How Does a Health Care MBA Differ From a Traditional MBA?

The health care industry is always changing and evolving. It needs innovative leaders to move it forward. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in health care management trains administrators to manage the business of health care. Programs across the United States are building leaders who can think critically and creatively about the health care problems of today and tomorrow.

Health care management programs attract working professionals from across the health care industry. Students come from diverse professional backgrounds like:

  • nursing
  • pharmacy
  • general practice
  • hospital administration

Together, they discuss and evaluate the business of health care management.

How a Health Care MBA Differs From a Traditional MBA

A traditional MBA degree develops key managerial skills needed for supervisory positions. A health care MBA prepares students for leadership roles in the health care industry. Many general MBA programs offer a concentration in health care management. However, they may only devote three or four courses to this arena. General business courses make up most of the study.

In health care MBA programs, up to 70 percent of the coursework focuses on subjects related to the health care industry. This intense concentration on health care-related courses is combined with skills in business administration, including:

  • financial
  • strategic
  • technical

Graduates are uniquely qualified to enter a leadership role in the health care industry.

How a Health Care MBA Differs From Other Health Care Management Degrees

Like a health care MBA, other advanced degrees in health care management focus on health care-specific curriculum. The Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree is one example. However, these degrees do not combine their curriculum with the MBA’s applied management education.

Health care MBA programs pair a heavy health care concentration with the rigorous coursework of general MBA programs. They are accredited by two top accrediting agencies: the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Careers Available With a Health Care MBA

Health care MBA programs are specifically designed to provide well-rounded competencies for leadership positions in the health care industry. Graduates are qualified to enter careers with health care providers like hospitals and ambulatory care services as well as health care payers like health insurance companies. Many graduates work for government health services. The degree is also useful for business professionals who want a career change into health care, including the pharmaceutical sector.

A Closing Thought

The health care industry is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States. Government health care reforms and an aging population ensure its continued growth. Leaders are needed in all sectors of the industry, including administration. There has never been a better time to pursue a health care management degree. An MBA in health care management develops the knowledge and skills that professionals need to lead health care in the 21st century.