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Curriculum

Required Coursework

ECON 001: Microeconomics - Wharton students entering Fall 2006 or later may substitute ECON 010.

In addition, students are required to take the following from the list of courses below:

  • 2 courses from the Wharton School (HCMG);
  • 2 courses from the School of Nursing; and
  • 3 courses from any of the lists below

Nursing Courses:

MGMT 291
Negotiations

This course includes not only conflict resolution but techniques which help manage and even encourage the valuable aspects of conflict. The central issues of this course deal with understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations in conflict management situations. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiations as it is practiced ina variety of settings. The course is designed to be relevant to the broad specturm of problems that are faced by the manager and professional including management of multinationals, ethical issues, and alternative dispute resolutions. Cross listed w/ LGST 206 & OPIM 291.

NURS134
Health and Social Policy

This is an introductory course examining social problems in the context of contemporary health care in the United States. Topics include the organization and financing of health care; education for the health professions; imbalances in the supply and demand for health providers–the doctor surplus and nurse shortage; changing patterns of disease; dilemmas in the use of new medical technologies; health services needs and dilemmas across the life span; AIDS–the new pandemic; transmedical problems–the homeless, the mentally ill. Recommended for students planning careers in nursing, medicine, and other health professions, and those interested in social policy. There are no required prerequisites.

NURS334
Public Policy and the Nation’s Health

This course examines health care and social policy from domestic and international perspectives. It is designed to engage undergraduate students in critical thinking about health policy issues as they affect our health care, employment, taxes, and social investments. The current national debate on health care reform is used as a frame of reference for examining the strengths and weaknesses of health care services in the U.S. from the perspectives of patients/families, health professionals, health services providers, insurers, employers, and public policy makers, and the pros and cons of a range of prescriptions for system improvement from across the political spectrum. About a third of the course focuses more specifically on global public health challenges and the policy strategies for reducing health disparities worldwide.

NURS337
Foundations in Patient Safety

This course is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive multidisciplinary background in the science of patient safety. Historical perspectives, current understandings related to error management, and directions in health policy and research will be covered.

NURS359
Case Study: Quality Care Challenges in an Evolving Health Care Market

Quality care is an issue for consumers, providers, purchasers, and policy makers. This case study examines the multiple challenges that surround the quality of health care in the evolving United States health care marketplace. Through classroom discussion and special project experience, the student will become familiar with the concept of health care quality and approaches to the measurement and management of quality. Using Donabedian’s construct of structure, process and outcomes, strategies to improve quality while containing or reducing costs are reviewed, including the contributions of clinical practice guidelines. The evolving dominant structures for providing health care services, managed care and integrated delivery systems, and their approaches to quality management and reporting will be explored.

NURS400
Advances In Health Systems Research And Analysis

Capstone Course for NURS/WH Joint Degree Students.

NURS518
Nursing and the Gendering of Health Care in the United States and Internationally, 1860-2000

This course examines changing ideas about the nature of health and illness; changing forms of health care delivery; changing experiences of women as providers and patients; changing role expectations and realities for nurses; changing midwifery practice; and changing segmentation of the health care labor market by gender, class and race. It takes a gender perspective on all topics considered in the course. A comparative approach is used as national and international literature is considered. This focus is presented as one way of understanding the complex interrelationships among gender, class, and race in health care systems of the United States and countries abroad.

NURS535
Comparing Health Care Systems in an Intercultural Context: Study Abroad

This course offers students an opportunity to: 1) expand their knowledge base in health care systems; 2) develop intercultural competency skills and 3) shape a conceptual framework for improving the quality of health care for the individual, the family, the community and society at large. Emphasizes the relational, contextual nature of health care and the inseparability of the notions of the health of individuals and the health of family, society, and culture. Includes field experience.

NURS537
Foundations in Patient Safety

This course is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive multidisciplinary background in the science of patient safety. Historical perspectives, current understandings related to error management, and directions in health policy and research will be covered.

NURS540
Current Issues In Health and Social Policy

Analysis of key contemporary issues in health and social policy that will provide students with a deeper understanding of the design and structure of the U.S. health care system, the policy initiatives that have shaped it, and the roles of the government, the private sector, and consumers and advocacy groups in setting the policy agenda. Seminars will examine the origins of each issue, the policies enacted and their effects, both intended and unintended, and will propose and debate the merits of alternative policy solutions. The role of health services and policy research in informing the policy debate and directions will be highlighted.This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond.

NURS559
Quality Care Challenges in an Evolving Health Care Market

Quality care is an issue for consumers, providers, purchasers, and policy makers. This case study examines the multiple challenges that surround the quality of health care in the evolving United States health care marketplace. Through classroom discussion and special project experience, the student will become familiar with the concept of health care quality and approaches to the measurement and management of quality. Using Donabedian’s construct of structure, process and outcomes, strategies to improve quality while containing or reducing costs are reviewed, including the contributions of clinical practice guidelines. The evolving dominant structures for providing health care services, managed care and integrated delivery systems, and their approaches to quality management and reporting will be explored.

NURS652
Applied Healthcare Accounting and Business Planning

This course focuses on the management of financial resources in the healthcare industry particularly in inpatient and ambulatory care settings. Specific emphasis is on applied accounting, budgeting, capital planning, nursing staffing/scheduling and variance analysis. Additionally, students will apply concepts in developing a business/program plan including completion of an environmental scan, cost-benefit analysis and marketing plan. Students will engage in strategic planning, stakeholder analysis and benchmarking efforts.

Wharton Health Care Management Courses:

HCMG 101
Health Care Systems

This introductory course takes a policy and politics angle to health care’s three persistent issues - access, cost and quality. The roles of patients, physicians, hospitals, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies will be established. The interaction between the government and these different groups will also be covered. Current national health care policy initiatives and the interests of class members will steer the specific topics covered in the course. The course aims to provide skills for critical and analytical thought about the U.S. health care system and the people in it.

HCMG 202
The Economics and Financing of Health Care Delivery

The course provides an application of economic models to demand, supply, and their interaction in the medical economy. Influences on demand, especially health status, insurance coverage, and income will be analyzed. Physician decisions on the pricing and form of their own services, and on the advice they offer about other services, will be considered. Competition in medical care markets, especially for hospital services, will be studied. Special emphasis will be placed on government as demander of medical care services. Changes in Medicare and regulation of managed care are among the public policy issues to be addressed.

Prerequisites: Economics 1 or consent of instructor. Students who take HCMG 202 may not also take HCMG 352 for further credit.

HCMG 203
Clinical Issues in Health Care Management

This course will explore the effects of the changing health care environment on the physician, patient and health care manager. It is intended for any undergraduate with an interest in how 1/6th of the American economy is organized as well as those planning careers as health care providers and managers. The course complements other health care courses (that take a societal perspective) by focusing on the individuals who participate in the health care enterprise. There are no prerequisites, as the course will stand on its own content. The course will be divided into modules that focus on the participants of the health care process and the process itself. We will analyze the patient, the doctor, and manager in light of the patient-doctor interaction, the turbulent health care marketplace, expensive new technologies,resource allocation, and ethics.

HCMG 204
Comparative Health Care Systems

This course examines the structure of health care systems in different countries, focusing on financing, reimbursement, delivery systems and adoption of new technologies. We study the relative roles of private sector and public sector insurance and providers, and the effect of system design on cost, quality, efficiency and equity of medical services. Some issues we address are normative: Which systems and which public/private sector mixes are better at achieving efficiency and equity? Other issues are positive: How do these different systems deal with tough choices, such as decisions about new technologies? Our main focus is on the systems in four large, prototypical OECD countries–Germany, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom–and then look at other countries with interesting systems- including Italy, Chile, Singapore, Brazil, China and India. We draw lessons for the U.S. from foreign experience and vice versa.

HCMG 211
The Law of Health Care in America

This course offers a current and historical overview of the regulation of health care delivery and financing in the US. It examines principles and practical applications of the laws that affect the operational decisions of health care providers, payors, and managers and that impact development of markets for health care products and services. Also considered are the social and ethical issues encountered in trying to balance the interests, needs and rights of individual citizens against those of society. For part of the term, the class will divide into two groups so that students can focus on their choice of (1) health care management (antitrust law, and regulation of the drug and medical device industry) or (2) selected issues of patients’ rights (e.g. abortion, treatment of terminal patients, etc.)

HCMG 212
Health Care Quality and Outcomes

This course will familiarize students with methods used to assess the quality of hospital or provider health care using outcomes data, and to understand and evaluate studies involving health care outcomes. Students are exposed to the mechanics of hospital quality evaluation and challenged to evaluate the medical and health services research literature on health care evaluation, as well as to make inferences regarding hospital quality and the comparison or rankings of hospitals or providers. Topics will include the history of health care outcomes analysis; the conceptual framework for outcome studies; consumer demand for information; an overview of medical data and data collection systems; a description of outcome statistics and severity adjustments currently in use; the study of excess variation in outcomes; and the use of guidelines to assess outcomes. By the end of the course, students will have developed a thorough appreciation of the current methods used by policy makers, researchers, and health care providers to evaluate medical outcomes, as well as those used by consumers to choose hospitals and providers.

Prerequisites: Introductory Statistics or permission of instructor

HCMG 213
Health Care Management and Strategy

This course presents an overview of the business of health and how a variety of health care organizations have gained, sustained, and lost competitive advantage amidst intense competition, widespread regulation, high interdependence, and massive technological, economic, social and political changes. Specifically, we evaluate the challenges facing health care organizations using competitive analysis, identify their past responses, and explore the current strategies they are using to manage these challenges (and emerging ones) more effectively. Students will develop generalized skills in competitive analysis and the ability to apply those skills in the specialized analysis of opportunities in producer (e.g. biopharmaceutical, medical product, information technology), purchaser (e.g. insurance), and provider (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, physician) organizations and industry sectors. The course is organized around a number of readings, cases, presentations, and a required project.

HCMG 215
Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry

This course provides an overview of the management, economic and policy issues facing the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. The course perspective is global, but with emphasis on the U.S. as the largest and and most profitable market. Critical issues we will examine include: R&D intensive cost structure and rapid technological change; biotechnology and genomics startups and alliances with the pharma industry; a complex global marketplace in which prices are regulated in most countries and customers include governments and insurers, as well as physicians, pharmacists and consumers; intense and evolving M&A, including mergers, joint ventures, and complex alliances; government regulation of every business function, including R&D, pricing and promotion; and global products and multinational firms. We use Wharton and industry experts from various disciplines to address these issues.

Prerequisites: One undergraduate Health Care Management course or Economics course

HCMG 216
Health Insurance and Health Care Strategy

This course combines the insights of health economics with a strategic perspective on the business of health. The first section will consider the costs and benefits of medical interventions, while the second considers insurance theory and places special emphasis on the challenges facing firms in the face of the rising costs of health benefits as well as opportunities for private insurers operating in publically financed markets. The third section will analyze strategies of vertical and horizontal integration and their effect on the balance of power in local healthcare markets. Finally, the course will cover the effects of reform on firm incentives. The course will be taught using a mix of lectures and cases.

HCMG 250
Health Policy: Health Care Reform and the Future of the American Health System

This course will provide students a broad overview of the current U.S. healthcare system. The course will focus on the challenges facing the health care system, an in-depth understanding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and of its potential impact upon health care access, delivery, cost, and quality as well as its effect on firms within the health care sector. The course will examine potential reforms, including those offered by liberals and conservatives and information that can be extracted from health care systems in other developed countries.

The course will also explore key facets of the ACA, including improving access to care and health insurance exchanges, improving quality and constraining costs through health care delivery system reforms, realigning capacity through changes in the health care workforce and in medical education, the potential impact on biomedical and other innovations, and the impact on economic outcomes such as employment, wage growth, and federal budget deficits. The course will also examine the political context and process of passing major legislation in general and health care legislation in particular, including constitutional arguments surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Throughout the course, the key lessons will integrate the disciplines of health economics, health and social policy, law and political science to elucidate key principles.

HCMG 352
Health Services Delivery: A Managerial Economic Approach

The purpose of this course is to apply economics to an analysis of the health care industry, with special emphasis on the unique characteristics of the US healthcare markets, from pre-hospital to post-acute care. This course focuses on salient economic features of health care delivery, including: the role of nonprofit providers, the effects of regulation and antitrust activity on hospitals, the degree of input substitutability within hospitals, the nature of competition in home health care, public versus private provision of emergency medical services, the effect of specialty hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, the economics of direct-to-consumer advertising and its effect on drug safety, defining and improving medical performance in hospitals, specialization and investment in physical and human capital, and shifting of services between inpatient and outpatient settings and its effect on health care costs and quality.

HCMG 391
Special Topics: Health Care Entrepreneurship

Delivering basic health care advances worldwide and continuing to increase lifespan and quality (in an affordable manner) represent some of the major societal challenges of our time. Addressing these challenges will require innovation in both medical technology and the ways in which health services are delivered. Through readings, cases, guest lectures, and your own entrepreneurial work outside of class, we will examine the environment facing prospective health care entrepreneurs: (1) sources of health care innovation; (2) the many “customers” in health care: patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers, and regulators; (3) the powerful established firms with developed clinical and sales expertise; (4) the investing community. Along the way we will develop a framework for thinking about what is different (and what is not) about the challenges of health care entrepreneurship.

Students may also take MBA level courses toward their HCMG electives, providing they satisfy the necessary pre-requisites and are admitted to the course. Note that seating is limited, and only courses with open seats will be available to non-MBA students.

Additional Options:

BIOE 565
Rationing

You have one liver but three patients awaiting a liver transplant.  Who should get the liver?  What criteria should be used to select the recipient? Is it fair to give it to an alcoholic?  These are some of the questions that arise in the context of rationing and allocating scarce health care resources among particular individuals, and concern what are called micro-allocation decisions.  But trade-offs also need to be made at the meso- and macro-level.  Budgets of public payers of healthcare, such as governments, and of private ones, such as health plans, are limited: they cannot cover all drugs and services that appear beneficial to patients or physicians.  So what services should they provide? Is there a core set of benefits that everyone should be entitled to? If so, by what process should we determine these? How can we make fair decisions, if we know from the outset than not all needs can be met? Using the cases of organs for transplantation, the rationing for vaccines in a flu pandemic, and drug shortages, the course will critically examine alternative theories for allocating scarce resources among individuals.  Using both the need to establish priorities for global health aid and to define an essential benefit package for health insurance, the course will critically examine diverse theories for allocation decisions, including cost-effectiveness analysis, age-based rationing and accountability for reasonableness.

BIOE575
Health Care Reform & the Future of the American Health System

The U.S. health care system is the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, most expensive, with uneven quality, and an unsustainable cost structure. This multi-disciplinary course will explore the history and structure of the current American health care system and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. How did the United States get here? The course will examine the history of and problems with employment-based health insurance, the challenges surrounding access, cost and quality, and the medical malpractice conundrum.  As the Affordable Care Act is implemented over the next decade, the U.S. will witness tremendous changes that will shape the American health care system for the next 50 years or more. The course will examine potential reforms, including those offered by liberals and conservatives and information that can be extracted from health care systems in other developed countries. Throughout, lessons will integrate the disciplines of health economics, health and social policy, law and political science to elucidate key principles.  This course will provide students a broad overview of the current U.S. healthcare system. The course will focus on the challenges facing the health care system, an in-depth understanding of the Affordable Care Act, and its potential impact upon health care access, delivery, cost, and quality.

 

HSOC 150
American Health Policy

This lecture course will introduce students to a broad range of topics that fall under the heading of American health policy. Its main emphasis will be on the history of health care in America from the U.S. Civil War to the present day. Some of the themes addressed include: American public health movements and hospitals, private health insurance (such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield),industrial health and workmen’s compensation, the welfare state (in Europe and the U.S.), women’s health, especially maternal and infant care programs, Medicare/Medicaid, the Clinton Health Plan, injured soldiers and the Veterans Administration.

HSOC 275
Medical Sociology

This course is designed to give the student a general introduction to the sociological study of medicine. Medical sociology is a broad field, covering topics as diverse as the institution and profession of medicine, the practice of medical care, and the social factors that contribute to sickness and well-being. While we will not cover everything, we will attempt to cover as much of the field as possible through four central thematic units: (1) the organization of development of the profession of medicine, (2) the delivery of health-care, (3) social cultural factors in defining health, and (4) the social causes of illness. Throughout the course, our discussions will be designed to understand the sociological perspective and encourage the application of such a perspective to a variety of contemporary medical issues.

LGST 206
Negotiations

This course includes not only conflict resolution but techniques which help manage and even encourage the valuable aspects of conflict. The central issues of this course deal with understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations in conflict management situations. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiations as it is practiced ina variety of settings. The course is designed to be relevant to the broad specturm of problems that are faced by the manager and professional including management of multinationals, ethical issues, and alternative dispute resolutions. Cross listed w/ LGST 206 & OPIM 291.

OPIM 291
Negotiations

This course includes not only conflict resolution but techniques which help manage and even encourage the valuable aspects of conflict. The central issues of this course deal with understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations in conflict management situations. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiations as it is practiced ina variety of settings. The course is designed to be relevant to the broad specturm of problems that are faced by the manager and professional including management of multinationals, ethical issues, and alternative dispute resolutions. Cross listed w/ LGST 206 & OPIM 291.

OPIM 291
Negotiations

This course includes not only conflict resolution but techniques which help manage and even encourage the valuable aspects of conflict. The central issues of this course deal with understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations in conflict management situations. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiations as it is practiced ina variety of settings. The course is designed to be relevant to the broad specturm of problems that are faced by the manager and professional including management of multinationals, ethical issues, and alternative dispute resolutions. Cross listed w/ LGST 206 & OPIM 291.

Independent Study:

With advanced approval, students may complete an independent study with a faculty member in either Nursing (NURS) or Health Care Management (HCMG) to be counted toward a minor requirement in the respective category. Students who are interested in this option should contact Lindy Black-Margida if interested in a HCMG independent study or Melissa Hagan if interested in a NURS independent study for more information.

Declaring the Minor