Health Economics and Quantitative Methods

5 Credits

Module Description

This multidisciplinary module is designed around two important and closely related components. The first component focuses on key health economic concepts, applications and tools that are highly relevant to health care managers seeking to better understand, respond to, and influence the constantly evolving health care marketplace. This component is comprised of the first five units of this module and is led by Drs. Bartlett and Dor. The first unit provides an overview of key economic concepts and terms, highlights key features of the health care field that distinguish it from other economic sectors, and provides an economic context for considering growth trends in health care spending. This component then examines how marketplace characteristics and dynamics can influence the actions and decisions by health care providers, consumers, and third-party payors and the financial performance of health care organizations. Subsequent units provide an economic assessment of alternative reimbursement approaches and emerging trends in the marketplace that seek to align consumer and third-party payor incentives and increase consumer awareness/engagement in the financial aspects of their health care decisions. The final unit of this component examines the use of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness in assessing alternative clinical and operational alternatives.

The second component of this module focuses on quantitative methods. This component is comprised of the second five units of this module and is led by Dr. Masselink. The quantitative methods component is designed to build students’ understanding of epidemiology and biostatistics principles and their application in health care management. The first two units introduce students to descriptive statistics, standard measures of morbidity and mortality, and ways of accounting for uncertainty when drawing inferences about a population with sample data. The latter three units introduce students to methods of hypothesis testing, including comparisons across subgroups, measures drawn from observational and experimental studies and associations between variables. The quantitative methods component includes opportunities for students to build applied data analysis skills.

Module Objectives

Upon completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Better understand core microeconomic concepts as well as that underlie health economics as well as those aspects of the health care field that distinguish it from other economic sectors
  • Analyze the factors that influence the demand, supply, and resultant expenditures for health care services in the United States and the broader economic context in which these expenditures are often viewed
  • Recognize and respond to the important role that market characteristics and dynamics play in the health sector and be able to use this information in formulating pricing policies and making other strategic decisions
  • Apply economic theory in assessing the impacts and implications of alternative reimbursement approaches on the behavior of consumers, providers, and third-party payors
  • Understand trends in the design of benefit packages, including consumer cost-sharing provisions, that seek to align incentives for seeking high value care
  • Utilize economic analysis skills to critically evaluate and respond to current and future developments and trends in the financing, organization, and delivery of health care services
  • Understand basic epidemiology and biostatistics concepts including descriptive and analytic approaches
  • Formulate research questions and apply epidemiologic and statistical analysis tools to health care management topics
  • Develop intermediate level skills in data analysis and presentation in Excel
  • Analyze and interpret study findings, both from raw data and in the scientific literature

Meet the faculty of Module 5 – Health Economics and Quantitative Methods, the fifth learning module in the MHA@GW program:


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