Course descriptions represent courses expected to be offered during the 2011-2012 academic year. While the School endeavors to offer as many of the courses as possible, not all courses are offered every semester. It is important to check with individual departments prior to scheduling classes to determine the availability of courses for any given semester.

The Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania reserve the right to make changes affecting policies, fees, curricula, or any other matters announced here.

HCMG 845: Managed Care and the Industrial Organization of Health Care

This course, co-taught with Brad Fleugel (former Senior VP of Wellpoint, Inc.), will focus on two interrelated topics: managed care and market structure. The section on managed care will cover strategic planning and marketing of managed care services, operational issues in developing a managed care network, actuarial issues, and the management of physician behavior. The section on health care market structure will analyze strategies of vertical integration and horizontal integration (M&As), and their attempt to alter the balance of power in local healthcare markets. The section will also analyze the operational issues in managing cost and quality in an integrated system, integration along the supply chain, and the performance of these systems, and the bargaining and negotiation between hospitals, physicians, and health plans.

HCMG 849: Financial Management of Health Institutions

This course focuses on the application of financial analysis to investment, financing, and operating decisions in the health care sector. Analytical methods covered include traditional net present value analysis, decision tree analysis, real option valuation, comparable firm valuation, and product-line performance evaluation. Cases dealing with the biotechnology / pharmaceutical, medical device, health insurance / managed care, and hospital sectors allow students to apply these methods. The cases include: estimating the value of drugs in development, valuing a medical device company, optimal deal structure for recapitalizing a specialty pharmaceutical company, evaluating profitability of customer cohorts and associated strategy for a Medicare managed care organization, and evaluating product-line profitability and strategic financial alternatives for a hospital system. Each case is accompanied by background on relevant institutions and markets.

HCMG 850: 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 852: Health Services Delivery: A Managerial Economic Approach

This course is designed to equip students with tools to understand and analyze problems in the rapidly changing health care delivery environment. It focuses on organizational and strategic issues in the delivery of health care in the hospital context. The course is divided into eight topic areas: 1.) Shortages, substitutability and efficiency in hospitals’ production, 2.) The role of nonprofit health care providers, 3.) The economics of hospitals and physicians’ specialization, 4.) Inpatient vs. outpatient care delivery, 5.) Antitrust laws and regulation and their effects on hospital competition, 6.) Marketing health services, 7.) Defining and improving medical performance, and 8.) Evidence-based medicine and the diffusion of technologies. The course will feature a number of guest speakers.

HCMG 854: Legal Aspects of Health Care
(Cross listed with HCMG 211-401)

This course offers a current and historical overview of the regulation of health care delivery and financing in the U.S. 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. Special attention will be given this year to the recent healthcare reform campaign and the resulting legislation. 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 859: 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 OECD countries—Germany, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom—but we also look at other countries with interesting systems- including Italy, Chile, Singapore and developing countries including China and India. We will draw lessons for the U.S. from foreign experience and vice versa.

HCMG 899: Independent Study

Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 364l Locust Walk, 898-686l.

HCMG 900-001: Proseminar in Health Services Research

This seminar will explore empirical methods in health care research with an emphasis on applications in health care economics and finance. The methods covered include estimation with panel data, program evaluation models, qualitative and limited dependent variable models, stochastic frontier models, estimation with count data, and duration models. The readings consist of a blend of classic and recent empirical studies, including articles on the demand for health care and health insurance, tests for moral hazard and adverse selection, and estimation of provider cost functions. Students are required to conduct an econometric analysis of some issue within the health care field. With the permission of the instructor, the seminar is open to doctoral students from departments other than Health Care Systems.

HCMG 900-002: Proseminar in Health Services Research: Models and Methods

This course is intended to provide entering doctoral students with information on the variety of health services research models, methods, topics, and publication outlets valued and used by faculty in the HCMG doctoral program. The course will offer presentations from the health services research faculty at Penn on a research method or strategy they have found helpful and they think is important for all doctoral students to know. This model or method will be illustrated with one or more publications, and will be linked to the process of refinement of results as research projects develop and papers are written, and to the process of successfully seeking publication for research results. Students will be asked to write weekly short (about 5 pages)commentaries on these presentations and papers, raising questions they have about substance or methods, comparing this model or method with the alternatives, and suggesting possible extensions of model, method, or application. The course will meet periodically to review these commentaries. One short paper will be expanded into a longer course paper. This is intended the serve as a first step in preparation of the “article” doctoral students are to write the following summer.

HCMG 901-301: Seminar in Health Care Cost Benefit and Cost Effectiveness Analysis

The purpose of this doctoral level course is to investigate the theory and practice of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis as applied to health care. The three techniques to be examined are cost-effectiveness analysis with single dimensional outcomes, cost effectiveness analysis with multiple attributes (especially in the form of Quality Adjusted Life Years), and economic cost benefit analysis. Valuation of mortality and morbidity relative to other goods will be emphasized. Students will be expected to develop written critiques of articles in the literature, and to design a new application of one of the techniques as a term project.

HCMG 902-002: Special Topics in Health Services Research: The Industrial Organization of Health Care

This advanced PhD seminar will explore topics in the industrial organization of health care and structural econometric approaches in health economics. The focus in this course is the development of advanced econometric tools. The (tentative) topics covered include health insurance and hospital demand estimation, the analysis of hospital competition, insurer competition, quality competition, technology adoption, models of entry and exit and dynamic models. The readings will focus on recent advances in economics. Students are required to present recent research from the field and write an empirical research paper that broadly based on the topics covered in the course. With the permission of the instructor, the seminar is open to doctoral students from departments other than Health Care Systems.

HCMG 903-001: Economics of Health Care and Policy

This course applies basic economic concepts to analyze the health care market and evaluate health policies. The course begins with an analysis of the demand for health, the derived demand for medical care and the demand for health insurance. The second part of the course examines the supply of medical care by physicians and hospitals, medical technology, and the role of managed care organizations. The implication of adverse selection, moral hazard, externalities, and asymmetric information will be explored. The third part of the course examines the rationale for government intervention in medical markets as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of various health policies, including: Medicare, Medicaid, price regulation of hospitals, physician payment reform, medical malpractice, uncompensated care, and physician manpower planning.