What Can I Expect from an Online MBA in Healthcare Management?

Online degree programs are becoming more popular due to the convenience of accommodating attendance options and lower tuition rates. If you’re considering an online MBA in health care management program, it’s important to note the quality of online curriculum meets the same standards as the offerings found on a traditional college or university campus. Before making an enrollment commitment, take the time to compare several schools that offer online programs so you can find the one that best matches your professional goals.

Concentrations Offered for an Online MBA in Healthcare Management

CONCENTRATION DESCRIPTION POTENTIAL CAREERS FOR THIS CONCENTRATION
Global Health Management Students looking for an opportunity to work overseas will benefit from the global health management concentration. This specialty focuses on the issues and systems of health care across the globe. Foreign hospital administrator or international health system administrator
Health Care Quality Teaches students to identify and correct inefficient health care practices and processes, sub-optimal patient care and the tools needed to prevent adverse events. Hospital administrator or director of health care quality in a health care facility
Hospital Administration Prepares students for overall management of large health care facilities, such as full hospitals or health systems. Hospital administrator, health system executive or insurance administrator in a health care facility
Health Sciences Provides an in-depth look at the processes involved in scientific research for the health care industry.. Hospital administrator or laboratory manager at a health care facility or lab
Health Care Finance Examine insurance billing practices and the financial needs of health care facilities and systems. Hospital chief financial officer, billing specialist, health care system financial executive or insurance administrator

Curriculum for an Online MBA in Healthcare Management

Health care is a uniquely varied industry, so it’s no surprise that the curriculum for an MBA in health care management program is equally varied between schools. Depending on your career goals, some programs may offer curriculum that is better suited to the professional path you’ve chosen. Along with subject matter, also pay attention to whether the program you choose requires one or more classes to be completed on-campus, especially if it’s outside of your local area.

As you look at the various courses required for an MBA in health care management, you may notice that some are found in most programs, including:

COURSES DESCRIPTION
Health Administration Teaches students about the day-to-day activities required in today’s health care facilities.
Public Health Law Focuses on the laws surrounding public health and the ethical standards in the health care industry.
Financial Management in Health Care Explores the financial needs of health care institutions with a focus on billing, financial reporting and operating costs.

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

Completion of an online MBA degree in health care management usually takes between 12 and 18 months and requires an average of 45 credits. For this degree, it’s common for programs to be set up with an accelerated option that allows for an increased course load in exchange for a faster completion time. Students who already have heavy personal and work commitments can opt for a lighter, part-time schedule that reduces classes to one or two each semester.

Choosing a self-paced program can also speed up completion time. Self-paced structures offer classes multiple times per year and provides students the freedom to decide for themselves how much time they wish to devote to courses each semester. Choosing a cohort program offers less flexibility in exchange for greater support from professors and classmates. In a cohort structure, start dates are limited to one or two each year and students work through the curriculum together, moving on as a group at the end of each course.

Certifications and Licenses an Online MBA in Healthcare Management Prepares For

CERTIFICATION DESCRIPTION
Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional Obtaining an MBA in health care management may prepare you to take the cHAP certification exam offered through the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals. Passing the test allows professionals to be recognized for exceptional knowledge and skill in health care management.
Certified Revenue Cycle Professional For those who choose a career in health care billing, the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals offers certification for several roles.

Accreditation for Online MBA in Healthcare Management

Finding a program with accreditation from a proper agency is one of the best things you can do to protect your educational interests. Accreditation offers a guarantee that the program you’ve chosen meets the standards set by the accrediting agency. Without accreditation, there’s a chance your credits will not transfer between schools, you may be ineligible for some licensing and certification programs and some employers may not recognize your degree.

When looking for accreditation, remember there are three different accrediting agency types and each offers its own benefits. The national agencies, such as the Department of Education, set general education standards for schools across the country. Regional agencies, like the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, set standards for the educational institutions in their respective area and often ease the transfer of credits between schools with accreditation from the same agency. There are also industry-specific agencies, like the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, that ensure programs meet professional standards.

Employment Outlook for MBA in Healthcare Management Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

Employment outlook for managers of medical and health care services is very good, with a predicted 20 percent increase by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With such rapid growth, there is likely to be a surge in those pursuing this career choice, making the completion of a graduate program a desirable asset in a sea of bachelor’s degrees. For many employers, a master’s degree is required to be considered for a management position. Having an MBA also demonstrates experience in your field, and this experience is often required to be accepted into the MBA program, giving MBA applicants an edge over most competitors.

Expected Salary

The positions available to someone with an MBA in health care management offer lucrative salary opportunities. A graduate degree also gives professionals negotiating power to improve their benefits package, providing the chance to land more vacation hours, higher bonus potential and better work environment options. The chart below shows the salary ranges available for several positions commonly held by those with an MBA in health care management.

Job Title Salary Range
Health Care Manager $38,867-$95,950
Health Care Administrator $39,180-$102,508
Health Information Management Director $43,796-$121,110
Medical and Health Services Manager $41,522-$96,189
Medical Records Administrator $32,685-$73,087

Source: PayScale.com

Eligibility for an online MBA in health care management program often requires evidence of work experience in that field. This additional experience can also have an impact on salary potential. The following chart shows how years of experience increases the average salary associated with each position.

Average Salary vs Experience Level for Healthcare Managers

Source: PayScale.com

Career Opportunities

Those who hold an MBA in health care management have a variety of career fields from which to choose. Completing an online MBA program will aid you in finding and landing your ideal position in the health care industry or can help you move up in your current organization.

JOB TITLE JOB DESCRIPTION MEDIAN SALARY PROJECTED GROWTH RATE
Human Resources Manager Human resources managers are responsible for an organization’s administrative functions. They serve as the go-between for employees and upper management and oversee the hiring and training of staff. $110,120 per year 9%
Administrative Services Manager An administrative services manager focuses on the supportive services in an organization with the responsibility to plan, direct and organize these services. Possible duties include record-keeping and the overall management of office activities. $94,020 per year 10%
Medical and Health Service Managers Also known as health care administrators or health care executives, medical and health service managers are the planners, directors and coordinators of health care services. These positions often head entire health care facilities or medical departments and require knowledge of the latest technology, laws and regulations in health care. $98,350 per year 20%

Professional Organizations

Those who decide to pursue a career in health care management have a variety of professional organizations available to them. These organizations offer their members perks, such as professional networking opportunities, continuing education courses, professional resources and access to industry publications. Here are a few popular professional organizations that might be a good fit for someone with an MBA in health care management.

Health Care Administrators Association: The HCAA was created to provide professional support to all health care administrators and offers a number of member benefits, including access to the program’s HR360 database. This database provides professional tools, an HR and Compliance library and relevant training resources. Members also receive the organization’s publication to keep up with the latest trends and news.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management: Membership with the AAHAM allows professionals in the health care management sector eligibility for professional certifications such as the Executive Certification or the Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist certification. Members can also take advantage of a variety of networking opportunities, receive subscriptions to industry publications and enjoy a members-only discount program.

Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals: The AHCAP is a nonprofit organization that provides members with a variety of educational opportunities and tuition discounts, industry publications, professional networking opportunities and several tools to help professionals advance their careers.

Financing Your Online MBA in Healthcare Management

In many cases, an online program to obtain an MBA degree in health care management is cheaper than enrolling in an on-campus program. It is still possible, however, that you might find yourself in need with financial help to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you’re considering financial aid options, make sure to start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out if you’re eligible for any federally funded loans or grants. If this doesn’t provide the assistance you need, you also have the option of applying for scholarships or private loans. The resources below are a great way to start your financial aid search.

Resources

Scholarships

Scholarships

Details

Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management

Award: $1,000 to $3,000

Deadline: December 7

Eligibility: Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in a health care administration program participating in the ACHE Higher Education Network. Students must either be a member of the ACHE or an ACHE student associate. Students completing a residency or those with more than five years of professional experience in health care are not eligible. Applicants must submit an essay on one of the provided topics.

Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

Award: $5,000

Deadline: March 31

Eligibility: Open to students enrolled full-time in a graduate program to pursue a degree in health care management. Students must be entering their final year, demonstrate financial need and be a U.S. or Canadian citizen. Although not a requirement, preference is given to students who are ABHE student associates.