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Economics of Health Care
(ECO 206 3.0 Cr)

Health Services

Course Description

This course uses economists' tools to examine and analyze the health care industry in the United States. Specifically, the course explores the demand for medical care, the supply of health care services, the supply of and demand for health insurance, and issues of rising costs for both suppliers and consumers. In addition, the course examines the extent and impact of competition in various health care-related markets such as those for hospital services, physicians and other health care workers, and long-term care. Focus is also placed on policy issues such as national health insurance and other aspects of the role for government in health care. This course will help students understand the economic aspects of health care systems and teach them how to analyze this complex and critical aspect of personal and public health.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to:
• Apply the concepts of "supply and demand" and market competition to the health care
sector of the United States
• Analyze economic trends in American health care
• Critically evaluate economic arguments used to debate issues in health care
• Assess the economic and equity aspects of different forms of policies related to health

Breadth of Assignments

This course utilizes a variety of assignment types in exploring the topics of Health Care Financial Management including reading assignments, both online and textbook based, individual assignments involving internet research and case studies of Middleboro, an online simulated community, journal and essay writing assignments, analytical review graded exams, and group projects involving discussion board questions and thought collaboration.

Required Resources
Feldstein, Paul J., (1999). Health Care Economics (5th ed). Albany, New York: Delmar Publishers.
ISBN: 0-7668-0699-5

Economics of Health Care
Health Services

Module 1: Economics of Medical Care
• Course introduction
• Student introduction

Module 2: Rising Costs and Demand for Health Care and Medical Insurance
• Measuring changes in:
- the price of medical care
- the demand for health care
- the demand for medical insurance

Module 3: The Supply of Medical Care
• Supply
• Market structure
• Market performance
• Evaluation of economic efficiency in supply

Module 4: Market Competition and the Market for Health Insurance
• Demand side of market for health insurance
• Supply side of market for health insurance
• Performance of the health insurance market
• Competition in medical care
• Managed care

Module 5: The Physician Services Market
• Structure of the physician services market
• Performance of the physician services market

Module 6: The Market for Hospital Services

• The market for hospital services
• Various models of hospital behavior
• Non-profit competition performance

Module 7: Health Care Labor Market
• Manpower shortages and surpluses
• Measurement and empirical estimates
• Proposed policies to correct imbalances
• The market for physician manpower

Module 8: The Role of Government in Health and Medical Care
• Government intervention
• Market imperfections and failures
• Redistribution
• Legislative marketplace
• Economic theory of government
• Specific legislation

Module 9: National Health Insurance
• Economic and political framework

Module 10: The Market for Long-Term Care Services
• Demographic trends
• Demand for long-term care
• The supply of long-term care services
• Government policy and the nursing home industry
• Financing long-term care

Module 11: Summary
• Summary
• Finish final project

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