For numerous reasons, health care has been at the forefront of national, political and economic discussions. Today’s most prominent topics include the cost, accessibility and quality of health care, but it is a challenging and complex task to achieve significant lasting change in the nation’s largest industry — with a market cap of more than $100 billion, according to The New York Times. Patients are increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality in health care services — from poor communication, long wait times and other inefficiencies. The industry is looking to dynamic leaders to help guide change and make improvements. The University of Cincinnati (UC) has recognized the pressing needs of the health care system, and strives to prepare aspiring health care professionals for the logistical and organizational challenges of today and tomorrow.
The University of Cincinnati online MHA curriculum is designed for experienced professionals who aim to hold executive positions in the health care industry. Students enrolled in the online MHA program will begin the process of learning about the business and financial aspects of health care organizations. They will study the importance of ethics in medicine and begin to develop the advanced skills necessary to maintain high-quality health care. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to help students understand how health systems across the world impact one another at the local, state, national and international levels. Throughout the MHA curriculum, students will focus on developing and refining three key skills: analysis, decision-making and leadership.
Key MHA Curriculum-Based Skills
Analysis is a crucial skill for the financial management of a health care organization or facility. Leaders and administrators must be skilled at analyzing financial statements to make informed long-term investment decisions. Analyzing claims data and clinical data is necessary to accurately identify inefficiencies, detect insurance fraud, and create a plan for improvement. In addition, leaders should have a deep understanding of health care product costs and pricing and be able to prepare and present financial models. These key functions of financial management rely on strong analytical skills and are necessary for improving the quality of care.
In health care, business and ethics intersect to impact the lives of patients. In situations where decisions affect the quality and effectiveness of care, leaders must have a firm, personal perspective of ethics in medicine. They must be prepared to make a decision based on evidence, ethics, finance and policy to lead their organization with confidence. Improvements in health care quality hinge on leaders who are unafraid of making difficult decisions that will impact not only health care professionals and patients, but ultimately the future of the industry.
At the executive level, leadership is an essential, time-honed skill. On a daily basis, leaders are responsible for staying aware of changes in health policy, the evolving health care industry and their patients’ needs. Before accepting the responsibility of leading others, however, professionals must first take an honest look within themselves. The University of Cincinnati online MHA curriculum helps students begin the process of identifying their own strengths and developmental needs as evolving leaders and emphasizes the importance of committing to continual professional and personal development.
Online MHA Curriculum: A Closer Look
The University of Cincinnati online MHA curriculum covers health systems management, global health systems, health care finance, evidence-based decision-making, health policy and emerging issues in health systems management. These core and concentration courses help prepare students for a challenging yet rewarding career in health care leadership.
Health Policy: Legal & Ethical Issues.
Students will study how to read statutes, regulations and reports of court decisions and evaluate the implications on health care design and delivery. Upon completion of this course, students should have the analytical skills necessary to identify the significant legal issues influencing health care delivery.
Health Systems Management 1 & 2.
These courses can teach students multiple methods of analyzing health care systems. The study of changes in health care delivery, the history and development of the U.S. health services system, and the shifting marketplace dynamics shaping the industry will give students a more complex and nuanced view of the health care landscape.
Global Health Systems.
Students will explore the cultural factors influencing the structure and function of health care and public health systems, as well as individual health behaviors, choices of interventions and the utilization of services. This course will give students an understanding of the many determinants of health and teach them how to make decisions impacting the finances of health organizations. Students will also learn how global health systems are organized and function in both developing and developed countries.
Health Care Marketplace.
Students will study how to apply standard concepts and methods in economics to decisions made by individuals and firms in health care. The course will also cover three different aspects of marketplace strategic management: strategic planning and management, marketing and governance. The overall course objective is to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the goals of increasing margin and market share in real-world situations.
A key issue in U.S. health care today, improved health quality management is the goal of many changes being proposed at the political and industry levels. Two core courses taught in the University of Cincinnati MHA program will discuss the methods used by health care managers to assess quality in private and public health care organizations, help students understand the drivers of organizational performance and identify best practices for performance excellence in health care organizations.
The UC online MHA interdisciplinary curriculum is focused on leadership in the health care system; however, executive leadership requires a deep knowledge of all aspects of the U.S. health care industry. At UC, students are enrolled in courses covering health finance, quality improvement, health law, health economics and health policy. By challenging students in the classroom, UC aims to prepare the next generation of professionals to lead and manage the issues of today and tomorrow.
The online Master of Health Administration program at the University of Cincinnati strives to prepare students for the process of pursuing careers in health care management. Learn more about UC’s online MHA curriculum offerings here.
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