Curriculum

MHA Curriculum

The MHA curriculum focuses on the key issues, opportunities, challenges and requirements for success in healthcare administration.

 Required Introductory Courses (2 Credits)

  • HLTH-700 Introduction to Healthcare Programs and Profession

    Prerequisites:

    MHA students only

    Credits:

    1.00

    Description:

    This course is required for all MHA students. Its primary goal is to focus students on their career development. The course provides an orientation to Suffolk's MHA Program and the University's resources, along with guidance for getting the most from the MHA Program and the student's time at Suffolk. It introduces students to the healthcare industry in Massachusetts and identifies opportunities for student involvement in selected healthcare organizations. The course highlights how to build essential skills in written and verbal communication, critical and strategic thinking, resume development, and professional networking. Finally, it enables each student to conduct in-depth planning for his or her career as a healthcare professional. After becoming familiar with the range of competencies put forth by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), each student develops a Personal Roadmap for Professional Development that incorporates selected competencies. The roadmap is a guide for the student's learning and development as a healthcare manager in the years ahead.

  • SBS-700 You As a Leader: Effective Career Planning

    Credits:

    1.00

    Description:

    SBS 700 is the first required course in Suffolk's graduate programs. The course is based on the precepts of experiential learning. Based on the idea that people learn best by participating in meaningful activities, this course provides students with the opportunity to learn about and experience first-hand the many complexities of business and the role of top managers. To accomplish this, SBS 700 is composed of several distinct parts, including the completion of a self-assessment instrument and their own written career development plan. In the campus sections of SBS 700, students will work in small groups as they take on the roles of top managers in a hands-on behavioral simulation. In the online sections, students will conduct a 360 degree evaluation to provide feedback.

Core Courses (36 Credits/15 Courses)

  • HLTH-701 Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course presents an overview of the origins, components, organization, and operation of the health system in the United States. It is an introduction to the major health issues and institutions, including the settings in which health services are delivered, providers of these services, and the public and private payers for services.

  • HLTH-702 Health Economics

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course provides a framework for understanding the economics of the U.S. healthcare industry. The industry is experiencing great pressure to reduce costs, even as it strives to do better at both improving the health of the population and engaging patients in their care. This course enables students to apply the perspectives and tools of health economics to the tasks of understanding and improving the business of healthcare. Students analyze and evaluate current and evolving healthcare markets, public policies, payment methods, mechanisms for bearing and sharing financial risk, and the economic impact of changes in technology and the health professions. Students participate in envisioning the future and designing better ways for healthcare leaders, managers and policy makers to meet the challenges facing the industry.

  • HLTH-808 Managing Healthcare Organizations

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course provides an overview of healthcare management. Students develop knowledge and skills required for effective management of organizations that deliver high quality, patient-centered, cost-effective care. The course examines forces that are shaping healthcare organizations and draws on management theory and practice to explore a wide range of topics, including: governance and control; strategy; organizational structure, tasks and positions; culture and ethics; leadership and motivation; communication: planning; decision making and problem solving; recruiting and retaining human resources; teamwork; cultural competence and diversity management; managing people and performance in clinical and support services; and organizational change.

  • HLTH-812 Applied Research Methods for Healthcare Management

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course covers both qualitative and quantitative research methods, with a strong focus on applied healthcare management research. Course topics include scientific reasoning, research design, action research methods, qualitative research methods, fundamental statistical techniques, and display and presentation of quantitative and qualitative analyses. This course prepares students as both producers and consumers of healthcare related research. Students will: Learn fundamentals of scientific reasoning, research design, and action research methods. Gain basic skills in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis and presentation. Understand the meaning and appropriate application of basic statistical techniques relevant to healthcare management. Become prepared to analyze and draw conclusions from surveys, program evaluations, and operations data. Be able to troubleshoot the work of consultants and be critical consumers of research performed by others.

  • HLTH-816 Healthcare Human Resources Management

    Prerequisites:

    TAKE HLTH 701

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The growing healthcare field is the most labor intensive employer in the United States. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theories, requirements and practices associated with managing human resources in healthcare organizations. The course covers both strategic and operational aspects of human resources planning and management, and it devotes particular attention to the issues that make human resources management in healthcare so challenging. Perhaps most important, the course guides students in developing practical knowledge and skills to prepare them- as healthcare leaders and managers- to successfully address human resource issues. The course will draw from a range of theoretical material and practical situations, using a variety of learning approaches and featuring guest speakers from healthcare organizations who share their experiences and perspectives from the field of human resources. The course focuses on the following topics: The changing healthcare environment and its implications for human resources management, the use of strategic human resource management to gain a competitive edge in the healthcare industry, workforce design, legal and regulatory requirements, recruitment and retention, organizational development, performance management, compensation and benefits, managing with organized labor and creating customer-satisfying healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-824 Healthcare Accounting

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    This course serves as an introduction to the financial accounting of healthcare organizations. Understanding the important principles of a healthcare organization's income statement and balance sheet is the essence of this course. Focused attention will be given to the interpretation and analysis of financial statements, including the implications of assuming risk in an era of managed care.

  • HLTH-825 Legal Environment of Healthcare

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students investigate the structural and functional aspects of the legal, institutional, and political factors that condition the character of the US healthcare industry, the role of the healthcare manager, the legislative process, administrative policy-making, and national trends related to political parties and interest groups. Topics in healthcare law include medical malpractice, informed consent, confidentiality of patient information, healthcare liability, and administrative law.

  • HLTH-826 Healthcare Financial Management

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701; MHA students are required to take HLTH 824. MBA/H students are required to take MBA 640. Non-MHA and MBA/H students need permission from the Health Department before registering;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    This course serves as an introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations. Using financial information for decision making is the essence of this course. Students will gain a perspective on the critical factors related to managing a healthcare organization in a marketplace that is demanding cost effective services. Focused attention will be given to managerial accounting, cost allocation, budgeting, and variance analysis.

  • HLTH-828 Population Health

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH 701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    Healthcare industry trends point toward increasing need for meaningful measurement of the health of populations- from the population of patients who use a particular health service to the populations of nations. Healthcare managers must measure the need and demand for health services as well as the quality, safety and effectiveness or services. This course provides the fundamental information and enables students to develop the skills to apply principles and techniques of epidemiology in planning, delivering and evaluating health services.

  • HLTH-830 Healthcare Operations Management

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701 and either HLTH-812 or SBS-604. MHA and MSBA students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students are introduced to concepts and analytic tools and techniques in operations management, such as project management, process improvement, queuing theory, forecasting, capacity planning, and supply chain management. Students will be challenged to examine the distinctive characteristics of health services operations, understand process improvement and patient flow, and explore the means for making optimal managerial decisions. In-class exercises, applied concept assignments, guest speakers, and exams are used to help students understand ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-831 Performance Improvement and Patient Safety

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    The 'production' of health care is a service of significant personal and social consequence and high on the agenda of every healthcare executive. Today's consumer actively seeks evidence about the quality of care they can anticipate while payers are offering financial incentives to providers who can demonstrate superior patient outcomes. This course will focus on the complexities and processes of assuring quality performance in healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-832 Health Policy

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Examines health policy development and implementation as well as important and cutting-edge U.S. health issues, including their policy and ethical implications. Topics may change each year, but usually include state and federal healthcare reform, access and health disparities, medical errors, healthcare quality, evidence-based practice and shared decision making, chronic illness and disabilities, behavioral health, stem cells and genetics, the consumer paradigm, emergency response management, and end-of-life issues.

  • HLTH-835 Healthcare Marketing and Communication

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    As the healthcare industry continues to be highly competitive, and as health-related information becomes more available through television and the Internet, healthcare organizations are challenged to communicate their messages more aggressively and in new ways to their key audiences. This course enables students to learn about the nature of those audiences as well as healthcare marketing and communications, with emphasis on designing and conducting market research, identifying market segments and their unique characteristics, selecting promotional strategies and tactics for reaching target audiences, and developing marketing plans.

  • HLTH-850 Health Information Systems

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    This course covers health information and a range of healthcare IT applications as well as topics related to IT planning and management. Applications include medical records, order entry, decision support, and emerging applications. Planning and management topics include data security, IT cost, systems interoperability, project management, IT implementation, and governance.

  • HLTH-860 Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare Organizations

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces concepts and managerial views of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and leadership practice as applied to organizational settings in healthcare.

Required Capstone Course

  • HLTH-890 Healthcare Strategic Management

    Prerequisites:

    This course is the capstone of the MHA Program and should be taken in the last semester of coursework. MHA and MBA/HLTH students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The success of any healthcare organization depends on the ability of its leaders and managers to continuously identify, evaluate and address the key issues and challenges facing the organization. This capstone course for healthcare explores the essential elements of strategic management: the foundation (including Systems Thinking), strategic analysis, and strategy development and implementation. Using Futurescan and provocative case studies, students: conduct assessments of external trends, assumptions and implications; identify and assess organizational opportunities and threats/challenges as well as strengths and weaknesses; identify strategic and operational issues; and review and develop strategies and action steps to address the issues. For the final project, each student develops a strategic plan for a healthcare organization or conducts a research project on a healthcare organization or strategic issue of particular interest (e.g., mergers and acquisitions in healthcare). Fundamentally, this course focuses on applying strategic and systemic thinking in diagnosing organizational circumstances and developing strategies for what to do next.

Required for Students without Professional Experience in the U.S. Healthcare System

  • HLTH-885 Healthcare Internship

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    0.00- 3.00

    Description:

    The internship enables students to learn about important aspects of healthcare by working in a healthcare organization. It is intended for students who do not have professional experience in the U.S. healthcare system as well as students who already work in healthcare and seek to gain exposure to other areas of the system. For all students, the internship provides networking opportunities for future career development. The internship requires each student to: work with a healthcare faculty member to identify opportunities and secure an internship in a healthcare organization; complete 400 hours of supervised work in that healthcare organization; attend classes to examine relevant aspects of the internship; and report on the lessons learned from the internship and how they could be applied in the student's future professional endeavors.

Electives (9 Credits)

MHA students must take a total of nine credits in electives. This requirement may be fulfilled by either taking all 9 credits from the following list of Healthcare Administration Electives or by taking up to two graduate-level courses (six credits) from other programs in the Sawyer Business School, with the remaining credits from the Healthcare Administration Electives. Permission to take courses outside of the Healthcare Administration Electives must be obtained from the chairperson of the Healthcare Administration Department. Three of the elective credits may be for a Global Travel Seminar in another Sawyer Business School program.

Healthcare Administration Electives

  • HLTH-807 Innovation: The Future of Healthcare

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Innovations in technology, products, practices, and organization are continually re-shaping healthcare. The outcomes of healthcare innovation will evolve, as will the processes through which innovation is developed and then adopted by healthcare providers and consumers. For these reasons, every healthcare leader and manager must understand the causes and effects of innovation, as well as how to successfully initiate and manage innovation. The primary purpose of this course is to build students' skills as both thinkers and doers, helping them to better understand, work with, develop and lead innovation in healthcare. The course explores some of the leading prompters of innovation and examples of innovation in the organization and delivery of healthcare services, as well as the development and use of innovations in personal healthcare, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic equipment. In particular, the course explores how innovation happens-i.e., how players across the healthcare industry identify, pursue, create and support or impede opportunities for innovation. Those players include healthcare professionals and delivery organizations, university researchers, medical products and technology companies, government agencies and entrepreneurs. The course also examines healthcare innovations that are expected-and hoped for-in the future. This will enable students to become better futurists who can anticipate innovations and their implications for healthcare and, as a result, position themselves as effective leaders, managers and consumers of innovation.

  • HLTH-815 Ambulatory and Primary Care

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH 701

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course prepares students to plan, lead, manage and improve primary care and other ambulatory patient care services (APC) toward achieving the Triple Aim of better population health, better patient care and lower cost. The course covers a range of APC services including physician practices, community health centers, ambulatory surgery, retail clinics, behavioral health and dental care. Students who complete the course will be able to understand and analyze: key structures and processes of APC services and their effects on the Triple Aim; key APC contexts including regulatory, reimbursement, technological and professional; and important industry trends related to APC. Specific topics include organizational structure and governance; workforce and staffing; facilities and licensure; emerging business models; performance measurement; relationship between primary care and public health; and emerging practice models including the patient-centered medical home.

  • HLTH-827 Advanced Healthcare Financial Management

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701 HLTH-824 HLTH-826;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    In our complex and ever-changing healthcare industry, leaders and managers must understand the financial drivers that are shaping the strategic planning and decision making at all levels of healthcare organizations. This advanced course builds on the healthcare financial management techniques introduced in HLTH 824 and HLTH 826 and is intended for students seeking to enhance their analytic and financial management skill set. Through in-depth research of a healthcare organization's financial statements, students will gain practical experience using the latest tools and analytic methodologies employed by healthcare managers. Our work will focus on financial statement analysis, benchmarking, forecasting, revenue cycle management (including the implications of capitation and pay-for-performance), and capital budgeting (including capital acquisition, lease/buy decisions, and access to capital markets). A group project, guest speakers and course readings aim to develop practical financial management skills that will enable students to make effective managerial decisions that lead to the financial success and long-term viability of their healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-833 Rebuilding Public Trust: Quality And Safety in Healthcare Organizations

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701 AND HLTH-831;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The imperative to improve and assure the quality and safety of services is of paramount importance to clinical providers, managers, and executive leadership. This course builds on the basic principles, concepts, tools, and analytic methods addressed in HLTH 831. Among the topics explored in this advanced course are: creating a culture of safety; establishing and sustaining organizational alignment; quality/safety implications for accreditation and regulatory compliance; measuring and improving the patient experience; mistake-proofing the design process; and principles and strategies to improve reliability. The course will provide a foundation for the learner to: 1.Compare and contrast definitions of quality from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. 2.Classify medical error and identify means to reduce risk and/or take effective corrective action. 3.Explore sense-making and its applicability to transformational change in healthcare quality. 4.Identify leadership strategies for establishing an organization-wide culture of safety. 5.Apply essential healthcare team concepts, especially collegiality and collaboration, in complex circumstances of quality improvement. 6.Define mistake-proofing and mistake-proofing approaches and design applied to patient safety. 7.Apply reliability principles to performance improvement in complex systems. 8.Complete an actual healthcare performance improvement project that involves the use of knowledge and skills acquired in the pre-requisite course HLTH 831: Performance Improvement and Patient Safety as well as this course.

  • HLTH-842 Global Health

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The health and wellbeing of people throughout the world are challenged by many factors. To highlight those factors and what is being done to address them, this course focuses on global health problems and needs, including those related to infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, mental illness and substance abuse, and complex emergencies such as natural disasters and war, with particular attention to women, children and families. It also review critical global health-related policy issues such as poverty, population growth, the food and nutrition crisis, water wars, environmental degradation and climate change. Among the assignments, students write papers on specific global health problems and needs and identify healthcare and health-related organizations and financial resources in selected countries that are addressing the problems and needs. The course closes by examining the challenges of how to prioritize the deployment of scarce resources and mobilize citizens, governments and for-profit and non-profit organizations to enhance people's health and wellbeing and save civilization.

  • HLTH-845 Big Data Analytics for Health and Healthcare

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The American healthcare system is a paradox. It costs far more than any other country's system but often delivers less in terms of good health. Part of the problem is that its information infrastructure and use of data are not up to par with other industries or with the challenges it faces. The new science of analytics provides critical intelligence to produce innovative solutions through its use of data science, information technology, and deep knowledge of the sector. This course focuses on the three most promising areas of health analytics: business intelligence, community health, and behavior change. It draws upon the best analytics from within the health and healthcare sectors as well as from other sectors including banking, sports, politics, and retail. The classes, both in the classroom and online, include a mix of lectures, discussions, application labs, guest speakers, a field trip to a leading health technology firm, and a class project to work with a health organization to design an analytics solution.  By the end of the course, students will have built competencies in obtaining information from multiple data sources, analyzing metrics, applying analytic tools, using systems thinking to frame and solve problems, evaluating the pros and cons of various analytics approaches, and creating solutions through the use of case narratives, use cases, and client presentations.

  • HLTHIB-870 Global Travel Seminar: Comparative Analysis of the Healthcare Systems in England and United States

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701; Restricted to MHA, MBA, or MPA students.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    England, as part of the United Kingdom, has a nationalized healthcare system. Given that it leads the systems in other countries on many aspects of care delivery and health outcomes, there is an advantage for healthcare administrators and policymakers in the U.S. to have exposure to this system for what they might learn and apply to improve our own healthcare system. Therefore, the purpose of this global travel seminar is to enable students to explore and answer one overarching question: What can we learn from the healthcare system in England that will enable us to better understand and make needed improvements to the healthcare system in the U.S.? At the macro level, students will learn about and analyze such features of the healthcare system in England as government ownership of healthcare delivery organizations, near-universal insurance coverage, allocation of resources according to national and regional budgets, and reforms to address serious quality and safety deficiencies. At the micro level, students will visit healthcare delivery organizations and meet with healthcare providers, managers and policy makers to get a close look at the realities of the healthcare system, including quality improvement and cost containment initiatives. By the end of this course, students will also understand how the healthcare system in England compares on key dimensions with the healthcare system in the U.S.

    Type:

    GRAD Travel Seminar

  • HLTH-880 Directed Individual Study

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is a student-initiated directed study project. The student and faculty advisor must concur on a written proposal and final report, and the project must be approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs prior to registration.

Requirements to Earn the MHA Degree

All students must complete 50 credits as well as maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better to earn the MHA degree, except that students who are required to do an internship must complete 53 credits to earn the MHA degree.

Learning Goals & Objectives

  • MHA Learning Goals & Objectives

     

    Learning Goals

    Learning Objectives

    Demonstrate understanding of and the ability to apply TAI methodology, conduct internal and external assessments, and identify and present key strategic and operations issues in a healthcare organization.

    (Depth of Knowledge)

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply the Trends, Assumptions, and Implications (TAI) methodology as applied to the healthcare field
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of how to assess and present key attributes of a healthcare organization’s internal and external environments; specifically, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats/challenges
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of how to identify and present key strategic and operational issues facing a healthcare organization and how to develop, evaluate, and select strategies (goals, objectives, and implementation steps) to address those issues

    Understand the principles, theories, and practice of business leadership in healthcare administration.

    (Leadership)

    1. Demonstrate understanding of principles and theories of business leadership and various leadership styles
    2. Apply business leadership principles and styles to personal experiences and to specific healthcare contexts and leadership challenges
    3. Assess one’s own leadership-related competencies and leadership style; engage in reflective practice related to this; and demonstrate the relevance of this self-assessment and reflection to one’s leadership development
    4. Prepare and begin implementing a personal leadership development plan for professional growth, including the integration of ethics into practice

    Effectively articulate the roles of ethics in healthcare administration.

    (Ethics)

    1. Identify conflicts of interests and pressures that could lead to unethical conduct
    2. Understand what kinds of questions are helpful to ask oneself when confronting an ethical dilemma
    3. Demonstrate the ability to identify and take into account the interests of different stakeholders
    4. Understand how business strategies that facilitate “doing good” can be made consistent with profitability
    5. Understand that what is legal may not always be ethical and that what is ethical may sometimes not be legal
    6. Appreciate that ethical norms vary across different countries and cultures

    Demonstrate effective oral communication skills.

    (Oral Communication)

    1. Organize the presentation effectively
    2. Deliver the presentation with attention to volume, clarity, grammatical correctness and precision
    3. Develop the topic
    4. Communicate with the audience
    5. Use communication aids effectively
    6. Summarize the presentation

    Demonstrate effective written communication skills.

    (Written Communication)

    1. Develop a topic with supporting details
    2. Organize written communication effectively and logically
    3. Use correct word choice and effective sentence structure
    4. Employ normal conventions of spelling and grammar
    5. Provide examples and supporting evidence
    6. Communicate accurate quantitative information

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Courses

 Required Introductory Courses (2 Credits)

  • HLTH-700 Introduction to Healthcare Programs and Profession

    Prerequisites:

    MHA students only

    Credits:

    1.00

    Description:

    This course is required for all MHA students. Its primary goal is to focus students on their career development. The course provides an orientation to Suffolk's MHA Program and the University's resources, along with guidance for getting the most from the MHA Program and the student's time at Suffolk. It introduces students to the healthcare industry in Massachusetts and identifies opportunities for student involvement in selected healthcare organizations. The course highlights how to build essential skills in written and verbal communication, critical and strategic thinking, resume development, and professional networking. Finally, it enables each student to conduct in-depth planning for his or her career as a healthcare professional. After becoming familiar with the range of competencies put forth by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), each student develops a Personal Roadmap for Professional Development that incorporates selected competencies. The roadmap is a guide for the student's learning and development as a healthcare manager in the years ahead.

  • SBS-700 You As a Leader: Effective Career Planning

    Credits:

    1.00

    Description:

    SBS 700 is the first required course in Suffolk's graduate programs. The course is based on the precepts of experiential learning. Based on the idea that people learn best by participating in meaningful activities, this course provides students with the opportunity to learn about and experience first-hand the many complexities of business and the role of top managers. To accomplish this, SBS 700 is composed of several distinct parts, including the completion of a self-assessment instrument and their own written career development plan. In the campus sections of SBS 700, students will work in small groups as they take on the roles of top managers in a hands-on behavioral simulation. In the online sections, students will conduct a 360 degree evaluation to provide feedback.

Core Courses (36 Credits/15 Courses)

  • HLTH-701 Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course presents an overview of the origins, components, organization, and operation of the health system in the United States. It is an introduction to the major health issues and institutions, including the settings in which health services are delivered, providers of these services, and the public and private payers for services.

  • HLTH-702 Health Economics

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course provides a framework for understanding the economics of the U.S. healthcare industry. The industry is experiencing great pressure to reduce costs, even as it strives to do better at both improving the health of the population and engaging patients in their care. This course enables students to apply the perspectives and tools of health economics to the tasks of understanding and improving the business of healthcare. Students analyze and evaluate current and evolving healthcare markets, public policies, payment methods, mechanisms for bearing and sharing financial risk, and the economic impact of changes in technology and the health professions. Students participate in envisioning the future and designing better ways for healthcare leaders, managers and policy makers to meet the challenges facing the industry.

  • HLTH-808 Managing Healthcare Organizations

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course provides an overview of healthcare management. Students develop knowledge and skills required for effective management of organizations that deliver high quality, patient-centered, cost-effective care. The course examines forces that are shaping healthcare organizations and draws on management theory and practice to explore a wide range of topics, including: governance and control; strategy; organizational structure, tasks and positions; culture and ethics; leadership and motivation; communication: planning; decision making and problem solving; recruiting and retaining human resources; teamwork; cultural competence and diversity management; managing people and performance in clinical and support services; and organizational change.

  • HLTH-812 Applied Research Methods for Healthcare Management

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course covers both qualitative and quantitative research methods, with a strong focus on applied healthcare management research. Course topics include scientific reasoning, research design, action research methods, qualitative research methods, fundamental statistical techniques, and display and presentation of quantitative and qualitative analyses. This course prepares students as both producers and consumers of healthcare related research. Students will: Learn fundamentals of scientific reasoning, research design, and action research methods. Gain basic skills in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis and presentation. Understand the meaning and appropriate application of basic statistical techniques relevant to healthcare management. Become prepared to analyze and draw conclusions from surveys, program evaluations, and operations data. Be able to troubleshoot the work of consultants and be critical consumers of research performed by others.

  • HLTH-816 Healthcare Human Resources Management

    Prerequisites:

    TAKE HLTH 701

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The growing healthcare field is the most labor intensive employer in the United States. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theories, requirements and practices associated with managing human resources in healthcare organizations. The course covers both strategic and operational aspects of human resources planning and management, and it devotes particular attention to the issues that make human resources management in healthcare so challenging. Perhaps most important, the course guides students in developing practical knowledge and skills to prepare them- as healthcare leaders and managers- to successfully address human resource issues. The course will draw from a range of theoretical material and practical situations, using a variety of learning approaches and featuring guest speakers from healthcare organizations who share their experiences and perspectives from the field of human resources. The course focuses on the following topics: The changing healthcare environment and its implications for human resources management, the use of strategic human resource management to gain a competitive edge in the healthcare industry, workforce design, legal and regulatory requirements, recruitment and retention, organizational development, performance management, compensation and benefits, managing with organized labor and creating customer-satisfying healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-824 Healthcare Accounting

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    This course serves as an introduction to the financial accounting of healthcare organizations. Understanding the important principles of a healthcare organization's income statement and balance sheet is the essence of this course. Focused attention will be given to the interpretation and analysis of financial statements, including the implications of assuming risk in an era of managed care.

  • HLTH-825 Legal Environment of Healthcare

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students investigate the structural and functional aspects of the legal, institutional, and political factors that condition the character of the US healthcare industry, the role of the healthcare manager, the legislative process, administrative policy-making, and national trends related to political parties and interest groups. Topics in healthcare law include medical malpractice, informed consent, confidentiality of patient information, healthcare liability, and administrative law.

  • HLTH-826 Healthcare Financial Management

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701; MHA students are required to take HLTH 824. MBA/H students are required to take MBA 640. Non-MHA and MBA/H students need permission from the Health Department before registering;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    This course serves as an introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations. Using financial information for decision making is the essence of this course. Students will gain a perspective on the critical factors related to managing a healthcare organization in a marketplace that is demanding cost effective services. Focused attention will be given to managerial accounting, cost allocation, budgeting, and variance analysis.

  • HLTH-828 Population Health

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH 701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    Healthcare industry trends point toward increasing need for meaningful measurement of the health of populations- from the population of patients who use a particular health service to the populations of nations. Healthcare managers must measure the need and demand for health services as well as the quality, safety and effectiveness or services. This course provides the fundamental information and enables students to develop the skills to apply principles and techniques of epidemiology in planning, delivering and evaluating health services.

  • HLTH-830 Healthcare Operations Management

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701 and either HLTH-812 or SBS-604. MHA and MSBA students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students are introduced to concepts and analytic tools and techniques in operations management, such as project management, process improvement, queuing theory, forecasting, capacity planning, and supply chain management. Students will be challenged to examine the distinctive characteristics of health services operations, understand process improvement and patient flow, and explore the means for making optimal managerial decisions. In-class exercises, applied concept assignments, guest speakers, and exams are used to help students understand ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-831 Performance Improvement and Patient Safety

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    The 'production' of health care is a service of significant personal and social consequence and high on the agenda of every healthcare executive. Today's consumer actively seeks evidence about the quality of care they can anticipate while payers are offering financial incentives to providers who can demonstrate superior patient outcomes. This course will focus on the complexities and processes of assuring quality performance in healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-832 Health Policy

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Examines health policy development and implementation as well as important and cutting-edge U.S. health issues, including their policy and ethical implications. Topics may change each year, but usually include state and federal healthcare reform, access and health disparities, medical errors, healthcare quality, evidence-based practice and shared decision making, chronic illness and disabilities, behavioral health, stem cells and genetics, the consumer paradigm, emergency response management, and end-of-life issues.

  • HLTH-835 Healthcare Marketing and Communication

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    As the healthcare industry continues to be highly competitive, and as health-related information becomes more available through television and the Internet, healthcare organizations are challenged to communicate their messages more aggressively and in new ways to their key audiences. This course enables students to learn about the nature of those audiences as well as healthcare marketing and communications, with emphasis on designing and conducting market research, identifying market segments and their unique characteristics, selecting promotional strategies and tactics for reaching target audiences, and developing marketing plans.

  • HLTH-850 Health Information Systems

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    1.50

    Description:

    This course covers health information and a range of healthcare IT applications as well as topics related to IT planning and management. Applications include medical records, order entry, decision support, and emerging applications. Planning and management topics include data security, IT cost, systems interoperability, project management, IT implementation, and governance.

  • HLTH-860 Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare Organizations

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces concepts and managerial views of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and leadership practice as applied to organizational settings in healthcare.

Required for Students without Professional Experience in the U.S. Healthcare System

  • HLTH-885 Healthcare Internship

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    0.00- 3.00

    Description:

    The internship enables students to learn about important aspects of healthcare by working in a healthcare organization. It is intended for students who do not have professional experience in the U.S. healthcare system as well as students who already work in healthcare and seek to gain exposure to other areas of the system. For all students, the internship provides networking opportunities for future career development. The internship requires each student to: work with a healthcare faculty member to identify opportunities and secure an internship in a healthcare organization; complete 400 hours of supervised work in that healthcare organization; attend classes to examine relevant aspects of the internship; and report on the lessons learned from the internship and how they could be applied in the student's future professional endeavors.

Required Capstone Course

  • HLTH-890 Healthcare Strategic Management

    Prerequisites:

    This course is the capstone of the MHA Program and should be taken in the last semester of coursework. MHA and MBA/HLTH students only.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The success of any healthcare organization depends on the ability of its leaders and managers to continuously identify, evaluate and address the key issues and challenges facing the organization. This capstone course for healthcare explores the essential elements of strategic management: the foundation (including Systems Thinking), strategic analysis, and strategy development and implementation. Using Futurescan and provocative case studies, students: conduct assessments of external trends, assumptions and implications; identify and assess organizational opportunities and threats/challenges as well as strengths and weaknesses; identify strategic and operational issues; and review and develop strategies and action steps to address the issues. For the final project, each student develops a strategic plan for a healthcare organization or conducts a research project on a healthcare organization or strategic issue of particular interest (e.g., mergers and acquisitions in healthcare). Fundamentally, this course focuses on applying strategic and systemic thinking in diagnosing organizational circumstances and developing strategies for what to do next.

Electives (9 Credits)

MHA students must take a total of nine credits in electives. This requirement may be fulfilled by either taking all 9 credits from the following list of Healthcare Administration Electives or by taking up to two graduate-level courses (six credits) from other programs in the Sawyer Business School, with the remaining credits from the Healthcare Administration Electives. Permission to take courses outside of the Healthcare Administration Electives must be obtained from the chairperson of the Healthcare Administration Department. Three of the elective credits may be for a Global Travel Seminar in another Sawyer Business School program.

Healthcare Administration Electives

  • HLTH-807 Innovation: The Future of Healthcare

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Innovations in technology, products, practices, and organization are continually re-shaping healthcare. The outcomes of healthcare innovation will evolve, as will the processes through which innovation is developed and then adopted by healthcare providers and consumers. For these reasons, every healthcare leader and manager must understand the causes and effects of innovation, as well as how to successfully initiate and manage innovation. The primary purpose of this course is to build students' skills as both thinkers and doers, helping them to better understand, work with, develop and lead innovation in healthcare. The course explores some of the leading prompters of innovation and examples of innovation in the organization and delivery of healthcare services, as well as the development and use of innovations in personal healthcare, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic equipment. In particular, the course explores how innovation happens-i.e., how players across the healthcare industry identify, pursue, create and support or impede opportunities for innovation. Those players include healthcare professionals and delivery organizations, university researchers, medical products and technology companies, government agencies and entrepreneurs. The course also examines healthcare innovations that are expected-and hoped for-in the future. This will enable students to become better futurists who can anticipate innovations and their implications for healthcare and, as a result, position themselves as effective leaders, managers and consumers of innovation.

  • HLTH-815 Ambulatory and Primary Care

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH 701

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course prepares students to plan, lead, manage and improve primary care and other ambulatory patient care services (APC) toward achieving the Triple Aim of better population health, better patient care and lower cost. The course covers a range of APC services including physician practices, community health centers, ambulatory surgery, retail clinics, behavioral health and dental care. Students who complete the course will be able to understand and analyze: key structures and processes of APC services and their effects on the Triple Aim; key APC contexts including regulatory, reimbursement, technological and professional; and important industry trends related to APC. Specific topics include organizational structure and governance; workforce and staffing; facilities and licensure; emerging business models; performance measurement; relationship between primary care and public health; and emerging practice models including the patient-centered medical home.

  • HLTH-827 Advanced Healthcare Financial Management

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701 HLTH-824 HLTH-826;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    In our complex and ever-changing healthcare industry, leaders and managers must understand the financial drivers that are shaping the strategic planning and decision making at all levels of healthcare organizations. This advanced course builds on the healthcare financial management techniques introduced in HLTH 824 and HLTH 826 and is intended for students seeking to enhance their analytic and financial management skill set. Through in-depth research of a healthcare organization's financial statements, students will gain practical experience using the latest tools and analytic methodologies employed by healthcare managers. Our work will focus on financial statement analysis, benchmarking, forecasting, revenue cycle management (including the implications of capitation and pay-for-performance), and capital budgeting (including capital acquisition, lease/buy decisions, and access to capital markets). A group project, guest speakers and course readings aim to develop practical financial management skills that will enable students to make effective managerial decisions that lead to the financial success and long-term viability of their healthcare organizations.

  • HLTH-833 Rebuilding Public Trust: Quality And Safety in Healthcare Organizations

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701 AND HLTH-831;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The imperative to improve and assure the quality and safety of services is of paramount importance to clinical providers, managers, and executive leadership. This course builds on the basic principles, concepts, tools, and analytic methods addressed in HLTH 831. Among the topics explored in this advanced course are: creating a culture of safety; establishing and sustaining organizational alignment; quality/safety implications for accreditation and regulatory compliance; measuring and improving the patient experience; mistake-proofing the design process; and principles and strategies to improve reliability. The course will provide a foundation for the learner to: 1.Compare and contrast definitions of quality from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. 2.Classify medical error and identify means to reduce risk and/or take effective corrective action. 3.Explore sense-making and its applicability to transformational change in healthcare quality. 4.Identify leadership strategies for establishing an organization-wide culture of safety. 5.Apply essential healthcare team concepts, especially collegiality and collaboration, in complex circumstances of quality improvement. 6.Define mistake-proofing and mistake-proofing approaches and design applied to patient safety. 7.Apply reliability principles to performance improvement in complex systems. 8.Complete an actual healthcare performance improvement project that involves the use of knowledge and skills acquired in the pre-requisite course HLTH 831: Performance Improvement and Patient Safety as well as this course.

  • HLTH-842 Global Health

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The health and wellbeing of people throughout the world are challenged by many factors. To highlight those factors and what is being done to address them, this course focuses on global health problems and needs, including those related to infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, mental illness and substance abuse, and complex emergencies such as natural disasters and war, with particular attention to women, children and families. It also review critical global health-related policy issues such as poverty, population growth, the food and nutrition crisis, water wars, environmental degradation and climate change. Among the assignments, students write papers on specific global health problems and needs and identify healthcare and health-related organizations and financial resources in selected countries that are addressing the problems and needs. The course closes by examining the challenges of how to prioritize the deployment of scarce resources and mobilize citizens, governments and for-profit and non-profit organizations to enhance people's health and wellbeing and save civilization.

  • HLTH-845 Big Data Analytics for Health and Healthcare

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    The American healthcare system is a paradox. It costs far more than any other country's system but often delivers less in terms of good health. Part of the problem is that its information infrastructure and use of data are not up to par with other industries or with the challenges it faces. The new science of analytics provides critical intelligence to produce innovative solutions through its use of data science, information technology, and deep knowledge of the sector. This course focuses on the three most promising areas of health analytics: business intelligence, community health, and behavior change. It draws upon the best analytics from within the health and healthcare sectors as well as from other sectors including banking, sports, politics, and retail. The classes, both in the classroom and online, include a mix of lectures, discussions, application labs, guest speakers, a field trip to a leading health technology firm, and a class project to work with a health organization to design an analytics solution.  By the end of the course, students will have built competencies in obtaining information from multiple data sources, analyzing metrics, applying analytic tools, using systems thinking to frame and solve problems, evaluating the pros and cons of various analytics approaches, and creating solutions through the use of case narratives, use cases, and client presentations.

  • HLTHIB-870 Global Travel Seminar: Comparative Analysis of the Healthcare Systems in England and United States

    Prerequisites:

    HLTH-701; Restricted to MHA, MBA, or MPA students.

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    England, as part of the United Kingdom, has a nationalized healthcare system. Given that it leads the systems in other countries on many aspects of care delivery and health outcomes, there is an advantage for healthcare administrators and policymakers in the U.S. to have exposure to this system for what they might learn and apply to improve our own healthcare system. Therefore, the purpose of this global travel seminar is to enable students to explore and answer one overarching question: What can we learn from the healthcare system in England that will enable us to better understand and make needed improvements to the healthcare system in the U.S.? At the macro level, students will learn about and analyze such features of the healthcare system in England as government ownership of healthcare delivery organizations, near-universal insurance coverage, allocation of resources according to national and regional budgets, and reforms to address serious quality and safety deficiencies. At the micro level, students will visit healthcare delivery organizations and meet with healthcare providers, managers and policy makers to get a close look at the realities of the healthcare system, including quality improvement and cost containment initiatives. By the end of this course, students will also understand how the healthcare system in England compares on key dimensions with the healthcare system in the U.S.

    Type:

    GRAD Travel Seminar

  • HLTH-880 Directed Individual Study

    Prerequisites:

    Take HLTH-701;

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is a student-initiated directed study project. The student and faculty advisor must concur on a written proposal and final report, and the project must be approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs prior to registration.

Requirements to Earn the MHA Degree

All students must complete 50 credits as well as maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better to earn the MHA degree, except that students who are required to do an internship must complete 53 credits to earn the MHA degree.

Waiver/Transfer

A course waiver applies to required courses in the MHA Program, and a transfer of course credits applies to elective courses in the MHA Program.

The chair of the Healthcare Administration Department evaluates each request for a course waiver and transfer credits. Such a request must be made in writing to the chair following an individual’s acceptance into, and decision to attend, the MHA Program and before the start of the student's first semester of courses. Waivers and/or transfers are limited to a total of 6 credits. Students with waivers and/or transfers must complete a total of at least 44 credits (or 47 credits if an internship is required) of Suffolk University courses that are set forth in the MHA Program of Study.

New students in the MHA Program are allowed to waive courses and transfer course credits from other schools under the following conditions:

Waiver Policy for Required Courses

A student can receive a waiver for a required course, thereby reducing the number of credits required to earn an MHA degree. The MHA Program limits the number of courses waived to two 3-credit courses (or a total of 6 credits). If 6 credits are granted for waivers, an MHA student will need 44 credits to earn an MHA degree (or 47 credits if an internship is required). Waivers for more than 6 credits may be granted under unusual circumstances, and in such cases no fewer than 38 credits will be needed to earn an MHA degree.

Any required course in the MHA Program is eligible to be waived, except for SBS 600, HLTH 700, HLTH 701, HLTH 885 (for students who are required to do an internship) and HLTH 890.

To be eligible for a course waiver, a course: must have been completed in a recognized undergraduate or graduate program in healthcare administration in an accredited U.S. college or university; must have been completed within the three years prior to the student being enrolled in Suffolk’s MHA Program; and must be assessed as equivalent to the Suffolk course for which the waiver is sought, based on a review of the syllabus by the chair of the Healthcare Administration Department. The grade for a completed course must be a "B" or higher.

Transfer Policy for Elective Courses

A student can transfer courses in lieu of elective courses, thereby reducing the number of credits required to earn an MHA degree. The MHA Program limits the number of transferred courses to two

3-credit courses (or 6 credits). If 6 credits are granted through transfers, an MHA student will need 44 credits to earn an MHA degree (or 47 credits if an internship is required).

To be eligible for transfer credits, a course: must have been completed at the graduate level in a recognized graduate program in healthcare administration in an accredited U.S. college or university; must have been completed within the three years prior to the student being enrolled in Suffolk’s MHA Program; and must be assessed as equivalent to the Suffolk course for which the transfer credits are sought, based on a review of the syllabus by the chair of the Healthcare Administration Department. The grade for a completed course must be a "B" or higher. In addition, the credits for a course for which a transfer is sought must not have been applied toward a previously completed degree.