Health Policy & Management

Apply-Via-HAMPCAS-Now-ButtontopHealth Policy and Management is the multidisciplinary study of many factors—including social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors—that affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Concepts and models from many fields—including economics, management, policy, psychology, and sociology—are brought to bear on the problems and successes of the US health care system in order to advance our understanding of how it can be improved.

The Master of Public Health program with a concentration in Health Policy and Management provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to formulate sound, creative solutions to complex problems in the health care system. These skills and areas of knowledge include health care management, health policy and planning, financial analysis for health care, and organization and delivery of care. Students gain hands-on research and practice experience through departmental professional development and research opportunities. Research groups that involve HPM faculty include the Center on Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research (CHQOER), the VA’s Center for Organization, Leadership, and Management Research (COLMR), the Center for the Assessment of Pharmaceutical Practices (CAPP), Health & Disability Working Group (HDWG), and the Health & Disability Research Institute (HDRI). Upon graduation, HPM concentrators are equipped with the knowledge and skills essential for understanding and intervening in the financing, policy-making, planning, and management and organization of health care services. Career pathways for graduates include employment as managers, research analysts, and advocates within private and public sector organizations across the US and beyond.

Department of Health Policy & Management Mission

The mission of the department of Health Policy & Management’s MPH program is to advance both research and education that is directed at improving access, quality and value in healthcare, meeting the educational and professional development needs of recent graduates and early to mid-career health system professionals who seek to become leaders in evidence-based healthcare management and/or policy.

Vision

  • To provide a flexible program for both full-time and part-time students, at multiple career stages
  • To provide an education that sensitizes students to the problems of health disparities and disparate access plaguing the current US healthcare system
  • To provide an education that cultivates students’ ability to develop their career goals and professional skills as well as their content-specific skills
  • To become a nationally competitive program option for students who seek to become leaders in the field

Values

  • Excellent teaching, student advising, and career preparation
  • Understanding the health sector from multiple perspectives, with emphasis on underrepresented stakeholders
  • Interdisciplinary team work and analysis, both in research and in practice
  • Effective implementation of evidence derived from rigorous research into practice

Competencies

In addition to the program competencies that all MPH graduates master, upon completing the requirements for the MPH in Health Policy and Management, graduates are able to:

  • analyze how the structures, processes, and outcomes observed in the organization, delivery, and financing of health services in the US are related both to one another and to historical and contextual influences, and compare these aspects of the US system to those in other developed nations
  • analyze the current health care policy issues that face US, state, and local communities; evaluate policies in terms of their effectiveness, efficiency, and equity; and identify the factors influencing successful policy implementation
  • assess how political, organizational, and occupational structures, cultures, and norms influence the ways in which health care is allocated and provided; analyze how these factors affect changes in health policy and/or systems; and develop strategies to promote an organization’s or constituency’s position
  • critically appraise health care-quality data and measurement methods for pursuing quality improvement, identify strategies for quality improvement, and apply structured approaches to implementing change

Health Policy and Management Sub-Concentrations

Health Policy and Management concentrators may choose a general course of study in Health Policy & Management or one of the three sub-concentrations: Management, Policy, or Finance. Your advisor can help you decide if a sub-concentration is right for you. To designate a sub-concentration, concentrators must submit an Sub-concentration Designation Form. For detailed course listings, visit the Health Policy and Management Concentrator’s Guide, the BU online bulletin, or the Health Policy & Management audit sheet.

    Health Care Management Sub-Concentration

    Healthcare management aims to improve quality, value and access in health care through optimizing the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare systems. BUSPH’s CAHME-accredited practice-based  sub-concentration in management provides graduates crucial analytical and leadership competencies to tackle these challenges. Graduates can analyze the organization, financing and delivery of healthcare; analyze effects of healthcare policy; apply project management and quality improvement tools; and lead individuals and teams to improve care delivery. Graduates work for hospitals, health centers, health systems, quality-improvement organizations, or consulting firms. Some directly support clinical care (e.g. as managers in clinical areas) while others are responsible for business functions that support care (e.g. as financial analysts). In this certificate program, you will develop conceptual, analytical, and practical knowledge that will facilitate your advancement in the healthcare management field. 

    Upon completion of the MPH with a subconcentration in Healthcare Management, graduates excel in four key areas: Health care system analysis, implementation and improvement, leadership, and professionalism.

    Health Care Systems Analysis

    Health Care System Analysis

    Upon graduation, students will be able to:

    • Analyze how the structures, processes and outcomes observed in the organization, delivery, and financing of health services in the U.S. are related both to one another and to historical and contextual influences, and can compare these aspects of the US system to those in other developed nations.
    • Apply economic and political analysis to understand causes of high costs associated with the delivery of health care services in the U.S. and develop and evaluate the effectiveness of possible remedies (or solutions).
    • Analyze the current policy issues that face U.S., state and local communities; evaluate policies in terms of their effectiveness, efficiency and equity; and understand the factors influencing successful policy implementation.
    • Assess how political, organizational and occupational structures, cultures, and norms influence the ways in which health care is allocated and provided, analyze how these factors affect changes in health policy and/or systems, and develop strategies to promote an organization’s or constituency’s position.

    Implementation and Improvement

    Upon graduation, students will be able to:

    • Translate visions and strategies into specific goals and plans; analyze strategic alternatives with respect to the actions and options of other organizations.
    • Critically appraise health care quality data and measurement methods for pursuing quality improvement, identify strategies for quality improvement and apply structured approaches for implementing change.
    • Apply planning/management tools and techniques to achieve successful project completion.
    • Identify roles and applications of health information systems in managing health care delivery, financing, and quality assessment.

    Leadership

    Upon graduation, students will be able to:

    • Set clear goals and expectations, select and bring together people with the requisite skills and knowledge; assess the contributions of others, provides clear developmental feedback and improve one’s own performance based on feedback from others.
    • Identify important interests of multiple parties to understand the dynamics of conflicts in interpersonal, organizational, and political contexts, and develop viable solutions to identified problems.
    • Practice structured approaches for transition from the current to the future state in implementing changes in health care policy and management.

    Professionalism

    Upon graduation, students will be able to:

    • Present in a clear, logical manner in formal and informal situations, communicate clearly in small and large group meetings, use technology to present ideas and data.
    • Write and communicate in a clear, logical, and grammatical manner in a variety of formats (e-mails, policy briefs, memos, research papers).
    • Develops strategies for exploring career options and accurately seeing own strengths and development needs; establish and sustain professional networks; and apply ethical guidelines for sound professional practice.

    Information on graduation and careers

    Graduation and Careers

    For academic years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015, 100% of students who sought to the complete the management sub-concentration did so.

    For academic years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, 100% of graduates were either employed in the field or in further graduate education within 6 months of graduation. Sample organizations include:

    • Blue Cross Blue Shield
    • Veterans Administration Medical Center
    • Partners Healthcare
    • PwC
    • Huron Consulting
    • Advocate Healthcare
    • Cedars Sinai
    • Quintiles Advisory Services
    • Boston Medical Center
    • U Michigan Health System
    • Boston Children’s Hospital

    Final statistics are not yet available for academic year 2014-2015, but 80% were employed within 30 days of graduation.

    Health Policy Sub-Concentration

    Health care policy aims to improve value and access in health care through shaping policy at multiple levels. Policy-makers set goals and then allocate resources and establish regulations to advance those goals. While most health care policy is made by federal, state, and local governments, it is influenced politically by caregivers, employers and unions, insurers and HMOs, patient advocates, and other groups. Sometimes, it is informed by researchers’ evidence and analysis. In the health policy sub-concentration, you will develop conceptual, analytical, and practical knowledge that can facilitate your entry into the health policy job market. Completing a sub-concentration requires coursework beyond what is needed for the HPM concentration, as well as a policy-related practicum.

    Completion of the health policy sub-concentration will be noted on your transcript.

    Health Care Finance Sub-Concentration

    This sub-concentration enables students to develop skills and knowledge with more depth in the financial aspects of health care that can be applied in either policy or managerial contexts.

    Health Policy & Management concentrators may also elect to do the Pharmaceuticals Program.