The Value of Earning an MBA in Healthcare Management
The healthcare industry continues to expand rapidly. As more jobs become available for doctors, nurses and other healthcare clinicians, the need also has grown for qualified leaders to manage medical operations.
Taking on these leadership positions requires a unique blend of business skills and healthcare industry knowledge. It’s become more necessary as healthcare, which always faces economic and regulatory pressures, has started the shift to a “value-based” model that will compensate healthcare providers based on patient outcomes.
It’s created an environment where people with knowledge of finance, marketing, data and technology are needed more than ever. Those with expertise in those areas, as well as knowledge of how they apply them to healthcare, make for extremely attractive job candidates in the healthcare field.
That’s why earning an MBA with a concentration on healthcare has become the degree of choice for business students with an interest in healthcare. It allows graduates to apply what is learned in a business program to a career that directly benefits people.
The Demand for Healthcare Administrators
The demand for healthcare administrators is clear from numbers provided by the federal government.
Those numbers project a 20% increase in the number of healthcare administrators by 2026, far higher than the 7% average increase projected for all jobs. An aging population in the United States, along with more awareness of the value in preventive medicine, is partly fueling the need for more administrations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The annual median pay for a healthcare administrator position in 2017 was $98,350, according to the BLS.
In Indiana, the projected increase in the number of healthcare administers by 2026 is 21.9%, higher than the national average The average mean annual pay in the state is $98,940, with the top 25% of healthcare administrators earning more than $112,000 per year, according to numbers from the federal government.
How an MBA Prepares Healthcare Leaders
In the past, many healthcare administrators and leaders were medical personnel who had risen through the ranks. In the modern, competitive healthcare environment, those with business skills have an edge in getting those jobs.
Recognizing this need, schools now offer a healthcare concentration for MBA students. Oakland City University, for example, offers MBA students in the school’s online program the option to focus on healthcare, including classes on healthcare financial management, strategic management and quality and ethics.
As MBA students, graduates from such programs also bring a host of skills to the table. They include the following.
Business knowledge. MBA graduates have expertise in areas such as risk management, budgeting, financial investment and managing employees. They also understand how the latest technology innovation can apply to healthcare challenges.
Leadership skills. MBA graduates understand the latest management theories and business strategies. They also have skills in team leadership and management tactics that bring out the best effort from employees.
Process improvement. There is a lot of this happening in today’s healthcare system. MBA graduates understand how to implement process improvement. That includes using data to identify problem areas and applying process improvement tools to correct them.
Healthcare faces complex challenges in the 21st century. Meeting those challenges requires leaders who understand both the details of the healthcare industry and the business strategies to improve financial performance.
Graduates from an MBA program with a concentration on healthcare management position themselves to take advantage of this unique opportunity in the growing healthcare industry.