Courses & Electives

The health care elective courses are a key offering of the Center. Faculty affiliated with the Center offer a variety of electives during the year - a mix of full-term course and minicourses. Students have the flexibility to choose electives during both years at Tuck in the order that serves them best. In addition to electives, Center faculty will sponsor independent studies.

Elective Courses

Contemporary Issues in Biotechnology 
Professor Steve Gillis; Professor Michael Zubkoff

In this minicourse, students will gain an appreciation for the biotechnology industry, with its significant impact on society, its premise and continued promise and what is required for biotechnology entrepreneurs in the 21st century to attract investment capital. Areas ripe for investment and development will be explored as will lessons learned over the past three decades.

Entrepreneurship in Health Care Services and Technology
Professor Adam Groff D'99Professor Trevor Price

This minicourse focuses on our belief that for growth-oriented health care companies, people are more important than products, markets, and processes. Great organizations do not form through luck - they are built with substantial planning and an intentional approach to its people. Health care startups are challenged moving from seed to scale due to regulatory, scalability, and business model concerns. Our goal is to teach students in the class about building great teams and organizations across distinct phases of company maturity curves. We will be joined by leading Chief Executive and Chief People Officers at some of the most highly regarded companies in health care. Students will get time with these executives and will have an opportunity to help them solve some of these critical elements related to building teams.

Health Economics
Professor Robert Hansen

This mini-course will focus on the pricing of health care services and products. The main objective is to help students understand the special nature of pricing in health care markets to enable better decision-making in both business and public policy; a secondary objective is to further develop students’ ability to apply economics.

Prices play a huge role in health care markets, driving decisions by physicians, hospitals, insurers, drug and device developers, governments, and of course patients. Pricing in health care is particularly complicated and interesting for a variety of reasons, including the prevalence of market power and inelastic demands; the impact of insurance; the role of non-profit providers; informational problems; and poor understanding of costs. There is a fair amount of pricing innovation today, with the possibility that new pricing models will solve some perennial health care issues. Possible topics to be covered include: Interaction of hospital pricing and insurer networks; impacts of both vertical and horizontal mergers on hospital, physician and insurance prices; special issues of pharmaceutical pricing including the complex role of pharmacy benefit managers; bundled pricing; value-based pricing; reference pricing; auction markets in health care; and price transparency. The course will use cases, articles from the academic and practitioner literature, and visitors.

Health Care Analytics & Society
Professor Lindsey Leininger

This full-term course will explore the innovative potential and ethical challenges associated with the unabated rise of Big Data and advanced analytics applications across the health care ecosystem. We will introduce the technical fundamentals of descriptive, predictive, and evaluative analytics using a series of leading-edge applications drawn from industry. We will concurrently discuss the ethical and managerial dilemmas that inexorably emerge along these innovative frontiers. Possible applications include the role of machine learning in diagnostic medicine; the strategic implications of “blockbuster” clinical trials; the impacts of tying physician payments to statistical algorithms on physician behavior; and the rise of digital disease detection. Through these applications we will introduce and discuss ethical issues such as algorithmic fairness and transparency; the trade-offs between protecting data security and encouraging analytic innovation; human subjects protections in clinical trials; and privacy concerns associated with emerging genomic and patient-generated data sources. By the end of the course students will be able to recognize and apply the key statistical and ethical frameworks critical for wise, data-driven leadership across the health care sector.

Investing and Deal Making in Health Care
Professor Michael A. CarusiProfessor Michael S. McIvor; Professor Michael Zubkoff; Suzie Rubin

This minicourse looks at the complexities and inner workings of the health care ecosystem, providing a practitioner's point of view on the players, how they interact, partner and transact. Students are introduced to health services, medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals and health IT. The path for venture capital and private equity-backed companies from creation to exit is explored, including the goals and incentives of various stakeholders. The course covers different types of investing and deal making transactions as well as strategies, tactics, and analytical tools.

Management of Health Care Organizations
Professor Paul B. Gardent

This minicourse provides students with the knowledge and understanding of key leadership and strategic challenges within health services organizations. It covers important functions of health services management, including strategy, finance, and operations and introduces students to leadership issues in performance improvement, change management, organizational leadership and strategic alliances.

Medical Care and the Corporation
Professor Paul B. Gardent; Professor Michael Zubkoff

This course examines the critical issues facing business leaders as they approach and finance health benefits for employees, manage cost, and choose the best strategy for recruiting and retaining a productive workforce. Students will build an understanding of the structure, economics and dynamics of the employer based health care system from the perspective of corporate leaders, learn how the ACA has fundamentally changed the strategic landscape and comprehend alternative approaches to help businesses cope with these strategic issues.

Structure, Organization and Economics of the Health Care Industry 
Professor Paul B. Gardent; Professor Michael Zubkoff

By introducing the structure, organization and financing of health care in relationship to business and the economy, this course provides students with a fundamental understanding of the health care industry and critical issues in health care today. It will provide an industry-wide view from the differing perspectives within the health care value chain, including providers, suppliers, payers and consumers, and examine the market dynamics among these players.