A Look at MBA Healthcare Management Jobs

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Healthcare administrators discuss strategy.Healthcare is one of the largest yet fastest-growing sectors in the U.S., with numerous jobs expected to be open for professionals of all educational levels in the years ahead. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 14% increase in healthcare positions from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Graduates of healthcare-focused MBA programs have the necessary credentials to pursue a select range of in-demand professions with relatively high compensation, including hospital administrators and medical practice managers. These MBA healthcare management jobs are expected to proliferate even more quickly than health-related jobs in general.

For example, the BLS foresees an 18% expansion in the employment of medical and health services managers ― professionals who often have a master’s degree ― between 2018 and 2028. MBA graduates are well-equipped for a job market in which
demand for advanced managerial expertise combined with an aging population should create numerous openings for health management careers.

What Kinds of MBA in Healthcare Management Jobs Can Graduates Pursue?

An online MBA with a healthcare focus, like the HCMBA from the George Washington University (GW), provides a balanced combination of a traditional MBA curriculum (i.e., with courses in finance and marketing) and an applied focus on healthcare environments. Accordingly, it opens the doors to senior-level, administrative-focused careers including:

Hospital Administrator or Medical Practice Manager

Hospital administrators oversee all functions of a healthcare facility. They may work in a variety of settings other than hospitals, including rehabilitation clinics and hospice care facilities, in which case their job title may instead be medical practice manager. In any location, however, they will have similar responsibilities:

  • Recruiting and hiring doctors, nurses, and other staff
  • Serving as a liaison between medical personnel and stakeholders like department heads and project managers
  • Communicating with the institution’s board of trustees
  • Setting the hospital’s budget and establishing rates for its services

While it’s possible to attain this healthcare management job with only a bachelor’s degree, the BLS notes that master’s degrees are common and even preferred by some employers. An online MBA provides comprehensive expertise to succeed in this role.

The BLS groups these professions under the medical and health services managers banner. The median pay for this group was over $99,000 in 2018.

Medical Facility CFO

A chief financial officer (CFO) is a senior executive position responsible for overseeing an organization’s financial performance. In a healthcare context, that means monitoring cash flows, analyzing budgets, assessing risks, overseeing accountants, and reporting to the hospital CEO and board of trustees.

CFOs must also navigate the evolving reimbursement models in healthcare. Traditionally, providers have been compensated through fee-for-service arrangements based on volume, but now the industry is slowly shifting to value-based reimbursement that also accounts for quality. CFOs are at the forefront of managing this transition and its implications for their facilities.

CFOs fall under the top executive’s category in the BLS’ classification system, with a median pay of $104,980 in 2018.

Chief Medical Officer and Other Clinician Leadership Roles

A healthcare MBA is a popular option for experienced clinicians seeking to advance into leadership roles. The chief medical officer is one such position, encompassing responsibilities across all aspects of clinical care.

A chief medical officer might oversee:

  • Utilization reviews and determinations
  • Technology implementations
  • Compliance with clinical goals
  • Quality and safety guidelines
  • Staff credentialing

A chief medical officer qualifies as a medical and health services manager in the BLS classification system, meaning very fast employment growth and median annual compensation of more than $99,000.

Informatics/Information Systems Manager

Today’s healthcare environments process large volumes of patient data. Informatics or information systems managers oversee the flow of this digital information and attempt to organize and structure it to improve patient outcomes.

More specifically, someone in this role might oversee electronic health records systems and ensure that they are both efficient and compliant. EHRs are fixtures of modern health IT and may even specialize in specific niches such as orthopedics.

The BLS includes this profession under its computer and information systems managers category. These workers had a median pay of $142,530 in 2018.

How Does an Online MBA Prepare You for Healthcare Management Jobs?

The online GW HCMBA includes a program core in MBA subjects such as public policy, accounting, and operations management, alongside a wide range of healthcare electives and certificate options. You can view the program details here.

HCMBA program graduates have gone on to pursue many professional paths in addition to the ones discussed above. Be sure to check out some of their career outcomes, as well as the main program page, where you can download a copy of our brochure.

Recommended Readings:

How Hospital Management Affects Patient Care
Why Clinical Researchers Are Great Candidates for a Healthcare MBA

Sources:

Computer and information systems managers
Medical and health services managers
Top executives
Healthcare occupations