Skip to main content

HCA 311: Health Care Economics

Course Description

This course illustrates how microeconomic theory can be used to understand the operation of health care markets as well as to analyze various problems and issues relating to health economics, including international comparisons Current political issues will also be addressed as they relate to health care economics.

Prerequisite

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this course the students will be able to:

  1. Define health care economics and explain how it is different from any other economic good.
  2. Compare past, present, and anticipated changes in the health care environment.
  3. Describe various payment sources and the populations they serve.
  4. Explain economic factors that influence health care decisions.
  5. Illustrate how microeconomic theory can be used to understand the operation of health care markets as well as to analyze various problems and issues related to health care economics.
  6. Evaluate political issues as they relate to health care economics.
  7. Compare the health care systems at least four other countries with that of the United States.
  8. Identify factors that influence the production of medical services.
  9. Relate structural, process and outcome quality to lifestyle and life expectancy.
  10. Evaluate the cost-benefit of human life, considering ethics vs. economics.
  11. Compare and contrast not-for-profit hospital behavior to for-profit and profit maximizing behavior in terms of services offered.
  12. Explain the affordable care act and analyze its economic impact on each sector of the health care system, including payers, providers, employers, and consumers.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8)

20%

Homework/Quizzes

20%

Midterm Exam (Week 4)

30%

Final Paper (Week 8)

30%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Getzen, Thomas E. (2013). Health Economics and Financing. 5th ed. John Wiley & Sons Publishing. ISBN-10: 1-118-18490-4 or ISBN-13: 978-1-118-18490-5

Additional Resources

  • PBS Frontline: Teacher Resources - Sick Around the World
  • The Instructor will also record screencasts to explain difficult topics and concepts as a means to differentiate instruction.
  • Free video lectures of leading economists, news stories, and podcasts will also be available to the course as needed.

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignment(s)

1

1,4,7

Topics: What is Health Care Economics and how is it fundamentally different from other sectors?/Supply and Demand

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Submit Week 1 Homework Assignment

2

4,5,8,10

Topics: Cost benefit and economic analysis & Health care finance and insurance

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Complete Quiz (Chapters 1-4)

3

3,4,5

Topics: Insurance contracts & Managed care & physicians

  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Submit Week 3 Homework Assignment

4

2,5,11

Topics: Medical Educations, organizations and business practices & Hospitals and health systems

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 7
    • Chapter 8
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Complete Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam
Chapters 1-8

5

3,4,5,6,8,9

Topics: Management and regulation of hospital costs& Long-term care

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 9
    • Chapter 10
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Submit Week 5 Homework Assignment

6

1,5-9, 11

Topics: Pharmaceuticals & Capital Financing and Ownership of Health Care Providers

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 11
    • Chapter 12
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Submit Week 6 Homework Assignment

7

1-4, 9

Topics: Macroeconomics of Medical Care & The Role of Government and Public Goods

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 13
    • Chapter 14
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Complete Quiz (Chapters 9-14)

8

2,3,4,6,7,12

Topics: Economic Evaluation of Health Policy: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010/ Value for Money in the Future of Medical Care

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 17
    • Chapter 18
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the powerpoint lectures
  • Participate in the Discussions (minimum 3 posts)
  • Submit Final Paper - Paper must address the ECONOMICS of the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on identifying and explaining the economic impact of one reform initiatives for each of the following years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). Reform initiatives should include insurance, provider, reimbursement and or technology, etc I want you to use the tools (terms and concepts from the course) of economists to analyze how these reforms are intended to impact the cost of health care. Summarize your term paper by sharing your educated opinion if these reforms will work or not, cite your work.
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.