Healthcare is by far the largest and fastest-growing industry in the United States, accounting for more than 16 percent of GDP. The cost and quality of healthcare delivery has become a paramount concern for consumers, employers and employees, as well as local and national governments. Debates, controversies and problems emerge almost daily in the news, yet the complexities of the issues are not generally well understood. New technologies and methods of delivering and paying for healthcare are transforming the industry and providing new opportunities for existing and new players in the field.
This course provides an overview of the U.S. healthcare industry; the major players involved in the payment, production and delivery of healthcare; and the key challenges and opportunities facing healthcare executives, investors and policymakers. Topics include strategies for addressing costs, quality and access, and the perspectives of consumers, payers, providers and producers/suppliers (e.g., pharmaceutical and medical-device companies). Emphasis is placed on challenges and opportunities afforded by new legislation, information technology, and new methods of healthcare delivery and payment. Though the focus is on the United States, comparisons with healthcare systems in other countries are also discussed.