HSM 3101

About This Course

This course provides a pragmatic, applied understanding of health economic principles with the specific aim of increasing the effectiveness of management in the health care industry. Managing effectively requires understanding the economic incentives and choices of the various agents: patients, providers, health systems, insurers, manufacturers, and government. Therefore, this course reviews the economic principles that drive the behavior of these agents.

It also provides an overview of the structure of the hospital, provider, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries and their responses to economic forces given the incentives they face. This includes both an examination of private and government insurers and the ways health system actions are influenced by the policies of private and government insurance. Health equity is an issue that applies broadly in the health care industry. As such, it has implications for its management. Similarly, health care management must be prepared to thrive in an environment of continual reform. Accordingly, this course reviews various reform approaches and their implications for the health care industry.

Prerequisites: None, but successful completion of a course in introductory microeconomics is strongly recommended


Eric Christensen
Eric Christensen

"People are universally smart. They respond to the incentives they are given in logical ways. We just need to figure out where a particular set of incentives will lead."

Dr. Christensen is the Director of Economic and Health Services Research at the Neiman Health Policy Institute of the American College of Radiology in Reston, VA. He is also a private consultant for health care organizations and in litigation matters. Dr. Christensen directed the Health Research and Policy team at the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, VA, 2001−2015, where he conducted and oversaw research for the Military Health System, Navy Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, and others. During 2015−2017, he conducted health economic research in pediatrics for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. His research has covered cost, efficiency, medical homes, accountable care organizations, interventions, compensation and retention of health care professionals, and infrastructure. He has authored or coauthored approximately 100 publications and presentations.

Dr. Christensen has a PhD in economics from the University of Illinois; an MA in economics from Colorado State University; and a BS in finance from Brigham Young University. He teaches: 

  • HSM 3101 – Applied Health Economics

Information Subject to Change

Course details, syllabus, and instructor are subject to change. Current course details can be found by clicking on the Term link(s) above.