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Business School joins alliance to heighten awareness of health care management

Dr. Errol Biggs

The CU Denver Business School has joined with nine other major institutions, including the Harvard Business School, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, to form an alliance dedicated to raising the profile and improving the quality of health care management education nationwide.

“The invitation to join the alliance puts the Business School’s health care administration program in the top echelon nationally,” said Errol Biggs, director of programs in health administration at the CU Denver Business School. “We are the only school in the Rocky Mountain area asked to participate, and we look forward to raising awareness about the mission of the alliance.”

Alliance of leaders

The invitation to join the Business School Alliance for Healthcare Management (BSAHM) came from Duke University officials who recognized that CU Denver had shown a commitment to research, hiring high-quality faculty and a dedication to service in the health care sector.

“Our Advisory Board and faculty members here at the Business School agreed it was a great idea to join,” said Dr. Biggs. The alliance was launched by Duke in late May to focus on growing student interest in health care management careers.

Other alliance members include Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Yale School of Management, Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Boston University School of Management, and Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

Despite a recession that has impacted almost every sector of the economy, the business of health care has been a major growth area. The passage of a comprehensive health care bill by Congress and its potential implications has increased interest in the field.

According to BusinessWeek, enrollment in health care management programs has mushroomed, and the industry is one of the few that has generated a surge of campus recruiting.

Education must be robust and well rounded

“The alliance’s founding institutions believe management education must be robust to successfully turn out leaders who define leadership issues in health care in the fundamental language of business, designing solutions from that framework,” said Kevin Schulman, health sector management director at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

“The recent health care reform legislation largely revolved around the critical issue of access to care for the uninsured. But other crises loom even larger for most Americans: the chronic over-utilization of tests and specialist services; misaligned incentives; staggeringly high costs; and variable or poor quality of care.”

Alumni go on to take top health care positions

CU Denver Business School’s health care management programs are recognized by both the Association to Advance the Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Alumni have taken top positions in health care administration.

The alliance plans to run a competition for students who will apply management skills to deal with health care issues surrounding a specific case. The alliance will also encourage hospitals to hire their graduates and set up a peer review of each other’s programs.

“We have some of the finest faculty, staff and students in the nation, and it’s gratifying to see them recognized among the top institutions,” Biggs said. “I am excited about what we all can do together to promote the role of education in developing future leaders in health care management.”

Located on the University of Colorado Denver’s downtown campus, the Business School is the largest accredited graduate school of business in Colorado with more than 18,000 alumni. The school serves more than 1,200 graduate students and 1,400 undergraduate students each year. Students and faculty are involved in solving real-world business problems as they collaborate on more than 100 projects with area businesses every semester through classroom work, guest lectures and research projects.