The focus of this course is on the budget process for health care organizations. Participants are exposed to specific techniques of health care budgeting and variance analysis. The objectives for this course are for participants to improve their understanding of the budget process as it applies to health care organizations and to learn valuable specific techniques of budgeting and variance analysis. This course accomplishes its objectives by covering a wide range of budgeting topics from introductory through advanced. The course is provided in an online format.
The course has six weeks of lessons. Each week there are approximately 3 hours of Lessons using video imaging, audio, and power point slides. Students watch and listen to these Lessons online at their convenience via a Blackboard website. During each week students participate in online discussions focusing on not only the Lessons, but also readings and homework problem sets that are assigned for that week. Students taking the course for Graduate credit are required to email homework assignments each week.
Topics covered include an introduction and overview of health care budgeting covering basic definitions, purposes, and uses of budgets in health care, the long range plan, programming, operating budgets, capital budgets, and fixed and variable costs. A nursing unit operating budget is examined in detail. Additional topics covered include zero based budgeting, cost estimation and forecasting, break-even analysis, performance budgeting, flexible budget variance analysis and capital budgeting. Health care examples and applications are used throughout all parts of the organization.
Another objective of the course is to provide a working knowledge of the Excel computer software program to class participants who are not already conversant in Excel. Tutorial lessons in Excel are provided covering the basic mechanics of Excel, Excel graphs (charts), and budgeting applications of Excel.