How Healthcare Management Programs Are Responding to National Healthcare Reform

Learn how healthcare management schools are responding to changes in national policy.

The Impact of Health Care Reform on Education

Blending medicine and business, health care management is an evolving and emerging science that has America’s top universities tailoring business programs to fill an increasing demand for quality health care management professionals.

In 2010, former President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide an additional 32 million Americans with insurance opportunities in the coming years. Health care spending is expected to increase from $2.5 trillion to $4.5 trillion annually.

Innovators in Healthcare Management Needed

It’s true that people spend a lot of money on health care. The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) says that the United States spends about 17 percent of its annual economic output on health care, but with substandard results overall.

America’s top universities view healthcare management as both a challenge and an opportunity to help improve America’s health system. In school, students are encouraged to find solutions to increase the effectiveness of America’s current health care systems.

According to Richard Hamermesh, a professor of management practice at Harvard, “We train them to start innovative companies, design new delivery systems and become entrepreneurs who can think of new ways to impact the system.”

Finding new solutions to increase the effectiveness of health care systems will not only translate into billions of dollars in savings, but most importantly, a higher quality of health care for all Americans.

New Career Opportunities

As a result of healthcare reform, business schools are anticipating a demand for healthcare management professionals with specific skills. For example, one feature of healthcare reform emphasizes the importance of healthcare related information technology (IT) and the need for electronic health records.

“A $30 billion investment will be made in information technology,” says Kevin Schulman a university health care management program director.

“This investment will have a huge impact in the consulting and IT field. The massive acceleration of investment in health IT is causing people to ask whether they have the necessary skills to assume leadership roles.”

As a result, business schools are responding by creating specialized health care management programs with concentrations in areas like information technology to prepare students for emerging career opportunities.

Health service executives, health care administrators and health service managers play a crucial role managing the business side of the health care industry. Even though management professionals work largely behind the scenes, they are devoted to making health services obtainable and accessible to the people they serve.

Source: New York Times