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What is Health Systems, Management & Policy

Improving the Quality, Effectiveness and Value of Health Care

In today’s complex and rapidly changing health care environment, the field of health systems, management and policy is essential.  Faced with making the delivery of care safer and more efficient, expanding health insurance coverage, and  improving the performance of entire health systems, the field addresses America’s most pressing health concerns.

Some key issues within health Systems, management & policy include:

  • Health Care Financing
  • Health Disparities
  • Managed Care for Geriatric Populations
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Mental Health Policies
  • Quality of Care and Patient Outcomes

Health systems, management and policy is a multi-faceted field and individuals work in a variety of disciplines that contribute to improving the quality, effectiveness and value of care in our nation.  Some of these disciplines include health services research, health economics and health care management.

Health services research studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being.  This research shapes issues such as, consumer education; patient outcomes and effectiveness of care; health care quality; health care for minority, elderly, and other special populations; health care costs and financing; and access to care and health care delivery. 

Cost-benefit analyses of health care interventions are a focal point in most health care decisions and policies. Health economics is concerned with issues related to scarcity in the allocation of health and health care. Health economists study how health care systems function; causes of health-affecting behaviors such as obesity or smoking; and all relevant costs, benefits, and outcomes related to health care interventions. 

Health care management is concerned with administration within health care organizations. This includes the formulation and implementation of health care policies, access to health care services, financing and reimbursement for services, and evaluation of services and health care outcomes. The overall goal of health care management is to enhance access to health care while insuring health care services are delivered efficiently.

All of these disciplines within health systems, management and policy help providers, patients, insurers, employers and policy makers make informed health care decisions. These decisions continue to improve the quality, effectiveness and value of health care locally, nationally and globally.

Learn about careers in Health Systems, Management & Policy​


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