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Robert J. Town

Associate Professor of Health Care Management

Links: CV

  • BEPP995 - Dissertation


  • HCMG890 - Advanced Study Project Seminar

    There are three ASP Seminars: HCMG 890-001 Management of Health Care Service Businesses; HCMG 890-002 Medical Devices; HCMG 890-003 Health Business and Policy

    HCMG 890-001: This course examines issues related to managing or investing in Health Care Services Businesses. Defined as companies that manage, distribute or provide health care services, the Health Care Services sector touches almost every other portion of the health care system. We will study the key managementissues related to a number of different health care services businesses with a focus on common challenges related to reimbursement, regulatory, margin, growth, and competitive issues. We will make extensive use of outside speakers who will be current industry leaders within different sectors of the health care services industry and will address the current management issues they face in running their businesses. We will also hear from Private Equity professionals and people involved legislatively in Washington with health care services. Students will then be asked to develop a plan to both buyout and subsequently manage a specific health services businesses. Students will present their plans to a panel of leading Health Care Private Equity investors. The prerequisite for this course is HCMG 841.

    HCMG 890-002: Successful medical devices are an amalgamation of creative and innovative thinking, clinical expertise, and engineering know-how that endures intense regulatory and reimbursement scrutiny. This course will provide a foundation for understanding the nuances of the medical device industry. It will cover topics ranging from device design and discovery, regulatory issues, marketing, reimbursement, management, and strategy. Classroom activities will be supplemented with optional tours of hospitals, research and manufacturing facilities, and hands-on demonstrations of devices. Though the course is intended primarily for MBA students, it will be open to medical and engineering students as well as to hospital house staff.

    HCMG 890-003: This course will discuss how healthcare businesses(life sciences, health plans, and providers) and businesses providing health benefits are affected by government policies. Such actions include changes in the government's role as a payer, rules about insurance coverage for workers and dependents, and regulations dealing with workplace health and product safety. They also include regulations, subsidies, taxes, and public payments for health care goods and services supplied by organizations including for profit corporations, professional firms, and nonprofit entities. Finally they include organizations created by businesses and others to affect (lobby) government actions concerning health, health care, or health spending. Rather than ask the usual policy question about what business behaviors and reactions mean to the government's health policy, the course will ask what government health policy means to business. Methods of health policy analysis (which explores the equity and efficiency consequences of alternative policies) will be used, along with positive (descriptive) models of political economy (median voter, interest groups) and the public budget. Evaluation will involve written policy analyses, mock testimony, and policy critiques.

    HCMG890002  ( Syllabus

  • HCMG903 - 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.