Addressing the Healthcare Demand in Utah With an MBA in Healthcare Administration

Retiring healthcare professionals and a growing population are creating a significant demand in Utah for primary care physicians, nurses and facilities. Utah’s Physician Workforce 2020 that The Utah Medical Education Council published shows that by 2025, 20.9% of physicians plan to reduce their hours and 15% plan to retire. Each year, the state will lose 3% of its doctors and struggle to replace them. The population of Utah should reach 4 million by 2030, and the number of doctors will need to grow by 143.8 per year to match the population growth.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Administration online program from Southern Utah University (SUU) can equip professionals with the necessary skills to facilitate organizational and industrial growth and success. Students will develop leadership skills applicable to a broad range of healthcare settings. This program highlights contemporary thinking about management theories and competencies relevant to today’s complicated healthcare system.

What Does a Healthcare Administrator Do?

Healthcare administrators straddle the line between medicine and business. Healthcare administrators work in doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, hospitals, senior care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and rehabilitation centers. They work behind the scenes to coordinate business activities for the organization. Healthcare administrators manage finances, improve the quality of patient care, recruit and train staff members, observe health care regulations, process claims for insurance companies, look after medical records and organize work schedules.

The Demand for Healthcare Professionals in Utah

Studies show that Utah’s need for primary care physicians (PCPs) will strain the existing workforce. Increased demand for healthcare professionals is due to population growth, aging and the increasing number of insured people. The needed workforce projections through 2030 estimate that Utah will need 1,095 additional primary care physicians to keep up with the growing demand. Many have recommended that legislators in Utah evaluate strategies to boost funding for medical school loan debt relief, primary care Graduate Medical Education (GME) and primary care physician training.

It’s thought that some of the repercussions of workforce shortages may not be as apparent due to healthcare workers switching to a different area of healthcare instead of leaving the field. The aging population of Utah could also affect the type of healthcare that will be in high demand across the state. If many residents choose home healthcare over hospital stays or move into nursing homes, long-term care facilities may see a downturn in demand.

Another factor to consider is the decrease of healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals willingly left their jobs in significant numbers in recent years. According to a 2018 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, 14.2% of licensed nurses in Utah were unemployed despite widespread need. Nationally, a lack of nurse educators and resources is impacting the need for more trained healthcare workers.

How a Degree From Southern Utah University Can Help

SUU’s online MBA in Healthcare Administration program can prepare graduates to meet the local and national demand for healthcare providers and access to care. The program “emphasizes contemporary thinking about management principles and competencies relevant to complex modern healthcare systems,” as noted on the program page, and gives students foundational skills in accounting, finance, policy, law and ethics. In this 100% online program, students will examine the interrelated changes in healthcare administration and health policy, as well as the ways in which leaders challenge and adapt to public policy.

Learn more about Southern Utah University’s online Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration program.

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