Healthcare management is one of the fastest-growing fields with an expected growth rate of 22 percent over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field offers a variety of leadership positions in diverse healthcare settings ranging from chief executive and chief financial officers, operations managers and information systems directors for hospitals, medical clinics and nursing facilities to positions with health and life insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, university research centers and government agencies.
These healthcare professionals are business professionals who, in general, are responsible for evaluating and planning the financial effectiveness of an organization. It is imperative they have a thorough understanding of their organization’s current budget. Finance managers in the healthcare industry often deal with issues such as making long-term investment decisions, hiring and managing personnel, assuring compliance with governmental laws and regulations, managing schedules and ordering supplies, marketing and advertising, and ensuring that an organization is run in the most cost-efficient manner possible.
Many management positions in the healthcare industry are therefore specialized and require a solid background in accounting and economics as well as an advanced degree. An online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management is designed to provide a student with the understanding of the business of healthcare. Because of an increased demand for expert healthcare managers with an MBA, this specialty may lead to advanced leadership positions and higher salaries.
Curriculum for an MBA in Healthcare Management
Courses in an MBA in Healthcare Management program provide both academic and real-world knowledge of healthcare issues, trends and practices that are necessary for a healthcare professional to succeed. The traditional business administration disciplines of accounting, finance, economics, marketing, operations, information technology, organization and leadership form a solid base in business management. How to apply these basic accounting and financial principles within healthcare organizations are highlighted in the curriculum.
These applications may include the use of medical practice management software commonly used in the industry; insurance components of a medical facility or practice; medical billing systems for patient registration and billing and payment entries; leadership topics; diversity aspects; strategic human resources management; the legal aspects of healthcare management; healthcare outcomes and quality management; and facilities management and security.
Becoming a healthcare manager does not require someone to have a background in healthcare. The jobs and activities healthcare management professionals can obtain vary almost as much as the organizations they work for, but all healthcare management professionals working in finance or accounting have budgeting and finance in common. Depending on what kind of management position a person chooses to get involved with, the option of earning an MBA in Healthcare Management would be a good choice. An MBA can build a better understanding of budgeting and finance in healthcare and could enable business-oriented professionals to thrive in this growing market and to take advantage of numerous job opportunities.
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