Fall 2009 Course Description

Advanced Policy Economics

Section Title: Health Care Finance
Instructor(s): David Warner
Course: P A 393L - Advanced Policy Economics
(previously Political Economy II)
Unique Number: 63245
Day & Time: Mondays, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.316
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: The health care system is undergoing major changes and it is driven by a new concern with cost, by managed care, and by an attempt by private insurers and government to avoid paying more than they need to for care. Simultaneously there are attempts to find ways to cover the uninsured, to develop denominator based planning, and to apply managed care to new populations (Medicare and Medicaid) and new services (mental health and developmental disabilities). This is all taking place in the shadow of a divided government where Medicare and Medicaid have taken on great symbolic significance. Other factors such as an aging population and rapid technological change in medical care and in information processing capacity are driving further changes.

This course will try to provide some contemporary skills as well as provide background which will enhance the student's capacity to function in the health care arena. Because so much of the material is evolving we will have guest lecturers for portions of several of the classes.

The requirements will include one 5-6 page, single-spaced briefing paper and a research paper (about 20 pages). There will be an open book exam. Some topics worthy of analysis might be a comparison of several markets with regard to hospital and health plan concentration, quality assurance, undermanaged care and antitrust protections, a look at changes in contracting, credentialling, alternative strategies for raising capital, or the economics or financing of a particular disease or condition. Alternatively you might do a project for a health provider or work on one of several projects, with which I may be able to put you in touch. As long as a paper or project can be broadly conceptualized as health care finance it qualifies. Grades will be based on class participation (30%), final paper (30%), briefing paper (20%), and exam (20%).

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