A Master of Business Administration in healthcare is a degree that allows for many different career paths. The students in these programs can vary nearly as much. Anyone from medical students with a mind for business to medical doctors who have been practicing for years can gain valuable knowledge as they complete a Master’s in healthcare business.
Understandably, some people want to know if the time and commitment are exactly right for them. Is it really going to make that much of a difference? Will it be worth it down the road? Attending a top healthcare MBA program will undoubtedly teach you more than you ever realized was possible about the healthcare industry and almost certainly be financially rewarding. But there are greater benefits to those who understand the program from the outset.
Healthcare MBA… What is covered?
Medical school obviously focuses on teaching students about the physiological and biological aspects of healthcare, but rarely prepares would-be physicians for the business side of operating a medical practice. An MBA gives physicians the tools necessary to more efficiently run the day-to-day decisions having to do with the business and economic side of their practice. It also helps with understanding the minutiae of Medicare, Medicaid and reimbursement practices that arise with most patients and their various insurance plans.
The typical healthcare MBA teaches students the fundamentals of business administration as they relate to the healthcare industry. Along with marketing, management skills and finance, a typical student will learn about care coordination, clinical integration, medical technology evaluation and performance management.
Is it Right for Me?
Many industry experts recommend prospective healthcare MBA students to have at least a few years of medical practice under their belt before starting the program. Once you’ve spent enough time in your chosen medical field, you have a better understanding of the industry from a real world perspective.
Whether you’re dead set on a specific part of the healthcare industry in which you would like to work, or want to leave your options open to different healthcare fields upon graduation, healthcare MBAs allow for much flexibility in a career path.
The Jobs Are Waiting
Recent recessions and economic downturns do not seem to be affecting the healthcare industry as much as most others. Healthcare companies around the country are looking for qualified professionals with healthcare MBAs to run various branches of their business. There is a high demand for healthcare jobs in marketing, finance, IT, and management. All of these fit into the skill set of graduates of a healthcare MBA program.
The industry is growing rapidly, and with this growth comes a plethora of job opportunities for students graduating from top healthcare MBA programs. From high-paying management jobs like hospital administrator or hospital CEO/CFO to financial careers like portfolio management or revenue management analysis, the business of healthcare is ripe with opportunity.
Many young doctors join a practice or start their own before realizing the dynamics of down-the-line upkeep and managerial necessities. With the healthcare market becoming increasingly corporatized, small practice physicians need all the help they can get.
With a healthcare MBA , you receive the business and management skills that allow you to compete in today’s medical field. Many doctors have the skills to get the job done or maintain a successful practice, but an MBA teaches you about the back end of the business, i.e. the healthcare insurance system, hospital billing strategies and what lies ahead in the future of healthcare. It also allows you to deliver care more affordably and efficiently.