Core courses provide most of the required credits for the Master of Health Care Innovation and cover principles and concepts of the complementary areas of the degree—health policy, behavioral economics, health economics, and operations management—from a health care innovation perspective. Faculty draw from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School.
Core courses begin shortly after the first seminar session in Philadelphia and run through the traditional Fall and Spring semesters. They span 6 weeks and, through an intensive design and rigorous study, are each worth 1.0 CU.
Course details are subject to change, and this page will be updated accordingly.
The American Health Care System
Survey the historical development of the American health care system from the turn of the Twentieth Century to the present. Topics include insurance, hospitals, compensation models, and reform efforts, including the Affordable Care Act, as well as how American health care is likely to evolve. Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to apply this information as context to understand and advocate for reforms and innovation in health care–related fields.
Taught by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD
Behavioral Economics and Decision Making
Behavioral economics provides a framework for understanding how humans make decisions within the health care system. This course offers practical applications of scholarly research through an emphasis on case studies and the analysis of their results. Learners will be able to demonstrate how key concepts in behavioral economics are used, critique existing programs, design new approaches, and apply lessons to challenges they face in their work environments.
Taught by Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD
Related lab course: Applying Behavioral Economics
Evaluating Health Policy and Programs
This course provides an overview of fundamental concepts and empirical methods in the analysis of health policies and programs. It reviews relevant statistical and economic concepts, surveys key principles of evaluation, examines methodological approaches, and explores the application of these methods using seminal empirical studies of existing health policies and programs. Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to critique common methodologies and approaches to studying the impact of policy and programmatic changes, and apply concepts to evaluating—and recommending—real-world policies and programs.
Taught by Amol S. Navathe, MD, PhD
Health Care Operations
This course offers an introduction to operations management, examining inefficiencies from waste, variability, and inflexibility and providing strategies for engaging in the ongoing process of reducing these negative impacts without sacrificing quality of care. After completing the course, learners will be able to use a systematic approach for analyzing and improving their work in health care settings.
Taught by Christian Terwiesch, PhD
Related lab course: Applying Health Care Operations
This course applies economic principles to the health care sector. By recognizing the importance of scarcity and incentives, it focuses on the critical economic issues in producing, delivering, and financing health care. It analyzes determinants of demand for medical care, the unique role of physicians in resource allocation, and competition in medical care markets. Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to identify critical economic issues, evaluate determinants of demand for medical care, describe the role of physicians in resource allocation, compare competition in medical care markets, and assess policy instruments.
Taught by Guy David, PhD
Leading Change in Health Care
There has been no shortage of recommendations from executives, consultants, and self-declared experts on how to improve health care. But the success rate for implementation has been low, and health care systems still struggle with problems of quality, cost, and access—not to mention high employee turnover and provider burnout. However, across the country, there have been pockets of success in improving care delivery. A number of best practices show promise, including open access scheduling, care coordination and standardization, performance measurement and feedback, the expansion of palliative care, community health worker programs, and the integration of behavioral care.
Through lectures, case studies presented by multiple expert faculty, and interviews with leaders in the field, you will examine these transformative practices, and the leadership techniques that have led to their success. You will identify organizations that are primed for transformation, potential directions for leading transformation, and ways to direct change within your organization.
Related lab course: Building a Case for Transformation
Translating Ideas into Outcomes
Apply state-of-the-art innovation methodologies to improve health care for patients, clinicians, and organizations. Rooted in analytical and design thinking, this course guides you through the development of innovation projects from idea generation, through problem definition, testing, and preparing for delivery. It introduces strategies for solving health care problems including contextual inquiry, problem reframing, intentional divergence, and the low-cost, rapid validation of hypotheses. The goal is to provide you with tools to develop innovative solutions to pressing health care problems, and to produce the types of early data that enable organizations to support, promote, and ultimately adopt those solutions at scale.
Related lab course: Pitching Innovation