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    HEALTHCARE
    October 25, 2020

    How to Earn Your MBA in Healthcare Management

    By: Kathleen Gaines MSN, BA, RN, CBC

    An MBA in Healthcare Management, also referred to as an MBA in Healthcare Administration, is one of the hottest degrees in healthcare because of its high career growth and earning potential. And, because it focuses on the broader aspects of healthcare management like economics, finance, and business -- individuals have a wide range of opportunities after graduation.

    This guide will cover how to earn an MBA in Healthcare Administration, career outlook, salary potential, top MBA programs, and if obtaining an MBA might be the right choice for you.

    What is an MBA in Healthcare Management?

    A Masters of Business Administration, or MBA, in Healthcare Management is a degree program for healthcare professionals with a focus on business management and leadership. 

    This degree allows a broader interpretation and learning experience of the healthcare industry. Students look at the broader topic of healthcare and how it relates to business, finance, and economics.

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    MBA in Healthcare Management Coursework

    Some of the core courses you'll take will include:

    • Healthcare Law
    • Healthcare Finance
    • Strategic Organization in a Healthcare Organization
    • Marketing Management
    • Business Computing
    • Executive Skills Development & Decision Making
    • Financial and Managerial Accounting
    • Fiscal Issues in Health Systems Management
    • Data Analysis
    • Contemporary Issues in Healthcare Policy
    • Issues in Quality Management for Healthcare Systems
    • Principles and Strategies for Managed Healthcare
    • Community Health Assessment and Planning
    • Human Resources
    • Public Health
    • Informatics
    • Operations Management
    • Capstone 
    • Information Systems
    • Electives

    What Can You Do with an MBA in Healthcare Administration?

    Graduates with an MBA in Healthcare Administration generally work in the hospital setting but can also work in the following areas,

    • Long-term care facility
    • Research Facility
    • Nursing Home
    • Academia
    • Private practice
    • Clinic
    • Government Agency
    • Non-profit company
    • Pharmaceutical company

    However, because the degree is an MBA and has a larger focus on business, individuals can also use the degree for non-healthcare related jobs such as financial management and marketing. 

    MBA in Healthcare Management Jobs

    The most common jobs associated with individuals with an  MBA in healthcare administration are:

    • Policy analyst
    • Clinical director
    • Hospital chief executive officer
    • Medical records manager
    • Health and social services manager
    • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
    • Chief Financial Operator (CFO)
    • Medical Manager
    • Nursing home administrator
    • Health information manager
    • Healthcare administrators
    • Pharmaceutical project manager

    MBA in Healthcare Administration Prerequisites

    In order to be eligible for enrollment in an MBA in Healthcare Management program, you'll need to mee the following admission requirements:

    1. Bachelor's Degree

    An undergraduate degree is the first step in achieving a healthcare management degree. Undergraduate degree major requirements will vary. Some schools may require you to have majored in a healthcare-related industry for your Bachelor's degree, while others will accept anyone with an accredited undergraduate degree. For nurses with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) this is great news as earning your MBA can be an excellent way to take the next step in your nursing career.

    2. GPA

    Many Healthcare management programs will have GPA requirements for admission. You can expect to see minimum GPA requirements ranging from a 3.0 tp 3.25 or higher for more competitive programs.

    3. GRE/GMAT Test Scores

    Most Master's degree programs, including an MBA in healthcare administration, will require admissions test scores to be submitted. Business schools typically require a GMAT test, while the GRE is a more general test for all graduate school applicants.

    4. Relevant Experience

    Some MBA programs will require you to show that you have experience in the field. They want top see that you have already acquired the skills you'll need to be successful in the program. These include leadership, communication skills, and technical skills.

    MBA Healthcare Management Cost

    Cost can vary A LOT for an MBA in Healthcare Administration. According to Best Colleges, an MBA in Healthcare Administration can cost as little as $10,000 for an online program at a public university. 

    However, according to U.S. News and World Report, this degree can cost upwards of $100,000 for Ivy League Universities. 

    There are a wide range of affordable options to individuals interested in pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Administration. It is important to consider the reputation of the program as well as accreditation.

    Generally, these programs will be accredited through the University and may also have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which accredits roughly 5% of business schools. 

    Examples of MBA in Healthcare Administration Tuition Costs

    How Long Does it Take to Get an MBA in Healthcare Management?

    The length of programs will vary greatly depending on if the program is completed full-time or part-time. An MBA in healthcare administration can be completed in as little as 12 months or as long as 3 years. 

    Additionally, some online programs can be completed at an individual’s own pace with class lengths of only seven weeks. Individuals can complete multiple courses back to back or take time off in between courses. 

    What Salary Can You Earn With an MBA in Healthcare Management?

    The BLS reports an average annual salary in 2019 for Medical and Health Service Managers of $100,980. The BLS does not specifically provide salaries for individuals with or without an MBA. This will vary greatly depending on the location, position title, and associated responsibilities. 

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    Healthcare MBA Career Outlook

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, in 2019, there were 422,300 Medical and Health Services Managers with a projected need of an additional 133,200 positions. This represents a 32% job increase from 2019 to 2029.

    Top Healthcare Management MBA Programs

    The U.S. News & World Report 2020 identified the top online MBA Healthcare Administration programs. These programs are all identified with strong business education with an equally strong focus in healthcare. 

    1. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

    • #1 Best Online MBAs according to U.S. News & World Report, 2020 
    • #2 Best Online MBAs ranked by The Princeton Review, 2020
    • Top 20 Best Business Schools according to U.S. News & World Report, 2020 
    • Cost: $125,589
    • Start Dates: January, April, July and October
    • Application Requirements:
      • University Application
      • Two Letters of Recommendations
      • Resume or CV
      • GRE or GMAT Scores
      • Essays
      • Official Transcripts
      • Personal Interview via Webcam due to COVID-19 restrictions
      • Application Fee: $150 
      • TOEFL score (if applicable)

    2. University of Texas - Dallas

    • 90% of full-time MBA students get an offer within 90 days of graduation
    • #1 Best Value Public University in Texas according to Forbes 2019
    • #10 (tie) Best MBA for Return on Investment according to U.S. News & World Report, 2020 
    • #13 (tie) Full-Time MBA Among Public Universities according to U.S. News & World Report, 2020 
    • Cost: $91,620
    • Start Dates:  Fall, Spring, and Summer start dates
    • Application Requirements:
      • University Application
      • Official Transcripts
      • GMAT or GRE scores no less than 5 years old
      • One Letter of Recommendation
      • Resume
      • $50 Application Fee
      • Essay 
      • Interview (not always required)
      • TOEFL score (if applicable)

    3. University of Delaware

    • #26 Online MBA Program according to U.S. News & World Report, 2019
    • Cost: $14,250
    • Start Dates: Fall, Summer, and Spring
    • Application Requirements:
      • Online Application
      • $75 application fee
      • Transcripts
      • Personal Statement/Essay
      • Two letters of recommendations
      • GMAT or GRE scores
      • Applicable work experience
      • TOEFL score (if applicable)

    4. University of Arizona (Eller)

    • #22 Full-time MBA Program in Public University according to U.S. News & World Report, 2021
    • #23 Evening MBA Program in Public University according to U.S. News & World Report, 2021
    • #10 Online MBA Program according to U.S. News & World Report, 2021
    • Cost: $27,480
    • Start Dates: January, March, May, July, August, and October
    • Application Requirements:
      • A completed application form 
      • Application fee ($85 domestic applicants/ $95 international applicants)
      • A comprehensive essay
      • A professional resume
      • One professional letter of recommendation
      • One copy of official transcripts from each university, college, or community college attended
      • Official GMAT scores or GRE scores
      • TOEFL score (if applicable)
      • Interview, if applicable

    Is an MBA in Healthcare Management Worth it?

    Determining if an MBA in Healthcare Management is worth is entirely based on your career goals and life plans. But here are some pros and cons to help make the decision a little easier!

    Pros:

    • Increased Salary Opportunities
    • Increased Career Opportunities
    • Flexible Online Programs
    • Mentorship Opportunities
    • Job Security
    • Increased job responsibilities
    • Learning new advanced skills

    Cons: 

    • Student Loan Debt
    • Time Commitment
    • Family Sacrifice
    • Stress
    • Increased job responsibilities 

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    FAQs:

    • What is the purpose of healthcare management?
      • Healthcare management is defined as highly skilled individuals who manage the business, financial, and policy aspects of a healthcare organization. 
    • What is the difference between healthcare management and hospital management?
      • Healthcare managers oversee the business, financial, and operational aspects of a healthcare facility. Hospital managers function in a similar capacity but only in the hospital setting. Healthcare managers are not subjected to a specific institution or location. And, hospital managers are often involved in the day to day operations and engaged with front line healthcare providers while healthcare management is not. 
    • What’s the difference between an MBA in Healthcare Management versus a Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
      • An MBA in Healthcare Administration focuses on general business leadership as well as healthcare administration while a Master's in Healthcare Administration (MHA) focuses on topics specific to healthcare. An MHA focuses on understanding healthcare operations and functioning in a leadership role at an executive level. 
    • Is it better to get an MBA or MHA?
      • Earning an MBA or MHA are both excellent options; however, an MBA has a broader focus in the curriculum. An MBA in Healthcare Administration allows individuals to gain a better understanding of general business and financial practices rather than those specific to healthcare.

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