Fall 2022 - HSCI 891 G100

Special Topics in Health Sciences (3)

Health Economics

Class Number: 6947

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 9021, Burnaby

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

Special topics in areas not currently covered within the graduate program offerings.

COURSE DETAILS:

COURSE TOPIC:   Priority Setting in Health Care.

Economics and ethics underpin health care decision making at all levels of the health system. As such, health care managers and clinical leaders require skills to set priorities and allocate resources in a manner which is both evidence-based and pragmatic noting the real world complexities of the health care ‘market’. The crucial point is that decision makers understand economic principles that underpin decision making and have a firm grasp on key ethical principles to ensure fairness and legitimacy when allocating scarce resources. This course provides students with an understanding of key economic and ethical principles, and how these principles can be applied practically in setting priorities and allocating resources within the health sector. As part of this, important aspects of health care decision-making including assessing relevant evidence, stakeholder engagement, benefit/outcomes measurement, incentives and organizational behavior are all addressed.

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

  • Introduce economic and ethical principles underlying health care decision making, and compare these principles with an ‘evidence-based medicine’ approach 
  • Discuss commonly used approaches to priority setting by health care decision makers both within Canada and elsewhere 
  • Discuss a practical guide to implementing a pragmatic framework for health care priority setting, including generating decision making criteria and involving relevant stakeholders 
  • Work through case studies and real world examples to illustrate key concepts and methods 
  • Discuss individual and organizational success factors related to improving priority setting and resource allocation practices
  • Design a process for priority setting in a health organization

Grading

  • Class participation 10%
  • Written assignments 60%
  • Final group exercise 30%

NOTES:

Class participation (10%): Students will be marked on their willingness to participate in class discussion and the degree to which their participation enhances discussion in the class.  

Written assignments (60%): Students will be required to write a two essays on challenges or issues or problem in the following topic areas: politics of priority setting; cancer care; drug decision making; public engagement; ethics of priority setting; health care disinvestment. Essays are to be a maximum of 2000 words and will be assessed in terms of both content (75% of the mark) and style (e.g., grammar, flow, ease of reading = 25% of the mark). Full details of assignments will be given during class. Late assignments will receive a penalty of 10% for every day the assignment is late.

Final group exercise (30%): Small groups will be charged with designing a priority setting process within real world health care constraints. Students will work in groups of 4-5 to produce an “executive briefing note” and then present on their findings. The group exercises will take place on the last two weeks of classes. Each person within a small group will receive the same grade (i.e. the grade for the group). More details will be provided in class.  

Class participation and written assignments are linked to all of the course objectives. The final group exercise is linked to the final course objective: to design a priority setting process for a health organization.

REQUIREMENTS:

90 units, two 200-level HSCI courses; or permission of the instructor

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

Donaldson C. Credit Crunch Health Care. Policy Press, London, 2011.

Throughout the course, links to online peer-reviewed articles will be provided through Canvas.

REQUIRED READING NOTES:

Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html