The Department of Health Systems & Policy (HSAP) provides students with an in-depth understanding of the structure, organization, and financing of the U.S. health care system, the social and economic factors underlying population health. The department also emphasizes analyses of the public policy initiatives that seek to address the deficiencies of our health care insurance and delivery systems and to improve population health. Students develop the analytical tools and institutional knowledge to effectively examine the many facets of the organization, financing, and regulation of health care delivery in the United States.
The recent implementation of the Affordable Care Act that is transforming the American health care system makes this an exciting time for the study of health systems and health policy. The implementation of new initiatives such as mandated health insurance coverage, health insurance exchanges, new models of health care delivery, and the expansion of Medicaid are designed to increase access to care for the uninsured and other vulnerable populations, control rising health cost, and improve the quality of care present new challenges for health professionals. Faculty involvement in research related to these changes and other health care policy initiatives provide HSAP students with enhanced learning opportunities in the classroom, as well as timely fieldwork research projects.