One of the emerging in-demand career tracks at The University of Alabama is its Healthcare Management Program, housed within the nationally recognized Culverhouse College of Commerce.
The program currently has more than 75 undergraduate students enrolled, and includes numerous healthcare-focused classes. Each class explores different facets of the ever-changing, data-intensive career path, and includes in its curriculum as much real-world application as possible, to prepare students post-graduation for successful careers in the growing field of healthcare management.
In cooperation with the University, Culverhouse, and Dr. Marilyn Whitman, Assistant Professor and Healthcare Management Coordinator, students work directly with RealHealth AnalyticsTM , a cloud-based analytics platform that is accessible via a web browser for the purpose of providing Medicare claims data to healthcare entities. The data comes from RealTime Medicare Data, a Birmingham-based healthcare analytics company. Its founder and CEO, Gina McWilliams, is a 1981 graduate of the University.
“With this information, students are benefiting from exposure to the same data today’s C-suite healthcare executives are using to make strategic business decisions about their hospital’s growth trajectory,” said McWilliams. “Instead of these students conceptually discussing theories about how healthcare providers can boost growth, maintain efficiency, and mitigate risk, all of which are key elements of the Affordable Care Act, they can learn these concepts referencing legitimate Medicare claims data.”
Dr. Whitman said, “Working with this data will greatly enhance students’ knowledge of Medicare and provide them with a deeper understanding of how Medicare reimbursement can affect an organization’s financial decision-making and overall financial performance. As the industry continues to shift from the traditional volume-based model to a patient-centric, value-based approach that places improved clinical outcomes at the center, it is vital that we develop analytics competencies in our students to help meet the needs of healthcare organizations.”