Health Care MBA Programs
An MBA is a great choice for applicants working in, or hoping to get into the healthcare industry, one of the top growing industries worldwide today. An MBA can help prepare applicants for various roles in the industry, from strategy to marketing, business development and more. An MBA can also be very beneficial for applicants hoping to get into nonprofit organizations or for venture capitalists or investments bankers who intend to focus on healthcare. An MBA will provide applicants with both essential business and leadership skills needed for visible and challenging roles in the industry.
There are a number of MBA programs that are suitable for current or future healthcare professionals, but some of the top ranked ones are:
The HCM program combines a robust health care curriculum and tightly connected student and alumni community with access to all the resources of Wharton and Penn.
The Health Care Management major builds on the established strength of the management core to provide expertise in the unique elements and issues of the health care industry. The manager’s role in health care organizations continues to grow in importance, as the rapidly changing health care industry becomes the nation’s second largest employer. A Wharton health care major is unusually well-qualified to respond to the many critical problems now faced by hospitals, government agencies, group practices, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, insurance and managed care organizations, consulting firms, and financial services firms.
Health Care majors draw on a rich variety of elective courses across the university, including courses in the behavioral and applied social sciences, biomedical sciences, and social policy. They also benefit from an interdisciplinary faculty based in the business, medical, and nursing schools, together with adjunct faculty from area health and science organizations. The program is closely associated with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), founded in 1967 to facilitate the university’s activities and programs of research and education in health services financing and delivery. LDI provides a geographic center and supporting staff, with faculty drawn from schools and departments throughout the university.
The Health Care Management major differs from others at Wharton in that: (1) students must choose the major at the time of application to Wharton, and (2) it integrates academic and professional development, helping students to obtain summer and permanent positions in all parts of the health care sector, including consulting firms, biotechnology, pharmaceutical firms, hospitals, insurers, and government agencies. The department also sponsors a mentor program and links students to the Wharton Health Care Alumni Association.
Yale’s first-rate business curriculum and depth of knowledge in the sector provide a foundation for your aspirations. You’ll also draw on the full power of Yale University and our network of business graduates in the field, as you gain the elevated perspective to see the big picture that enables you to be a leader.
Alongside the integrated core curriculum, in your first year, you will increase your grasp of big ideas and trends in healthcare by participating in the Colloquium on Healthcare Leadership, a series of candid talks with leaders of hospitals, CEOs of medical device and drug companies, policymakers, and other people shaping the field. In addition, you will build your network and benefit from the perspectives and experiences of classmates from all facets of the industry.
In the second year, you deepen your expertise. You take a slate of advanced business and management courses, and a series of deep explorations of topics in healthcare. These courses are taught by experts from the School of Management and other parts of the university, including the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. A capstone course structured around major challenges in healthcare will deepen your learning and link back to the essential business skills taught in the core.
Duke offers a MD/MBA degree program. It provides hands-on training—a characteristic that is truly unique to this type of joint program. Located in Durham with Duke University’s Medical Center and close proximity to Research Triangle Park, you have access to some of the most cutting-edge research and industry knowledge.
Duke’s medical school program requires a research component, which can be fulfilled by engaging in health policy research, outcomes research, or basic science, which allows for greater program customization. The MD/MBA degree program also has a first-of-its-kind MBA-like rotational residency, Duke’s Management and Leadership Pathway. Over 15-18 months, you get rigorous clinical exposure along with mentorship and rotational opportunities in management to develop critical leadership and management skills in all facets of medicine, including care delivery, research, and education. The program was developed to keep MD/MBA graduates within the health care field, and to create future physician-executives. Duke also has the benefit of being located within the Research Triangle Park area, where pharmaceutical companies, insurers, health systems and biotech companies are present.
Fuqua is also a world leader in tailoring business education to the healthcare sector with the Health Sector Management (HSM) program. HSM Students have access to the Health Sector Management research center, with an impressive research staff who often work closely with executives from leading healthcare companies.
Note: MD/MBA students are fully enrolled at both schools and have the same support and resources as any other MD or MBA student.
Anderson MBA program offers a specialization in Healthcare Management. During the first year, students are allowed to create a customized sequence of core courses elected from the mandated MBA curriculum. During the second year, students have the option to pursue tracks and specializations through carefully chosen elective courses.
- Business of Healthcare
- Global Perspective
- Health Care Technology
- Health Law
- Quantitative Analysis for Health Systems
The school also offers the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program, which is especially designed and valuable for organizations to plan for and/or implement shifts in their organizational strategies to confront the new environment for healthcare delivery. That changed environment is characterized by payment reform that incentivizes value, a need to demonstrate positive health outcomes as well as a favorable patient or client experience, and by an increased emphasis on the coordination of care and support across behavioral, medical, dental and social service boundaries. The program will facilitate organizations to engage in planning and efforts to better integrate their service delivery models and to consider partnering with others in the medical ecosystem – so as to adapt to this new environment.
The McCombs School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Concentration. The Healthcare Concentration prepares students for careers in the healthcare, life science, and biotech industries. These industries are dynamic and constantly evolving. Healthcare companies are seeking MBAs who not only have excellent business skills but a solid understanding of the technology and policy aspects affecting their industry, as well as the opportunities and challenges within the industry. Accordingly, the Healthcare Concentration at McCombs gives students the opportunity to combine courses across various schools and disciplines to best prepare for their career of choice. McCombs MBAs will also connect with Austin’s booming Biotech industry through the Austin Technology Incubator, American College of Healthcare Executives, and a variety of on- and off-campus opportunities.
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business created a unique concentration in Health Care Management for students looking to combine their interest in business with their interest in the healthcare field. The concentration complements the Full-Time MBA curriculum with electives both at Ross and at top-rated schools throughout the university, along with healthcare-related activity outside the classroom. This combination gives you the multidisciplinary background to become a true leader in the healthcare industry.
In the concentration, you will take 12 credits of healthcare course work, 3 credits of which must be taken in a U-M school other than Ross. You will complete the concentration within the 57 credits required for your MBA.
You can add the concentration in your first year of enrollment and can complete the MBA program in 2 years.
NYU offers an MD/MBA program. The MD/MBA dual degree represents a partnership between NYU Stern and the NYU School of Medicine. At a time when the benefits of interdisciplinary academic programs are increasingly evident, the MD/MBA program promises to create new ways of approaching the medical and business issues of the 21st century.
An MBA provides essential management education that facilitates physicians’ understanding of the larger impact the business of healthcare has on patient care, as well as how the specific clinical setting in which they work may impact their own patients. An MBA also provides essential skills to physicians contemplating opening a private practice or starting a business. Other career options for MD/MBA students are wide ranging and may include becoming a medical director, a consultant to pharmaceutical companies or a director of a public healthcare agency.
The Healthcare elective program is gained by way of elective courses. Some of the recent offerings include:
- Business of Healthcare
- Contemporary Issues in Biotech
- Innovation & Health Care Information
- International Health Systems
- Investing & Deal Making in Healthcare: Practitioners’ Perspective
- Management of Healthcare Organizations
- Medical Care & the Corporation
- Structure, Organization, and Economics of the Healthcare Industry
BUSINESS OF HEALTHCARE (BHLTH)
Professor Donald P. Conway
This course focuses on the intersection of for-profit business and medicine. As the U.S. population ages, an entirely new demographical stress will be put on our healthcare system. The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion in 2010, nearly 20 percent of our Gross Domestic Product and twice as much per capita on the second placed country – Norway. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the Healthcare Panel added jobs every month of the 2008 financial crisis through today. Growth in healthcare employment is expected to even accelerate over the next three decades. Within this context, new business opportunities will emerge. The demand for healthcare will increase significantly over the next 25 years. New products and innovative delivery systems must be initiated to minimize the pressure on our fragile hospital system. The course will be framed within the context of the U.S. employer-based system. The issue of increased costs must be addressed in developing any solution. The U.S. system will be compared against our single payer and universal coverage systems in terms of costs, quality and health outcomes. The course will focus on real world business opportunities for health care providers, doctors, and hospital systems, products (e.g. pharma, biotech, medical devices) and health care services (health IT). As healthcare is a highly regulated industry worldwide, emphasis will be put on understanding regulation and formal requirements that impact commercial success of an enterprise. Variations in strategies for development and commercialization will be highlighted.
The primary objective will be to understand the business side of health care and be able to answer the following questions:
- At what point (Phase I, II, III, and IV) and what data would you require to invest in a health care product/company?
- What factors would you consider and which variables would have the most impact on your investment decision?
These questions will be analyzed from both a business and also an entrepreneurial point of view. There will be 7–8 guest speakers who have achieved commercial success in the real world: They will draw from their experience to teach what has actually worked in the market. By highlighting the current issues confronting the health care industry it is expected that any student will feel comfortable and confident in any healthcare interview. Overall, this course is intended to prepare managers, investors, and consultants in the healthcare field for success in an important industry that represents an ever increasing part in our GDP.
As a relatively new field of commercial endeavor, biotechnology has had more impact (perhaps with the notable exception of computer hardware and software) on society than any other business enterprise in the past thirty years. The advent of genetic engineering has revolutionized drug discovery and development, adding tens if not hundreds of novel therapies to physicians’ arsenals for treating and preventing disease. In this mini-course, students will gain an appreciation for the biotechnology industry, its premise and continued promise as well as what is required for biotechnology entrepreneurs in the 21st century to attract investment capital. Areas ripe for investment and development will be explored as will lessons that have been learned over the past three decades that have been witness to the creation of thousands of biotechnology companies and the very way that innovation is supported by the pharmaceutical industry and regulated by worldwide governments.
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEMS (INTHS)
Professor Julie E. McCashin
Health systems are an important sector of the economic structure in any country both in terms of percentage of GDP and in workforce productivity. This mini-course will provide students a framework with which to understand the complex health systems found around the globe. The framework includes the financial structure, the service delivery structure, health outputs and the political/social context. The course will examine several countries that contrast the various models and examine issues of particular concern to businesses. After examining other health systems, students should have a new perspective on the US health system. They should be able to assess how the health system in any country will impact an organization’s ability to operate and how to identify market potential.
This interactive mini-course will introduce students to the complexities and inner workings of the healthcare ecosystem. It will provide a practitioner’s point of view on the players, how they interact, and ultimately, how these players partner and transact. Students will be introduced to different sectors within healthcare. The course will describe the path for venture capital and private equity-backed companies from creation to exit. The goals and incentives of various stakeholders (i.e., venture capitalists, private equity and institutional investors, entrepreneurs, management, board members, corporations, etc.) will be discussed. The course will highlight different types of investing and deal making transactions and will introduce “real world” strategies, tactics, and analytical tools which are used as part of these transactions (e.g., mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, LBO, IPO). The impact of regulation and health reform on investing will be discussed. This course is appropriate for students interested in healthcare and investing.
MANAGEMENT OF HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS (MHCO)
Professor Paul B. Gardent
This mini-course is appropriate for students who are interested in careers in health services management or who will be working in companies serving healthcare service organizations including consulting, banking, and medical supply companies. Enrolling students should have some background in the healthcare industry or have taken Structure, Organization & Economics of the Healthcare Industry (SOE). Contact Professor Gardent with questions relating to the course or individual eligibility. The health services industry is a large and dynamic sector of the economy with many unique characteristics. It includes hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics, medical group practices and other organizations providing healthcare services. Successful healthcare leaders must be well grounded in traditional management knowledge and practices, yet at the same time appreciate the unique aspects of the health services industry. Suppliers to the health industry (e.g. consultants, bankers, medical supply companies) must understand the strategic and financial issues facing leaders of healthcare organizations in order to successfully compete in this market. Among these issues are the unique character of organizational relationships, the dynamics of the healthcare workforce, multiple reimbursement arrangements, important supply chain relationships, and distinct regulatory requirements. The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of key leadership and strategic challenges within health services organizations. This course will cover important functions of health services management, including strategy, finance, and operations. It will introduce students to leadership issues in performance improvement, change management, organizational leadership and strategic alliances.
Employer-sponsored healthcare plays a significant role in the US health system. It is a critical factor impacting the competitiveness of companies from the largest corporations to new start-ups. With the passage of the Accountable Care Act (ACA) business leaders are faced with new and important decisions regarding how they approach and finance health benefits for their employees. The challenge is not simply managing the cost of health care but also choosing the best strategy for recruiting and retaining a productive workforce in a competitive labor market. In the new ACA environment this has become a major strategic issue for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Medical Care and the Corporation (MCC) will examine the critical issues facing business leaders today related to health care. It will build an understanding of the structure, economics and dynamics of the employer based healthcare system from the perspective of corporate leaders. Students will learn how the ACA has fundamentally changed the strategic landscape for businesses. Through this course you will understand the alternative approaches being considered by businesses including large corporation, small businesses and start-up companies. Students will learn how consulting firms and health insurance companies are analyzing the current market and advising their corporate clients. Finally, MCC will examine new approaches being offered to businesses to help them cope with these strategic issues. The course features cases and guest speakers who will demonstrate the diversity of ideas for meeting the business challenges created by our new health care environment.
Health care is a major area of interest for business leaders today and in the future. Health care represents the largest sector of the U.S. economy with health care spending now at 16% of the gross domestic product and projected to be at 20% by 2015. Health care organizations, and corporations serving those organizations, are a major business sector offering significant career opportunities in management. Biotech research and development is one of the most dynamic areas of entrepreneurial and small business activity. Health care represents a major focus for investment banking and consulting. Health care benefits and financing are major issues of concern for all U.S. businesses. This course is designed to provide business leaders with a fundamental understanding of the health care industry and critical issues in health care today. It will provide an industry-wide view from the differing perspectives within the health care value chain, including providers, suppliers, payers and consumers. The course will examine the unique market dynamics among these players. It will introduce students to the structure, organization and financing of health care in relationship to business and the economy. This course is appropriate for students who are contemplating careers in companies serving the health care industry such as consulting, private equity or banking, or who have an interest in careers in health care (pharma, medical devices, biotech, or health delivery).
VALUE-BASED HEALTH CARE STRATEGY (VBHCS)
Professor Elizabeth Teisberg
The health services sector is undergoing a major transformation from volume-based strategy to value-based strategy. The transformation requires a journey of organizational, managerial and cultural change beyond innovation within the existing structure. This mini-course considers why and how these large, service delivery organizations are making strategic transformations and at the changes that may unfold in the health sector in the coming decade with value-based strategy and reimbursement. The health sector tends to be lagging in the implementation of most of what you learn in business school, so we will look at the opportunities to apply those ideas and skills as a leader or a consultant. This will be a high growth opportunity in the coming decades. This course has a significant amount of reading because we will use current health sector strategy cases to consider the implementation of Value-based Strategy as proposed by Professors Porter and Teisberg in Redefining Health Care, including six chapters of this book.
Darden’s case method teaching style and general management curriculum equip students to think creatively and strategically about current and emerging issues in the health care industry.
In the First Year, Darden teaches students core managerial concepts in operations, strategy, finance, leadership and ethics. In the Second Year, students are encouraged to explore their own interests, pursuing opportunities that enable them to apply their understanding of business to the changing landscape of the health care industry.
Darden graduates are prepared to lead in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and health services sectors as well as in health-care related pursuits in consulting, banking, venture capital and entrepreneurship.
- Heath Care Management
- Emerging Medical Technologies
During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit. Here are two examples of projects completed by students with an interest in health care:
- Quality Management and Process Improvement in a Healthcare Setting: Emergency Department and Overcrowding – This project focused on the activities of a process improvement team, the core set of process improvement tools used by the team, and how the team functions as part of a holistic quality management philosophy.
- Helping the Elderly: Establishing a Private Medical Practice – This project researched the various business factors involved in establishing a private medical practice.
Selected Seminars Offered Across UVA
- Global Health Law and Policy
- Health Care Marketplace: Competition, Regulation, and Reform
- Germs, Guns, and Lead: Public Health Law and Policy
Health Care Dual Degrees
The University of Virginia has one of the top medical schools and health care systems in the country. Darden has three health care dual degrees:
Led by Professor Craig Garthwaite and Professor David Dranove, Health Enterprise Management is designed for students interested in becoming well-rounded strategic leaders in the healthcare sector.
Health Enterprise Management offers students the flexibility to tailor their curriculum to their career goals. The flexible curriculum allows students to supplement coursework with other academic interests such as finance, marketing, or strategy. Students at all levels of prior health sector experience are welcome.
In addition to providing health management-specific coursework with the Berkeley MBA curriculum, the Haas School and UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health offer a joint MBA/MPH (Masters in Public Health degree). The program leverages California’s cutting-edge managed care, internet, and biotechnology industries as laboratories for education and research. Leading UC Berkeley academic researchers from both the business and public health schools, as well as prominent industry practitioners, teach in the program.
There are a number of courses in health management offered at the Haas School of Business, as well as at the School of Public Health, including Healthcare in the 21st Century, Biotech/Pharma, Health Finance, and many others. Beyond regular coursework, speakers are frequently invited to talk to students.
Careers in Health Management
Students of the MBA/MPH program are recruited by a wide variety of organizations. Graduates of the program typically receive multiple job offers from consulting firms, health insurance plans, managed care organizations, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostic firms.
Students pursue their career interests within the broader health industry by working with account managers from the Haas School’s Career Management Group. These managers develop and manage relationships with the health industry and assist students in preparing for interviews and identifying career opportunities.
The UC BioFellowship program connects talented students at UC Berkeley and UCSF with the venture capital and startup community, placing students in a VC-backed medical company for a summer internship.
Students also have many opportunities to network with industry professionals throughout the course of the program. Students are encouraged to create opportunities via organized networking events, industry panels, career treks and more.
Columbia Business School offers the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program. The HPM program at permits students to tailor their healthcare business education to their specific interests and goals. The healthcare courses, which are all electives and experiential in nature, integrate disciplines such as strategy, management, economics, finance, marketing and operations. Healthcare electives complement Columbia Business School MBA curriculum, made up of functional disciplines within multiple healthcare sectors, and studied on a global basis from the perspective of industry executives and investors. Each part of the curriculum is taught by a combined team of several experienced healthcare executives and esteemed faculty and infuses topics of international significance into the classroom such as:
- The Healthcare Industry in the 21st Century
- Strategy and Competition in Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
- Economics of Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
- Private Health Insurance and Public Policy
- Healthcare Investment and Deal Making
- Forecasting for Drug Development Strategy
- Investing in Medical Technologies