+ Science of Health Care Delivery

Health care is in flux: in the United States, we spend too much money on health care which frequently does not impart adequate value to patients, employers, or the community.

The objective of this introductory course is to lay the groundwork for making decision makers capable of undertaking systemic redesign of health care delivery. Taught primarily in the first residential period, the class will have the opportunity of hearing from renowned health care reform authorities as well as experts in competitive strategy from the Tuck School of Business. Through use of cases, students will be introduced to new ways to think about health care delivery, including understanding variation, shared decision making, clinical microsystems, and other ways to bend the value curve in health care and to produce ethically founded, competitive, new models for care delivery.

+ Health Economics and Policy

Reforming health care systems to deliver greater value will require a substantive understanding of the fundamental economic forces driving system-wide incentives and competition. This is as true of reform at both the public policy level and at the level of organizational policy and strategy.

While the economics of the health care industry appear different from other industries, the behaviors and outcomes are often the result of no more than the incentives faced by individuals and organizations, in combination with some form of competition. This course will equip participants with knowledge of health economics that enables them to understand the current state of affairs and to incorporate sound economic analysis in their role as managers. Topics to be covered include: economics of risk pooling and insurance markets, especially adverse selection and moral hazard; cost analysis; incentive effects of different payor and financing systems; supply of medical and physician services; supplier induced demand; and the economics of nonprofit organizations.

+ Finance Essentials for Leaders in Health Care Delivery

Faced with pressures on both the revenue and cost side, leaders in health care delivery are now required to do more with less. Managing the balance between clinical outcomes and financial soundness has become more demanding.

The goal of this foundational course is to develop a framework with tools and models to enable participants to make value-enhancing financial decisions in health care delivery. The course will develop the relevant ideas in three stages. The first stage (financial accounting) will build participants' skills in interpreting, analyzing, and forecasting financial statements (the income statement, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows). The second stage (corporate finance) will advance and synthesize the ideas from the first by building skills to make investment and financing decisions, as well as to value businesses. Topics include free cash flow and capital budgeting, different sources of financing to fund investments, cost of capital/ hurdle rates, and  tools to value businesses using cases/examples of strategic partnerships and acquisitions in the health care delivery sector. The third stage (managerial accounting) will develop skills in the use of financial information to measure, evaluate, control, and plan future management decisions. Key topics include understanding the relation between volumes, costs and profits, financial planning, budgeting and control systems, standard costs and variances, cost allocation, and activity-based costing systems.

+ Co-producing Healthcare

Healthcare services make important contributions to the delivery of healthcare. Yet, too often the role and contribution of those who are ill, or who care for such people is overlooked. 

The term ‘co-producing healthcare’ is used to cover how individuals and communities are an essential part of a care delivery system. How do decisions get made? Are the values and preferences of individuals respected in a shared decision making process? Are individuals supported to self-manage long term illness? Do health systems engage users in designing their workflows and systems? In other words, is healthcare designed around the needs and preferences of patients? Or is the term ‘patient centered’ an empty marketing message? This module will explore policy developments, research, and implementation efforts to bring the concept of co-producing healthcare to day-to-day operations.

+ Leveraging Data to Inform Decision-Making

The health care sector generates an enormous amount of data at an ever-increasing pace. The ability to wisely use the associated analytic by-products is a rare and differentiating skill among health care leaders. 

The Leveraging Data course will promote this skill through the introduction of quantitative reasoning toolkits reinforced with on-the-ground case studies. We will discuss the relative merits and limitations of common types of data sources in health care – such as electronic health records, claims databases, and surveys – and will introduce a framework through which managers can detect and diagnose data quality concerns. We will also explore descriptive, predictive, and evaluative methods, demonstrating how each of these informs the return-on-investment (ROI) calculations that typically underlie high-level strategic decisions. By the end of this course, students should be able to generate and critique quantitative estimates of the primary value drivers in ROI models supporting critical health care management decisions.

+ Health Care Operations Management

Health care services are characterized by enormous variability and multiple objectives. Given these challenges, this course aims to provide you with the language, concepts, insights, and tools to evaluate, design, and operate health care processes in order to increase value for patients and reduce costs.

Two themes will run throughout the course: 1) aligning the design and management of processes with the goals of the health care system and 2) managing variability. In health care, the first theme is crucial but complex, for the system's goals may be multidimensional. The second theme is also particularly challenging, for health care systems are faced with variability generated by fluctuations in customer demands, treatment times, patient expectations and preferences, and patient willingness or ability to participate in treatment. Specific concepts and tools in the course include process flow analysis, the theory of constraints, queueing/congestion analysis, quality improvement, and capacity management.

+ Aligning People and Teams

Organizational outcomes depend on the alignment of people and teams, working together toward common goals. In this course, we examine alignment through the lens of applied psychology, particularly theories of motivation. We explore how motivation theory and research inform important tools of alignment: Compensation, job design, and decision-making. We discuss positive changes health care leaders can make to increase alignment and thereby increase the chances that health care delivery teams and organizations will have successful outcomes.

+ Management and Leadership of Health Care Organizations

Managing modern health care organizations is a complex ordeal, more so in a time of health care reform. This course follows on the work done in previous courses and it anticipates what will come in the Management of Organization Change and the Strategy for Health Care Organizations courses.

Participants take the vantage point of a high-level manager in a health care system and understand how divisions, departments, and microsystems currently interact, and how they might. This course will explore all aspects of a health care organization that are necessary for success, from human resources to credentialing, from finance to supply management, and from union management to physician management in a voluntary staff model. In anticipation of health care reform, students will learn how team leadership, performance measurement, and incentive structures will have an impact on care delivery. The course draws heavily on the general management literature and uses cases to apply those ideas to health care organizations.

+ Strategic Marketing for Health Care Organizations

Systematic health care problems undermine good-quality health care. Marketing plays an important and pervasive role in identifying problems and new opportunities to improve health care outcomes. This course will offer a philosophy and a set of tools.

Marketing philosophy is necessary to create, communicate, and deliver value to satisfy the needs of customers (patients, suppliers, and community) while meeting the goals of  physicians, practitioners, and organizations. Marketing tools are needed to guide decisions on positioning (what do and don't we offer?), products and services (features, benefits, packaging, branding), price (list price, rebates, discounts), distribution (where and when it will be available), and communication (advertising, public relations, personal selling, social media, and direct marketing). Application of the marketing philosophy and tools will be based on in-depth knowledge of marketing research and health decision-making.

+ Population Health and Preventive Care

Increasingly, health care systems will orient health care delivery toward the goal of maximizing the service population's health status. Toward that end, primary and preventive care management will need to be more properly balanced with acute care management.

In this course, students will learn about the multiple determinants of health, how to measure health status, how health behaviors can be modified through social marketing, and how health disparities and socioeconomic status influence population health status. Students will come to understand the social mission of health care organizations and how they might work through social and behavioral determinants of health to improve overall health status, particularly as health care organizations adopt medical home models and begin to work with bundled and capitated payment systems.

+ Management of Organizational Change

This course will prepare the participant for the challenges in accomplishing significant change in health care organizations. Outside the world of health care, new patterns of competition, new technologies, and basic shifts in values have combined to require fundamental changes in the way that management is practiced.

Today, many organizations confront situations that require them to manage change on a continuous basis. This critical skill has become a core component of every manager's job and a substantial body of management knowledge has developed. In this course we will draw on the large body of relevant research and theory, and then complement and integrate this theory with experience from practice. We focus in particular on the process of change and on the sequencing of change activities. Recommended actions are matched with concrete, tested, and specific tools for their application. Proceeding from concepts to actions to tools provides a range and depth of practical understanding that is unusual in this important area of management activity. Our focus will be on the specifics of health care organizations, but much can be learned from studying other firms and industries that have seen substantial change.

+ Effective Information Technology for Health Care Organizations

The role of health information technology (HIT) in health care systems continues to grow in scope and complexity. While the industry is investing massive amounts of capital in these systems and while HIT presents the promise of improving the quality and safety of patient care, many of the theoretical benefits remain unproven and untested.

This course provides an overview of critical topic areas with greater depth provided in the arena of electronic medical record (EMR) evaluation, selection, and implementation. Additional topic areas will include: patient engagement through personal health records (PHR) and portals; patient-reported health status; the role of HIT in population health; HIPAA and security requirements; computerized order entry (CPOE); clinical documentation requirements and recommendations; the use of administrative and registry data for standard reports, scorecards, and dashboards; and the use of electronic patient information collected at the point of care and for ongoing comparative effectiveness evaluations.

+ Special Topics in Health Care Delivery: Human Centered Innovation

This course will prepare participants to design and lead innovation initiatives in health care delivery.

There is no area in which innovation would positively impact society more than improvements in health care.  However, the health sector is a complex, constrained, and difficult setting for new ideas and new practices.  In this class we will examine the following themes:

1. What are the basic tenents of innovation, and how do they apply to the healthcare sector?
2. How can we use human centered design techniques to guide innovation?
3. What are ways to gather clear observational information on the needs of the customers, systems, and procedures.
4. Learn techniques to frame and reframe problems that lead to more successful innovations in the operational and clinical environments of healthcare.

+ Strategy for Health Care Organizations

Strategy for health care organizations is both a capstone course and one that is taught throughout the program in each of the residential periods as well as online. Participants will develop a framework for formulating and evaluating strategic decisions, tools for identifying opportunities and evaluating alternative paths, and methods for encouraging innovation.

This course will focus on strategic innovation, strategy implementation, and combining strategic thinking with leadership skills to create successful change. All the previous course work will be brought to bear on strategic redesign of the health care delivery system. The course will re-examine best-in-class examples of system design to understand the strategic implications of systemic change. In addition, the course will use complex cases to examine the delivery system from the viewpoint of a CEO, a board member, or a senior public official, requiring learners to use all their skill sets to think through design options that create value and optimize measures including institutional accountability, patient outcomes, quality, cost, and employee satisfaction.

+ Personal Leadership

Transforming health care organizations presents special challenges and will require tremendous leadership by individuals within those organizations. This course provides participants with the knowledge to increase their personal leadership capability.

The focus of the course is concrete — building an understanding of one's strengths and opportunities for improvement as leaders, and using that knowledge to identify actions that advance leadership potential. The centerpiece of this course is a comprehensive, 360-degree assessment of each participant's leadership skills, based on confidential evaluations completed by bosses, co-workers, peers, and clients. During the course, participants will write their own Leadership Development Plan, a specific and measurable plan for strengthening their leadership skills.