By earning an MBA in healthcare management, you are assuring that your professional life will be secure – this sector of the economy is growing at a record-breaking pace. As an example, in 2015 the growth in hospital employment expanded by 306% over 2014.
When you think about young families needing healthcare for children and parents, retirees and the elderly, and people who enter nursing homes and retirement communities, you can easily see why employment in hospitals across the country has expanded the way it has.
At such a high level of growth, hospitals and other healthcare facilities need managers at every level, and executives in the C-suite. If you plan to enter an MBA in healthcare management degree program, you may be able to find a job quite quickly; your knowledge and skills are needed in this vital and growing industry.
What is an MBA in Healthcare Management?
This is a specialized MBA that prepares you to work in the healthcare management field. You’ll learn all typical MBA skills such as data analysis, how major organizations operate, and how to lead in a complex environment. And you’ll also learn how to use your knowledge of managing an organization and employees within a healthcare organization, with its many and varied regulations and ways of gauging success.
Entering an MBA-HC cohort program could help you begin to develop a professional network with other MBA students. At the same time, you’ll be working on your MBA degree classes, possibly on weekends, since you may still be working.
The healthcare industry is not shrinking, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that it won’t shrink for years to come. It’s growing as the population increases and is in need of effective healthcare managers to help lead individual, health-oriented organizations so that they are able to provide the most effective health services to their patients. If you’ve been concerned that your decision to lead a healthcare facility may be the wrong decision, just look at the numbers. BLS projects that healthcare jobs will grow by 14% between 2018 and 2028. This means that doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, and other health-oriented facilities will need strong, effective leadership.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Healthcare Management?
If you pursue a master’s in business school administration with a concentration in healthcare management, your career path can go in many different directions in managed care, operations management or information systems. You are going to need to have certain skill sets in any management position you land. You will be able to learn some of these core skills from the coursework from the public health graduate school that you choose to take classes at. Good managers know how manage their teams effectively and are constantly learning new skills and processes to improve organization procedures. In the healthcare industry it is important to be able to socially work with a team of health care professionals.
A master’s degree in health administration and management will require these types of classes as part of your core curriculum. These classes are important and will vary based on your final healthcare industry concentration.
Healthcare Administrator with a MBA in Healthcare Management
The average salary for this position is $82,000. The healthcare administrator’s specific duties are dependent on the facility where they work. They may work within a correctional facility (jail or prison), hospital, primary care medical practice, or a nursing home.
This role is almost exclusively an upper-management position; the administrator leads a large staff of medical and nursing professionals. Generally, their job duties include responsibility for hiring and salaries, increasing facility efficiency, making sure patient’s health records are maintained, carefully managing budget and finances, ensuring the needs of all healthcare personnel are met, and coordinating staff schedules regularly.
A large part of their work may also involve preparing their facility for accreditation by agencies such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of healthcare Organization (JCAHO).
Healthcare Administrator with an Executive MBA
The average salary for this position is $102,000. A healthcare administrator with an Executive MBA carries out the planning, coordination, and direction of health services. They may manage an entire department within a hospital or they could be responsible for managing the entire hospital.
An EMBA may be responsible for a physician’s group or a local medical practice. They may also work in a clinic, nursing home private practice, or within a correctional facility’s medical wing. They improve the quality and efficiency of medical services, develop goals and objectives for the facility, and ensure the facility complies with state and federal laws and regulations.
If a healthcare administrator works within a government facility focus mostly on health policy, they won’t have to worry about administrative duties. As they advance in their employment, they may be given more responsibility shaping future programming or other roles.
Medical and Health Services Manager
The average annual salary for this professional is $68,000. Their job duties include development of department goals and objectives, improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare services, creating work schedules, managing faculty finances (billing and patient fees, for instance), setting up and monitoring budgets to ensure spending doesn’t go beyond funding limits, representing the medical facility on governing boards and at investor’s meetings, keeping the facility up to date on laws and regulations, communicating with medical staff and department heads, recruiting and training staff, and keeping records of facility services (these details are some of the smallest, but most important).
These are some of the most hands on management professionals in healthcare
Chief Compliance Officer
The average annual salary of a chief compliance officer is $120,000. This role goes beyond ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, and even guidelines. The CCO actually conducts investigations within the healthcare facility. They also carry out audits, looking for areas where patients or employees may be at risk.
Once they have identified these areas and issues, they develop an improvement plan, which is designed to improve compliance practices so the identified risks can be mitigated. This plan is also intended to ensure that the facility is following closely with best practices and standards. Much of the work that goes into ensuring that all employees are compliant with best practices and standards is to create a training program.
Online vs. On-Campus for an MBA in Healthcare Management
Earning an MBA in any profession is difficult, especially if you must work while completing courses, which nearly every MBA student does. Attending using an online format may make your efforts slightly easier. You won’t have to drive through traffic or get on buses or subways; you’ll be able to attend classes and study at times that fit into your own work and family schedule.
Because earning an MBA takes, on average, two years, you’ll still need plenty of time to devote to this endeavor. If you’ve decided to earn your healthcare manager MBA in on-campus classes, you’ll need to get to your classes and take extra time to study and take exams.
If you don’t have to worry about supporting a family right now, then you’ll likely be in a better position to attend in-person classes. Depending on your work schedule, you can opt for full-time or part-time classes.
Types of Healthcare Management MBA Degrees
Postgraduate or Post-MBA Certificate in Healthcare Management
Average Salary: $65,000
You’ll have plenty of options open to you if you want academic support for your move into healthcare management. If you don’t have the time for a full, two-year MBA program, you might consider earning a post-MBA graduate certificate in healthcare management or healthcare administration. This is also helpful if you already have an MBA or a master’s degree that isn’t focused on healthcare.
This program won’t take as long as a two-year MBA program. Instead, you’ll complete around 15 credit hours of healthcare management courses, and some programs require one or two internship periods with a healthcare related organization. The average salary for those who hole these certificates is $65,000.
MS in Healthcare Management
Average Salary: $86,000
This degree has been created for people who plan to work in a management position within a healthcare setting. This is a two-year degree consisting of around 36 credit hours on average. The curriculum offers the skills needed to be an effective leader in a healthcare facility. An MS in Healthcare Management (MSHCM) helps students to develop leadership and other necessary competencies that are badly needed in the healthcare field. The average salary for professionals with this degree is $86,000.
MBA in Healthcare Management
Average Salary: $82,000
These degrees can be online or on-campus. An MBA in healthcare management is one of a variety of possible concentrations in an MBA program. An MBA in Healthcare Management is different from a general MBA. Classes are oriented toward administering healthcare management and services; offering digital health, insurance, dealing with the unique regulations, entrepreneurship, and even venture capital. The average salary for a professional with this degree is $82,000.
Executive MBA in Healthcare Management
Average Salary: $81,000
Earning an EMBA helps to open doors for you to higher levels of management and helps graduates lead larger organizations. These programs offer one of the best graduate business educations. In addition, you’ll gain a strong grasp of various management theories during your classes and then be able to practice what you learn. With a focus on the healthcare sector, you will be more than prepared for your future career. The average salary for those with this degree is $81,000.
Sample Curriculum & Courses for Healthcare Management
- Dynamic Leadership:
This course is designed to mold you into an effective leader. You’ll learn about the competencies you need in your role as an MBA-HCM. You’ll learn about yourself, organizational culture, and how to motivate your team.
- Managing Business Information Systems:
Much of your work and time will be spent on the computer, working with various information systems. You’ll learn about technology that allows healthcare facilities to collect and manage data for aggregation.
- Law, Ethics, and Policy in Healthcare Administration:
In this course, you’ll learn how to handle difficult risks and challenges. You’ll also develop the skills you need to examine both external and internal healthcare policies so you can influence policy initiatives.
- Managerial Finance:
Here, you’ll learn how to make your facility’s dollars go as far as possible. You’ll be able to use that money so your facility benefits from a return on its investments. Students in this course study financial tools and methods of analysis so they can make the best decisions for capital investment.
- Healthcare Financial Management and Economics:
This course covers cost, quality, and access and helps students understand how they pertain to healthcare. You’ll learn healthcare financial management, accounting, and finance, so any facility you run can remain financially viable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Certification Should I Get in Addition to an MBA in Healthcare Management?
While your MBA degree may specifically fall within the healthcare management specialty, you may still want to earn some certifications that will help you in your career. If you have already begun working, you may want to focus on online certificate programs. You may be able to earn some from the college where you earned your MBA or master’s degree but you can earn certificates from many graduate programs.
Some certificates to consider include:
- Certificate of Study in Clinical Research
- Quality and Risk Management Certificate
- Certificate of Medicine Development
- Graduate Certificate Clinical Research Practice
- Clinical and Translational Research Graduate Certificate
- Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Certification
- Regulatory Affairs Certification
- Sustainable Management Certificate
- Nonprofit Management Certificate
What are the Differences Between an MBA in Healthcare Management and a Regular MBA?
With an MBA specialized in healthcare, you’ll gain specialized knowledge that applies to the healthcare industry. Earning a general MBA means you get a broader range of theory and knowledge without any special focus on healthcare regulation.
Your healthcare management MBA means you’ll be able to more easily apply business practices to any facility where you work. However, if you don’t have any healthcare experience, the knowledge you need in a healthcare-focused MBA program may be lacking. A general MBA is more focused on supply and demand while a healthcare management MBA doesn’t fit that model.
Who Should Consider Getting this Degree?
Since this specialized degree focuses so much on healthcare, a doctor moving into management is particularly well-suited to this degree. If a doctor decides they want to run a medical practice, they can earn their healthcare MBA to smoothly move into management and gain the business insights they need to run that practice well.
Current businesspeople may choose to earn an MBA in Healthcare Management due to its focus on opportunities within the private sector. It may also enable them to move more easily into other desired opportunities, such as administrative duties.
A consultant may also be drawn to earn an MBA-HCM so they can operate their own business and increase their assistance to medical facilities.
How to Choose the Right Program
Do You Have Time to Go Back to School?
That time includes looking for the school you want to attend and extends through to graduation. In general, earning your MBA may take about two years of class and study time. This doesn’t account for finding a school you want to attend and completing the full application process.
Next, each school has its own schedule as well as the finances they require. Will each of these be a good match for your life and finances? Don’t forget, if you want to visit each school, that will take even more time. You’ll want to get answers on accreditation, program outcomes, student support, career resources, and a curriculum advisory board before you choose a school.
Is This a Long-Term Career Path for You?
Before you get into an MBA program, be sure this is what you want to do long-term. In healthcare management, this is a field that is rising in job numbers and opportunities annually. If you have a medical background—or even if you don’t—be sure you can visualize yourself working in this field, earning promotions, and ensuring your healthcare facility is being well-managed. This degree is more specific than a general MBA, so it may be harder to switch gears a few years into your career if this is the degree you earn.
Going into healthcare management is a good move. This is a field that hasn’t yet peaked. Depending on your career goals, you will be able to work until you’re ready to retire.
What Kind of Networking Opportunities are Available?
As a graduate of an MBA-HCM degree, you’re going to be able to network easily. Even while you’re in school, you’ll be meeting fellow students and professors whom you’ll want to maintain a professional relationship, possibly long-term. A good MBA program helps its students network with each other and may give you access to previous graduates of the program if you’re looking for a mentor.
Does Earning this MBA Provide a Significant Return on Investment (ROI)?
After you graduate and begin working in healthcare management, you can expect an average annual salary of $115,000. This is twice as high as the annual salary of early career hires with undergraduate degrees.
Depending on the two-year average net price of your education (which you arrive at by subtracting your financial aid received from the total cost your college charged you), your earnings will soon surpass that amount.
This is your return on investment or ROI. An MBA provides an excellent ROI due to its versatility for graduates. No matter where you decide to work, your skills will be valued.
Consider the Student Outcomes for Each Program
Universities and college measure their success using various student outcomes, such as student retention and graduation rates. Student retention measures the percentage of freshmen who stay at their university into their sophomore year; this also communicates a high-quality education to graduate students.
A retention rate of 80% or above is excellent as it means that only 4 out of 100 freshmen chose to leave school or transfer elsewhere. And a 75% or higher graduation rate indicates that professors and faculty are offering a high-value education.
Make Sure the Program is Accredited
Accreditation is vital to your future plans. If you go into a school that doesn’t hold either a regional or programmatic accreditation, you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain financial aid. when potential employers see that you graduated from an unaccredited program, they may hesitate to hire you, despite your degree and you’re unlikely to be offered the higher salary someone with an accredited degree can earn.
Accreditation means that a program you’re interested in has shown proof of high-quality teaching programs and even faculty. This will be the most noticeable when you apply to a doctoral program.
- The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM):
This is the organization at the forefront of healthcare administrative management. Established executives and new graduates benefit highly from membership via networking, advocacy, and certification opportunities.
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP):
AHCAP is another topnotch organization devoted to helping healthcare professionals advance in their professions and careers. AHCAP offers valuable leadership opportunities for members as they join and work in groups and on committees.
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE):
This organization makes nationwide networking a possibility for its members and members also have opportunities for local support. Members receive automatic enrollment in one of the 80 regional chapters upon joining.
- The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA):
This organization works solely on offering professionals all the tools they need to move ahead in their careers. These include training opportunities, certification, conferences, and seminars.
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA):
This organization benefits all in the field as well as those who are considering health information management as a career.
Potential Scholarships to Consider
Students who are admitted into a program in the Fall 2020 academic year and after, are eligible. They must hold a minimum upper-division GPA of 3.40 and they must also be able to show three years of professional work experience in healthcare. Offered by Florida International University.
Corris Boyd Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to two students each year so they can pursue their degree in the medical field. Eligible students have proven their ability to apply themselves, they graduated at the top of their class in their undergraduate programs, and they have displayed leadership skills.
Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to minority students who are working on their final year in a healthcare management degree program. MBA-HCM students qualify. Preference is given to students who are student associates of ACHE but they must demonstrate financial need.