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Best Online Master’s Degrees in: Health Economics

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Explore a Master's Degree in Health Economics

Health economics concerns the development of health care decisions through mathematical modeling. A health economics master's degree may be ideal for a student interested in health care services from an economic perspective, including the organization and management, accounting and budgeting, and laws that affect the healthcare industry. Health economics graduate students usually possess analytical and problem-solving skills, and the communication and collaboration skills necessary to interact with health professionals.

A health economics master's degree may require 30 credit hours over the course of two years to complete. However, this can vary depending on the individual school and program, whether the student enrolls full or part time, and whether the student is bringing in any prior graduate-level credits.

Class Curriculum

A health economics master's degree may require course work in economic evaluation, research methods, statistics, microeconomic theory and analysis, health law, and health care services. Advanced course work may require macroeconomic theory and analysis, public finance, industrial organization economics, and analytical labor economics. Below are a few specific courses that a health economics master's degree student may be required to take:

  • Health Research Methods. Health research methods covers experimental designs, like cross-sectional surveys and secondary data analysis, and non-experimental approaches, like ethnographic methods and case-study designs to understand global health and health services research. Students may discuss sampling strategy issues for quantitative and qualitative inquiry, and learn the research process including research ethics and research paper organization.
  • Medical Statistics. Medical statistics may analyze statistical techniques for medical data, including design aspects, data summary, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. Specific topics may include data transformations, linear and logistics regression, clinical trials, and case-control studies.
  • Payment Systems. Payment systems may cover the processes in which health care service providers are paid for services by private and public sector programs. Students may analyze public policy issues through financial and managerial accounting and the regulatory processes to determine payment for services in entitlement programs.

Students may be required to work on a thesis project in a health economics topic with corresponding research. Health economic master's degree students may also be required to participate in departmental research and read current research and case studies into health economic issues.

Building a Career

Health economics majors may find employment in the pharmaceutical industry, government organizations, in medical research, or with a healthcare provider. They may participate in health economic research or work as professors in academia. A health economics major may also find employment as a medical and health service manager.

Medical and health service managers plan medical and health services, including the finances of a medical facility, the work schedules, and facility compliance to laws and regulations. They may also organize facility service records and communicate with the medical staff and department heads. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers had a median pay of $84,270 per year. Employment for medical and health services managers is expected to increase by 22% between 2010 and 2020. Most medical and health services managers are employed in healthcare facilities like hospitals at the state, local, and private level.