It’s no secret that health care is in crisis. It’s increasingly political and it certainly is big business. With increasing pressure on health care providers to control costs, industry leaders are expected to make tough business decisions, proving medical and business skills are no longer mutually exclusive.
The result: Business schools are blending the basics of business with core healthcare issues. The Yale School of Management and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth both have established health care executive MBA programs. Today (April 8), the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University has announced an unusual and unique partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, regarded as one of the top four hospitals in the United States, to offer the Cleveland Clinic-Weatherhead Executive MBA.
“Health care is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation and is changing how we deliver care to patients and how we are reimbursed for services,” Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Dr. Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove said in a statement. “The focus has shifted to quality and outcomes for patients, while moving away from the traditional fee-for-service model. In other words, health-care organizations are expected to produce better outcomes at a lower cost. This is putting a lot of pressure on providers to look at how they’re organized and how they do business. Meeting these new demands will require a new outlook and a new set of skills by health-care leaders.”
PARTNERSHIP IS “NO-BRAINER” FOR WEATHERHEAD
The partnership was a “no-brainer” for Simon Peck, associate dean of MBA programs at Weatherhead. “This was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with the Cleveland Clinic that is literally on our door step,” Peck told Poets&Quants. “That makes this program very different. Students are able to learn from one of the most innovative institutions in health care. Students will be going to the clinic for classes and will be looking at a very unique experience.”
So unique, Peck doesn’t even consider other schools with healthcare-focused programs as competition. After all, no other business school has aligned itself with the likes of a Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic, often regarded as two of the world’s best health care centers. Peck expects students to be willing to fly into Cleveland to participate in the experience. “When we were putting this thing together, I wasn’t looking at the competition,” Peck says. “I think this is the kind of program you will see people travelling to do. The other 30 health care MBA programs are not what keeps me awake at night.”
The $98,000 program, which will begin in September 2015, combines top-notch faculty from both Weatherford and the Cleveland Clinic. It will be 20 months long and consist of 16 sessions over five semesters. Residential classes will take place at both Cleveland Clinic and Weatherhead and will meet for three days each month.
The coursework will cover subjects including supply chain management, health finance and business statistics, among others. Students will also take an international trip with faculty members, visiting different countries and examining global health care models. The program culminates with an applied project that is designed to help students implement solutions to complex business problems in their own organizations.
PROGRAM FOR MORE THAN JUST PHYSICIANS AND MANAGERS
Peck says although many physicians have come through the traditional EMBA program at Weatherhead, this program is geared toward more than just physicians or managers wanting to make a career switch into health care leadership. The range of backgrounds the program is designed to help speaks to the complexities of health care as well as the diversity of course subject areas.
“We left health care with a wide definition on purpose,” Peck explains. “We expect to see people engaged in health insurance as well as medical devices. It’s certainly not just for hospital organizations. We’re looking at many different sectors.”
Peck says the program is targeted at individuals with at least a decade of experience.
“We’re looking at people with an average age of late 30s and early 40s who are just below or getting ready for the next step in their leadership careers,” says Peck. “The existing strength in faculty from Weatherhead and the Cleveland Clinic is exciting and will develop those leadership qualities.”
DON’T MISS: ENTER THE HEALTH CARE MBA