Concentration in Health Services Research & Policy
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The concentration in Health Services Research and Policy provides a firm grounding in public health principles, research and evaluation methods, policy analysis, and numerous content areas related to health and health services delivery. The program at Johns Hopkins is one of the oldest and most respected of its type in the nation.
The health care systems in the U.S. and other nations are under extreme pressure. Costs are rising, quality and outcomes are not optimal, many vulnerable groups have inadequate access, and programs and technologies are often poorly implemented. There is a great need for doctorally-prepared researchers and policy analysts to address these issues within public and private organizations and to lead health care reform in the U.S. and globally.
In this concentration, students acquire the conceptual and methodological tools needed to conduct research, program evaluation and policy analysis and synthesis to advance the state of knowledge. The curriculum emphasizes the following areas: public and private sector health insurance and financing, organizations for the delivery of health care, methodologies for measuring and improving quality and safety of medical care, methods to measure personal and population health status, methods for assessing the impact of government health care policy on individuals and populations, and comparative effectiveness methods for assessing the impact of technology and treatments on patient outcomes. The concentration places emphasis on special need populations, such as children, older populations, minorities and persons with high burden diseases and disabilities.
The development of research and analysis methods, as well as content knowledge is also stressed. In addition to careers in academia, the program prepares students for leadership careers as health services researchers and health care policy analysts working in public or private agencies or organizations. There are many research opportunities within research centers of the Department and elsewhere within the Johns Hopkins University and Health System. Also the Baltimore-Washington area is the home to the largest concentration of public and private health services research and health care policy analysis organizations in the world. Formal and informal relationship with these agencies, including research practicas, thesis collaborations and part-time employment are encouraged and facilitated.
The competencies for the concentration in Health Services Research and Policy are met through required and elective coursework, independent research, and the process of writing a thesis. Upon successful completion of the concentration, students will have mastered the following concentration competencies; specifically students by the end of the program will have the ability to:
Health Services Research and Policy Concentration Competencies
- Examine classic studies and current developments in the field of health services research, including issues relating to quality of care, patient safety, comparative effectiveness, patient centered outcomes and implementation.
- Integrate and critique theoretical and empirical literature in the formulation of an original and significant health services research and policy research question with clear and testable hypotheses.
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of experimental, quasi-experimental and observational study designs and be able to select the most appropriate design for a specified research question.
- Identify, evaluate and determine the most suitable data sources for a specified research question (data sources may include existing data sources or the development of a primary data collection protocol utilizing quantitative or qualitative methods).
- Select and implement appropriate analytic techniques from advanced epidemiological, statistical, economic, qualitative or measurement methods (including structured systematic review, synthesis and meta-analysis, causal modeling, multivariable linear and logistic regression, general linear models, longitudinal and multilevel modeling, and cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses) to address a specified research question.
Department-wide PhD Competencies
- Analyze the nature, scope, and determinants of major health policy problems by applying conceptual frameworks from key academic disciplines, formulating testable hypotheses, and identifying appropriate interventions based on an understanding of the existing evidence base.
- Critique the policymaking process, including the underlying roles of legislation, regulation, litigation, and advocacy; the differences between federal, state and local policies; and the influence of academic research in the policy formulation and evaluation processes.
- Assess the organization and financing of both public health and medical services and critique their impact on access and use, quality of care, costs, and outcomes.
- Apply appropriate rigorous empirical methods to the evaluation of health policy, including a well-rounded foundation of the methods and tools of public health, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and survey design.
- Communicate scientific findings effectively through written and oral methods to technical and lay audiences, demonstrating an ability to interpret study results in light of study limitations and prior research.
- Conduct research in accordance with the highest ethical standards, scientific integrity, and interpersonal collegiality.
Summer Term Workshops
550.860.82 Academic & Research Ethics
xxx.xxx.xx Introduction to Online Learning
xxx.xxx.xx Title IX and Harassment Prevention Training for Students
140.621.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health I*
140.622.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health II*
140.623.01 Statistical Methods in Public Health III*
140.651.01 Methods in Biostatistics I
140.652.01 Methods in Biostatistics II
140.653.01 Methods in Biostatistics III
140.654.01 Methods in Biostatistics IV
300.715.01 Advanced Research and Evaluation Methods in Health Policy
300.721.01 Foundations in Health Policy I
300.722.01 Foundations in Health Policy II
300.723.01 Foundations in Health Policy III
300.724.01 Foundations in Health Policy IV
309.712.01 Assessing Health Status and Patient Outcomes
309.720.01 Managed Care and Health Insurance
309.861.01 Graduate Seminar in Health Services Research (Terms 1-4)
311.615.81 The Quality of Medical Care
313.643.01 Health Economics
340.721.60 Epidemiologic Inference in Public Health I
552.601.81 Foundational Principles of Public Health
552.607.81 Essentials of Environmental Health
552.608.81 Biologic, Genetic, and Infectious Bases of Human Disease
552.609.81 Psychological and Behavioral Factors That Affect a Population's Health
552.611.81 Globalization and Health: A Framework for Analysis
552.612.81 Essentials of One Health
140.655.01 Causal Inference in Medicine and Public Health II
221.651.01 Econometrics I
308.630.01 U.S. Pharmaceutical Policy
309.635.81 Population Health: Analytic Methods and Visualization Techniques
309.730.01 Patient Safety and Medical Errors
312.693.81 Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research
313.644.01 Intermediate Health Economics
340.722.81 Epidemiologic Inference in Public Health II
140.621-140.623 can be taken as a substitute for the Methods in Biostatistics sequence
300.741.01 PhD Seminar in Health Policy: Using a Secondary Data to Conduct Health Policy Research
300.840.01 Special Studies/Methods (Terms 1-4)
300.870.01 Research and Proposal Writing I
300.871.01 Research and Proposal Writing II
306.665.01 Research Ethics and Integrity
309.716.01 Advanced Methods in Health Services Research: Analysis
309.861.01 Graduate Seminar in Health Services Research (Terms 1-4)
Distributional Methods Requirements
During the second year, students will complete at least two of the methods courses below (equaling at least 6 credits) in one of the following domains. The intent of this distributional methods requirement is to allow the student to develop a special area of methods expertise. Approval for alternative methods courses will require approval from the program director and the student’s advisor. Students are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with the School's certificate programs, which can be combined with the PhD degree (and which in the case of methods oriented certificates would in most cases meet the distributional requirements), particularly the Quality, Gerontology and Pharmacoepidemiology certificates. You can learn more about these certificates here.
Qualitative Research Methods
- 224.690.01 Qualitative Research Theory and Methods
- 224.691.01 Qualitative Data Analysis
- 224.697.01 Qaulitative Research Practicum I: Partnerships and Protocol Development
- 224.698.01 Qualitative Research Practicum II: Partnerships and Protocol Development
- 224.699.01 Qualitative Research Practicum III: Analyzing and Writing Qualitative Findings
- 410.710.01 Concepts in Qualitative Research for Social and Behavioral Sciences
- 410.712.01 Theory and Practice in Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Additional qualitative courses:
- 224.863.01 Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods in Applied Medical Anthropology I
- 224.864.01 Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods in Applied Medical Anthropology II
- 410.690.01 Ethnographic Fieldwork
- 313.601.01 Economic Evaluation I
- 313.602.01 Economic Evaluation II
- 313.603.01 Economic Evaluation III
- 313.604.01 Economic Evaluation IV
- 318.603.01 Applied Microeconomics for Policy Making
- 221.644.01 Econometric Methods for Evaluation of Health Programs
- 221.651.01 Econometrics I
- 309.720.01 Applied Econometrics for Health Policy Research
Advanced Statistical Analysis for Special Data Issues
- 140.655.01 Analysis of Longitudinal Data
- 140.656.01 Multilevel Statistical Models in Public Health
- 140.665.01 Causal Inference in Medicine and Public Health II
- 140.698.01 Spatial Analysis III: Spatial Statistics
- 140.699.01 Spatial Analysis IV: Spatial Design and Application
- 180.636.01 Statistical Inference
- 220.622.01 Seminar on Limited Dependent Variable Models
- 230.605.01 Categorical Data Analysis and Selected Topics
- 230.615.01 Seminar on Panel Data Analysis
- 340.606.01 Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
- 340.696.01 Spatial Analysis I: ArcGIS
- 340.697.01 Spatial Analysis II: Spatial Data Technologies
Informatics and Informational Sciences
- 309.635.81 Population Health: Analytic Methods and Visualization Techniques
- 315.700.81 Health Informatics: Design to Deployment
- 315.703.81 Informatics Evaluation and Quality Improvement
- 315.707.81 Introduction to Public Health and Biomedical Informatics
- 315.708.81 HIT Standards and Interoperability
Social and Behavioral and Measurement Methods
- 140.658.01 Statistics for Psychosocial Research: Structural Models
- 330.657.01 Statistics for Psychosocial Research: Measurement
- 410.615.01 Research Design in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Epidemiologic Perspective on Research Design & Analysis
- 340.682.81 Pharmacoedpidemiology Methods
- 340.722.81 Epidemiologic Inference in Public Health II
- 340.769.01 Professional Epidemiological Methods
Design and Conduct of Population-Based Surveys
- 140.640.01 Statistical Methods for Sample Surveys
- 340.717.01 Health Survey Research Methods
- 340.711.01 Issues in Survey Research and Design
- 380.712.01 Methods in Analysis of Large Population Surveys
Once students have completed all of the required and elective coursework, they must maintain a full-time registration (12+ credits each term) for the duration of their program. Students who have not yet passed the school-wide oral exam should register for 12 credits of special studies (300.840) with their advisor to work on their thesis proposal; once a student has passed the school-wide oral exam, they should register for thesis research credits 301.820.
- Gerard Anderson, PhD
- Renan Castillo, PhD, MS
- Sydney Dy, MD, MSc
- Darrell Gaskin, PhD
- Hadi Kharrazi, MD, PhD
- Judith Kasper, PhD
- Jill Marsteller, PhD, MPP
- Laura Morlock, PhD
- Lauren Nicholas, PhD
- Leiyu Shi, DrPH, MBA, MPA
- Jonathan Weiner, DrPH
- Jennifer Wolff, PhD, MHS
- Albert Wu, MD, MPH, Concentration Director
- Junya Zhu, PhD
Below is a list of recent graduates’ current positions and dissertation titles for the PhD Concentration in Health Services Research and Policy.
|Graduate Name||Current Position||Dissertation Title|
|Winnie Chi (2016)||Associate Research Director: HealthCore Inc||Individuals' preferences for decision-making and experiences with treatment burden in the context of multimorbidity and dementia among older adults in the U.S.|
|Rachael Zuckerman (2016)||Program Analyst: HHS Office of Healthcare Finance Policy||The role of public transportation in access to care for older adults in the United States|
|Julia Baller (2015)||Health Researcher: Mathematica Policy Research||Financing school-based health services for children with disabilities: The intersection between Medicaid and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act|
|Joy L. Lee (2015)||Assistant Professor of Medicine: Indiana University School of Medicine||Doctor, can I have your e-mail? A multi-method examination of patient-provider electronic communication in primary care|
|Eva DuGoff (2014)||Assistant Professor: Department of Health Services Administration, University of Maryland, College Park||Care coordination in older adults with multiple chronic conditions|
|Elizabeth Pfoh (2014)||Associate Staff: Cleveland Clinic||The value of measuring quality of primary care using patient-reported depression collected through electronic health records|
|Eva Chang (2013)||Research Public Health Analyst: RTI International||Access to care among Asian Americans: Assessing determinants of usual source of care|
|Tracy Mroz (2013)||Assistant Professor: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington||Medicare utilization incentives for rehabilitation therapy in home health: Relationships between agency factors, therapy provision, and outcomes of care|
|Tanjala Purnell (2012)||Assistant Professor of Surgery and Epidemiology: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine||Examining barriers to live donor kidney transplantation among racial-ethnic minorities in the United States: Opportunities for policy interventions|
|Hsien Seow (2009)||Associate Professor: McMaster University’s Department of Oncology||The use of end-of-life homecare services in Ontario, Canada: Is it associated with using less acute care services in late life?|