Duquesne University Online MHA | Faculty Information Session

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Enrollment Advisors Farina and Tomas interview Duquesne’s John G. Rangos School of Health Sciences Dean, Dr. Akinci and adjunct faculty member, Dr. Coyne about the Online MHA program.

Webinar Participants:

  • Dr. Fevzi Akinci, PhD, MHA  – Dean and Acting Department Chair
  • Dr. Coyne, DrPH, MPH – Adjunct Faculty
  • Farina Eshak – Enrollment Advisor
  • Tomas Lucena – Enrollment Advisor



Hello to everyone and welcome to today’s webinar. My name is Thomas Lucena, and I’m one of the enrollment advisors here at Duquesne. Also, I’m joined here today by Farina Eshak, another MHA enrollment advisor. Today our special guests are Dr. Akinci, with the Dean of School of Health Science here at Duquesne. You’re also joined by Dr. Coyne, an adjunct faculty member.

In today’s agenda, we’ll be discussing an online master and Health Administration program and go over frequently asked questions about the program and the enrollment process. At the end of the session, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the program by utilizing the question box at the bottom of the screen. Now I want to thank Dr. Akinci and Dr. Coyne for taking the time out today to speak with us, and also to all our listeners that are here today as well. I’m going to pass it off to our special guests for a brief introduction about themselves. Dr. Akinci, you may take it off.

Of course. Hi, everybody. I am delighted to be able to join you today for this live webinar. My name is Fevzi Akinci, and I had the pleasure of serving as the dean of John G. Rangos Senior School of Health Sciences. I’m also the Acting Department Chair for Health Management Systems.

Prior to my role at Duquesne, I had a pleasure of serving as Associate Dean at the Business School at a small liberal arts college in the northeastern part of State PA from 2012 to 2017. Before that, I had a wonderful opportunity to serve three years as Vice President and the Founding Dean of a business school back home in Turkey. That’s where I am originate from at Zirve University for three years. My undergraduate degree is in Health Administration from overseas, Hacettepe University in Turkey, but I obtained my masters of Health Administration degree from one of the top ranked programs in the United States, from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health. I also obtained my PhD from the same institution. My PhD is in health services research with a minor in economics. I’m delighted to be here today and look forward to answering your questions. Thank you.

Now we would like to call on Dr. Coyne.

Yes, good morning. Can everybody hear me okay?

Yes, we can.

All ready. Very good. I’m excited to be here today. My background is as adjunct professor of healthcare leadership and in the Executive Masters of Healthcare Leadership Program at Brown University. I’m also a visiting professor in the Graduate Healthcare Management program at Catholic University in Rome, Italy, and professor emeritus at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington.

As far as my education, I have an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and Master of Public Health degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctor of public health degree from University of California at Berkeley. My areas of specialization are in managerial accounting as applied to healthcare organizations, with a look at efficiency analysis through the Triple Aim Program and looking at value-based purchasing as a framework for looking at improvements that can be made in converting from volume-driven to value-based payment methods.

I am also delighted to be adjunct professor at Duquesne University effective Monday of this week. My appointment takers are in the process of being taken care of. I have been doing consulting work as well in my role as principal of finance associates for 23 years. I have operational experience in serving as interim CEO for a health plan in Emeryville, California called UCLA Plan.

My online teaching experience, I’ll just conclude with that is at the University of Colorado and at Washington State University, and more recently at Brown University. In all those places, I’ve been doing the online teaching course development in teaching work. That’s a bit about me.

Thank you. Well, hello everyone. This is Farina Eshak, enrollment advisor under Master of Health Administration program. Thank you, Dr. Akinci and Dr. Coyne for those and very impressive introductions. Now, I would like to take the time to ask Dr. Akinci and Dr. Coyne kickoff the questions that are frequently asked about Duquesne’s MHA program. Either one of you feel free to chime in with your responses. To start off, tell us a little bit about the online MHA program at Duquesne University.

I’ll start, and Dr. Coyne can always chime. The MHA program at Duquesne is a two-year online program. It is particularly suitable for working healthcare professionals or mid-career practitioners, and also recent graduates who aspire for leadership opportunities in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, health systems, medical group practices, insurance companies and so on so forth, nursing homes. I think that the program is designed in a way that providing the key competencies, key management and leadership competencies that the future healthcare leaders will need.

The curriculum is composed of three important foundation courses that I am delighted to teach. The very first one, introduction to the healthcare systems course, which the course already started this past Monday. We couple that with important foundation courses in healthcare managerial accounting, and health research methods and business. Then the core courses are all of course applied in the healthcare from HR, marketing and strategic management, economics and health policy making, health informatics, and then quality and operations research.

What is unique about our program is that in addition to the core competencies in healthcare and business, we want to distinguish our program and points on value added competencies in key concentration areas. I believe that we will have time to talk more about them. But briefly, we strongly recommend our students to pick one of these concentration areas to make themselves more marketable in the job place, and namely, they are health informatics and data analytics, population health, and healthcare compliance and risk management.

Again, it’s an innovative program, and we are delighted to welcome students from a wide variety of backgrounds, business, healthcare and all that other fields.

Thank you for that, Dr.

I would just like to add to Dr. Akinci’s comments there that from my experience in working with other programs and delivering a high quality online program, the competencies that Dr. Akinci has highlighted as being part of the Duquesne University program are definitely a value added in terms of the job market and achieving a good placement rate on graduates of the program.

Looking ahead, certainly I think all three of those areas are ones that are where the jobs are, are where the needs are, and almost equally in all three of those areas. I think that’s a very important piece to this program. Also, the working professional are definitely wanting to get a competency that they don’t have right now. Looking at skill set, as opposed to just knowledge, I think it’s a very good approach, very effective approach and give students what they want. I believe in all of these areas as key elements for a high quality online MHA program.

Very good. Thank you for those responses. Question number two, what is unique about Duquesne University?

They’re in so many aspects, but I would like to highlight something that maybe some of our attendees not even aware. Duquesne University is the only spiritan brothers sponsored university, the Catholic University. We are the only university that has the mission of serving God by serving our students so that in turn they serve others. That very much reflects everything that we do at Duquesne in terms of our teaching, in terms of our research, and in terms of our service commitments.

By the location itself, we have a gorgeous campus. The highlights of Duquesne is that the health sciences is identified as a strength and growth area under the new strategic plan with President Gormley. Our Provost also happens to share the same background that Dr. Coyne and I have. He’s a graduate of Yale. He’s big on health population management and data analytics. He is who you know, has been the driving force for some of the new program designs at Duquesne. We have a very strong nursing program. We also have a very strong pharmacy and law school.

As you can anticipate, we will be relying upon the expertise of some of the top line researchers and experts for the MHA content coverage. I have been working very closely with my Dean counterparts to make sure that we have the support that we need. But again, going back to the mission, our students will have opportunities to tackle sacrifice research projects, and they will be expected to engage meaningful community engage learning opportunities in their communities where they live. More importantly, I do want to highlight that the strength of the program of Duquesne, especially MHA is that our connections. We do have a three-day residence requirements before you finish the program. That’s a wonderful opportunity for you to come and meet with us on campus, meet with the faculty members, your classmates, but more important, the prominent industry leaders in the greater Pittsburgh area.

We are working on that program, it will be a very rich program that you will have the opportunity to present your capstone findings, but more importantly start building your professional network. Again, Pittsburgh is a wonderful place to be, it’s a sports town, we are only a few blocks of the major sports venues. I have been enjoying my ice hockey games from day one.

Finally, I will just add that the connections goes beyond the borders of greater Pittsburgh area. I just have several visits scheduled for this year. We are making Global Connections to Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. I think for our graduates who will finish this program or track the program, you have opportunities to interact with some of the top line researchers and experts globally. I hope that some of you will be excited about pushing some of those Global Connections that we have. Those are some of the key aspects that I can highlight at this point.

Okay, very good. What kinds of careers are available for students with an MHA degree?

Again, I hope that Dr. Coyne can contribute. But hypothetically, inpatient settings have been a number one area that our graduates tend to be employed. But given the skill sets, the competencies that we alluded earlier, the spectrum of career opportunities are actually wide range, they include, again hospitals and healthcare systems. More and more outpatient settings, given the value-based purchasing that Dr. Coyne alluded earlier, medical group practice settings, ambulatory care settings. We see a number of our students assuming leadership roles in skilled nursing facilities. More and more private consulting firms, they’re excellent learning opportunities for our graduates to really assume a role in part of these consulting firms in a team. Because literally, you will be asked to tackle one of the most important challenges regardless of the setting that you have. It’s a wonderful opportunity again, apply the skill set, the knowledge that you learn tackling real life problems.

Typical job titles then our graduates will have in this setting includes like medical executive administrators, directors of healthcare quality, service line managers, and insurance specialist, and again, healthcare consultants. Please, Dr. Coyne, feel free to contribute.

Sure. Diversity are quite unique. As Dr. Akinci has pointed out, the connections are vast in terms of both locally and globally. I think that’s a very big advantage for students coming to the program for the MHA online degree, is that you can look at just the Pittsburgh area by itself in terms of UPMC and numerous healthcare systems that are there for opportunities of working with the executives in these organizations to give the application opportunity for students.

I think that the location of Duquesne University in really a very, very prime healthcare setting is a very valuable unique characteristic of Duquesne University, and that can lead to career placement opportunities in numerous organizations. I think as Dr. Akinci has already pointed out, healthcare systems are a major direction for future career placements, as in looking at healthcare systems that are highly diversified, and that have made the transition from volume to value in terms of the look at value-based programs. But also, I think that in my courses, or course, you will see that managed care is part of the skill set that I’m teaching people. Giving students the ability to go from a fee-for-service setting to the managed care setting or HMO setting is a valuable skill set that can be very attractive to prospective employers for the graduates of the program.

Those competencies that you get in this program at Duquesne University are very valuable, and that are going to give them a competitive advantage when it comes to positions as Dr. Akinci had pointed out, the healthcare consulting work that is in high demand out there. I think all of those things rolled together in terms of providing significant advantages for the students enrolling in the MHA online program at Duquesne University and globally as much as locally.

Thank you. Would you consider healthcare a growing field?

I think the answer is definitely yes. Of course, we might bias. But I think regardless of how we look at the system growth in terms of pure population demographics, aging population, the percentage of GDP that we spend almost 20% per person basis. We spending more than in other developed nations in the world, and yet still US is one of the most fragmented, one of the most complex system designed that you can ever observe in developed nations. One just needs to look at the Department of Labor Statistics. I have two daughters, and I always advise them to pay attention to these numbers in terms of employment opportunities.

In addition to the growth of the sector itself, and I believe that within the next 10 years, we are expecting to add another like 2.3 million jobs in the healthcare field and approximate even thousands of those jobs will be in the healthcare management field. If you look at the growth rate, it equals about 20%, it’s way more than most of the other competing fields. Also, another statistic that’s important to point out for our prospective students of the MHA program is that the survey prospect seems quite attractive. Again, based on the 2018 estimates, the median annual salary for a medical and health services managers are estimated to be about $112,000.

I oftentimes say, the day that you get your diploma from an MHA program, it’s highly unlikely that you will be promoted to be the CEO of the Highmark or UPMC. But that should be the dream, that should be the aspiration. I can think of a number of my students from Washington State King’s College and Zirve University, that on top of their clinical training, if they can couple this up with an MHA program, they can easily not only get career advancement opportunities, but of course, their scholarly prospects are also increased significantly.

Very good, thank you.

Just to add to Dr. Akinci’s comments, I’d say most definitely, we’re in a very fast growth industry. Looking at the growth moving towards 20% of GDP… I tell my students that in looking at this kind of number in terms of percent of GDP, what that means is that one out of five people in any population or most any population are someway connected with healthcare. That is something that has grown significantly over the last decade. It’s also been something that has witnessed a very big transition going from the inpatient acute care setting to the outpatient setting that Dr. Akinci has pointed out.

We’re seeing growth in new directions for new technologies. One of the three areas that are unique to the Duquesne University program of population management is so critical because of the growing trends also in chronic conditions that are being documented. Looking at how to improve a population and looking at how to control costs are something that’s a very big part of this trend. We’re getting better in terms of managing costs, and we’re getting better at improving outcomes for patients, and all that together is telling very rapid growth in the 20% per year rate that is very significant. Yes, most definitely a growth industry.

Thank you. Those were very informative responses. What can students expect to learn in this program? Can you expound on the curriculum?

Of course. I think probably from my earlier response, I made a quick introduction to the curriculum. But before that, let me just highlight a couple important points for our students. The very first point being is that as we prepare the future accreditation of the program, MHA program, our curriculum design, and the competency framework that we adapted aligns very well with the Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Management education, which is referred to as CAHME.

More importantly, some of the key leadership competencies that we expect our students to accomplish and gain from this program also aligns well with the Healthcare Leadership Alliance Competency Model. But let me highlight those, because I think if you ask any prospect of employer today, if your students attend a reputable program, an accredited program or the program that has a strong focus on key competencies. What they typically assume they say the core business knowledge of what does it take to manage an entity. What are some of the challenging areas still for future healthy leaders are the competencies in communication and relationship management, professionalism, resilience, knowledge of the healthcare environment, and key business and analytical skills.

The competence model that we adapted at Duquesne is comparable to most of the other accredited programs. As I indicated, the program designed start with three important foundation courses, introduction to healthcare system designs, that’s the survey course that talks about how the funding system, how we organize the system, how do we assess system performance. More importantly, when we look at the outcomes assessment, what are some of the ways in which that we can learn experience from other nations. The course ends with a competitive analysis section that we ask students to take a look at US performance in terms of cost, excellent, quality, and compare to the developed nations.

I will have the opportunity and honor to teach in other core foundation course, that’s called health services, research, medicine statistics. It’s an important course in the curriculum, because the competencies that we expect our students to pick a significant problem, real-life problem in healthcare, and clearly defined scope of the problem, and then find a setting that you can actually apply and collect information or data to be able to answer your research question. Those competencies are critically important. Then once you gather the evidence, how do you analyze your findings? How do you make policy recommendations? All of those key foundational skills are taught in that health services, research and statistics course. Of course, Dr. Coyne’s course comes in place as well, health managerial accounting. Those are the key again, the finance competencies, managerial accounting competencies that we expect our students to have.

Again, on top of those, then the curriculum requires 27 additional credits. Again, these are all applied knowledge areas, from HR to marketing to strategic planning, healthcare, law and ethics. Now you’re learning the key business skills, but you have the opportunity… I will give you a concrete example. Rather than trying to solve a waiting line problem in McDonald’s, Dr. Coyne and I, we used to teach operations research course, our materials, our examples will be all healthcare-specific. You will be expected to optimize the operating room efficiency, you will be expected to optimize the traffic patterns in a hospital or nursing home setting. Again, all of those core courses will provide the key competencies in all healthcare applied fields.

Finally, as I already indicated, the concentration areas will give you an additional niche. I highly recommend our students to again be very selective on the type of concentration that they would like to pursue. I can give you one concrete example again in the area of healthcare compliance and risk management. Our previous dean of the law school at Duquesne, she sits at the Mercy Hospital board. She and I, we were talking about this about a year ago. She was really excited about the MHA program, but she said, “Fevzi, what else the dean of students will get in addition to core business and healthcare competencies that will distinguish them from their peers when they go to the job market?”

She was begging me, she said, “Please make sure to feature something in the area of healthcare compliance and risk management,” because we have a hard time finding qualified individuals in a real in doc area like the Pittsburgh who knows about the healthcare compliance and risk management and who can simply apply those skill sets in a wide variety of settings. Again, the program will provide you those additional skill sets and the competencies that will clearly again distinguish you from your peers in the job market.

I would just like a quick comment here in terms of Dr. Akinci’s reference to the CAHME Accreditation. I think that that is a very important element to any program’s success today, whether it’s online or on site residential. For the reason that if you look at the C-suites of healthcare systems today, the HFMA did a survey, the Healthcare Financial Management organization of the leaders of healthcare systems today, and 53% of these leaders are from a CAHME Accredited program. I think that’s a compelling statistic on how important CAHME Accreditation is, not just for the accreditation status, which is monumental, but in addition because as Dr. Akinci has said, is that there is a competency skill set that students will learn in this program when it is CAHME Accredited. Without that accreditation, it’s not something that is required. I think that’s a major distinguishing factor here for an MHA online program to be moving in the direction of CAHME Accreditation.

Also, I would like to say that, in looking at the competencies that students will learn in the MHA online program, these are the kinds of things where you see jobs being advertised through LinkedIn and other internet-based programs out there. What I do in my courses is teach tools and techniques that students can learn by way of case studies. We have a case study book that is from real-life stories of healthcare problems that exist out there and require financial tools and techniques that are going to help solve the problem here. We learn all the major tools and techniques in our courses here, and for mine, we teach not just finance and accounting, but it’s also looking at quality of care through the Triple Aim Program. We’re emphasizing improved outcomes, improved patient experience, as well as cost reduction.

Lastly, I always say to students that you want to continually update your resume on what kind of skill sets that you have, and what kinds of projects that you have worked on. I’m very pleased to see students that do that and can show the kinds of skill sets, the competencies and the applications that will earn them either promotions or new jobs that are going to have very, very good payback. Those are my comments on the curriculum.

Very good. Thank you both for answering that question so well. Since we’ve touched on the concentration area, can you elaborate a little bit more under three concentration areas, health informatics and data analytics, healthcare compliance and risk management, and population health?

I’ll leave Dr. Coyne tackle the health informatics and data analytics because I know that you know he has been doing research and he has been an international recognized expert in this area. But I’ll come back to the population health, let me just start with that. As Dr. Coyne already pointed out, if you look at today, almost like 6 out of 10 adults in the US have a chronic condition, and almost 4 in 10 adults have two or more chronic conditions. There are alternative ways of tackling this. We can advise people to adapt healthier practices, we can motivate them to sign up with the gyms and all that. But when we look at the cost effectiveness of those interventions, oftentimes they take years. Of course, it’s much more costly for somebody to not pay attention to their obesity and diabetes and ending up from complications.

The curriculum, the concentration on population health, starts with the managerial epidemiology class, what are some of the diseases that seems to be creating a huge burden in terms of both the human and cost aspect of the healthcare system? What are again most cost effective ways of intervening, so that people do not develop these high disease burden states and live longer life and quality of life. Managerial epidemiology class is the core concentration course in the population health track. We build on that an area that I have been exciting to do some research is the health promotion.

Again, Dr. Coyne and I we had an opportunity back in our other institution, we were together to design health risk assessments at a small-scale or large-scale corporations, private corporations, or public entities. Again, these are now a very unique set of predictive tools. We had a colleague in Helsinki, Dr. Coyne will remember him. With the eight questions, he can predict the likeness of somebody developing diabetes in the next 10 years. He uses the tool to screen exist population. Then he literally works with a group of dietitians and nurses, not even the physician to be able to prevent the cost of diseases as related to obesity and diabetes.

There’s no question in my mind that I think the population health is a growth area for featuring our students to excel. We finally finalizing the competencies in this area with a core course in healthcare economics and policy. In addition to not only designing and learning how to design wellness program, students will learn how to access again cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis of these interventions, and hopefully then we’ll be in a better position to develop policies for healthcare policymakers.

Again, this population health tech. I would allow Dr. Coyne to comment on the informatics and we will wrap up with healthcare compliance and risk management.

I think it’s very important to recognize the healthcare informatics area as one of the key areas. With electronic medical records being more and more a part of healthcare systems today, we’re seeing this huge transition going on from a paper-based medical record system to a very high-touch kind of interactive healthcare system with the electronic medical record. But also, it’s a transition that we’re seeing, that is looking at improvements that are occurring in terms of the physicians access to this information. As they’re treating patients and improving patient’s health, they’re looking at what are all the key indicators as derived from the electronic medical record.

That’s something which I think is very critical today in terms of what’s going on in the healthcare systems today. It’s really fueling a lot of the growth as we see more and more sophistication in tracking health conditions through the electronic medical record. The data analytics is something that I cannot stress enough as important for people as they enter in MHA online program, since data analytics or in a generic sense, business analytics are something which employers want in terms of their healthcare setting. They want to be able to look at how the population is improving, and looking at how the trends do show for different chronic conditions as it relates to their population.

The data analytics is something that’s very important in inflaming in terms of looking at key projects that are going on out there in terms of Medicare, Medicaid, for looking at what they want. What they want is to look at ways to achieve savings. They call it shared savings by way of partnerships. When you put all these elements together with electronic medical records, electronic financial reporting systems, we have payers working with providers to try to look at how they can achieve savings while achieving the specific targets thereafter for improved health of their population.

All that really fits very well together when looking at the three concentration areas, but in particular, data analytics is top up there. It’s not hard to see how much of an important role that is when you’re seeing physicians, physician assistants that are looking at dashboards daily to look at how their population is doing and what specific elements ought to be included for addressing the growing chronic conditions that exist. That’s all a very different way of saying that healthcare informatics and data analytics is critical in growing and playing a bigger role, much bigger role than ever before in healthcare delivery.

Thank you, Dr. Coyne. I’ll just know if finalize with the healthcare compliance and risk management concentration. To the best of our knowledge, this concentration is the only concentration available as of today is part of an MHA program, an online program nationally. I’m really excited about again, our partnership with the Law School on this. You will be taught by experts who are doing this on a day-to-day and simply just for compliance violations. As you know, every day, 10 cost organizations, including healthcare organizations, millions of dollars to take her to bridges. Dr. Coyne talked about the electronic medical records, again, patient privacy, confidentiality, those are all important aspects of running a healthcare entity. The concentration starts with a core course called healthcare law and ethics. Again, that’s the general introduction to the healthcare laws applicable the ethical rules and regulations.

Then you really move in and specialize in, what does it take an organization to, again, to ensure that you are complying with the Applicable Federal Laws and State Laws. Then what practice major steps you can take in order to potentially prevent some litigation for financial risk management. Again, these are highly specialized areas. I’m delighted one more time to be partnering with our law school faculty. Again, some of them are practitioners in the field. I know that I also line up somebody with Highmark to teach the healthcare litigation risk management class. He’s a top ranking officer in the Highmark, and he does it every day.

Again, for those students who are potentially interested in this area, I’ll be delighted to answer some additional questions. But in the interest of time, I’m going to stop here.

Very good. Thank you both. Finally, what courses will each of you be teaching this semester?

That’s an excellent question for a Dean and Acting Chair and a faculty member. I will start. I made my personal commitment, as busy as I am, and I will be. I would like to teach at least one course on a regular basis in the MHA program. I volunteer to teach the introduction to healthcare systems course, that’s the gate keeping course, because I used to teach that unit past 15, 17 years, and I love the course. Again, students bring their biases, their aspirations, their questions, their confusion to this system level analysis. That’s an excellent point to start the curriculum. But my area of expertise with my PhD training in health services, research methods and statistics, if I were to just pick my baby, that will be my baby in the curriculum.

Most likely, I would like to take a leadership with a course health services, research methods and statistics. I have a quick story about that. When I was hired as a junior faculty member at my private institution, that was an elective course. Dr. Coyne may actually remember the story. I prep so well for this class. I was so excited, I was right out of the PhD. Then as soon as I show up on campus, the dean told me, “Kindly, Fevzi, I have good news and bad news. Good news. Again, you’re here, we are delighted and all that.” He said, “The big news that not nobody sign up for your research methods class.” I was too devastated, I did not know what to say. Of course students were overly concerned about my level of expectations of teaching that course. It only took a year or two for me to comfort them, and it has been a positive experiences since that time. But again, moving forward, I am committed to teach this one foundational core course in the program, and I’m really excited about that.

I will add to Dr. Akinci’s description there on the course, to say, I will be teaching the healthcare managerial accounting course, and I’m delighted to be doing that. I’ll give you a couple of examples of what that course will involve to any of the student participants out there. Is a course that really is aimed at the key area of cost analysis and cost accounting as applied to healthcare institutions. As I mentioned, we use a case book to look at applications of tools and techniques. We will look at things like breakeven analysis for a medical group setting. We will look at other tools such as trend analysis, and also percentage change analysis, as we call it, to look at trends over time.

One thing that I always stress with my students is the need to be able to think on your feet, so that by that what I mean is don’t be always expecting to use Excel to make your calculations. You should be able to do these calculations just in your head and not with the aid of a computer or calculator of anytime. That’s a practical kind of skill set that I teach students to look at.

We will begin the course with a look at healthcare reforms, or specifically payment reforms. We’re looking at the trends that are occurring right now as we convert from volume to value. I have students look at the Wall Street Journal, and look at Healthcare Financial Management Journal, to identify key articles over the past year on healthcare payment reforms, and looking at a statewide examples, as well as internationally to try to see how that we’re moving from this volume to value transition to look at improved outcomes in lower costs in delivery of healthcare.

My course is inclusive number of tools, as I mentioned, and with the aim that students will not just learn in isolation the tools that are so important for cost analysis, but they will see how to make the application, how to make the application to manage care settings, and acute care settings, and most importantly, in looking at how to convert from fee-for-service to manage care measurements using per member per month kinds of calculations.

That’s a little bit about healthcare managerial accounting. I’m very, very pleased to have the opportunity to teach students more in this area.

Wow, well, thank you both very much. That’s very impressive, and I definitely hear the passion in both of your voices.

Thank you.

Thank you.

The information you’ve provided is a wealth of information for our listeners today. I just want to add that less than a year ago, I graduated with my masters in health informatics from Purdue University Global. I honestly feel that as a mid-career online absorb learner, guidance and support is vital in order to have a great experience and to succeed in grad school. That is one of the many features and benefits of being a student at Duquesne University.

Students who are enrolled in the master of Health Administration program will be a part of a team that is available and ready to guide them throughout the two years they are enrolled in grad school. Every MHA student is assigned to an MHA faculty mentors such as Dr. Coyne and Dr. Akinci. These mentors, they lead our online Health Administration program, they are among the best in their fields, therefore, they teach from firsthand experience.

Additionally, I often hear from students that going back to school is a huge financial investment as well as time commitments, and it is, which is why Duquesne University’s students have an entire support team dedicated to a student from the very beginning of the enrollment process to the time they are walking across the stage at graduation. I’m sure the support extends even beyond that. At this time, we are going to open the floor to any questions our listeners may have. Please take the time now to start answering your questions if you haven’t already done so in the question box at the bottom of your screen.

Earlier, I just see a few questions rolled in during our initial questions. Let’s begin by answering some of those questions as other questions are rolling in. I do see here one listener was asking, what are the challenges facing future healthcare administrators?

I think the best way to describe the challenges is that it’s all about providing the best possible healthcare services to the people with the available resources. Again, I used to teach healthcare economics over the years. As much as we all want to have the best practices, access the best technology and services, but there’s limited resources. But key areas of challenge, I think as it relates to healthcare services can be summarized as first, having real access physical and financial access to be able to get to the services. We study that quite a bit from the perspective of social demographic predictors of access to healthcare, geographic location, male distribution of healthcare workforce and employees.

The second thing is that once people access to healthcare services, what kind of the cost implications that they face from out-of-pocket, even though they may have health insurance coverage. Oftentimes we refer to as the system design, whether or not people pay the peace of mind that God forbid if something happens to them, then they will have access to health insurance coverage, and they will not be expected to be bankrupt just because of expected out-of-pocket expenses. Except US, all other industrialized nations offers the peace of mind that, God forbid, again, if something happens that you are guaranteed to have access to healthcare services, and then oftentimes the other pocket expenses are minimal.

The truth aspect that Dr. Coyne also mentioned a couple times today is the outcomes. He kept referring to this value-based purchasing. I think one of the key challenges for future healthcare leaders to make sure that we again, we make the best use of our resources. We need to optimize the effective use of healthcare services, to make sure that they issue the best possible outcomes. Oftentimes, there are multiple ways of accomplishing that, there’s not only one way. But oftentimes again, we tend to do some shortcuts or not make decisions based on evidence. That’s the important challenge for our graduate students to have the skill sets and the competencies to be able to base their decisions on evidence.

Thank you so much.

Dr. Coyne.

Just briefly, I want to say that in my specific area as far as the financial world and CFOs that live in that world daily, they just did a survey of the CFOs of all the major health systems in the US, and this was conducted by Healthcare Financial Management Association. They asked the CFOs, how well prepared are you for value-based purchasing and making the transition to looking at outcomes and looking at improve population health in a financial sense or in the financial world? The answer came back from the CFOs that were surveyed, only 26% of them today, this is current day, felt prepared for this new environment.

I think what Dr. Akinci is launching here with the MHA online program at Duquesne University is going to prepare our future healthcare leaders with what’s needed out there. That is that they know about data analytics, they know about population health, and they know about risk and compliance and that whole area. We have a big job in front of us. It’s not a small task, but a very major task. I have many friends that are CFOs, and they tell me the same thing. There are the majority of CFOs don’t have the kind of preparation that they should have for making this transition to a value-based program to looking at instead of volume, value, a value in the sense of improved outcomes for the patients.

I think that it’s a startling statistic to look at. But that’s why the MHA online program here at Duquesne has such value or added value for the students that will be taking the courses in the program.

Very good. Thank you, Dr. Akinci and Dr. Coyne. A very important question just came in, what are the admission requirements for the program? Do I need any experience?

Admissions requirements are very comparable to most recognized programs in our field. Again, some of them are standard requirements that we expect our prospective students to have a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, and our requirement for GPA is 3.0, this is standard cross the board. In addition to this, we do take a close look at the resume or the curriculum vitae of the people. While the work experience is not required, it’s highly valid. I used to teach at a small liberal arts college, and they had a partnership with an establishment health system called guiding the health care system in the northeastern PA. I can tell you guys that some of the highly accomplished physicians, back in the year before they get into the medical school, or during their medical school, needful, their GPs were not the top rank.

But ultimately, we want to make sure that people have the experience, they have the appreciation of the challenges in the healthcare system, and they’re passionate about assuming those challenging roles. In addition to the standard test scores, again, GPAs and all that, we do pay attention to the work experience. It’s part of our holistic admission criteria. We do require students to write an essay. I personally enjoy reading them and take them seriously. I highly encourage students to tell us what attracted them about the Duquesne MHA online program. Oftentimes, there’s fascinating stories about that. We always remember them. When the students show up for class, oftentimes is something that comes out of your essay very strongly.

We oftentimes make connections with them. Finally, we do require two lists of recommendations, but there is no GRE of GMAT scores required for admission into the MHA online program at Duquesne University.

There you go. Thank you. I think we have time for just one more question. The final question is, who would you say is the ideal student for this program?

I think this is a good question. Dr. Coyne will follow up. The number of different programs across the United States, some of them are geared towards typically for only working adults, working professionals and their respective executive programs. Our program is actually unique, because we do welcome for those people who are working adults who are looking for advancements in their careers. But at the same time, we also welcome recent college graduates. We actually have a very strong undergraduate program at Duquesne University, and several of our senior students are expressing interest in joining us.

Again, it’s a different cohort, but the learning experiences in the classroom and online platform is fascinating. For a brand new college graduates to interact with a top ranking or middle range executive in the healthcare field from San Francisco area or Indiana, I think, to me that’s fascinating opportunity. We do expect again, the blend of a good healthy blend of both adapt learners and traditional learners in our program.

I would like just to add that, from my perspective on ideal candidates or ideal students here for MHA online program is not necessarily somebody that’s sitting up in the C-suite already, but somebody that wants to get towards that C-suite. Motivation, hard work, and drive for making improvements in your professional career and your professional experience in your expertise, I think is a very important factor. Some students will ask me about, “Well, I have no experience.” My response to that is volunteer for some role in shadowing, management person or various other kinds of roles or responsibilities and getting something that’s on your resume that says you have some experience, even if it’s volunteer is a very big competitive advantage in your application. I think that that’s an important element here that we would like to see. Then building off of that in terms of later placements that can occur with the Highmarks and the UPMC in the backyard of Duquesne University.

Very good. Well, I think we have answered as many questions as possible at this time. We are now going to wrap up today’s session. Well, thank you again, Dr. Akinci and Dr. Coyne for joining us today for a great discussion about the MHA program and for highlighting what really sets Duquesne apart from other universities.

To our listeners, If you have any additional questions or you are ready to get started on your application for the Spring 2020 semester, don’t hesitate to contact the enrollment team. Thomas and I are here to answer all your questions and to assist you throughout the enrollment process. Again, thank you everyone for joining us today. We hope everyone will have a wonderful rest of the day and weekend.

Thank you. Appreciate it.

Thank you.