Health care plays a vital role in the United States economy. Health care spending grew 4.6 percent in 2019, reaching $3.8 trillion—accounting for nearly 18 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Understanding the true drivers of that spending and the policies that shape and define them is complex yet necessary, which is why Harvard Online is announcing the launch of a new course: Health Care Economics.

Taught by Harvard Medical School faculty, Health Care Economics is a six-week online course that will demystify spending and enable health care leaders to understand the economics of health care from a patient, provider, and payer perspective. At the end of the course, learners will be able to apply those insights to create more compelling programs, negotiate better reimbursement contracts and partnerships, and advocate more effectively inside and outside of their organization.

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“To understand the forces that are shaping the evolution of health care, you need to understand the underlying economics drivers that affect patients, providers, and payers,” says Health Care Economics instructor Michael Chernew, PhD, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. “All leaders need to understand those forces so that they can anticipate the challenges they will face and structure their activities to meet those challenges.”

The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the drivers of health care spending
  • Describe approaches to getting the incentives right for both patients and providers
  • Define the role of employers, insurers, and government in influencing the economics of health care markets
  • Explain how technology and patients’ and providers’ decisions contribute to high spending and spending growth

Health Care Economics | Explore the economic forces shaping health care | Learn More

Applications for Health Care Economics will be accepted through April 27, 2021, and the course will start on May 12, 2021. Learners should expect to dedicate approximately three hours per week to the course material.

For more information or to apply, visit the Health Care Economics page.