Master of Healthcare Administration – New at UNE Online
A Q&A session with Matt Kaszubinski, Program Director for the Graduate Programs in Health Informatics about the brand new, 100% online, Master of Healthcare Administration program at UNE Online.
What is an MHA?
MHA stands for Master of Healthcare Administration. It’s a graduate degree that focuses on such topics as the management of hospitals and other medical organizations, and also the general infrastructure of public health.
People who would be interested in an MHA are people who are interested in building their knowledge and skills within the business side of healthcare.
With this degree, you will be well prepared to manage and operate the daily functions of a large health care facility, or a department within that facility. Think of an MHA as similar to an MBA – but tailored to the unique demands of the healthcare world.
What can you do with a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare is experiencing high demand right now. There is both an immediate need and projected need. Actually, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 10-year career growth estimated to reach 20% by 2026.
MHA degree holders are experiencing national job growth that’s 4x times greater than any occupation.
People who earn their MHA generally hold a leadership role in the healthcare industry. With the majority of successful MHA graduates finding work in the hospital setting, ambulatory care, residential facilities, or government.
Healthcare, being as expansive as it is, spans several workforce sectors with each segment requiring quality leadership to drive positive growth and impact.
Care complexity and health organizational variety provide multiple career pathway options for MHA graduates who can expect to earn a median salary of over $99,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Options also exist for career roles such as clinical director, hospital administrator, health services manager, case manager, long-term care administrator, federal health administrator, and many others.
How is the MHA different from a Master of Business Administration (MBA)?
The Master of Healthcare Administration is a degree similar to an MBA, but geared for the healthcare industry. One is not better than the other – which one you would choose to pursue would depend on your industry and your career goals.
An MBA graduate can go on to do anything within the business sector, even run a hospital or healthcare system. But there are a lot of unique aspects that are only found within healthcare that would be missing from a traditional business degree.
An MHA and an MBA are similar, but there are different aspects to each. The MHA converts some of the classic MBA concepts and adapts them to optimize them for use within the framework of the healthcare industry.
For example, healthcare operations have specific federal funding and regulations, and specific accounting methods that must be used that are unique to the healthcare industry.
Also unique to healthcare are complex relationships between provider and patient, and between patient and insurance provider, and then insurance provider and the healthcare provider. That triangle is a challenge to navigate, and it doesn’t necessarily exist in a traditional business setting.
What kind of people would be interested in earning their MHA?
This MHA program is designed to benefit two diverse groups of people. Like many other MHA programs, UNE’s MHA will give clinical providers the skills to shift to an administrative and/or supervisory role. But we also go one step further.
UNE’s 100% online MHA program is also designed to benefit people working in allied health who are already in an administrative role.
Can you work full time while earning your MHA online?
Yes. The MHA at UNE Online is designed for working professionals in mind. Classes are 100% online and are structured to provide you a convenient, highly flexible way to earn your MHA while continuing to work full time.
You have a vision for strengthening partnerships between UNE and different healthcare groups in the community. Can you talk about that?
It’s one of the things I’m most excited about! As a university with a significant focus on healthcare, UNE has already established partnerships in several sectors of healthcare. With the MHA being a new program, it gives us the opportunity to work with even more companies and develop even more partnerships.
We also have the flexibility to talk to employers and see what they are looking for in an employee – and then design the curriculum around real-time market needs.
Our partners are constantly on that leading edge of technology and healthcare research. We are able to ask them what they are looking for in the perfect hiring candidate and get insight into what skills and knowledge a graduate should be proficient in when they graduate.
Our partners want to get the best and the most current people in, so, as an educational institution, we have designed the program to produce leading-edge graduates. When it works, it’s an effortless transition from one to the other.
What skills can a Master of Healthcare Administration graduate expect to attain during the program?
The MHA program gives students skills in healthcare planning, healthcare management, healthcare policy, and healthcare leadership.
Regarding healthcare planning, graduates will be able to assess healthcare strategic planning problems and develop comprehensive and practical solutions, as well as evaluate strategies for increasing the reliability of healthcare processes, including using technology.
In the realm of healthcare management, students will graduate with a demonstrated mastery of leadership skills and tactics required of healthcare managers and executives in the current healthcare environment, as well as be able to evaluate operational and capital budgets for a health care facility, including sources of capital funding and costs, and create budget action plans informed by those analyses.
Key Skills Gained: Staff management, communication, financial management, patient care, case management
As for healthcare policy, graduates will be proficient in evaluating significant policies that have shaped the American healthcare system, and critically evaluating healthcare interests and goals to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
Key Skills Gained: Quality control, research analysis, organization, policy planning, professional collaboration
Finally, MHA graduates will graduate with skills in healthcare leadership and will be able to demonstrate how to promote quality and a culture of patient safety and demonstrate effective methods for developing and motivating diverse audiences within healthcare settings to improve organizational agility.
Key Skills Gained: Supervisory expertise, quality of care supervision and improvement, communication, strategic decision making, critical problem solving, policy implementation
So, UNE’s MHA program is designed around real-time in-demand skills?
Right. UNE’s MHA adds more value to your education because you’re learning skills that are applicable in real-time – in the real world. It’s a lot of work on our end to build such a dynamic curriculum because we can’t just build a course, run it, and then sit back and hit repeat.
Our courses are continuously evaluated to make sure that they are keeping pace with the latest research and technology so that we stay current. We work with our partners to put the real world right into our MHA courses, so our graduates are set up for success from day one.
Interested in earning your Master of Healthcare Administration? Download our program guide and learn more about this exciting new degree program at UNE Online!
Tags: Master of Healthcare Administration | MHA