Health Policy and Management Courses

HPM 500 (2) Introduction to the US Health Care System
Fall, spring. Required for all MPH students. Introduces students to the US health care system, both the public and private sector. Examines the structure of the health system, current topics in health care reform, the policy process, and advocacy for public health.

HPM 501 (3) Health Policy and Resource Allocation
Fall. Required for HPM students. Examines the formulation and implementation of health policy in the US health care system. Emphasizes the application of analytical contributions from health economics, health services research, and other policy-related disciplines to current issues in health care delivery, organization, and financing.

HPM 502 (2) Introduction to Health Care Management
Fall. Required for HPM students. Introduces the theory and principles of management. Topic areas include motivation, leadership, organizational change, human resources administration, organizational theory, strategic planning, and management control systems. Teaches practical applications of management theory through case studies and group discussions.

HPM 510 (3) Financial and Managerial Accounting
Fall. Introduces the basic accounting concepts, analytical techniques, decision-making tools, and vocabulary needed for effective management of health care organizations. The first part of the course is devoted to the fundamentals of accounting, including preparation and analysis of financial statements. The second part covers the generation, use, and interpretation of accounting information for making managerial decisions.

HPM 511 (3) Financial Management for Health Care Organizations
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 510. Introduces the fundamental theories and relationships guiding financial decision making as they apply to the management of health care organizations. Focuses on the key managerial issues related to maintaining and expanding a health care organization’s assets. Selected topics in this course include short-term assets management, discounting cash flow analysis, capital acquisition decisions, and capital budgeting decisions.

HPM 513 (4) Health Care and Society Seminar Abroad
Summer. Focuses on issues and problems in health care delivery in Britain and the United States. Emphasizes the comparative social organization of the two countries, contrasting the evolution and current status of the two health care systems. Explores the linkage of medical practice to the larger socio-cultural context in terms of public policy and social change. Offered jointly by the Rollins School of Public Health and the University Department of Sociology in a six-week seminar and field study program in London.

HPM 521 (3) Introduction to Health Economics
Fall. Introduces basic supply and demand concepts applied to health care markets, using microeconomic theory. Topics of discussion include what does or does not make health care distinctive as an economic good, the market for health care in theory and practice, and economic proposals to overcome existing market failure.

HPM 522 (3) Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programs
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 521 or permission of instructor. Prerequisites: HPM 500 or HPM 501, and HPM 521. Examines the theory, methods, and applications of economic evaluations (cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-utility) of health care programs, using examples from both developing and developed countries. Applications range from economic evaluations of medical procedures to economic evaluations of intervention programs in developing countries.

HPM 523 (3) Public Financing in the Health Care System
Spring. Prerequisites: HPM 500 or HPM 501 and HPM 521. Focuses on the principles of public finance to enable students to evaluate tax subsidies and revenue structure used to finance health care with comparisons to alternative structures. Students apply the concepts of equity and efficiency in financing health care at the national and state levels.

HPM 534 (2) Grant Writing in Public Health
Fall. Basic introduction to grant writing for students with little or no grant writing experience. Topics covered will include determining which grants you should apply for, the basic components of a grant proposal, data sources and resources, and the funder’s perspective. Each student will plan and write sections of a short foundation grant proposal.

HPM 540 (2) Human Resource Management in Health Care
Spring. Prerequisites: HPM 501 and HPM 502 or permission of the instructor. Provides an overview of interpersonal dynamics, conflict resolution, and human resource management in health care organizations.

HPM 545 (2) Health Care Marketing
Spring. Prerequisites: HPM 501 and HPM 510 or permission of the instructor. Presents the basic concepts of marketing in the context of the delivery of health care services in the United States. Students undertake an applied marketing project on a group basis.

HPM 550 (3) Capstone Seminar: Management
Spring, summer. Prerequisites: HPM 501, HPM 502, HPM 510, HPM 511, HPM 521, HPM 540, HPM 545, HPM 561 or 557. Integrates various analytical approaches developed in prerequisite courses into practical decision making by analyzing the problems of day-to-day operations within the health care organization. Includes problems in personnel staffing, personnel training and directing, financial control, performance measurement, and planning. Uses a case method approach.

HPM 554 (2) Quality Improvement Methodologies for Health Care
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 500 or HPM 501 or permission of the instructor. Presents a theoretical framework to facilitate the continuous improvement of quality in health care organizations. Introduces multiple approaches, including outcome measurement and case management. Emphasizes team development, analytical statistics, and process knowledge.

HPM 556 (2) Physician Performance
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 500 or HPM 501 or permission of the instructor. Provides a systematic review of the major determinants of the performance of physicians, who by one estimate directly or indirectly influence 70 to 90 percent of all medical activities. Covers practice variation; medical appropriateness; patient and physician characteristics; uncertainty and medical decision-making; organizational characteristics and financial incentives; error and negligence; measuring MD performance via physician profiling, report cards, managed care; changing practice; utilization management; standards and professional society guidelines.

HPM 557 (2) Healthcare Administration Law
Spring. Introduces students to legal aspects of contemporary issues associated with the administration of health services organizations. Through readings, lectures and group interactions, the course will analyze the legal relationships between individual providers, payors, and regulatory entities and their impact on administration of these organizations.

HPM 558 (2) Fundamentals of Hospital Administration
The course is an introduction to the hospital sector of the health care economy, including its history, scale, structure, organization, functions, finances, and issues. Hospitals will be discussed as an economic entity within health care with a focus on the forces which shape industry structure and behavior. Students will become acquainted with key constituencies, including owners, sponsors, physicians, nurses, other clinicians, governance, management, regulators, accreditors, and others.

HPM 559 (3) Negotiation and Conflict Management in the Health Care Setting
Spring. The purpose of this course is to understand the basic theory and processes of negotiation so that the student can negotiate successfully in a variety of organizational settings. Students will develop these skills by preparing for and simulating a variety of case study negotiations. 

HPM 560 (3) Capstone Seminar: Management
Fall, summer. Prerequisites: HPM 501, HPM 502, HPM 510, HPM 511, HPM 521, HPM 540, and HPM 545 and HPM 557 or 561. This course is intended as the integrative Capstone course for management students completing their degree in Health Policy and Management. Examines the formulation and implementation of business strategies in health care organizations, models of strategic management, and the role of stakeholders in the strategic management process. Reviews specific analytical tools used in strategy formulation, choice, and implementation, with an emphasis on real- world health care applications.

HPM 561 (2) Fundamentals of Public Health Law
Spring. Introduces students to US and international legal environments of public health, including constraints imposed by constitutional, statutory, and conventional requirements. Addresses the sources of law and their interrelationships, legal protections of fundamental rights, government police powers, social welfare and entitlements programs, health care regulation, access to health care, ethics, legal liability, health care financing, and legal influences on public health programs in developing countries. Students are also exposed to the political and advocacy aspects of the law-making process as it relates to public health.

HPM 562 (2) Health Insurance Concepts
Spring. Introduces the basic structure, pricing, and management of financial risks by private health insurance plans, and the estimation of future expenditures for public health insurance programs. Examines the operation of health insurance plans from both the buyer and the insurer perspectives; how health plans employ actuarial estimates to project the cost of their benefit packages and determine the premiums they charge; and methodology as it pertains to the projection of costs in public health insurance programs.

HPM 563 (2) Aging and Health Care Issues
Fall. Acquaints the students with physical, social, psychological, and economic changes related to aging and the impacts of an aging population on the delivery of health care services. Demographic trends, public policies, recent legislation, long-term care, Alzheimer’s disease, family care giving, and the socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly are discussed.

HPM 564 (3) Health Outcomes
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 500 or HPM 501 or permission of instructor. Assists students in understanding outcomes research and provides a background in the basic tools used in outcomes studies.

HPM 565 (2) Health Care for the Indigent
Fall. Prerequisite: HPM 500 or HPM 501 or permission of instructor. Explores the problems of uninsured Americans in obtaining health care. Reviews the scope of the current problem and the role of existing programs, as well as future directions for health policy. Addresses practical issues in program administration, with an emphasis on Medicaid and other indigent care programs.

HPM 566 (3) Mental Health Policy
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 500 or permission of instructor. Provides an overview of mental health policy in the United States and the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders, with an emphasis on recent challenges of financing and providing care to special populations. Reviews the stigma and discrimination toward individuals with mental illnesses. Examines mental health care in the context of total health care. Looks at the impact of health care reform and advocacy and how mental health care in the United States compares to other countries. Identifies strategies for the prevention and amelioration of mental disorders and the rehabilitation of individuals with serious mental disorders.

HPM 569 (3) Women’s Health Policy: A Lifecycle Approach
Spring. Instructs students in understanding the historical, social, political, legal, and economic factors and values that have influenced the development and implementation of health policy pertaining to women in the United States. Addresses current key policy and advocacy issues and examines varying views of women’s rights, roles, and responsibilities in the health care system.

HPM 570 (3) Comparative Health Care Systems
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 500 or HPM 501 or permission of instructor. Explores and analyzes the current reform process in European and North American health systems. Emphasizes normative policy as well as financial objectives, and the conflicting interests of key actors. Concludes with a consideration of implications for health system reform in the United States.

HPM 573 (3) Access to Health Care: Measures, Determinants and Current Issues
Fall. Topics in the course include the measurement of access and examination indicators of access over time and across states and constituent groups. The determinants of access including age, race, ethnicity, income, insurance and health risk are presented. Current topics in access are integrated into the course. These include racial disparities, immigrant status, geographic variation, the uninsured and access under Medicaid.

HPM 574 (2) Health Literacy—Importance as a Public Health Problem
Spring. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the academic background to describe health literacy as an important public health problem. Course content will focus on the prevalence of literacy problems in America, the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes, organizational approaches to improving health literacy, assessment and development of appropriate educational materials from a clear and simple perspective, and patient education in the health care setting.

HPM 576 (3) Capstone Seminar: Policy
Prerequisites: HPM 501, HPM 510, HPM 521, HPM 522, HPM 523, HPM 561 or 557. Students will learn how to use the tools of economics, statistics, and decision analysis to predict the impact of state and federal policy changes. Topics covered include market failures, cost-benefit analysis, discounting, inflation adjustment, and contingent valuation. During the course of the semester, studies will write four to five brief policy analyses to model the impact of policy changes. Examples include caps on noneconomic damages in malpractice suits, mandated coverage of contraceptives by insurance plans, increases in tobacco excise taxes, and bans on drivers’ use of cell phones. The course emphasizes presentation of results for nontechnical audiences.

HPM 577 (2) The Mental Health/Medical Interface in the United States
Spring. The seminar explores the complex and dynamic relationship between general health and mental health in the United States. Gaps in parity and proposal for achieving parity are discussed in the context health reform.

HPM 578 (2) Political Institutions and Health Policy Implementation
Spring. To effectively participate in the policy process as an analyst, policymaker, advocate, or citizen, it is necessary to understand the institutional and political context within which policy is made. This course provides an introduction to the US political institutions, mechanisms, and entities that influence the federal and state health policymaking process, including the legislature, executive branch, courts, interest groups, political parties, and the media. Case studies will be used throughout the course to illustrate key learning objectives.

HPM 579 (1) Mental Health and Public Health Interface
This course will provide a perspective on mental health and public health by offering a description of how the fields interface. The instructor will integrate presentations by experts from the field who address issues related to mental health and public health. The class will provide a cross-cutting, cross-departmental experience including topics in mental health surveillance and epidemiology, mental health services and policy, mental health and behavioral science, and global mental health. The class will span two semesters, offering one semester hour of credit for each year. (Satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading only)

HPM 581 (2) Research Seminar I
Fall. The seminar introduces the health services research process, research design issues, ethical problems faced by researchers and the development of the MSPH thesis. Enrollment is limited to students admitted to the MSPH in health policy and health services research.

HPM 583 (2) Research Seminar III
Fall. Prerequisite: HPM 581, 730. The seminar provides HPM MSPH students with the guidance necessary for developing a quantitatively-based thesis using large secondary data sets. It begins with development of a researchable health policy question and the selection of appropriate databases and operational definitions. Enrollment is limited to students admitted to the MSPH in health policy research.

HPM 585 (3) Quantitative Methods I
Fall. The course is an introduction to SAS software with a focus on organizing and merging large databases for purposes applying statistical analysis. The course complements the introduction to SAS in the BIOS 500 lab. Enrollment is limited to students in the HPM MSPH program.

HPM 586 (4) Quantitative Methods II
Spring. Prerequisite: HPM 585 and BIOS 500. This course introduces student the STATA software with a focus on using the software for statistical analysis for data which has been organized using the SAS software. The course builds on the concepts intro in BIOS 500 and concludes with regression analysis. Enrollment is limited to students admitted to the HPM MSPH program or permission of the instructor is required.

HPM 587 (1) Advanced Research Methods
Fall. Prerequisite: HPM 730, 586. The course provides the opportunity for students to explore in depth the major research methods used in health policy research. The emphasis is on employing methods which are consistent with the limitations of study data and study assumptions. Enrollment is limited to students admitted to the MSPH in health policy research or the HPM doctoral program.

HPM 590 (VC) Seminar: Selected Topics in Health Services Management
Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

HPM 591 (VC) Seminar: Selected Topics in Health Policy
Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

HPM 591F (2) Informatics for Public Health Management and Policy
Designed for individuals with careers focused on decision and/or policy-making responsibilities in health care organizations. Highlights the policy and management issues associated with the mixture of information technology health care and public health decision making. To build a basic decision-making perspective and skills, each student prepares and presents a decision based project proposal.

HPM 592 / BSHE 592 (2) Case Studies in Public Mental Health
This course is the core course for the Certificate in Mental Health. Offered each spring, any current first year student enrolled in the MPH or MSPH program at RSPH that plans to pursue the Certificate in Mental Health must enroll in BSHE 592/HPM 592. Participating certificate students will be identified based on their enrollment in this course.

HPM 595R (0) Practicum
Enables students to apply skills and knowledge through supervised field training experience in a public health setting complementing interests and career goals.

HPM 598R (VC) Special Study Project
Presentation of a paper that defines a problem in public health, reviews the literature on this subject, details the methodologies for data collection and analysis, describes findings and conclusions, and discusses implications for public health.

HPM 599R (VC) Thesis
Preparation of a monograph based on original research applicable to public health. Should be publishable or have potential public health impact.

HPM 720R (4) Doctoral Seminar in Health Policy
The purpose of this year-long seminar is to acquaint students with the major areas of health policy research, active areas of research in health policy and economics, and faculty from the Department of Health Policy and Management and elsewhere in the University who conduct health policy research. The course will address a different topic every week, and the instructor for that week will provide an overview of the topic, discuss the research methods that are used to study the topic, highlight the seminal works in the area, and lead a discussion of the readings.

HPM 730 (4) Theory-Based Research Design Seminar II
Spring. This course guides students through the process of writing a health services research proposal that is grounded in theory. The course work emphasizes the development of a conceptual framework tailored to a specific research topic by drawing on existing theory, conceptual frameworks, and scientific literature. Other course topics include conducting literature searches and critically reviewing relevant literature; defining and measuring theoretical constructs; developing testable hypotheses; identifying potential omitted variable bias; and executing an effective research presentation.

HPM 740 (4) Doctoral Seminar in Health Economics
This reading course is designed to acquaint students with advanced mathematical theoretical economics. Students will learn theoretical models of health behavior, estimate health production functions, learn the economics of insurance and adverse selection. They will develop tools to evaluate the advantages/shortcomings of health care markets (hospitals, insurance, pharmaceutical).

HPM 760 (4) Doctoral Seminar in Health Services Research
This class is designed to acquaint students with the major tools of health services research. The course will also highlight existing and emerging issues in health services research, policy and management. Discussions of options for addressing the issues, and a review of the empirical literature evaluating their impact are examined.