Health Policy

This field concerns the research that informs health policy. It deals both with the substantive findings of that research, and with the methodological issues that researchers face. The field encompasses a broad set of activities and issues pertaining to the quality, access, financing, management and organization of health care, at various levels.

Students in this field will focus on at least one of the following health policy frameworks:

  • Population health assessment and improvement (epidemiology, health behavior, public health infrastructure and intervention frameworks)
  • Determinants of health and health disparities (social/behavioral determinants of health, SES and racial/ethnic inequities in health and health care delivery)
  • Public health policy (role of policy and effectiveness of policy in public health)
  • Health services research (delivery systems, providers, policies)

Students will also focus on at least one of these core health policy issues:

  • Health care financing and reform, health insurance, costs and spending
  • Health care organization and delivery, organizational forms, quality of care
  • Provider-patient relationships and the patient's role in the health care system
  • Public and population health

In addition, students may choose special topics (e.g., drugs and medical technology) and/or specific patient populations (e.g., low income and vulnerable populations).