Financial Management in Health Care for Non-Financial Managers

Certificate of Specialization:Executive Leadership in Health Care
  • Online
  • March 2628, 2024
  • $2,200

Online Program Overview

Enhancing Financial Literacy for Healthcare Professionals

Despite having extensive medical expertise, physician leaders have not always developed the financial literacy needed to manage organizations and create financially sound strategies for delivering health care.

There are many financial characteristics unique to health care that significantly enhance the importance of financial management control – and can also make it challenging to assume fiscal responsibilities. Recent shifts in U.S. health care policy towards payment structures that incent high quality and efficient care, a refocus on value-based care from volume-based care, and an increased emphasis on cost containment and quality measurement add to these challenges.

This online program, designed specifically for financial management for physicians, will increase physician leaders’ competence in the critical area of financial management and control. Led by Harvard experts, you will benefit from a combination of learning approaches, such as case studies and interactive classroom discussions.

Key financial concepts covered in this course include:

  • Differential Costs
  • Full Cost Accounting
  • Management Control Structure

Take the Next Step in Your Career Evolution with the
Executive Leadership in Health Care Certificate of Specialization 

Financial Management in Health Care for Non-Financial Managersis one of the nine programs eligible for the Executive Leadership in Health Care Certificate of Specialization, which is specially designed for those who desire to learn how to excel at managing and leading groups in a health care setting. The Certificate consists of three* programs—offered both online and on-site in Boston, MA—designed and taught by Harvard Faculty and prominent health care leaders to prepare you for the future of an ever-changing health care industry.

For more information, visit our Executive Leadership in Health Care Certificate of Specialization page.

*Program for Chairs of Clinical Services and Leadership Development for Physicians in Academic Health Centers each count as two programs towards the certificate.

You will learn methods for determining the full cost of delivering health care, examine fixed costs, variable costs, direct costs, indirect, as well as when differential costs should be used rather than full costs.

By the end of the program, you will have the understanding and skills to more effectively manage the planning and control-related activities of your department or division. This includes the ability to interact more effectively with the finance personnel in your hospital and practice settings.

Objectives & Highlights

Learning Objectives

Within a learning environment that will facilitate career growth, you will develop an understanding in the following critical areas:

  • he practical application of financial management (cost accounting) and management control concepts in health care including full cost and differential cost accounting, and management control structure and processes
  • Basic knowledge of cost accounting, including full cost and differential cost accounting
  • Management control structure and processes
  • Financial implications to consider when shifting from volume to value-based care

Program Highlights

By developing financial literacy taught in this course, you will be better able to:

  • Successfully manage planning- and control-related activities
  • Effectively interact with finance leaders in the C-suite and the Boards of your organizations
  • Respond and manage cost containment with shrinking resources
  • Lead your own division and/or department in developing and practicing financially responsible approaches in health care delivery

Credits and Logistics

Continuing Education Credit

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health designates this live activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will grant 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this program, equivalent to 12 contact hours of education. Participants can apply these contact hours toward other professional education accrediting organizations.

All credits subject to final agenda.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon completion of the program.


Current faculty, subject to change.

Theodore J. Witherell, MA

Program Director

March 2628, 2024
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Bonnie Blanchfield, CPA, SM, ScD


March 2628, 2024
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


March 26 – 28, 2024

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This agenda is subject to change. All times listed are in Eastern Time (ET).

Monday, March 25, 2024
9:30–10:30 am Witherell Program Introduction
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
9:00–11:00 am Blanchfield The Management Control Function
11:00–11:30 am Break
11:30 am–1:30 pm Blanchfield Full Cost and Differential Cost Analysis
Wednesday, March 27, 2024
9:00–11:00 am Blanchfield Differential Cost Analyses
11:00 am–11:30 pm Break
11:30 am–1:30 pm Blanchfield Management Control Structure, Responsibility Centers & Transfer Pricing
Thursday, March 28, 2024
9:00–11:00 am Blanchfield Integrating the Management Control System
11:30 am–1:30 pm Blanchfield Volume to Value: Introduction to Value-Based Care Payment and Risk Contracting

Who Should Apply

This program has been specifically designed for physicians holding management-level positions in the United States or Canada. Physicians with the following titles are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Assistant VP
  • Chair
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Director
  • Division Chief
  • Executive Director
  • Senior VP
  • Service Line Leader
  • VP

Current or recent past experience would include:

  • Managing a substantial budget and/or profit and loss (P&L) responsibility
  • Managing other physicians, other patient care service managers/leaders, and administrative staff
  • Leading/managing a substantial program such as Quality & Safety, Clinical Service Line, The Patient Experience

Individuals interested in this program may also benefit from our online program Conflict, Feedback, and Negotiation in Health Care.