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Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System

Beijing, China
2nd term
Health Policy and Management
4 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Fri 11/08/2019 - Mon 11/11/2019
Class Times:
  • M F Sa Su,  8:30am - 5:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor :
Judith Holzer

Focuses on the organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare in the U.S. Contrasts the private and public sectors and examines the effects of market competition and government regulation. Examines the ways that medical providers are paid, and explores the major issues currently facing physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Also discusses several potential small and large scale reforms to the U.S. healthcare system and evaluates their likely effects on healthcare spending, quality of care, and access to care.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply basic economic concepts related to health insurance coverage
  2. Explain how both private health insurance and public health insurance are financed
  3. Evaluate the ways in which private and public health insurers reimburse medical providers
  4. Assess private and public models of financing and delivery of healthcare services
  5. Analyze various aspects of the hospital, physician, and pharmaceutical drug sectors
  6. Explain how nonprofit status, competition, quality, and safety affect medical providers
  7. Identify the various determinants of access to care for low-income and vulnerable populations
  8. Evaluate how specific policy proposals will likely affect access to care and healthcare spending
  9. Critique how the political process affects how healthcare reform is undertaken in the U.S.
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 60% Quizzes
  • 40% Final Exam

Enrollment Restriction:

Part-time DrPH students in the Tsinghua cohort only

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

enrollment restricted to students in the Tsinghua DrPH cohort only

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

This course will be offered over a 4-day period in Beijing China. Students are required to complete assignments prior to the start of class.