This course provides a "real world" overview of healthcare delivery in the United States (US). The topics covered include the major medical product segments, regulatory framework, and financial considerations, including costs, health insurance, and reimbursement. A series of critical medical conditions having the highest impact on the US healthcare system are discussed and patient case studies are presented to illustrate important aspects of these disorders. In addition, several emerging healthcare developments, including precision medicine, artificial intelligence, digital health, and value-based care, are addressed. While this information will be presented in online lecture format, deeper assessments of key aspects will be assigned on a weekly basis. Finally, an important aspect of the course is an oral and written report on a clinical subject of each student's choosing (in lieu of examinations).
- Evaluate the impact of the following conditions from both a clinical and resource utilization (cost) perspective: Coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke, arthritis, sepsis, and acute kidney injury
- Analyze the major segments of medical products (pharmaceutical/biotechnology compounds and medical devices) along with the regulatory framework applying to each of these segments.
- For the biopharmaceutical industry, determine the major components of the drug development process and the manner in which drug pricing factors into the risk/reward equation.
- Assess US health economics by identifying the major cost drivers in the healthcare system (hospital care; physician costs; drugs and other medical products)
- Formulate a basic understanding of the sources of health insurance coverage in the US, including the differences between government-based (Medicare/Medicaid) and commercial payers.
- Explain several evolving trends which have the potential to influence healthcare substantially in the future, including precision medicine, artificial intelligence, digital health, and value-based care.
An introductory biology course is recommended but not mandatory.
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