MBA Course Descriptions

HCMG6530 - HCMG Field App Project (Course Syllabus)

This course focuses on leadership and management issues in health care organizations while providing students with a practice setting to examine and develop their own management skills. Each team acts as a consultant to a healthcare organization which has submitted a project proposal to the course. The teams define the issue and negotiate a contract with the client organization. By the end of the semester, teams present assessments and recommendations for action to their clients and share their experience and key lessons learned in a final presentation to their classmates.

Prerequisites: HCMG 8410

HCMG8410 - Intro Health Mgmt & Econ (Course Syllabus)

This course provides an introduction to the field of health care economics and management. Using an economic approach, the course will provide an overview of the evolution, structure and current issues in the health care ecosystem. It examines the unique features of health care services, products and markets, with a specific focus on the changing relationships between patients, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, communities, and government. In particular, the course focuses on three broad segments of the health care industry: payors, providers, and producers. NOTE: This is a required course for Wharton Graduate Health Care Management majors; it counts as an elective course for all other Wharton Graduate students. It is also open to Law School and Nursing School students with a joint Wharton Program.

HCMG8450 - US Payer Provider Strat (Course Syllabus)

This course, co-taught with Brad Fluegel (former Chief Strategy Officer at Aetna, Anthem, and Walgreens and presently on the boards of several health care firms, including Fitbit and Premera Blue Cross), provides an overview of the challenges facing payers and providers in US healthcare as well as the strategies they use (or should use) to succeed. We cover all major aspects of the healthcare sector as seen from the perspective of payers and providers, starting from their core products and services (consumer preferences and health plan design, provider quality), the market environment they operate in (regulation and the role of public insurers, payment reforms, rising costs, and consolidation), and their strategic and operational responses (new organization models, mergers and acquisitions, and new ventures). The pedagogy is accordingly a mix of faculty lectures and talks by senior industry leaders to balance theory and practice.

HCMG8500 - Health Care Reform (Course Syllabus)

This course provides students with a rigorous understanding of the current American health care system and how it is likely to evolve over the next decade. The course will focus on six topics: 1) the development of the current health care system; 2) challenges of health care costs, quality, and access; 3) lessons of previous attempts to reform the system including the Affordable Care Act (ACA); 4) analysis of current policies regarding provider payment, technology, and electronic health records and how various sectors (e.g. public health and hospitals) are evolving in the current system; 5) drug pricing and potential strategies for reform, and 6) future megatrends in American health care system. Throughout the course, lessons will integrate basic health economics, history, health policy, and politics to elucidate key principles for understanding the health care system. The course will also examine at least one other country’s health system for comparison. The course will end with a consideration of the long-term outlook for the structure of the US health system and potential reform. Numerous expert guest speakers will give their perspectives throughout the semester.

HCMG8520 - Health Care Services Del (Course Syllabus)

The purpose of this course is to apply economics to an analysis of the health care industry, with special emphasis on the unique characteristics of the US healthcare markets, from pre-hospital to post-acute care. This course focuses on salient economic features of health care delivery, including: the role of nonprofit providers, the effects of regulation and antitrust activity on hospitals, the degree of input substitutability within hospitals, the nature of competition in home health care, public versus private provision of emergency medical services, the effect of specialty hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, defining and improving medical performance in hospitals, specialization and investment in physical and human capital, shifting of services between inpatient and outpatient settings and its effect on health care costs and quality, and innovation in primary care from retail clinics to patient-centered medical homes and retainer-based medicine.

HCMG8530 - Mgmt & Strategy in Med Devices (Course Syllabus)

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, software as a medical device, applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, 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.

HCMG8550 - Mgmt of HC for the Elderly (Course Syllabus)

This half-credit course is designed to provide students with an appreciation of the good, the bad and the ugly of how our current health care system cares for one of our nation's most precious resources - our seniors! This course will review care provided to seniors within a variety of institutional settings (hospitals, nursing facilities, various senior housing levels) as well as outpatient and home care services. Special attention will be paid to nursing homes and senior housing options and their past, present and future role within the overall health care system in the United States. The course will start with an overview of the senior population with special attention to their health and social needs. Several classes will be held off campus at selected nursing facilities and senior housing complexes. In addition, a broad range of special programs and services will be reviewed such as sub-acute care, long term care insurance, Medicare Risk Programs, elderly housing, adult day care, managed care, Medicare Part D, case management, hospice and other recent developments. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on entrepreneurial opportunities to serve the senior market at all levels. Students are required to produce a paper for this course that focuses on a specific area impacting the senior market. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to select an area of personal interest and conduct an in depth review of that area including making direct contact with national experts within the topic selected. All student topics must be approved during the first two weeks of class and the depth of research required agreed upon by the by the student and the instructor. Interested students not in the HCMG major are urged to speak to the instructor before enrolling in the course.

HCMG8570 - Hc Data and Analytics (Course Syllabus)

Health care data creates unparalleled opportunities to save lives, improve health, strengthen the health care workforce, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. But it also presents a unique set of challenges ranging from privacy to data consistency. In this course, we begin by surveying the health care data landscape and then turn to how to use this rich data to better manage care and organizations. We will refine the art of asking good questions and gain first-hand experience applying analytics to answer them. We will also examine innovative businesses focused on health care data and analytics. At the end of this course, students will: (1) Understand the topography of the health care data landscape, (2) Have the skills necessary to be thoughtful consumers of evidence on health care, (3) Be able to use data and analytics to improve care and health care management, and (4) Anticipate business opportunities in health care data and analytics.

HCMG8590 - Comparative HC Systems (Course Syllabus)

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 the tough choices, such as decisions about new technologies? Our focus first on the systems in four large, prototypical OECD countries- Germany, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom -and then look at other developed and emerging countries with interesting systems - including Italy, Chile, Singapore, Brazil, China and India. We will draw lessons for the U.S. from foreign experience and vice versa.

HCMG8600 - Leading HC Orgs (Course Syllabus)

This course aims to improve enrollees' ability to effectively manage and lead health care organizations (HCOs, including hospitals, medical groups, insurers, biopharmaceutical firms, etc.). The course is designed to integrate previous course work in general managment, health care, and health policy to further participants' understanding of organizational, managerial, and strategic issues facing HCOs and the health care workforce. The course will provide participants with a foundation for developing, implementing, and analyzing efforts to improve HCOs' performance. A major objective of the course is to sharpen the leadership, problem-solving, and presentation skills of those who aim to hold operational and strategic positions in health care organizations. Another objective is to introduce enrollees to leading HCOs. Through case studies, readings, in-class exercises and class discussions, particpants will learn analytic frameworks, concepts, tools and skills necessary for leading and managing organizational learning, quality improvement, innovation, and overall performance in HCOs.

HCMG8630 - Mgmt&Econofpharm&Biotech (Course Syllabus)

This course explores the key phases of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology product lifecycle. The product journey begins in the lab where scientists explore a vast array of compounds against diseases (therapeutic targets). Compounds that perform best enter the capital-intensive clinical trial phase aimed at assessing the product’s safety and efficacy. In parallel, regulatory agencies guide and govern these trials and ultimately decide which products are approved for use in patients. Once approved, launched, and priced, products face many dynamic market forces including competitors trying to steal share, government and private payers placing downward pressure on price, regulatory agencies controlling what manufacturers can and cannot say about their products, generic manufacturers challenging existing patents, and finally patients and physicians who behave both rationally and irrationally when deciding which product to use. While the course perspective is global in nature, the emphasis is on the U.S., the largest and most profitable market. In addition, we will delve into the world of biotech start-ups from company creation and financing, to how they make decisions which compounds to advance. We will also explore how large pharma views the biotech industry to bolster their existing pipelines and drive shareholder value. Through case studies, readings, guest speakers, and in-class exercises, students will learn concepts and analytical frameworks and acquire the tools and skills necessary to become the future leaders of the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

HCMG8660 - Digital Transformation of HC (Course Syllabus)

Healthcare is in the early stages of extraordinary change in the business model of care delivery and financing. This transformation will lead to a system based on the proactive management of health, integration of care across the continuum, blurred boundaries between care providers and purchasers and the placement of the consumer at the center. As has been the case in other industries, this new business model will be based on a foundation of diverse, potent, and well implemented information technology. This course will help prepare students to lead a digital health future. Specifically, the course will cover three major areas. (1)The context of health care information technology: the size, composition and evolution of the digital health market; federal government agencies, and related regulations, that shape the market; leadership roles and factors that enable healthcare organizations to effectively implement and leverage information technology. (2)Emerging technologies that will fuel the transformation of healthcare: artificial intelligence and advanced analytics; interoperability; telehealth; consumer-directed digital health; use of behavioral economics to influence patient and provider decisions. (3)Digital health use by specific sectors of the healthcare industry: healthcare providers; health plans; retail-based primary care; life sciences; wellness and chronic disease management. The course will include lectures from industry leaders who will share their ideas and experiences.

HCMG8670 - Hc Entrepreneurship (Course Syllabus)

The course focuses on the creation, funding, and management of digital health, biotech, medtech, and other health services enterprises. The course is designed to supplement other offerings in the Health Care Systems and Management Departments for those students with entrepreneurial interest in such ventures, and will focus on special issues surrounding the conceptualization, planning, diligence, and capitalization of these ventures and also includes management and compensation practices. In addition, course offers methods for self-assessment & development of business models and plans, techniques for technology assessment and strategy, develops foundation for capitalization and partnering strategies, and creates a basis for best practices in company launch and plan execution. Students must apply to take this course. Please see the Health Care Management Department for the application.

HCMG8680 - Priv Sec Role Glob Hlth (Course Syllabus)

Issues surrounding global health have captivated the attention of the public sector and foundations for many decades. Many of their initiatives are realizing progress on the health-related Millennium Development Goals. The private sector has been less engaged in global health, but has a significant role to play in providing resources and in building infrastructure, human resource capacity and sustainability. This course explores entrepreneurial and other private sector solutions for health services and access to medicines and technologies in the developing world and other underserved areas. The course also encompasses study of creative programs to engage the private sector in development of vaccines and medicines for tropical and neglected diseases. Furthermore, the course addresses novel care systems and therapeutic strategies for the rapidly growing burden of chronic, non-communicable diseases in the developing world. In short, the course builds on the content of conventional global health courses from a managerial and entrepreneurial perspective. Learning is driven through readings, class discussion and a series of guest speakers representing a wide range of global health issues. Evaluation is largely based on a student group project.

HCMG8700 - Bus of Behavioral Health (Course Syllabus)

This half-credit course will provide an overview of the behavioral health care landscape. There are three modules: (1) delivery, e.g., deinstitutionalization, the provider shortage, collaborative care; (2) financing, e.g., managed care, the shift to value-based care; and (3) recent trends, e.g., digital health, venture capital. Each module will include a guest lecturer with industry expertise.

HCMG8770 - Funding Biotech (Course Syllabus)

The biotechnology (biotech) industry is one of the most capital-intensive segments of the health care industry. The actual cost to bring a drug from the research labs to patients is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and yet only 10% of all drugs that enter human testing are ever approved, often failing due poor safety or lackluster efficacy. Therefore, when you factor in the cost of these drug failures, the cost to get a drug approved can reach into the billions. And that’s not even considering the cost to market the drug once approved. Despite these inherent risks and high costs of drug development and marketing, there were $500 billion of equity capital invested annually into biotech companies over the past 10 years signaling a robust market where returns are disproportionate to risk. This course will explore funding these risky biotech ventures from two perspectives: the biotech CEO (primary focus of the course) and the biotech investor (secondary focus of the course). Students will learn about the various ways biotech companies are capitalized (e.g., equity, convertible/structured debt, licensing partnerships, clinical trial financing, royalty monetization, etc.) and the tradeoffs a biotech CEO considers when deciding which options to pursue at various stages of the company’s evolution. We will also explore first-hand how the biotech investor thinks about the firm’s capital structure when deciding to make an equity investment as well as understand the quantitative (e.g., market & competitive assessments, total financing needs of the firm, NPV) and qualitative (e.g., physician’s proclivity to prescribe, strength of management, etc.) diligence the biotech investor performs prior to making an investment. For the final project, students will analyze the capital requirements for a biotech company make recommendations based on the financing options available to the firm. Through readings, lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and a final project, students will learn concepts and analytical frameworks and acquire the tools and skills necessary to make important financing decisions as a biotech CEO.

HCMG8900 - Advanced Study Project (Course Syllabus)

HCMG 8900-001: This course examines issues related to the Services Sector of the health care industry. For those interested in management, investing, or banking in the health care industry, the services sector will likely be the largest and most dynamic sector within all of health care. We will study key management issues 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 look at a number of different businesses and subsectors that may have been unfamiliar to students prior to taking the course. We will make extensive use of outside speakers, many of whom are true industry leaders within different sectors of the health care services industry. Speakers will address the current management issues they face in running their businesses as well as discuss the career decisions and leadership styles that enables them to reach the top of their profession. Students will be asked to develop a plan to both buy out and manage a specific health care services business of their choosing and will present their final plans to a panel of leading Health Care Private Equity investors who will evaluate their analysis. Prerequisites: HCMG 8410. Health Care Management MBA majors only

HCMG8980 - Global Modular Course (Course Syllabus)

Global Modular Course (GMC) - see description in section details

HCMG8990 - Independent Study (Course Syllabus)

Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the Department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, 898-6861.