COURSE TITLE: Healthcare in the 21st Century




INSTRUCTOR: Kimberly MacPherson




PREREQUISITE(S): none; required for MBA MPH 1st years, open to all MBA’s interested in the sector (experienced or not); open to non-MBA graduate students if space available


CLASS FORMAT: cases, group discussion, guest speakers


REQUIRED READINGS: publically available readings and cases


BASIS FOR FINAL GRADE: combination of class participation, case submissions, quizzes, final project/presentation


ABSTRACT OF COURSE'S CONTENT AND OBJECTIVES:  Healthcare is a complex, multi-faceted industry that involves >$3T in annual spending in the US (over 17% of GDP) and touches everyone in the US one way or another.  Globally, healthcare is a top priority for citizens, businesses, entrepreneurs, social impact advocates and governments.  This course will provide an overview of the structure and financing of healthcare and what drives both challenges and opportunities in health management.  The focus will be predominantly in the US but with coverage of a select number of other countries.  The course will draw on faculty, student and outside expert knowledge to support students in developing a rigorous understanding of the key stakeholders, structures and trends so that they can form or refine their points of view around a range of topics including:

Where are the business opportunities and challenges around the potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) by the new Administration?  How will other major trends (risk bearing by delivery sector, advancement in biomedical technologies, consumerism, etc ) also have an impact on business models?

"Why are health care costs in the US so high, and why is this (or is it not) a big deal?"

What can traditional service oriented healthcare entities (hospitals, medical groups, insurers, etc) do to both survive financially in an uncertain reimbursement environment and meet the needs of a changing population?

Should the US adopt forms of health technology assessment, similar to other countries, to aid in curbing spending on drugs and devices?  Where is the balance between innovation and affordability?

How can the power of data and technology be more effectively  harnessed (even with all the regulatory issues) to solve both clinical and management challenges in healthcare


Guest speakers will include high level experts from various parts of industry (e.g. strategy for large health system, insurers, digital therapeutics space, medtech/biotech firm, venture capital)


CAREER FIELD (Is there a particular career field this course is useful for?):  This class is targeted at those working in or providing products and/or services to the full range of healthcare sub-sectors (provider, payer, biotech/phama/medtech, information technology, start-ups).   Also for company managers/leaders who will have to consider impact of health benefits on their human capital strategy and finances.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:  Kim MacPherson, MBA/MPH (Haas, 1994), is the Associate Director of Health Management at the Haas School of Business and faculty in Health Policy and Management at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health.  She directs the MBA/MPH joint degree program, the two year MPH program, the one-year MPH for physicians and the MPP/MPH offered with the Goldman School of Public Policy.  She is also the Co-Director for the Berkeley Center for Health Technology (BCHT) where she focuses on digital health, palliative care/advanced care planning and the coverage and access issues around specialty biopharma and medical device innovation.  At Cal, she teaches a range of graduate level courses including Health Care Finance (SPH), Trends in Biotech & Pharma (Haas) and Commercializing Biotech (Haas). Prior to joining Cal in 2006, Ms. MacPherson consulted to a wide range of healthcare delivery, financing, innovator and research organizations including Dignity Health, Abbott, Genentech, Ascension Health, Kaiser Permanente, Partners Healthcare, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Francis Memorial Hospital (part of Dignity Health) in San Francisco and a founding member of the Technology and Innovation Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood Northern California.