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Health Systems, Managment & Policy


About the Department

Health Systems, Management & Policy

Welcome to the Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy.  Our department is a national leader in health services research, with a rapidly expanding faculty in areas including economics, health policy, pharmaceutical policy, management, and outcomes research.  We engage in cutting edge, methodologically sophisticated research, with an emphasis on the use of appropriate quantitative methods.  Our renowned faculty have active research agendas funded by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others.

We are interdisciplinary in both philosophy and practice.  We actively work with local research partners, such as Denver Health, Kaiser Permanente, the Colorado Health Outcomes Program and the University of Colorado schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dental Medicine.  Active areas of research include mental health, health insurance, health outcomes, substance abuse treatment and many other topics.

We offer the following programs:

We provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary course of study that prepares students to meet the changing demands of health care, public health, and health policy environments.  Students obtain a broad set of practical skills suitable for success as healthcare managers or policy analysts.  Our emphasis is on teaching students to use basic data analysis tools for empirically driven decision making in areas such as quality improvement or cost control.  The core curriculum covers basic financial management and budgeting, cost effectiveness analysis, quantitative policy analysis, health economics, health care provider reimbursement and many other topics. 

Students may also take concentrated sets of courses in particular areas of interest.  Among these areas are management – which includes strategic management, organizational behavior, leadership and public administration, among other topics – and advanced policy analysis, which covers health law, ethics, regulation and other special topics. Students may also participate in the school-wide global health certificate program (coming soon) while meeting the requirements for their HSMP MPH.

The PhD in Health Services Research is designed for students interested in research.  Students receive training in Health Services Research, with a set of specialized skills suitable to conducting rigorous quantitative analysis.  The curriculum is designed to provide students with the methodological training to conduct applied research in health care organization, financing, and policy.  The program is offered jointly with the Clinical Science doctoral program. 

Meet the Chair:

Dr. Adam Atherly, PhD from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University was recently appointed to head the new Health Systems, Management & Policy department within the Colorado School of Public Health.   As chair, Dr. Atherly will oversee department development including hiring new associate and assistant ranked faculty in the area of health service research. Dr. Atherly received his PhD in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota and a MA in economics from the University of Washington.

Dr. Atherly’s research targets health economics, with an emphasis on the economics of ageing and consumer decisions regarding health plan choice.  Much of his research focuses on the Medicare program, including studies on the design of the new Medicare “Part D” program, choice of secondary insurance, and the Medicare Advantage managed care system.  Dr. Atherly also recently completed an evaluation of the Medicare “Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability Act “HIFA” expansion funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Contact Information


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