Making the choice of the best business school at which to complete your MBA degree program is a challenge because at last count more than 100 US schools now provide online MBA programs in several different concentrations like finance, accounting and healthcare.Coincident with the increase in the number of schools offering a distance learning MBA degree are the number of sources providing online MBA rankings. Business magazines, national and metropolitan newspapers, trade publications, business and academic associations of all kinds, and even executive recruiting firms will have their own version of online MBA rankings 2010 or some such rendition.Since there are so many different sources for off campus MBA rankings anybody interested in attending a degree program, either online or in residence, has to be skeptical about the usefulness or even the objectivity, in some cases, of these rankings.What are the criteria that were used for the rankings? Have the ranking source’s selection standards been adequately disclosed, or do you get something subjective and essentially un-provable like “quality of faculty”? It is not uncommon in academic circles to quantify an elusive term like quality simply in direct proportion to the length of a particular professor’s CV.Online MBA program rankings should carry more weight if the ranking is focused on schools and programs that provide a particular or narrow focus. It is possible, if not common, that a school that ranks in a lower percentile for finance, for example, could simultaneously rank in the uppermost percentile for a different field like healthcare management. In cases like this the overall ranking for that school’s online MBA program, no matter how scrupulously that overall ranking was amassed, could be unintentionally misleading to the MBA candidate most interested in a career in the healthcare industry,Shopping for an online MBA based entirely on rankings may leave out other important factors that were never considered in the evaluation process. Price/Value is one. Very few, if any, rankings are based on actual value or bang for the buck. Perhaps the standard itself is objectively immeasurable, but with price differences of $10,000 and more per year of study from different schools for the same degree the price/value factor should be very important to you.At a minimum every prospective online MBA candidate should consider the merits of each school’s accreditation status, admission requirements (not all MBA schools require the GMAT), online technology implementation, and the demographics and business career experience of the average incoming student. Many MBA graduates will tell you that relationships and connections were the most important things they took from their graduate school experience.Academic focus and specialization may also be important factors that normally fly under the ranking system. An MBA program that focused on international entrepreneurism could be significantly more meaningful to a foreign student participating in a US based MBA program than even accreditation or faculty ranking.
The ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) recently announced an additional $12 million in funding for 48 RECs (Regional Extension Centers) to help rural hospitals transition to EHRs (electronic health records). The technical support offered to implement and deploy EHR systems in these facilities does not fully address the compromised privacy of PHI (protected health information). The facilitation of fully functional EHRs can have dire consequences for healthcare providers, payers and related Business Associates (BAs) who do not have a solid grasp of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule.The passage of HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) in February 2010, a crucial addendum to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), introduced more than a dozen new Privacy Rules. In addition, Business Associates previously considered a mere adjunct of the Covered Entity (CE), are now statutorily obligated to meet all HIPAA Privacy requirements. Seasoned compliance professionals agree most privacy breaches result from within the organization. These breaches may very well be unintentional by untrained employees.Prevention of breaches and subsequent fines is most effectively achieved through HIPAA training that results in certification (pending passing an exam) as a Certified HIPAA Privacy Expert. It has benefited individuals in the following job roles (this list is not exclusive):
HIPAA Privacy Compliance Officers of Covered Entities & Business Associates
Privacy Compliance Team members of Covered Entities & Business Associates
Lawyers involved in healthcare
Office managers for clinics
Pharmaceutical company executives
if you are seeking employment in the healthcare field, the course’s resulting certification (pending passing an exam), validates your knowledge of HIPAA Privacy and the HITECH Act. Healthcare entities seek individuals with HIPAA knowledge and though the certification alone will not secure a job, it is an invaluable marketing tool that will capture a prospective employer’s attention and may open an otherwise closed door.It enables you to implement appropriate policies and procedures that comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and gives you the tools to educate all staff handling protected health information (PHI). In addition, this course provides a comprehensive overview of the HIPAA Security Rule, a necessity as EHRs are more prevalent in healthcare organizations.For example, the course addresses how HIPAA relates to HIEs (Health Information Exchanges) and the steps necessary for HIPAA Privacy and Security compliance. If you are a Business Associate, provide training to your staff to become Certified Experts to prove to a Covered Entity that HIPAA compliance is a priority for you.HIPAA training places you in the driver’s seat on the road to healthcare compliance and provides valuable resources to use well after course completion.