Courses

M.S. in Health Care Management

45.0 Total Credits

Course Descriptions:

Summer 1

HCM 701 Organizational Behavior
Dr. David Javitch
2.5 credits
This course focuses on the challenges of managing complex health care systems. We will explore the leadership and motivational skills relevant to performing as an effective leader, and discuss the different roles associated with managing the individual, the unit, the organization, and the larger system.

The Harvard School of Public Health designates this educational activity for a maximum of 27.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

HCM 705 Case-Based Intro to EH & EPI
Dr. Marc Weisskopf, Dr. Karin Michels
2.5 credits
This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the core epidemiology and environmental health competencies required of all professional students in public health at HSPH. A case-based learning approach, using public health cases developed in the Foundations in Public Health course, ID 538, will be used. By the end of the course students will have a basic understanding of epidemiology and environmental health and be able to apply those concepts in a clinical setting.

HCM 732 Operations Management in Service Delivery Organizations
Dr. Joe Pliskin
2.5 credits
Operations management is concerned with evaluating the performance of operating units, understanding why they perform as they do, designing new or improved operating procedures and systems for competitive advantage, making short-run and long-run decisions that affect operations, and managing the work force. To understand the role of operations in any organization, a manager must understand process analysis, capacity analysis, types of processes, productivity analysis, development and use of quality standards, and the role of operating strategy in corporate strategy. The course will also present the focused management approach which can help an organization achieve much more with existing resources.

The Harvard School of Public Health designates this educational activity for a maximum of 27.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Academic Year 1

HCM 702 Marketing
Ms. Linda MacCracken
2.5 credits

This course is designed to introduce students to marketing applications for healthcare organizations. Using selected readings and case studies of healthcare and non healthcare marketing topics, students will learn to assess and develop strategies and tactics to keep and get customers. The course develops a basic knowledge of marketing frameworks, including market intelligence, value propositions, and product/service, price, location and promotion elements. Healthcare marketing topics include applications to customer channels, branding, and innovation. The class work includes cases, course discussion and a group project.

The Harvard School of Public Health designates this educational activity for a maximum of 27.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

HCM 709 Communication Skills for Managers
Mr. Mark Campbell
1.25 credits
Health care executives are increasingly called upon to communicate with a wide range of internal and external groups. This course will focus on the competencies necessary to deliver successfully presentations in a variety of situations that involve subordinates, superiors, with the board, peers, and external constituencies like the media. Students will learn to analyze challenging communication situations, prepare for contingencies, think on their feet, answer difficult questions and develop poise and confidence under pressure.

The Harvard School of Public Health designates this educational activity for a maximum of 22 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

HCM 719 Financial Transactions and Analysis
Dr. Howard Rivenson
2.5 credits

This intensive course introduces concepts of financial accounting to the non-accountant user of financial information. Basic accounting transactions, statement preparation and concepts of accrual versus cash accounting are presented in the first half of the course. The remainder of the course focuses on financial analysis of a variety of health care organizations. Course Note: Completion of Anthony’s Essentials of Accounting before class begins required. Working ability with spreadsheets also required.

HCM 720 Cost Accounting and Control Systems
Mr. Richard Siegrist
2.5 credits
This course is designed to introduce students to cost accounting and management control concepts and uses for health service organizations. The first part of the course develops a basic knowledge of cost accounting, including full and differential costing techniques. The remainder of the course focuses on management control structure and process and addresses topics such as responsibility accounting, budgeting, reporting and variance analysis.

HCM 778 Skills & Methods of Health Care Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
Dr. Barry Dorn
1.25 credits
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict resolution. Particular emphasis is placed on integrating analytic skills, negotiation techniques and conflict resolution methods into the practice of health care management. Students are also introduced to the concepts and practice of the five dimensions of meta-leadership, a strategy to build connectivity of strategy and action amongst different departments and organizations in a complex health system. A portion of the class is devoted to simulation exercise in which general concepts and methods are demonstrated and practiced. These exercises model disputes typical of health care settings and health care management problems. The debriefings that follow each exercise offer individual feedback, as well as the opportunity to examine applied issues of organizational communication, system design and conflict. By the end of the course, students will have knowledge of the overt and covert causes of conflict, concepts for analyzing disputes and a variety of methods useful for preventing, resolving and when necessary, initiating a conflict.

Summer 2

HCM 704 Managing Information in Health Care
Dr. Ashish Jha, Dr. Julia Adler-Milstein
2.5 credits
This course will expose students to the concepts and knowledge involved in making strategic use of information technology (IT) in health care organizations. It will clarify how to establish IT linkages to business, planning, and governance. In addition it will introduce students to technology management through the analysis of the lifecycle of IT, IT architecture, systems integration, and standards. The course focuses on key health care implications and the impact of IT upon quality, cost, and operations.

HCM 708 Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health
Dr. Monica Wang
2.5 credits
The aim of this course is to provide students with a foundation in the core concepts of the social and behavioral determinants of health. This course analyzes major social variables that affect population patterns in health and health behavior, including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, neighborhoods, work, and social relationships. Through a combination of online and in-class seminars, students will examine the potential role of various social, policy, and environmental interventions in improving health. Building upon the empirical and theoretical literature covered in the online content and selected readings, students will discuss models for advancing public health using case-based methodology. Course Activities: Short written assignments, class discussion (online and in-person), final project.

HCM 711 Quality Improvement and Quantitative Methods
Dr. Mark Bloomberg, Ms. Amy Cohen, Dr. Josko Silobrcic
2.5 credits
Summer 2 and Academic Year 2

This course in quality improvement and quantitative tools is designed for the physician executive or manager whose responsibilities include either oversight or direct involvement in quality management and improvement in a health delivery or health financing organization. Using selected readings case studies, lecture presentations and extensive classroom discussions, students will learn both the conceptual and practical aspects of improving health care quality.

HCM 722 Financial Management of Health Care Organizations
Dr. Howard Rivenson, Ms. Dorothy Puhy, Mr. Michael Kan
2.5 credits
Topics include financial management of working capital and investment decision models, long term capital structure and mergers and acquisitions of health care organizations. Materials will primarily involve cases about a range of health care organizations (hospitals, insurers/ managed care plans, neighborhood health centers, physician groups, home health agencies, etc.).

Academic Year 2

HCM 706 Physician Leadership Seminar
Mr. James Conway, Mr. Ronald Goodspeed
2.5 credits

This course focuses on the leadership and managerial skills that are most practical and relevant to physician leaders. Cases, articles, discussions, and guest speakers provide participants with insight into the roles, challenges, and success requirements of executives and clinical leaders. A framework for leadership is introduced and successive sessions take selected elements of the framework for further study. Sessions include; leadership theory and current challenges professionally and personally; business and operational planning grounded in ethical practical; governance and health care leadership in light of contemporary challenges and opportunities; communication, teamwork and integrative leadership; project and process management oriented to impact and results; the dramatically changing work force and realizing the potential of diversity; and human resources, developing others, and personal development.

HCM 707 Health Care Management Practicum
Ms. Donna Soodalter-Toman
5 credits
Field Project throughout Academic Year 2

The Practicum provides students with an opportunity to directly apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the MHCM program and this course, along with their experience and expertise, by completing a field project in a healthcare organization. The project will involve the development and implementation of a major change initiative or new service line.

HCM 710 Leadership and Innovation in Health Care Organizations
Dr. Sara Singer
2.5 credits
The Institute of Medicine’s goal of health care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, efficient, timely, and equitable won’t be accomplished primarily through policy reform. Health care organizations individually and collectively must learn to innovate, change, and improve continuously.

Health care organizations are made up of individuals, groups, and teams—their customers, suppliers, and employees—who make each organization unique. Successfully leading as a manager in this context requires understanding and applying knowledge about how people and groups act in organizations. People and groups interrelate with each other, with the organization, and within the system in which they work; and the health care system presents distinctive challenges and constraints.

This course aims to help health care managers understand organizations and organizational behavior through discussion of case studies of organizational challenges, hands-on exercises, and contemporary and seminal literature addressing major theoretical perspectives on organizations. We will examine both macro issues (that impact organizations as a whole) and micro issues (that impact individuals and teams). Written assignments are designed to allow students to reflect on and apply lessons drawn from personal experience in organizations.

HCM 731 Competitive Strategy
Dr. Nancy Kane
2.5 credits
This course focuses on the conceptual framework needed to plan for the long-term viability of health care organizations. Using selected readings and case studies of both health care and non-health care organizations, students will learn to appreciate the concepts of competitive strategy and competitive advantage primarily through practice in analysis. The objective is to provide students with the conceptual tools and the practical skills to enable them to formulate, execute, and evaluate organizational strategy.

HCM 755 Provider Payment Systems and Policy
Dr. Jeffrey Levin-Scherz, Dr. Troyen Brennan
2.5 credits

This course is taught in two parts; the course focuses on the policy, operations and finance of provider payment, as well as the legal and contractual elements of provider payment.

Policy, operations and finance:
The course will evaluate multiple dimensions of health care cost and payment, with an emphasis on how payment systems influence provider organization, behavior and performance. The focus of this course is the US health care system, although class members will do an exercise involving provider payment across multiple countries. Participants will review sources and uses of health care dollars, and examine how these have changed in recent years as well as further changes that are likely as a result of the Affordable Care Act and associated regulations. We will examine various stakeholder points of view on health care finance- and assess how changes in finance methods lead to changes in health care delivery and can lead to different experiences and outcomes for both providers and patients.

Legal and regulatory:
The legal and regulatory sessions will to cover the key legal issues with which the health care executive needs to be familiar. The goal is to provide some sensitivity to the basic structure of the law, not to train the class as amateur lawyers. If successful, the students will be in a position to ask their legal team reasonable questions, relating to the underlying rationality of the law.

HCM 758 Field Project in Quality Improvement
Dr. Josko Silobrcic
2.5 credits

This course will provide physician executives with practically-oriented insights into quality improvement in healthcare organizations, based on the study of lessons from students’ own quality-related “field projects” performed during the 2nd academic year of the MHCM program. At the end of this course, students will understand their own roles in quality improvement and management, and be able to lead their organizations’ efforts in those areas, using a methodical approach and process: from conception, design and initial planning, to implementation, measurement, analysis and redesign. The course objective is not to make students expert in each of these components of the QI process, but to enable them to provide effective leadership to organizations, teams and colleagues carrying out these activities.