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Financing Health Systems for Universal Health Coverage

East Baltimore
3rd term
International Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor s:
Krishna Rao

Biostatistics 140.621/622 or 140.651/652 or experience using Stata. 313.639, Microeconomics, or 313.641, Health Economics I are recommended but not required to take the course.


Introduces students to concepts and methods in health financing with a focus on universal health coverage in low and middle income countries. Examines four themes of financing health systems: financing, pooling, purchasing and provision of healthcare. Studies health insurance systems, provider payment mechanisms, and surveys health financing practices across countries with different political and economic contexts. Enables students to use household survey data to estimate essential health financing metrics such as out-of-pocket payments, headcount ratio, poverty gap, and catastrophic health expenditures. Prepares students with health financing toolsets for a career in international health.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Explain basic health financing concepts and how it relates to financing universal health coverage
  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of different healthcare financing functions: financing, pooling, purchasing and provision mechanisms
  3. Analyze household survey data to measure out-of-pocket payments, headcount ratio, poverty gap, and catastrophic health expenditures
  4. Describe and evaluate the health financing systems of select low or middle income countries
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Assignments
  • 20% Assignments
  • 20% Assignments
  • 40% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

No consent required