Health care policy and comparative systems

The assignment is to write an analysis of a health policy topic of your choice.  It may be a topic we have read about, watched or discussed in the course, or it may be a topic of professional or personal interest to you.

Your topic can be a resource or component of the health care system, such as laboratory services or nursing, a cluster of issues such as rural health or health disparities, a current topic such as chronic disease management, a “big” topic such as health care quality or costs, or numerous others.  Our discussion forums have generated many good topics.  Feel free to bounce ideas off me.

  • Identify and describe the issue or topic, and discuss the broader context of the topic.
  • Describe where the topic fits in the systems diagram on Page 25 of the textbook.
  • Use the health policy framework to analyze and discuss:

○    The policy implications of the topic

○    Any actions you believe are needed to preserve the value of the topic to the health care system, correct negative or unintended effects, or capture new potential (for instance to improve health status or reduce costs, realize the benefits of  a new technology such as electronic health records or telehealth, etc.)

○    Your thoughts and ideas on how to accomplish the actions you’re recommending, drawing from the policy tools in the framework
Write around five pages, which is approximately 1250 words, give or take. If you can be concise and thorough, you need not take the full length. It’s due no later than March 27.

For this paper, you must use APA style, which is a UMC standard. I will deduct points for grammar, spelling and punctuation. You must cite sources and references. I recommend you proof your work.  You may also want to consult the resources at the UMC Writing Center,

A note about population health and prevention.  There has been major interest among some of you on the potential for prevention and similar population health approaches.  That’s great!  However, this is a health care policy course, not a public health course. You are welcome to use a prevention or population health topic, but you must approach it from its current – or potential – role within the health care delivery system, as laid out in the diagram on Page 22.


One well known approach to addressing these goals within the health care system is the Triple Aim, proposed in 2007 by Dr. Don Berwick who ran the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in the first Obama administration.  If you’re interested in this topic, take a look at the thinking on the Triple Aim. Any questions, let me know.