The Societal Cost of Obesity

According to researchers at Ball State University in Indiana, obesity is on the rise. Estimates based on their early research show that by 2030, in the absence of any intervening actions, a third of all children between the ages of six and eleven will be considered obese or overweight.

No doubt that is a shocking statistic.

Lead researcher, Dr. Youfa Wang, pointed out that the study did rely on a small sample. Broader research is still necessary to see where current trends are genuinely heading, and if the outlook is as dire as many believe. But he did caution that obesity is an issue that society must deal with:

“It is unlikely that obesity and related health problems in the US will become less serious in the future. We need to continue and enhance our efforts in fighting the obesity epidemic.”

But what exactly is obesity? How is it defined, and is it really at epidemic levels? Or is the reality far less concerning than the research and news are telling us? And what are the actual costs of obesity, if any at all?

Let’s take a look at obesity in the US and see if these questions have any answers.

What is Obesity?

Since it’s not a simple measurement of your exact weight, to understand obesity in the United States, it’s helpful first to define it.

The basic definition of obesity is when an individual’s weight is higher than the commonly accepted norms for their height.

To measure whether or not you are overweight or obese, you must account for your Body Mass Index or BMI.

For adults, BMI consists of a person’s weight divided by their height squared. For example:

Using metric measurements of kilograms (kg) and meters (m):

A weight of 90.7 kg divided by a height of 1.78 m (or 177.8 centimeters) squared equals a BMI of 28.7.

Using pounds (lbs) and inches (in):

A weight of 200 pounds divided by a height of 70 inches (or 5 ft 10 in) squared equals a BMI of 28.7.

Your BMI number is then measured against four categories:

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and above Obese (extreme obesity is over 40.0)

The chart universally applies to all adults, with the numbers measuring the same for all body types regardless of age or sex. To quickly calculate your own BMI, you can use the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) adult BMI calculator.

For children, BMI is calculated using the same formula but is interpreted using the child’s age and sex. Those results are then measured amongst a percentile. This method accounts for the difference in adolescent development for those between the ages of 2 and 19.

To determine a child’s or teenager’s BMI, use the CDC’s child and teen percentile calculator.

The Cost of Obesity

So is obesity’s impact solely on the individual whose BMI lists them as overweight?

The answer is much more complicated, as the whole of society – fit or not – suffer some consequence.

Based on recent statistics, the nation’s overall obesity rate is nearing 40%.

As of September 2018, seven states have an obesity rate that exceeds 35%. Another 22 states have a rate above 30%. In all, 48 states have obesity rates above 25%. The expectations?

Hawaii and Colorado, with rates at 23.8% and 22.6%, respectively.

A more in-depth look into the numbers reveals even more upsetting trends. From the 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES):

  • 2 in 3 adults were considered overweight
  • 1 in 3 adults were deemed to be obese
  • 1 in 13 adults were found as extremely obese
  • 1 in 6 adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered obese

Being obese, however, is more than just numbers and percentages.

Numerous factors may play a role in why someone is or becomes obese. A few of the most common include:

  • Eating habits
  • Sedentary lifestyle (physical inactivity coupled with poor lifestyle – too much screen time or poor sleep habits)
  • Medical conditions or medications
  • Economic or social concerns (lack of education or positive influence on healthy eating habits)
  • Geography (limited access to healthy foods or safe areas in which to be physically active)
  • Heredity (although behavior and environment are shown to play a much more significant role, genetics may dictate where and how much fat you store and how effectively your body burns it)

Regardless of the source of obesity, genuine health and societal risks are associated with carrying too much weight.

The Physical Costs of Obesity

Health risks can occur in any individual, no matter their lifestyle or level of fitness. But for those who are obese, there is a far more heightened risk of experiencing serious health conditions. The list of potential health problems and complications is extensive and includes:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Risk for stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Problems regulating healthy cholesterol levels (high LDL, low HDL, high levels of triglycerides
  • Certain types of cancers including breast, colon, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, liver, ovarian, or pancreatic
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (deterioration of bone and cartilage in joints)
  • Greater risk for mental illness including anxiety, clinical depression, and other psychiatric disorders
  • Reduced quality of life (excessive pain, limited mobility, problems performing everyday tasks, such as standing, walking, or using the restroom)

In practically all instances, obesity also enhances the risk of premature death.

The last point is especially concerning, with research showing that one in five US adults die from obesity. According to Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researcher Ryan Masters, Ph.D.:

“Obesity has dramatically worse health consequences than some recent reports have led us to believe. We expect that obesity will be responsible for an increasing share of deaths in the United States and perhaps even lead to declines in US life expectancy.”

Healthcare Costs

Obesity, however, is not isolated to its impact on the health concerns of an individual. Increasingly, as obesity rates continue to climb, so do its economic consequences.

As we mentioned earlier, obesity impacts everyone, even those who are not obese.

Based on several estimates, the US has spent anywhere from $150 billion to upwards of $190 billion each year on obesity-related costs. Some put that range even higher. This includes diagnosis and treatment, as well as prevention-related costs.

By 2030 – a little over a decade away – those numbers could increase by as much as $66 billion a year.

Those figures, though, only take into account direct costs. They do not account for lost work (either in lost employee wages or lost employer productivity), insurance costs, or lower overall wages. According to some of the most prevalent reports, these secondary financial consequences are an even larger burden that the direct medical costs of obesity.

At its most extreme, obesity may prove to be one of humankind’s worst maladies. Taken from research firm McKinsey & Company, obesity’s impact on global GDP – at $2.1 trillion – ranks just behind that of smoking and the combined classification of armed violence, war, and terrorism – both with a $2.1 trillion global GDP impact.

In other words, obesity is one of the top three social burdens created by humans.

Is There Any Hope?

The prognosis may be grim, but there is some optimism with regards to combating and reducing obesity.  From the 2018 report, The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America:

  • Obesity rates for children dropped across most states between 2010 and 2014.
  • A 2018 study found that states which promoted CDC-funded nutrition and physical activity programs, the chance for obesity in adults dropped by almost 4%.
  • And according to Healthy Community Studies, children who lived in areas that made healthy eating and physical activity priorities had lower BMIs than those who lived elsewhere.

To reinforce the fact that an individual’s environment and promotion of healthy habits truly do matter the authors of the state of obesity report recommended that by –

  • Promoting and scaling of health-related programs across schools, local business, and health departments;
  • Making healthy activities, including eating and activity easier to access;
  • And investing in programs that reach those that may be at a social or economic advantage.

– the opportunity is present to reduce and prevent obesity.

As the CEO of Trust for America’s Health, John Auerbach agrees with the recommendations. He states:

“Obesity is a complex and often intractable problem, and America’s obesity epidemic continues to have serious health and cost consequences for individuals, their families, and our nation. The good news is that there is growing evidence that certain prevention programs can reverse these trends. But we won’t see meaningful declines in state and national obesity rates until they are implemented throughout the nation and receive sustained support.”

Ultimately, there is still a lot of work that must be done to reverse the growing trend of obesity in both children and adults. However, through the right mix of education, prevention, and investment, obesity can be overcome, and its prevalence in the US turned from the norm into the exception.

25 Reasons Why You Should Get Your MBA In Healthcare

The future of healthcare is very promising, as it is expected to be one of the biggest industries in the future. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, every individual in the country will be seeking health care in some form or another. Here are some very valid reasons why you should seriously consider getting a Healthcare MBA:

  1. Advance Your Career: If you are already a healthcare employee with a background in science, medicine, engineering or IT, you may be expected to step up into a managerial role. An MBA grooms you for upper management.
  2. A Booming Industry: The field of medical and health service management is expected to grow by 23% between the years of 2012 and 2022.
  3. An Excellent Career Path: The healthcare field has some of the hottest careers in the world today. The field is wide open.
  4. Demand Higher Pay: Holders of MBAs usually are able to demand a higher salary than those who do not.
  5. Enhance Your Skills: The skills you learn with an MBA are highly transferable from one field to the next.
  6.  Learn the Art of Networking: Networking is a valuable skill that will allow you to build strong relationships with local business and community leaders.
  7. Switch Your Career: Become an effective manager and learn a whole new set of opportunities and find an entirely new career path because of it.
  8. Start Your Own Business: Venture off and start your own business. You’ll have the skills and knowledge to turn your own dreams into a reality.
  9. Work Internationally: Work in the international field as well as locally. Some companies place so much value of the quality of your MBA that they may even pay your relocation fees.
  10. Become a Senior Manager in Your Company: Your MBA is a first step towards a career in upper management.
  11. Become a Leader: On your way to becoming a senior manager you can start by becoming a leader in the areas where you are already working.
  12. Gain Allies in Your Company: Develop and enhance your interpersonal skills that will help you to forge positive relationships with powerful people in your industry.
  13. Have a Great Lifestyle: With a higher salary, connections in place, and a new career on the horizon you can begin to enjoy the life that you worked so hard to attain.
  14. Move to a More Stable Company: If the company you’re working for is on shaky ground you are now in a position to move to a better and more stable company.
  15. Survive Corporate Layoffs: Often when a company is struggling financially lower level employees are the first to be cut. With Your MBA you no longer have to worry too much about layoffs.
  16. Get Recognized Globally: Because an MBA is recognized the world over your degree will be a door to unlimited opportunities.
  17. Develop Many Useful Skills: The courses you complete with your MBA give you a strong background in all areas of business regardless of your specialty.
  18. Get a Job in the Government: You MBA can open up a career in government or in the public sector.
  19. Work in a Charitable Organization: If your goal is not to make a profit you can work as a manager in a charitable organization.
  20. Work in Research and Development: with a background in healthcare management you can enter the specialized field of research and development.
  21. Become a Health Information Manager: you’ll know how to manage sensitive data and control the information flow of your organization.
  22. Become a Consultant: work with client companies to do organizational studies and evaluations.
  23. Work as a Hospital CEO: as the head of the hospital you can take charge of directing, planning, and organizations of all sections of your company.
  24. Hospital CFO: make your business the most cost efficient organization possible. You’ll be responsible for managing all the financial aspects of your company.
  25. Pharmaceutical Project Manager: Use your marketing and health background to analyze investments, review market data, and develop promotional plans for drugs.

Whether you are already employed in the healthcare industry or you’ve set that as your goal getting your MBA in this industry is a sure way for you to get the skills you need to further your career.

How Cloud Technology Is Changing Healthcare

Innovations in technology are changing the world, and nowhere is this more the case than in health care. Digital advances now make it possible for us to use portable electronic devices to access our medical data, to watch our blood pressure and heart rate, take medical tests in the home and to do many types of medical related checks.

In some areas of the country it is possible also to download directly your laboratory reports and medical records. This was unthinkable in the past. And anyone with the money can have your genome scanned or sequenced. It also is possible to do basic DNA testing with kits that are available on the Internet.

Here are some other ways that technology is transforming healthcare:

  • Managing data to provide better treatment – IBM researchers have created a supercomputer that can help doctors to provide better diagnoses and recommend better treatments. Doctors may be able to rely on this computer and ones like it to better track patient history, stay current on research and analyze superior treatments.

  • Allow doctors to communicate with their patients better – There are now apps and software available that allow doctors to speak into the computer or smartphone and to translate that message into another language. This could be very useful in the US, as there are 45 million residents who do not speak English well. This could help doctors to ask important medical related info to patients.

  • Keep patients healthier – There are now many more mobile apps that help patients to stay more active, sleep better, and eat a better balanced diet. One of those is Fitbit, which is a pedometer that tracks sleep and daily activity. It also uses social networks and games to keep you motivated.

Clearly, technology is transforming healthcare and is being used to help us to live better lives. Future innovations in health care technology are on the way as well, and they will help us to live longer and better.


#1 Best Piece Of Advice For MBA’s: Get Experience

Among all of the advice out there for MBA students, by far, the most important tip is to gain real life experience. Performing well on exams, making good grades through projects and lectures are all important aspects of working toward a successful future in your trade of choice, but without experience to back up that theoretical knowledge you may fall flat when it comes to doing the real thing, and employers know this. They know this through their own experiences, because hiring a graduate out of professional school can be a great way to get fresh talent into a business, but if that graduate has never done anything outside of a textbook there are going to be some serious issues.

Obtaining An MBA

Having a post-secondary education, specifically a graduate level education puts you into an entirely different category from other candidates for a few reasons. One of these reasons is that management can see that you’ve been trained in common business practices, and that you have the professional training necessary to think critically and creatively in a number of given situations. It also means that you’re committed to the idea of your field of focus, and that you’re willing to work hard and make sacrifices in order to make it in your industry. Outside of these things, however, grades and a degree don’t stand for much, because once you’re sitting behind a desk, working on a production floor, or making a difficult decision with top level employees that could affect an entire company and all of the people in it, it is the experiences within the industry that will make or break you.

Experience As An Asset

Experience is important for employers, not only because they want you to be successful in what you do, which in turn will make them successful in what they do, but because hiring staff that are already experienced at some level in what they’ve been hired for means less training for new hires. It also means that employees can jump right into the difficult tasks, rather than tiptoeing around the business handling small, easy issues that any new hire could accomplish. For this reason, having not only the much coveted above-mentioned university education, but also the experience to back it up will make your resume a much more competitive addition to a job application. In fact, statistics have shown that employers are more likely to look at past jobs before they’ll even look at the education section of your resume, if they bother looking there at all. In many cases, the education factor only plays a part in an employer determining if you’re qualified for a role, because certain positions require certification, licensure, or particular levels of degrees and diplomas.

How To Make The Most Out Of Your MBA Experience

In order to get the most out of your time in a university you should take advantage of any scheduling opportunities that arise and try to squeeze in as much work within your chosen industry as possible. This means that if you’re looking to be a CFO then you should be working within a business setting, possibly in some kind of financial situation like an insurance form, investment firm, or a bank. For an RN working toward an MBA in healthcare with the hopes of becoming a nursing manager, keeping up as many hours at the hospital, nursing home, or private clinic as possible will pay off in the end. Many colleges and universities are offering MBA programs as a part-time course, specifically because there are so many applicants who are required to work during their time at school, or who have families at home that they need to support and spend time with. Not only are some MBA courses offered as a part-time experience, but some are also almost entirely online, so that up to 80% of the work can be done from the comfort of your own home when you have the time to do so.

Working Against Yourself

Having a good education will never be faulted as a negative aspect, especially in business, but when it comes to working full-time on an MBA when you could be working as well, graduating with no formal work experience in your field could prove to be problematic. While many graduate business degree programs provide work terms, practicum experiences and other job placement opportunities, a few months in the field near the end of your degree isn’t likely to stand as enough time to qualify you for a higher up position. Even having multiple degrees or obtaining a Ph.D. in your field can work against you if you’re not also gaining work experience. In today’s volatile business world, having a strategy that includes both working and studying while in school is essential to a successful career. It will also accelerate your career path once you’ve been hired, because it’s much easier to promote somebody who has lots of experience in their field, than to promote somebody who only understands business based on the words of a book.

Although experience doesn’t always necessarily have to be in the exact profession you’re aiming on becoming involved in, it certainly pays off if it’s at least within the same industry. Having experience in construction may not get you far in a restaurant or hospital setting, but working in a financial role could give you the experience necessary to enter the field of management consulting. There are hundreds of positions that can be obtained with the right kind of education and experience, and fortunately as mentioned above, many MBA programs offer some form of work term in which small amounts of this job experience can be gained; this gives students the courage necessary to get out and find a career in what they’re passionate about, and have some idea of what it is that they’ll be doing. Even if you’re going to be entering a position where most of the tasks will be new to you, having some experience in business and the field related to your dream job will make you much more employable in the eyes of management.



10 Places You Can Expect To Work With A Healthcare Administration Degree

If you are considering a career in healthcare, you will probably think about nurses or doctors. However, there are hundreds of other careers in healthcare you could consider as well. They range from those who administer any healing and treatment, to those who administer a healthcare organization itself. They supervise and plan all the services that nurses, technicians, physicians and other healthcare staff offer. Their expertise is needed in all areas of healthcare, from the smallest clinic to the largest hospital.

Healthcare Administration Degrees

Very often, someone who wants to work in this field starts by obtaining a bachelor’s degree. They then get employed while at the same time studying towards a more advanced master’s degree, usually in management. By the time they complete this, they can be in charge of an entire department.

Today, some 100,000 people are employed in healthcare administration in the country. The profession is constantly evolving and growing as the health needs of the population are changing too.

Places You Can Expect to Work with a Healthcare Administration Degree

If you decide to work in the healthcare administration field, you have the opportunity to make an important contribution to the overall health of the population. There are some very diverse options out there in terms of where you could work. This could be in anything from direct healthcare providers to those who manufacture supplies for the industry, for instance.

There are various specialized areas you could choose from as well. These include government relations, finance, information systems, human resources, medical staff relations and more. You can work at the local level, state level or even federal level. Alternatively, you can choose to work for a private organization or for a charity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, there are nine specific segments within the healthcare industry that you can work in.

1. Hospitals

Hospitals offer everything from surgery to diagnostics services. Others have specializations, such as mental health, oncology or pediatrics. Whatever a hospital does, it always requires efficiency and high quality care. This is what healthcare administration graduates can offer.

2. Nursing Facilities and Residential Care

Convalescent facilities, such as nursing homes, are open around the clock. They mainly offer services to the elderly and people with disabilities. Again, some facilities specialize in a certain area, such as halfway houses or rehabilitation centers. Healthcare administration graduates are needed to run all of these facilities properly.

3. Physicians’ Offices

Physicians can choose to work on their own, within a practice group or for a hospital, or all of the above. Around 33% of all healthcare businesses are actually related to physicians’ offices. They need administrators to deal with their expenses, monitor overhead expenses and more.

4. Dentists’ Offices

A dentist’s office is very similar to a physician’s office. They can work in similar different settings and they require the same administrative services. Around 20% of all healthcare businesses are dentists’ offices and it is expected that there will be a big boom in this industry as well.

5. Home Healthcare Services

Home healthcare services are offered to those who do not need round the clock attention but rather require someone to help them in their homes at different periods of time. Health practitioners, such as nurses, are sent to a patient’s home as and when needed. This service is constantly being improved and actually represents that area of healthcare that is seeing the quickest growth. This is also due to the fact that hospitals want to cut costs and offer more outpatient treatment.

6. Other Health Practitioner Offices

This includes offices, such as optometrists, chiropractors, occupational health, podiatrists, physical therapists, audiologists, psychologists, dietitians, speech and language pathologists, and more. Alternative medicine practitioners like homeopaths, acupuncturists, naturopaths and hypnotherapists are also involved in this part of healthcare. These often ally with other practitioners.

7. Outpatient Care Centers

These types of centers include outpatient mental health centers, kidney dialysis centers, substance abuse centers, medical centers for health maintenance, freestanding emergency centers and so on.

8. Other Ambulatory Healthcare Services

This is a very vital part of the overall healthcare machine, even though it is very small. It includes such things as blood banks, organ donation centers, ambulance services, smoking cessation programs, pacemaker monitoring services, and so on.

10. Diagnostic and Medical Laboratories

These are the labs that provide diagnostic and analytic services to patients after prescription by their physician or by other medical professionals. They perform blood analysis, clinical tests, X-rays and more. This is the smallest part of the full healthcare industry, with the smallest number of jobs, but it is a vital one.



11 Ways to Gain Respect as a Leader in Healthcare Management

One issue that all leaders face, regardless of the industry in which they are employed, is gaining respect. There are many different facets involved in this, some of which are particular to the healthcare industry, and others that are particular to all leaders and managers. Let’s take a look, therefore, at 11 ways to gain respect as a leader in healthcare management.

1. Give due respect to your staff.

Respect is a two-way street and if you don’t show respect to the people you are supposed to lead, they will not return it to you either. Show your staff how their work is appreciated and has made a positive difference. By giving them that recognition and by showing them that you are paying attention, you will immediately earn not just their respect, but their trust as well.

2. Have a thorough understanding of patients’ rights.

As a leader in healthcare manager, what lies at the heart of your organization is a desire to bring about positive outcomes for patients. Only by understanding that and living the vision of always being a patient rights advocate will you also earn the respect of those you are leading.

3. Develop your skills as an excellent negotiator.

As a leader, you will be approached by members of staff who have issues with each other, and both will expect you to be on their side. This is impossible, so you need to build a name for yourself as being firm but fair and you must be able to negotiate properly.

4. You must value cultural differences.

This is something that is seen across all industries, but perhaps even more so in the healthcare industry. This is due to the fact that both the workforce and the people you serve come from diverse backgrounds. Hence, showing respect for and understanding other people’s beliefs, values and morals is hugely important to build respect.

5. Have the necessary core competencies to be a healthcare management leader.

Although it is not a legal requirement, it will certainly make you look better and more competent if you hold a master’s degree in healthcare management and administration. Holding an MBA with a healthcare specialization, for instance, will show that you are someone who knows what you are doing.

6. Be committed to your professional development.

Take part in new training courses as and when necessary, thereby keeping your knowledge up-to-date.

7. Be committed to the professional development of your members of staff.

If you take part in training courses, as you should, then others should be able to do so as well. You need to help them identify training that could benefit them and ensure they have the opportunity to take part in them.

8. Evaluate different management techniques.

Generally speaking, having an open door policy is the best policy, but you need to make sure that you actually live by those values as well. Do also try a variety of other management techniques so that you know you are actually giving your staff the opportunity to respect you.

9. Understand the particular challenges of being a healthcare leader.

These challenges include managed care, new technologies, increased regulatory compliance, globalization, telemedicine, specialty health systems, outsourcing, virtual patients, forming partnerships, cross training and competition. Be aware of each of these challenges and who addresses what. As a leader in healthcare manager, you need to be the generalist who knows and understands everything, as hard as that may seem.

10. Define teamwork competencies.

The healthcare sector is a very particular field and it is important to understand the intricacies of relationships in order to be able to set up proper teamwork. A surgeon needs to be able to work as well with an orderly as with a nurse anesthetist, for instance.

11. Be able to spot bad behavior and address it.

In the field of healthcare, there is still a lot of hierarchy and this can be very detrimental to working relationships. For instance, physicians may be very dismissive of nursing staff. If you spot this, you need to challenge and address it, rather than upholding the status quo.



15 Tips for Aspiring Healthcare MBA Entrepreneurs

If you want to become a healthcare MBA entrepreneur, you need to prepare yourself properly. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that there will likely be a 22% increase in demand for healthcare professionals overall between now and 2020, and that demand in the field of healthcare administration is set to be even higher, competition for jobs is very high as well. This means that you need to set yourself apart from the word go, showing your potential employers that you really are the best in the field. The 15 tips for aspiring healthcare MBA entrepreneurs below may be of benefit to you.

1. Choose the right bachelor’s degree.

An MBA is generally speaking a business degree, looking at finance and human resource management. Hence, many people who achieve their MBA have a bachelor’s degree in a similar field, like sociology, economics or management. However, if you already know that you want to apply your business skills in the field of healthcare, you may want to choose a different type of bachelor’s degree. Nursing or public health, for instance, are all really good degree options.

2. Choose the right work experience.

After you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you are ready to enter the workforce. Choose a job in which you have the opportunity to grow. Additionally, you may want to choose an employer that would be willing to put you through your master’s degree later.

3. Get your master’s degree.

In order to work at the MBA level, for instance, as a hospital administrator, you are not obliged by law to have a master’s degree, but it will certainly be advantageous.

4. Choose the right type of school.

To obtain your master’s degree, you can either choose classroom education, online education or a hybrid format. Generally speaking, classes in classrooms are held during evenings and weekends, as schools are aware of the fact that most students will already be employed. Online options are becoming increasingly popular, but you do have to be realistic about your workload.

5. Choose the right school.

Different schools have different reputations and have a curriculum that emphasizes different aspects. Choose one that meets not just your personal requirements but also matches the requirements of your potential employers.

6. Write a great essay.

Most universities can only accept 22% of applicants to their MBA programs and one very important element in their decision making on whether or not to accept you is your essay. There are lots of tips available online to help you out.

7. Visit the school’s campus.

Do this, particularly, if it is in your geographical area. Although this is not a requirement, it will show the school that you care, making it more likely for them to accept you.

8. Focus on your GPA and GMAT.

Almost all universities will want to see evidence of your GPA and GMAT, and requirements are becoming increasingly more stringent. Hence, the minute you complete your bachelor’s degree, you need to be committed to your further professional education, working hard on keeping your grades up at all times.

9. Get strong letters of recommendation.

Most schools will ask for at least two letters of recommendation from professional sources. You may be able to get a lot more references, so you need to make sure that you provide the strongest ones.

10. Graduate with the best grades possible.

If your school offers a capstone project or an internship, do them both if you can. Take as many elective classes as you can manage. But be realistic! There are only so many hours in every day.

11. Start looking at promotions and other opportunities within your place of employment.

If your employer paid for your course, they are see you as an investment and want to see you grow. If you funded your training yourself, you may want to start looking elsewhere.

12. Accept any projects you can get your hands on.

You might be looking forward to working as a full hospital administrator, but it is unlikely that you will immediately get into that position. You need to work at building up experience. Hence, if there are any short projects you can manage, take them.

13. Network as much as you can with other people in the industry.

14. Attend conferences, training sessions, seminars and symposiums whenever possible.

This is an opportunity to network, learn and sell yourself.

15. Never stop learning.

The field of healthcare is changing on a daily basis and you need to make sure you are able to keep up with those changes. A commitment to personal and professional education is expected of you.



Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Healthcare Manager

Healthcare managers are very important people within the healthcare industry. Their role is to look at all the business aspects of a health care organization, including operations and finances. Their responsibility is to make sure that the quality of care received by patients is very high, whether it is delivered by a nurse or a physician. At the same time, they have to ensure that they have sufficient resources available to create this culture of quality care and that these resources are used in a cost-effective manner.

In effect, they are the backbone of the health care industry. They don’t have any direct contact with patients at all, but a hospital can’t run properly without them. They have highly administrative tasks that they complete behind the scenes.

An Overview of the Healthcare Manager Career

Regardless of where in the country and for which healthcare organization you end up working, you will always encounter similar responsibilities. You will oversee the facility operations, including personnel, finances and information technology. Additionally, your role will be to improve patient care and efficiency, while at the same time reducing operational costs. The American College of Healthcare Executives has stated that healthcare managers need to partner with nurses and physicians in order to increase care quality. Additionally, they have to ensure that the operations and finances of the organizations are in order. They also deal with the various personnel issues and they work with community members to teach them about various health issues.

The exact responsibilities vary depending on where you live and who you work for. A main contributing factor to this is also your level of education. A healthcare manager will, as a minimum, hold a bachelor’s degree. However, in order to enjoy greater salaries and other benefits, as well as having higher positions, it is recommended to have a master’s degree as a minimum. The best degree to have for this is the MBA with healthcare administration. However, even with all these qualifications, there are best and worst states to be a healthcare manager.

Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Healthcare Manager by Salary

The top 10 best places, based on hourly wage, for healthcare managers are:

1. California, at least $70.01 per hour
2. Connecticut, at least $70.01 per hour
3. Florida, at least $70.01 per hour
4. Massachusetts, at least $70.01 per hour
5. New Jersey, at least $70.01 per hour
6. New York, at least $70.01 per hour
7. Rhode Island, at least $70.01 per hour
8. Washington, at least $70.01 per hour
9. Oregon, $68.34 per hour
10. Vermont, $66.91 per hour

By contrast, the 10 worst states are:

1. Idaho, $43.47 per hour
2. Louisiana, $44.05 per hour
3. Iowa, $44.50 per hour
4. Kansas, $45.95 per hour
5. Arkansas, $46.26 per hour
6. Oklahoma, $47.64 per hour
7. Montana, $47.80 per hour
8. Mississippi, $48.21 per hour
9. Ohio, $49.84 per hour
10. Wyoming, $49.93 per hour

It is important to remember, however, that these are the average wages for these states. Generally speaking, the more rural areas provide less wages per hour. Private practices and the pharmaceutical industry tend to also be higher payers, whereas community health foundations pay less.

Top 10 Best and Worst States to Be a Healthcare Manager by Vacancy Rates

It should be noted that salary isn’t everything. In many cases, places with higher salaries are also more popular, making competition quite fierce. However, with many states, high salaries still also equate in high vacancy rates. At the same time, however, it is important to remember that competition for jobs is very fierce, and you will have far more chance of getting such a position if you have a higher level of education and experience.

The top 10 best states in terms of healthcare manager job openings are:

1. California – 700 open jobs
2. New York – 700 open jobs
3. Florida – 430 open jobs
4. Ohio – 370 open jobs
5. Pennsylvania – 350 open jobs
6. North Carolina – 340 open jobs
7. Georgia – 330 open jobs
8. Illinois – 300 open jobs
9. Arizona – 280 open jobs
10. Indiana – 280 open jobs

The top 10 worst states in terms of healthcare manager job openings are:

1. Vermont – 20 open jobs
2. New Mexico – 20 open jobs
3. Alaska – 20 open jobs
4. Wyoming – 30 open jobs
5. South Dakota – 30 open jobs
6. North Dakota – 30 open jobs
7. Montana – 30 open jobs
8. Hawaii – 30 open jobs
9. Rhode Island – 40 open jobs
10. Delaware – 210 open jobs



6 Steps to a Winning Healthcare MBA Resume

As an MBA healthcare graduate, your most important selling tool is your resume. Obtaining an MBA is all about advancing your career, which is why you invested in that degree in the first place. If you are getting to the point where you can see the end of your degree approaching, you need to start hunting for a job. This means that you have to have the winning healthcare MBA resume ready. Hopefully, the following six steps will help you to achieve that.

1. Use the STAR Format

STAR stands for Situations, Tasks, Actions and Results. The STAR format is the best format out there. This format is particularly good for business graduates but only if it is used properly. You need to make sure that you condense all the information, as a resume should never be too long. Make sure, however, that you know the more detailed information when you get to the interview.

2. Keep It Short

A resume should always just be one page in length. The average age of an MBA graduate is 28, most of whom have between four and six years of relevant work experience. More space is not necessary to provide key information. If you are older, you may want to include slightly more, but it is important to make sure that your resume provides an overview at a glance. Additionally, you need to make sure that each resume you send out is unique. The way you describe your previous positions should be relevant to the job you are applying for, which means personalizing each description every time.

3. Forget About the Objective

You don’t really need an objective on a healthcare MBA resume. It is clear to anybody what your objective is if you have just gone through the time and financial investment of obtaining an MBA degree in the first place. Additionally, most people tend to put their objective on the top of the resume, which, together with the left-hand side, is the most important visual part of the resume itself. That is space you don’t want to waste on obvious things. Rather, you want those areas to show something that will really wow your potential employer.

4. Put Your Educational Information in the Right Place

Your educational information does not have a set space on your CV. If, for instance, you graduated from a highly ranked university, or you have incredibly good grades, then your educational background should be at the top of your CV. For instance, an MBA from Columbia University is one of the best in the country and if you are a graduate from Columbia, you should tell a potential employer straightaway and make sure that this is featured very prominently. If, on the other hand, you weren’t among the top of your class, or you went to an obscure school with little to no reputation, then put your educational information more towards the end of your CV. You can still be proud of your MBA, of course, but your work experience and other achievements are likely to be be far more important.

5. Pay Attention to Details

Pay attention to details, particularly in terms of what the employer wants. If they ask for a resume in Word format, for instance, don’t send them a PDF file. You need to make sure that they immediately start to like you, which means working together with them at every possible point. Being able to understand instructions is a major selling point. This also allows you to create a more personal mark. For instance, your resume and cover letter could be accompanied with a handwritten note. If you have been invited for an interview, sending an email afterwards to thank the manager for the opportunity will also show them that you are truly interested. Be careful, however, not to appear as if you are begging for a job. Sending an email shows not just that you care, but also that you have taken the time to research the company and the people who work there.

6. Never Lie

They say that everybody tells lies on their resume. Even if that were true, set yourself apart by not following suit. You must tell the truth on your resume, or you will be interviewed for something that isn’t you. Not just that, someone will discover the truth at some point.

Hopefully, these hints and tips will have helped you to write a winning healthcare MBA resume. Remember that there are always ways to make your resume more interesting if it is looking a little bit bare. You can include such things as voluntary positions you have taken part in, for instance. Take your time in writing your resume and check it for errors before sending it off.



Why Pursue Online MBA with a Healthcare Focus/Concentration?

The MBA was traditionally a degree program for those with background knowledge in finance and administration and are used to the business world. However, it has changed significantly and now offers specializations above and beyond that, including for healthcare administration and management. Simply put, someone with an MBA with a healthcare focus/concentration is able to work in the full breadth of the health-related industry.

The goal of these programs is to ensure that healthcare management knowledge and skills are obtained by highly educated individuals. Students are trained in various areas, such as financing, risk management and creating an environment that is beneficial for both the organization and the patients. Both equipment and the workforce have to be managed properly within a healthcare organization, and this has to be done in stressful, ad hoc situations. As such, proper management can ensure the facility has a good reputation, and that patients experience good health care. So why should you pursue an online MBA with a healthcare focus/concentration?

Why Online?

Looking first at why you should study online, the benefits are very clear. It allows you to work and study at the same time, completing your degree at a time when it is convenient for you. Secondly, it gives you a far greater choice in terms of programs and universities, since you are no longer bound by geographical constraints. However, you do have to understand that an online degree is a lot of hard work, even if it is done online, and you must be fully committed to completing your program.

There Is a Huge Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 100,000 people currently work in healthcare management. Additionally, 20% of all new jobs over the next 7 years will be in the field of healthcare. A large proportion of these people will be employed in healthcare management and administration.

It’s Great for Those in Mid-Career

Healthcare management sees its strength in the variety of career backgrounds of its staff. Some come directly from clinical healthcare, such as nurses, while others have bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields. Some are physicians, others are financial managers and so on. This means there is a huge variety of background knowledge that, when mixed up, creates a truly knowledgeable workforce.

Indeed, even those who do not have a background in medicine are interested in healthcare management. However, those who want to take on executive healthcare management positions do generally have to have a number of years experience in a related field, usually between three and five years. This is, once again, why studying online is such a good option. It allows people to change their career by moving into a healthcare-related field and then start studying towards and executive degree. Or, those who have obtained an MBA with a healthcare focus can choose to study towards a certificate at a later stage that gives them the executive knowledge they need to further advance their careers.

It’s a Rewarding and Satisfying Career

The salary for someone with an MBA in healthcare is also very interesting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has calculated the annual median to be $88,000, up from $73,340 in May 2006. Additionally, this is the national average, which means there are great variations. CEOs in health care industries in California, one of the best paid states, for instance, can earn above $200,000 per year.

It Provides a Secure Job

Now that the Affordable Care Act has been implemented, the need for highly qualified MBAs in healthcare has never been greater. Additionally, there has been new legislation that ensures patient records are properly maintained electronically to promote integration of documents. Both of these developments mean that the need for highly educated individuals withing healthcare management continues to be strong. Additionally, the field itself is so dynamic and constantly changes, again meaning that there will always be a requirement for more people with an MBA.

You Can Improve Your Community

Finally, anyone who starts to work in the field of health care does so, at least in part, to improve the health of the entire community in which they work. Although someone with a healthcare-related MBA does not do any clinical work, they do actually play a huge role in improving patient healthcare outcomes. As such, their work is able to make a huge difference to the community. The role of someone with an MBA in healthcare is to bring down costs, thereby keeping the various stakeholders happy. At the same time, they have to find ways to improve patient outcomes and work on employee satisfaction.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should pursue an online MBA with a healthcare focus/concentration. Take your time to find a good school to enroll in. The usual recommendation is to contact at least three different schools before making your decision.