The health care industry is going through a period of sustained growth, in part due to health care reforms such as the Affordable Care Act. It is for this reason that all health care professions are interesting, particularly those that deal with administration and management. These professions keep hospitals and health care institutions accountable and on track.
What We Do
Those who have an MBA in Health Care Management deal with hospitals and other health care institutions as if they are a business. They focus on the current needs of these systems, and how they are likely to evolve. Hence, graduates study health care law and policy, industry finances and human resources and relate this back to patient care, organizational behavior, payment and more.
Why It’s Hot
Almost all those who now work in healthcare administration have to hold a master’s degree. This is due to a national commitment to increasing educational levels of staff. Those with an MBA in healthcare management are almost guaranteed to have a career for life.
The health care industry has always been strong, but management and administration positions are growing at a lightning fast pace that far surpasses typical job growth rates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the field is expected to increase by a staggering 32 percent in the ten-year run-up to 2029.
While an entry level position can still be taken up by someone with a bachelor’s degree, this is becoming increasingly rare. Additionally, salaries are significantly lower. Average salaries, including those for bachelor’s degree holders, stand at $118,800 as of 2020, while on the high end of the salary range where you’re more likely to find experienced professionals with an MBA in Health Services Management, salaries can be $195,000 or more.
May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job growth data for Medical and Health Services Managers. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed April 2021.
As a health care manager, you can work in a huge range of capacities. Each of these have different responsibilities and rank levels. In entry level positions, you will generally manage a small sub group or a single department within some sort of care facility. You can also start to manage multiple departments or get to work in managing strategies and company plans. Most MBA degree holders will work mostly at a desk. However, a lot of time will also be spent on your feet, particularly if you have to manage departments. Furthermore, there is a chance that you will have to work long and unsociable hours, depending on the facility you work for.
How to Do It
In order to gain an MBA in Healthcare Management, you will first need to complete a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years. In many cases, this bachelor’s degree is the BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). However, other majors, including administration, management, statistics, human resources or any of the liberal arts can also be suitable. Admission to MBA programs is highly competitive and only those with the best previous education and experience, as well as those who do well on their GMAT exam will be accepted. Hence, it is recommended to first spend a lot of time preparing before applying to a university and, secondly, to apply to multiple universities in order to have a good chance of being accepted in one of them.
There are both online and on campus programs available. One highly respected on campus program is offered by the University of Pennsylvania – Penn’s Wharton School of Business. This is an Ivy League school and is one of the highest ranked MBA programs in the nation. Students are also encouraged to continue on to study towards their Ph.D., which can be completed at the same institution.
MBA in Healthcare Management Online
Very good Accredited online MBA in Healthcare programs also exist or compare all programs.
- *Online MBA Healthcare Management – Southern New Hampshire University – (Editor’s Pick!) – This program is designed for those who have clear professional goals, including running and leading entire health care facilities. Graduates are known for their excellence in leadership and they have a competitive advantage over others, because they are instructed in the tools and knowledge specific to the industry in which they work. These are necessary skills in order to properly manage the complexity of the health care industry as a whole, an industry that is experiencing constant change.
- *Online MBA Healthcare Management – Kaplan University: (Editor’s Pick!) This is a fully accredited, online MBA in Health Care Management that can be completed in less than three years. Some of the required classes in this specialization include Health Care Operations and Quality Assessment; Health Care Policy; Health Care Marketing, and International Epidemiology and Global Health. Overall, this MBA program will provide you with an international mindset and the ability to understand global healthcare issues and to manage relationships across cultures.
- *Online MBA Healthcare Management – Capella University – (Editor’s Pick!) – You can boost your career potential in the rapidly growing field of healthcare management, with this accredited MBA. To help you grow in your career, you will learn integrated business disciplines that will ready you to excel in a cross functional business environment. Also, you will find that this health care management MBA is made to boost your management and business skills that are essential for you to perform well in the health care industry. You can finish this degree online in about two years.
- *Online MBA Healthcare Management – Grand Canyon University: (Editor’s Pick!) Earn your MBA with an emphasis in Health Systems Management. This two year online degree will provide you with the capacity to engage in transformational leadership through the effective application of modern business practices. Required classes include Strategic Management, Legal and Ethical Principles in Health Care, Health Care Policy and Economics, Operations Management and Managerial Accounting. As with many other programs today, the GMAT is not required by this school.
- Saint Leo University: Gaining your MBA in Health Care Management will help you to earn the professional skills and experience that you need to be a highly successful manager in today’s health care environment. The health care management concentration explores US health insurance, health care and taxes, legal and ethical issues that face patients and providers; consumer health care, federal and state health policy processes and community health evaluation. This program is 100% online and may be completed in two years.
- Penn State: With the AACSB-accredited online Healthcare MBA from Penn State, you will gain the tools and knowledge to view your organization strategically. This online MBA is quite unique because of its outstanding networking opportunities, diverse virtual teams, the integrated curriculum, top customer service, and frequent residency experiences. The curriculum integrates the latest business strategies and practical knowledge of business, and it links management, marketing, finance, accounting and operations.
- Ohio University: This university has a new online Healthcare MBA that is fully accredited by the AACSB, which is one of the most respected accreditation organizations in the country. Some of the required classes for this dynamic online MBA include Data Analysis, Strategic Management of Human Capital, Managerial Accounting, Information Systems for Managers, Operations Management, Strategic Leadership and Managerial Finance for Healthcare Managers. Ohio University is a top online MBA program in America’s Best Online MBA rankings.
- Baker College Online: The Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Health Care Management gives you the best academic training and the best field-based learning opportunity possible in the allied health field. You will look at the importance of healthcare management in our economy today, and will study the issues and problems that health care managers today must confront.
Pros & Cons
There are always advantages and disadvantages to any type of educational choice.
- You are almost guaranteed a job, as demand is so high and rising exponentially.
- No two days will be the same, as you will be working directly with people.
- You will feel as if you are truly making a difference in the lives of people.
- Obtaining an MBA is costly both in terms of time and money.
- The job can involve long hours and the risk of burnout is high.
- You need to be able to cope with death and human sorrow.
- HCA Corris Boyd Scholarship – In honor of Corris Boyd, who dedicated his life to healthcare. Two students are awarded $40,000 in order to further their medical career. These students must demonstrate excellence in education and leadership skills.
- Tylenol Scholarship – Scholarships of between $1,000 and $10,000 provided to up to 40 students per year in order to assist them in entering the world of health care.
- Transamerica Retirement Solutions Leaders in Healthcare Scholarship – A scholarship of up to $5,000 for those who are entering healthcare administration in particular.
- American Association Of University Women Career Development Grant – A grant that is offered to women in particular, recognizing the tremendous role women play in furthering the healthcare industry as a whole.
- David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship – A scholarship of $10,000 awarded to 10 students each year who prove that they have the necessary skills to work in healthcare, particularly at government level.
- Hospital CEO: Helping to run a hospital in a manner that is cost effective without compromising on quality of care. You will manage all the administrative aspects of a hospitals, from keep records to managing budgets and from negotiating complex contracts to identifying ways to save money. You will also be responsible for appointing top executives.
- Hospital Administrator: Working invisibly within various health care facilities, you will ensure a hospital, outpatient clinics or other facility runs properly. You will hire doctors, come up with new policies, develop policies, be a spokesperson for the media, deal with patients services, implement and promote new types of treatment, ensure that all government guidelines are being adhered to and more.
- Hospital CFO: Dealing with the finances of a hospital, making sure it is run efficiently. All financial risks of the setting must be managed by you. Additionally, you will plan the finances and you will make sure that all records are being kept properly. Additionally, you must plan finances and report back about this to the CEO and other members of senior management.
- Pharmaceutical Product Manager: You will manage important elements of the pharmaceutical industry. You role will be to review market data, analyze investments and ensure new devices and drugs are promoted properly. Those who have spent a number of years providing consultancy services and who have experience in leadership are in particularly high demand for these positions.
- Medical Practice Manager: Here, you will deal with similar issues as hospital administrators, but it will be on a reduced skill. Your role will be to work on billing, budgets, managing and hiring staff, HIPAA compliance, legal compliance, ordering supplies and managing schedules.
- Health Informatics Manager: You will work within any type of health care settings, managing how information flows in and out of the setting and ensuring this is done as efficiently as possible. You will also need to make sure that all data is accurate, both when it comes in and when it goes out. Additionally, you will be responsible for the proper running of all software and hardware.
- International Journal of Healthcare Management
- Harvard Health Journal
- Annual Review of Public Health
- American Journal of Preventive Medicine
- Drug Safety
Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Healthcare Management