Introduction to Health Policy and Management
Required for M.P.A. (health) students. This introductory course in the Health Policy and Management program explores core topics in the study of health and health care delivery in the United States. We will discuss the distribution of health and disease in society, the organization of the U.S. health care system and roles and behaviors of its key actors, the historical context for developments in public health and medicine, the quality and accessibility of health care services, and current events in health care reform. We will examine major themes in health care policy and practice using an interdisciplinary approach that employs sociological, political, economic and ethical perspectives on health and disease, characteristics of health care in the U.S., and the complexity of achieving high quality and affordability given the varied (and sometimes conflicting) motivations of policy-makers, payers, providers and patients. Students will also consider the U.S. health care system in an international context to provide a comparative lens on its nature and performance versus those of other industrialized nations. The objective of this course is to build understanding of fundamental ideas and problems in the areas of health and medical care and thereby to provide a strong foundation for future studies and careers in the health care field.