The 45-credit curriculum provides students with the management and policy skills needed to be an effective health care leader. The curriculum is comprised of four components:

Overview of The Political, Legal And Economic Framework

Overview of The Public Health System

Health Care Management

Master Classes

Overview of The Political, Legal And Economic Framework

Issues and Approaches in Health Policy & Management

This course focuses on policy and management issues that affect all health care practitioners.  How is the U.S. health care system organized?  Who pays the health care bill?  What role does government play (and how do different levels of government share these tasks)?  What are the politics of efforts to aid the uninsured, to reduce health care costs, to encourage good quality care?  What is the likely impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010?  What are the key issues on the nation’s long-term care policy agenda?  What lessons are suggested by studying health care systems in other nations? 

Health Economics

The purpose of this course is to demonstrate how economists think about health care issues. Emphasis is placed on a wide variety of health-related topics from an economist's perspective. By the end of the course, students will have strengthened their ability to use economic concepts and theories to analyze health care issues and to inform decision making and policy development.

Governance, Health Law & Ethics

This course is intended to introduce students to certain basic principles of the legal system in the United States and major elements of the legal framework of health care administration.  Students will be exposed to legal terms and approaches, and analyze federal and state statutes and regulations, as well as case law relevant to health care administrators, providers and consumers.  The course reviews the development of certain laws shaping health care delivery and concurrently how public policy shapes the law.  Students have the opportunity to examine the legal issues that will affect health care providers, consumers and regulators. 


This course delves into issues related to the U.S. health care safety-net and evaluates how health care policies have shaped the evolution and performance of this system. Students explore the impact of the Affordable Care Act and develop an enhanced understanding of the implications for access to health care and policy challenges.

The Landscape of Healthcare Quality: Perspective & Initiatives

This course examines policy issues around health care quality in the US including: the historical perspective of quality efforts; “quality” from the perspective of different stakeholders; quality initiatives undertaken by the IOM, CMS, AHRQ, various accrediting organizations and employer-based initiatives such as Leapfrog; the impact of delivery system and payment reform on quality; and health information technology role in improving quality.

Overview of The Public Health System

Analytics & Managerial Decision-Making I

The course focuses on learning basic tools for the collection, analysis, and presentation of data in support of managerial/executive decision-making. Topics include introductory data and statistical exploration from basic descriptive statistics to population and market estimation, comparison testing and decision-making, sampling design and analysis, and predicting/forecasting using linear regression. Using Excel as an additional tool, the course develops analytical skills to prepare managers to make and to present informed decisions in the overall healthcare sector.

Epidemiology (Required for MPH Degree)

This course introduces students to the basic principles, theory, methods, uses, and body of knowledge of epidemiology. Students who complete the course will be able to: explain the role of epidemiology in the broad field of public health; apply epidemiological methods to the evaluation of health programs and the formulation of health policies; describe key terms used in the epidemiology and prevention of infectious and chronic diseases; define, interpret, and calculate disease rates in a variety of population; identify and utilize authoritative sources of information about disease rates in various population; understand and calculate measures of association between an exposure and a disease; understand the goals of clinical trials, their basic design and analysis, and their relation to observational studies; and critically evaluate epidemiological studies in the medical and public health literature

Environmental Challenges for Healthcare Managers (Required for MPH Degree)

This course introduces students to the major physical, chemical and biological and social hazards in the healthcare industry, the routes of entry and typical modes of interaction of environmental chemical hazards in humans, the regulatory structure governing control of environmental and occupational hazards in healthcare, and the engineering and management approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental and occupational hazards in at least one major department or sector within the healthcare industry.

Social and Behavioral Science (Required for MPH Degree)

This course offers a broad overview of the theoretical foundations and empirically informed intervention strategies aimed at promoting the health of individuals, their families, workplaces and communities by taking a multi-level approach to the design of public health interventions. Using social and behavioral science theories, students in this course will examine how to address a range of health and social issues and develop basic health promotion initiatives for populations across the age spectrum (from children to elderly) in diverse settings globally. The overall goal of this course is for students to learn the conceptual tools and skills of prevention research and of multilevel health intervention design.

Program Evaluation (Required for MPH Degree)

Health program evaluation is the systematic assessment of the effectiveness of public health initiatives and activities. The central evaluation question usually is: “was this health program successful in reaching its objectives?”—generally improved health outcomes.  However, program evaluation principles may also be used to determine the need for programs in the first place, the fidelity of implementation of a program, and the cost-effectiveness of a program. The essential task of this course and program evaluation is to bring evidence to policymaking and program design.

Public Health Concepts (Required for MHA Degree)

This course exposes students to many of the core concepts and principles of public health required for them to work as administrators in healthcare settings. As managers and administrators, an understanding of these concepts is critically important if they are going to be in positions where they can influence the creation of innovative programs, deliver services, develop policies and ultimately impact the health of local, national and global communities. Students will be asked to learn concepts from a variety of disciplines and how to translate that information into practice. The translation process will occur as they apply their learning to cases that will allow them to discuss the applicability of those concepts in an ever changing public health world and healthcare system.

Health Care Management

Healthcare Accounting & Budgeting

Financial statements enable managers to evaluate the performance of an organization and assess its financial position.  Budgets, based on forecasts, take the form of projected statements and serve as an important managerial tool for planning and control purposes. This course provides an introduction to the accounting, budgeting and financial reporting techniques commonly used in the health care and not-for-profit environment.  Emphasis is placed on enabling students to become comfortable with financial analysis, budgets and commonly-used financial terminology so that they can effectively address financial matters they will encounter in leadership roles in health care and not-for-profit organizations.

Healthcare Finance

This course concentrates on corporate finance topics. It aims to impart an understanding of how finance theory and practice can inform the decision-making of the health care firm.  In addition, it integrates corporate finance and accounting theories, institutional knowledge of health care finance, and applications to specific problems.  

Strategic Issues in Healthcare Quality

This course presents a practical, hands-on introduction to measuring and improving the quality of services provided in health care organizations, and discusses organizational factors necessary for these approaches to prove successful.  Students in this class have the opportunity to learn how to apply class topics to their current work situation (the principles taught can be applied to both clinical and non-clinical settings).  

Health Information Management

This course will teach the fundamentals of understanding how health information technology and the Internet will dramatically change healthcare research, development, and operations around the world. The readings, discussions, and course work will result in a healthcare leader adept in properly responding to the challenges in information technology management across a variety of healthcare organizations.

Human Resources Management

This course provides a basic overview of employment law as it relates to human resources policies and practices that govern day-to-day hiring, managing, and firing decisions in the healthcare industry. Students will be guided through the entire employer/employee relationship—from the initial decision to fill a position to the ultimate decision to terminate the employer/employee relationship. This course will also offer guidance about the foundation for legally sound human resources policies; how to identify potentially problematic policies; and how to modify existing policies in order to minimize the potential liability in the event that a dispute materializes.

Managerial and Organizational Behavior

This course has two overall goals. The first is to increase students’ effectiveness in understanding and managing individuals and teams in health care organizations. The course’s second goal is to prepare students to effectively design organizations. Effective managers not only must lead individuals and teams: they also must ensure that their organizations are well-designed to deliver the results that their strategies promise. This entails developing knowledge and skills to analyze key issues in organizational structure, power and politics, culture, and change.

Strategic Management

The introduction and application of analytical frameworks used in formulating and implementing strategies at the general manager/senior executive level and the integration of leadership and managerial skills in the strategically managed organization. The concepts of mission, values, and vision are presented as the central elements of strategic thinking and are applied in the development of comprehensive strategies across a wide variety of institutional settings and situations in the health care sector.

Healthcare Marketing

This course will engage students in learning marketing strategy to respond to the health needs of others both strategically and tactically. The skills gained will be applicable to a spectrum of healthcare professionals, ranging from doctors, hospital administration, government officials and service providers to those at pharmaceutical and insurance companies.  Key learning includes: understanding the consumer and building loyalty, market research; market segmentation; the role branding plays in marketing; developing and orchestrating integrated marketing tactics; crisis communications; and metrics. Actual cases will be utilized as part of the learning experience including a major project where students will use traditional and social marketing techniques to transform a number of current healthcare marketing campaigns.

Entrepreneurship for Healthcare Managers

In recent years, entrepreneurship has gained enormous popularity, even becoming accepted as a means to address pressing social and environmental issues. This course will teach skills in opportunity identification and evaluation as well as an understanding of the steps and competencies required to launch a new business. The focus will be on scalable businesses that are large enough to attract professional investors.  

Analytics & Managerial Decision-Making II (Required for MHA Degree)

This course introduces a variety of data analytic and modeling methods commonly used in

healthcare management. The course covers data analytic approaches such as statistical regression and time series analysis, and operations research (OR) techniques such as linear programming and queueing models. These methods not only enable practitioners to learn and build evidence from data, but also to develop data-driven solutions to improve the performance of a service system. The course takes a case-based, participatory approach to learning. Data management and analysis are conducted using Excel.

Hospital Management (Required for MHA Degree)

The course begins with a brief overview of key concepts in leadership and management theory.

The course then examines in detail areas for which hospital executives will be responsible such as optimizing hospital operations and undertaking continuous and robust process improvement through LEAN; improving the revenue cycle of hospitals and negotiating managed care contracts; driving improvements in hospital quality; and pursuing collaboration strategies.  Finally, the course will take an in-depth look at the current health care environment in which hospitals are simultaneously experiencing significant margin pressure while having to make fundamental shifts in strategy to adjust to the reform-propelled transition from volume to value based reimbursement from governmental and commercial payers.  

Master Classes

As part of the EXEC program, each cohort of students participates in the Master Class. This class covers selective subject areas in health policy and management that were not covered in depth in the rest of the EXEC curriculum. It is designed to provide an integrative experience building on completed course work. Master Classes offer an intensive learning environment for students to utilize knowledge and apply frameworks from a range of public health management and policy courses. Topics may vary from year to year, but the Master Class serves as one of the culminating experiences in the EXEC Program. A variety of recent topics and course descriptions are listed below.

Leading/Managing/Directing/Working in Public Health Programs

Directing a community based public health organization requires knowledge of specific programmatic content as well as organizational skills. These sessions will focus on leadership, facilitating change, people resources, grant writing/fundraising and assessing program effectiveness that public health professionals working as managers encounter on a daily basis. The focus will be on the types of daily issues/ activities that students might face on a regular basis regardless of whether students work in a domestic or international program. Students will also have the opportunity to think about how they might respond to these situations and participate in a classroom experience that will directly translate to working in a public health organization. 

Promises, Purposes and Limits of International Comparison of Health Policy Experience

This master class module will discuss the promises and perils of international comparison of health policy experiences across industrial nationals. The first hour focuses on the very topic of comparison: why do we look at other countries; how do we select countries that may provide useful lessons for national policy-making in the medical domain? During the second and third hours, students will discuss the main components of the health care systems of the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands (with some reference to the countries, too). Next, the course will shift to selected policy issues in those countries: primary care, pharmaceutical policy, competition and health care, and long term care.

Management of Prevention

This master class is about corporate health care management and its critical importance for a company's survival. Students will be hear about what corporations continue to learn about the importance of healthy employees for sustainable business success, and how they are changing their approach from treating disease towards promoting health. Using case studies and current company scenarios the class will get an introduction to the various concepts, strategies, tools and requirements for implementation. Successful business precedence is a potential interface for broader public policy implications.

Global Health Policy

This class critically examines approaches to public health policy in the developing context. This master class will explore the major determinants of morbidity and mortality across nations including: basic public health infrastructure, education policy, health system quality, appropriate technology use, gender issues, and freedoms. The class will analyze these issues both on a macro level and on a personal level, recognizing that policy exists for people and communities rather than for economic growth per se.

Private Health Insurance & Public Policy: Strategic & Management Challenges

The first goal of this master class is to provide students with a detailed introduction to the current functioning of for-profit and not-for-profit private voluntary health insurance markets in the United States. The second goal is to provide students with an understanding of the key principles involved in successful leadership for a major health care organization during a period of market change and strategic renewal. 

Management of a Health Plan in Crisis

This master class provides an in-depth study of the causes for and the rescuing of a health plan in crisis. A multi-dimensional review is conducted of how various constituencies, e.g. physicians, employers, members, shareholders regulators and governmental agencies, hospitals, health plan employees, etc., react and interact to and with a health plan in normal times and in crisis. The resuscitation of a health plan is analyzed by its multiple functional components, e.g. financial, operational, sales, legal, human resources, and public and media relations.

The Pharmaceutical Industry: Politics, Economics, and Policy

Pharmaceuticals are an important source of health improvements. Accordingly, understanding the forces shaping new drug development and access to medicines is an important concern of public health. This master class provides an introduction to the pharmaceutical industry. The course will begin with an overview of the history of the industry, its evolution, and its unique economics. Students will then critically examine a range of policy issues related to pharmaceuticals and public health.

Wall Street and Health Care: The Intersection of Cash and Care

This course looks at health care delivery and payment systems from a Wall Street perspective. To do that, students will need to develop a basic understanding of equity and credit markets, recent history (the "credit crisis") and its implications for the current state of health of the health care marketplace. Students will synthesize finance, accounting, valuation, policy analysis, industry structure and competitive dynamics, payment and reimbursement issues and look at how Wall Street influences Main Street behavior. Finally, the course will set the stage for a detailed discussion of the elements of health reform given the current state of health care, focusing especially on how Wall Street likely reacts to each of these policies.

United for All: How UnitedHealth Group is Fundamentally, Absolutely and Permanently Fixing our Broken Health Care Payment and Delivery System (A Case Study)

This master class will explore the transformation of UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest and most diversified ‘health and well-being’ companies. Starting with the pre-awakening company, i.e., prior to 2010 and moving through the present time, the course will describe and analyze the steps taken internally and externally, the processes instituted (including ‘practical innovation), the organizational and structural challenges present in a company this large and diversified and the core OptumInspired transformational strategies.

Evolution of Healthcare Financing and the Vertical Integration of Financing & Delivery: Will the Hospital Become a Health Plan?

The traditional role of providers is rapidly shifting and creating dramatic changes in the healthcare market as healthcare financing changes with public policy. Numerous factors, including narrow networks, community rating and wellness benefits as part of PPACA as well as population health management, hospital patient mix, and cost and reimbursement pressure associated with healthcare reform, are incentivizing an increasing number of healthcare providers to assume financial risk and become payers. This master class will delve into the evolution and challenges of healthcare financing including the fundamentals of cost control and the renewed trend towards integrating healthcare finance and delivery in provider settings. It will examine how leadership and a deep understanding of the insurance business, including pricing, can determine the success or failure of a plan in both government and commercial markets. The course will also discuss the rationale and execution challenges as well as strategies to determine whether provider-created health plans, acquisitions or partnerships can be successful for a particular hospital. Finally, to explore various market implications for the future, HMOs (as well as PPOs and managed indemnity plans) will be compared and contrasted with public exchanges and other healthcare financing models.

Global Health Governance

This course will help students understand what global health governance is and is not, the differences between international health and global health, and the major players in global health governance today and what their relationships are to one another. The course will also provide an introduction to key debates within global health governance (e.g., what should WHO’s role be in the 21st century; are horizontal or vertical interventions more effective) and analyze the appropriate role of the private sector in global health.

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