device company, as well.
- Medical Practice Manager, whereby you will be responsible for the full management of smaller medical practices. Often, these practices have a specific health care focus. Average salary is $79,000.
- Health Information Manager, where you secure and organize patient records. You will spend much time working with IT professionals to research software that meets all conditions of federal policies for storing confidential patient information. You also will need to ensure that these health records are complete and accurate. The records can be used for research, investigations and quality management. Your overall focus is to boost care quality through efficient data management. Average salary is $82,000.
- Public Health Care Facility Administrator, which is in many cases run by the state or federal government. The US government has a long history of taking care of needy groups in our society. Many professionals in this field will help to influence public healthcare policy as they pursue careers in various government agencies, which include FDA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Median salary in this position is $115,000.
- AMN Healthcare News
- Clinical Ethics
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Managed Care Magazine
- Value in Health
Six websites with helpful resources for those working in a field relevant to an MBA in Healthcare Administration.