Spring 2020 - 58420 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2020 - 58420 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Healthcare Business Ecosystem

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the ecosystem of the U.S. healthcare industry using a multi-disciplinary approach to investigate the structures, processes, and outcomes of health services.  We will begin by discussing market dynamics and asking two fundamental questions: What factors explain the disorganized and dysfunctional character of the healthcare system?  And, what strategic implications can be drawn given the special nature of the healthcare market?  We will focus on the disparate and overlapping parties that comprise the stakeholder groups active in the three major segments of the healthcare ecosystem:

  1. Payers (employers, government, consumers, insurance companies, and pharmacy benefit managers)
  2. Providers (hospitals, physicians, clinics, nursing homes, mental health, service providers)
  3. Producers (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, IT firms)

The course will also cover how a variety of healthcare organizations have gained, sustained, and lost competitive advantage amidst intense competition, widespread regulation, high interdependence, and massive technological, economic, social, and political changes.  Specifically, we will use cases to evaluate the challenges facing healthcare organizations using competitive analysis, identify their past responses, and explore the current strategies they are using to manage these challenges (and emerging ones) more effectively. 


The readings, lectures, and student projects illustrate the ways stakeholder conflicts influence the cost, access, and quality of medical care. Through case studies and individual research, students will begin to identify steps for greater stakeholder alignment.  The semester concludes with an exploration of the healthcare systems in five major industrialized nations and an opportunity to research reform options in a chosen healthcare sector.

MW 12:30PM to 2:00PM
RRH 4.416