Health Policy & Management

  • SPH PM 702: Introduction to Health Policy, Delivery, and Management
    Almost 90 percent of the $2.8 trillion spent on health care in this nation in 2012 was used to provide medical services to individuals. High costs, unequal coverage and access, stresses on many caregivers, tradeoffs among quality and cost and access, and growing political tensions afflict U.S. health care. These problems affect all of us who work in public health. This course analyzes these problems, their causes, and ways to solve them. Specifically, how can our vast human and financial resources be marshaled and managed to improve health care delivery for all Americans? To answer this question, the course examines how people are covered, how care is organized and delivered, how money is raised and caregivers are paid, management, politics, ethics, and more. It considers hospitals, physicians and other caregivers, long-term care, prescription drugs, and mental health. NOTE: This course meets the health policy and management MPH core requirement. It is the prerequisite for most others in the department. Peace Corps/MI students who are not HPM concentrators, students studying on F-1 or J-1 visas, students who are not permanent residents of the U.S. and who are not Health Policy and Management concentrators, and all International Health concentrators may substitute IH704.
  • SPH PM 721: Organizational Behavior in Health Care
    Graduate Prerequisites: PM702 or IH704 or SAR HP353 for nonconcentrators
    This course provides a framework for understanding, diagnosing, and taking actions to improve individual, group, and system-wide effectiveness in health services organizations. Concepts from the organizational behavior literature are applied to issues in health services organizations. Some of the topics this course addresses and integrates are leadership, motivation, culture, team dynamics, organization design and coordination, and organizational change. Case studies, brief lectures, student presentations, and experiential exercises are used throughout this course, and working in teams is a large component of the course.
  • SPH PM 733: Health Program Management
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 or IH704 or SAR HP353 (for non-concentrators)
    This course associates the role of a leader and manager in provider and payer health care settings with real-world business knowledge and skills. It aims to better equip present and future health care managers in order to lead, plan effectively, anticipate challenges and marshal resources. Students will gain an appreciation for the complexities of management and leadership in challenging health care situations. Concepts will be discussed briefly with the greater emphasis on the development of the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in today's changing health care environment. This course will make significant use of case study and requires class participation. Topics include differentiating leadership from management, patient and process flow, the importance of organizational culture, and managing change. In addition, one session is devoted entirely as a workshop on provider-payer health care negotiations. PM733 is a summer-long course.
  • SPH PM 734: Principles and Practices in Non-Profit Health Care Accounting
    This course combines didactic and case study approaches to the fundamentals of nonprofit accounting, with emphasis on health care institutions. Topics covered include accrual accounting, fund accounting, budgeting, and cost concepts. Analysis and interpretation of financial statements for decision making by the nonfinancial manager are stressed.
  • SPH PM 735: Health Care Finance: How Policy-makers and Managers Can Use Money as a Tool to Improve Health Care
    Graduate Prerequisites: PM702 or consent of instructor
    This course describes how money works in health care. It examines how policy-makers and managers view and use money. It presents a variety of useful analytic techniques, and then explores alternative methods of employing money to shape more accessible, affordable, and effective health care. We examine current financial crises and managerial problems in health care along with alternative ways to remedy them. No financial or accounting background is assumed.
  • SPH PM 736: Human Resource Management in Public Health
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 or IH704 or SAR HP353 (for non-concentrators)
    This course provides students with a skills-based orientation to human resource management, especially in a public health or human services setting. Core human resource management activities such as staffing, training and development, compensation, and employee relations are explored via readings, cases, and experiential activities. Using case examples that illustrate basic principles, students develop strategies to improve human resources practices through job analysis, selection, training, compensation, and employee relations, while developing an awareness of the unique aspects of the health care workforce that affect human resource management in such settings.
  • SPH PM 740: Comparative Health Systems and Policy in Industrialized and BRIC Countries
    Graduate Prerequisites: The MPH health policy and management core course or equivalent or permission of instructor
    This course examines the population and individual health systems of industrialized and emerging countries, exploring each system's historic, cultural, political, economic and demographic antecedents. There are significant variations in organization, finance, structure, operations and population level outcomes. Since the US health system performs at the top of cost and the low end of outcome measures there are lessons to be learned from other systems, but it is essential first to understand why differences among systems developed and persist.
  • SPH PM 744: Introduction to Health Facility Planning & Design
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 or IH704 or SAR HP353 (for non-concentrators)
    This course explores the factors that drive the planning, design and construction of healthcare facilities. Key concepts, such as converting market demand to workloads, workloads to space programs, and programs into functional designs - while considering quality, cost, and schedule aspects - will be discussed. By understanding the processes that planning and design professionals use to translate ideas into 'bricks and mortar, students will learn how educated owners develop successful healthcare facilities.
  • SPH PM 755: Health Care Delivery Systems: Issues and Innovations
    Graduate Prerequisites: PM702
    This required intermediate course in the Health Policy Management concentration is designed as a hands-on introduction to the complex organizational and delivery aspects of many levels of health care--primary care, mental health, long term care and hospital-based care. Students are introduced to concepts such as Patient Centered Medical Home, the Chronic Care Model, patient-centered care, care coordination, team-based care (teamlets), the Institute of Medicine's six aims for improvement and the IOM's 10 Rules for Redesign, and implementation science frameworks. Students select a health care problem/policy of their choice to research and potentially solve. This will involve students' examining the barriers and facilitators to achieving quality health care as described in this policy, and conducting field-based interviews with experts in this area to learn more about their perspectives on this health care problem. Using the Chronic Care Model, students will describe a new policy that meets the IOM's Six Aims for Improvement or 10 Rules for Redesign. Then, using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, students will discuss the steps needed to bring their new policy into action. Written and group work, self-reflections, peer review, a professional presentation, and a final policy brief compose the graded assignments during this course
  • SPH PM 758: Introduction to Mental Health Services
    Graduate Prerequisites: None.
    The purpose of this course is to develop a basic understanding of the mental health service delivery system and its relationship to public health and to the health care delivery system. Topics include a description of mental health services, epidemiology of mental health disorders, the current delivery system, mental health managed care, innovations in mental health services, and mental health policy, financing, and standards of treatment. Other issues such as parity, consumer and family advocacy movements, and issues relevant to children and adolescents are also discussed.
  • SPH PM 776: Managerial Skills for Problem Solving
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 or IH704 AND PM721. Students must be willing to share experiences in class, and attendance is mandatory. Closed to web registration; to apply, complete application available from HPM.
    Students explore a variety of problems that they face as managers and leaders, learn self-discovery and interpersonal skills useful in solving these problems, and have opportunities to practice applying those skills, through the analysis of their own experiences in organizations. The aim of the course is to provide skills and confidence that students can use to face and solve interpersonal problems. The class also introduces students to systems thinking as a way to map and manage the underlying dynamics that produce managerial problems. Specific skills relevant to the case problems are developed through reading assignments, written case analysis, interactive class exercises, real-world practice, and lectures.
  • SPH PM 780: Managerial Accounting for Healthcare Leaders
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 AND PM734 or experience with financial spreadsheets.
    This course will focus on the differences between financial and managerial accounting, and how to apply financial data to everyday decision making in a health care organization. Students will develop skills in: creating financial reports that project both revenues and expenses into the future; evaluating such reports as the basis for operational and strategic decisions; and understanding the relationship between cost measurement and behavior.
  • SPH PM 802: Pharmaceutical Management, Policy and Practice in the 21st Century: A Case Study Approach
    Graduate Prerequisites: MPH biostatistics, epidemiology, and health policy and management core courses
    This course, formerly PM742, gives an overview of the pharmaceutical industry domestically and internationally in a public health context. The course will synthesize and integrate key pharmaceutical topics with a focus on health policy and management. Topics include the functions of the FDA, research and development of drugs, government regulation and patents, access to drugs, vaccines, Medicare Part D, Accountable Care Act and the use of large pharmaceutical datasets to investigate the effectiveness of drugs. This course will use a case study approach targeted to real world decision making problems raised by the pharmaceutical industry.
  • SPH PM 807: Introduction to Cost Effectiveness Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 or PM814 and the MPH biostatistics core course requirement.Students may not take PM807 and PM855 for degree credit.
    This course examines the use of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) in health policy and medical decision-making. Students gain a working knowledge of theoretical and practical issues encountered in conducting and applying CEA, i.e. identifying costs and relative effectiveness and consequences of health care interventions (e.g., pharmaceuticals), prevention programs, and policies. Approaches to formulating the problem, adopting a perspective for the analysis, measuring costs, evaluating consequences, discounting, and reflecting uncertainty are discussed. Emphasis is on acquiring skills necessary for becoming informed consumers of CEA, learning to appraise published literature, and developing simple cost-effectiveness models. Case studies demonstrate the use of CEAs. Exercises highlight methodological issues and the development of models in several in-class computer lab sessions. The computer lab sessions offer hands-on experience with the design of models in TreeAge and Microsoft Excel. The class is appropriate for students in the Pharmaceuticals Program. Students who take PM855 may not take PM807.
  • SPH PM 810: Introduction to U.S. Government for Public Health Students
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702 or consent of instructor.
    This course is a brief introduction to the institutions, processes, and politics of federal institutions; how they were designed and how they actually operate today. Concepts of power, representation, interests and public opinion are explored. Cases in the course focus on public health policies. Students learn to use the internet to find how particular public health issues are handled by the federal government.
  • SPH PM 811: Health Services Research and Methods
    Graduate Prerequisites: The biostatistics MPH core course requirement and PM702 or PM814
    This course emphasizes an application-oriented approach to the study of health services research with the goal of informing health care policy. Emphasis is on definition of the problem, scale of the study, research methods, and analysis. A foundation is covered among the following possible areas: measurement issues (reliability and validity), secondary data analysis, clinical trials, sampling, survey methods, qualitative methods, and economics (cost-effectiveness). Students are expected to prepare a grant proposal on a contemporary topic of their own choosing with health policy implications.
  • SPH PM 814: Contemporary Theoretical and Empirical Issues in Health Services Research
    Graduate Prerequisites: Admission to MS or PhD program in Health Services Research or consentof instructor.
    This cornerstone course for the MS and PhD programs in Health Services Research provides an introduction to the issues, policies, and research questions in the field. Namely, how do institutions, organizations, and policy decisions, as well as the actions of people whose needs are to be served, affect the quality, quantity, and availability of health care? How is research informing changes in health services? Readings are drawn from research reports and articles. The course challenges students to formulate research questions and consider evidence within the evolving, multidisciplinary context of the health services research field of inquiry.
  • SPH PM 818: Health Information Technology
    Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PM702
    This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to evaluate and manage information technology in heath care organizations. In particular it focuses on the role of IT in driving organizational change and supporting quality improvement and elimination of medical errors. Topics include electronic health records, computerized provider order entry, interoperability, management decision support, and provider pay for performance. The perspective of the course is that of the chief information officer (CIO) and other managers and users of health care information systems, not that of the technical specialist. The course will consist of a series of lectures, cases, and discussions, some of which will be led by guest lecturers who are experts in the field of health care information technology and systems. Course requirements include a quiz, a 10-page paper, and a class presentation. The class meets at the Charles River Campus with GSM HM817 on the GSM schedule.
  • SPH PM 821: Advanced Health Services Research Methods
    Graduate Prerequisites: BS723 or consent AND PM811
    This course builds on SPH PM811 by providing advanced methods and their applications to studies of health care outcomes, quality, and economics. Methods covered include: advanced measurement techniques such as item response theory and applications through computer adaptive testing, selecting the research design, meta-analysis, advanced statistics applied to grant proposals, and econometric methods using instrumental variables. Students develop an original paper based upon a secondary data analysis.
  • SPH PM 824: Theory & Research on Organizations
    Graduate Prerequisites: MS or PhD candidate in health services research degree program or consent
    The purposes of this course are first to develop the students' understanding of major theoretical perspectives on health care organizations, and second to develop their abilities to apply these theories to conduct theory-based research on health care organizations. The course achieves this understanding through an in-depth review of contemporary literature addressing each major theoretical perspective and through written assignments and discussions of the contrasts among the major theoretical perspectives on organizations. To develop their abilities to apply the theories, students also design organizational research based upon the different theories.