What Is an MBA in Healthcare Administration?

Students who pursue a Master of Business Administration in healthcare administration learn the skills needed to manage and oversee healthcare facilities. MBA programs focused on healthcare administration also cover basic business topics, such as marketing, finance, management, accounting and more.

What Separates an MBA in Healthcare Administration From an MBA?

While general MBA programs teach students to apply business skills to the private business sector, healthcare administration MBAs teach students how to apply business skills to managing hospitals, physician groups and health clinics.

The University of Southern Indiana offers an online MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration that prepares graduates for careers such as healthcare executive, hospital administrator, health services manager or one of many other rewarding and in-demand jobs. Besides the core business curriculum, the 100% online program offers three healthcare-related courses:

  • Risk Management: Healthcare businesses are exposed to risks that are unique to the healthcare industry. USI’s online course helps prepare students to identify and mitigate risks from the perspective of a healthcare organization. These financial liabilities potentially include third-party payer systems, patient safety and systemic risks associated with the U.S. healthcare market.
  • Data Driven Decision Making: Business analytics is a key part of the decision-making process for hospitals, physician groups and clinics. Data-generated insights help healthcare businesses locate areas of inefficiency while improving patient services.
  • Lean Six Sigma: The Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology focuses on statistical tools for improving medical service quality while lowering cost. USI’s online course provides a broad understanding of the concepts, language and methodology associated with LSS principles.

Further skills students can learn through an MBA program in healthcare administration include:

  • Healthcare planning: Similar to strategic planning, healthcare planning involves creating and setting objectives and goals for a medical business or organization.
  • Healthcare systems operations: Operational management within the healthcare industry deals with controlling costs associated with treatment, lowering financial risk and improving efficiency.
  • Health economics: Health economics is a branch of economics that focuses on issues related to health.
  • Ethical decision-making: When deciding on hospital policy and individual decisions that affect patients, healthcare administrators must make sound, ethical decisions that abide by regulations and standards set by the various codes of ethics that are set out by the American Medical Association and other medical groups.
  • Health information systems: Health information systems (HIS) manage healthcare data. These systems are primarily responsible for collecting, storing, managing and transmitting patient electronic medical records.

Unlike medical professionals like doctors and nurses, healthcare administrators are not expected to have firsthand experience delivering medical care. Healthcare administrators do need to understand how medical businesses operate, but advanced business skills are what allow healthcare administrators to effectively manage healthcare clinics and businesses.

The U.S. healthcare sector accounts for 17% of the country’s gross domestic product according to U.S. News & World Report. The number of healthcare administrators in the United States is projected to grow by 20% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are looking to join the growing and rewarding healthcare administration career field, an online MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from USI will provide you with the skills and know-how to manage a healthcare business or physician group.

Learn more about the USI online MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration program.


Study: MBA in Health Care Management Degree Overview

U.S. News & World Report: Top Jobs for MBA Grads in Healthcare

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Management and Health Services Managers

Strata Decision Technology: Strategic Planning in Hospitals

Investopedia: Operation Management in Health Care

Digital Guardian: What Is a Health Information System?

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