How to Choose an Online MBA in Healthcare Management

This article will detail about why you may want to earn your online MBA with a speciality in healthcare management. We will describe what you will study in this type of program, why you may want to work in this field, and  the best online programs that are worth your consideration

What Is An Online MBA in Healthcare Management?

An online MBA in healthcare management is designed to provide a business professional and student with a good understanding of the business end of healthcare. This type of MBA will provide you with both an academic and a real world foundation in current healthcare issues, practices and trends.

While you will study the typical MBA subjects in this type of program – accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, operations and economics – you also will study subjects and issues specific to the management of healthcare organizations:

  • The ethical, social and organizational issues that are faced by all sorts of healthcare workers and how to deal with these challenges
  • Introducing and managing healthcare management and clinical data systems, and understanding how they affect patients and the healthcare team
  • Modern healthcare management trends as well as how modern technology can improve patient outcomes
  • A solid understanding of quality care, population health management, medical ethics and law and other important heath care topics

As you are studying for your MBA in healthcare management, note that you may also want to earn a certification in healthcare management after you graduate. This is not required by employers necessarily, but this certification can improve your marketability. One of the certifications to consider is administered by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management.

Why Earn an MBA in Healthcare Management?

The demand for all sorts of health care services is on the upswing. There is a growing need for clinical professionals, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and doctors.

The increase in demand is probably being caused by an aging US population who wants more healthcare services so they can live more productive lives.

As there is more need for clinical healthcare professionals, there also is a greater need for healthcare management professionals who have an excellent grasp of how to management the business end of health care facilities.

This higher demand for healthcare business professionals is shown in the employment statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which anticipates a 17% increase in job demand in this field by 2024.

With this type of MBA education, you can anticipate being in great demand for managerial and executive positions in:

  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Nursing homes
  • Long term care facilities

Effective health care administrators and managers are so important to how a hospital, nursing home or other type of health care facility is operated. You will need to be able to examine and manage the health care business from various perspectives and be able to look at serious health care management challenges from a multidisciplinary point of view.

While many business professionals do not always enter MBA school with the idea to get a job in healthcare management, the fact is that the growth of the healthcare industry makes many jobs available for MBAs with experience in this area.

Online MBA in Healthcare Management Degree Options

If you believe that getting an MBA in healthcare management is a good idea for you, we recommend that you look into the following online programs:

George Washington University

The George Washington University has an online healthcare MBA that has been specifically designed for healthcare professionals who are working at least part time, and want to hone the business skills and leadership knowledge that they need to transform their health care organization.

Students in this two year, online degree program will be able to build their skills in the business of healthcare, as they gain knowledge to address highly complex challenges using both their real world experiences and critical healthcare thinking skills.

GWU is ranked one of the top national universities according to US News and World Report. Also the George Washington University School of Business has been ranked as one of the top business schools for the past decade.

Highlights of this program worth noting are:

  • Program is completely online. Never has balancing life, work and school been as easy with this GWU MBA program. The digital learning format is made to make your getting your master’s to be much easier even with a busy schedule.
  • Highly ranked. This program is consistently highly ranked by Business Week, Wall Street Journal and Forbes.
  • Focused on healthcare. You will gain business skills that are more sharply focused on healthcare through your specialized elective choices. Some of them include health care quality analysis; medicine development; and health care enterprise.
  • Highly prestigious. GWU has been recognized as a top academic university for decades in many fields.

The faculty and students in this two year program bring a huge amount of health care experience, knowledge and skills into your virtual classroom. This will allow the interaction and instruction to focus largely on applying advanced business principles to the modern reality of the health care system in the US.

This program is taught by a highly respected faculty of scholars and practitioners of business healthcare management.

You will first take your core courses in these areas:

  • Project management
  • Finance
  • Ethics
  • Accounting

After you have completed these classes, you then are allowed to begin your health care management classes.

Drexel University

Drexel University offers an online, accelerated MBA program with a specialization in health care management. This 24 month program is managed by the LeBow College of Business at Drexel, and is one of the most respected business and academic institutions in the US. This program is fully accredited by the AACSB, and it also has been ranked as a top 15 MBA program according to the Financial Times.

The faculty at Drexel will help the MBA student to master all of the basic business fundamentals, especially as they pertain to healthcare. You will learn how to think strategically and use quantitative healthcare data. You will find that the skills you learn in this program will be applicable to where you work right away.

This 24 month program is broken into groups or cohorts, and you will go through the program online with approximately 30 other students. If you have to work full time, there also is a 42 month, part time MBA option to consider.

The healthcare management specialty is made for healthcare business professionals that want to learn how to effectively management healthcare delivery systems. It also is appropriate for pharmaceutical and life science professionals.

Your core classes consist of the following:

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Managerial Economics
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Managing the Total Enterprise
  • Managing Technology Innovation
  • Marketing Strategy and Planning
  • Leadership and Professional Development
  • Operations Management
  • Business Statistics

In the healthcare management portion, you will take Healthcare Business Practice I, II and III (capstone).

After you finish this two year, full time program, you will be able to take an executive or upper managerial position in a pharmaceutical company, life science company, or private or public hospital.

Accreditation

For business students who are thinking about getting an online MBA, it is vital to make sure that the program you are considering has been properly accredited. Accreditation by a respected business education organization tells you that your degree will be valued in the working world.

The most important online business education accreditation agency is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB.

Summary

If you are seeking an exciting business career in healthcare, you would be strongly recommended to get your MBA in health care management, as there will be plenty of good paying jobs in this quickly growing area for many years.

Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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