Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS) in Health Economics and Management

Degree programme

Programme type Laurea Magistrale (Second cycle degree/Two year Master - 120 ECTS)
Academic Year 2018/2019
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 8880
Degree Programme Class LM-56 - Economics
Years in which the programme is being held

1°year, 2°year

Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Place of teaching Bologna
Degree Type Joint degree programme
Inter-University programme MCI MANAGEMENT CENTER INNSBRUCK , ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM , UNIVERSITY OF OSLO
Type International Degree Programme
Degree Programme Director Daniele Fabbri
Teachers Teachers
Language English

Admission requirements and assessment of previously acquired knowledge/competences

Curricular requirements:

1. A 1st cycle degree or other suitable qualification obtained abroad, in one of the classes listed in the degree programme teaching regulation

2. At least 24 CFU credits in the subject areas indicated in the admission requirements established in the degree programme teaching regulation

3. Appropriate English language knowledge skills, at least to level B2.

Assessment of personal competencies and skills

Admission to the 2nd cycle degree programme is subject to the possession of the curricular requirements and personal competencies and skills, assessed in the methods laid down in the degree programme teaching regulation.

The assessment may be based on an oral and/or written exam, the candidate's curriculum, and/or the possession of a 1st cycle degree with at least the minimum score laid down annually in the degree programme teaching regulation.

Programme profile

The second cycle Inter-university degree programme in Health Economics and Management (HEM) prepares highly qualified executive-level health economists able to hold positions of responsibility in (national and international) institutions and businesses, private and public research institutes and international organisations working in the healthcare sector.

Introduction to the learning areas

The study programme provides effective learning in five areas.

Studying Health and Health Service Economics, HEM graduates will have acquired in-depth knowledge of microeconomic methods for the theoretical and deductive analysis of the problems affecting resource allocation, the economic markets and institutions involving health and health services. They will understand the economic reasons of public intervention and regulation in the fields of health insurance, pharmaceutical and health professions; they will possess appropriate competences in the field of health insurance, understanding the various health service payment models and the economic incentives for suppliers; they will understand the decisive factors underlying health behaviour and can assess policies aimed at improving the lifestyles of the population.

Studying the Instruments for governing healthcare systems, HEM graduates will have appropriate knowledge of the main characteristics of healthcare organisations affecting operating logics and the design of management control systems. They will be familiar with the management tools and techniques used to design and manage healthcare organisations, with particular focus on financial control and accounting principles, and will be able to read and understand financial statements, management control systems, organisational innovation management models in the healthcare context, and staff selection, management and motivation models

Both of the above areas of study will include the transversal study of Quantitative Analysis methods. This knowledge, grafted onto a solid foundation in economics and management, will support HEM graduates in their ability to critically assess the quantitative implications of healthcare strategies and business strategies in an empirical and inductive perspective. They will particularly be able to autonomously conduct research, forecasts and analyses of the development of healthcare markets and the implications for business organisations following the adoption of alternative strategic choices and modifications to external contexts.

Studying Healthcare Market Law and Health Policies and Governance, HEM graduates will have acquired in-depth knowledge of the main external constraints affecting organisations working in an environment subject to regulatory constraints and actions, such as the health sector.

Introduction to professional profiles

The 2nd cycle degree in HEM prepares professional profiles according to the current and emerging demands of the health sector.

Manager of healthcare institutions

The nature of healthcare institutions requires managers with leadership skills, combined with the ability to supervise and coordinate staff. Managers take decisions and perform tasks taking into account both the external and internal contexts of the organisation. The external context refers to the influences, resources and activities existing beyond the confines of the organisation, but which significantly affect its operations, including: the structure of demands and needs of the community, regulatory constraints, market competition, governmental actions and plans. The internal context refers to the typical actions of managers on a daily basis, including: staff supervision, analysis of financial administration, improvement of the quality of production processes and delivered services. Maintaining this dual perspective requires balance, strategic vision, and a broad base of multidisciplinary competences.

Expert of health funding and payment systems

The healthcare manager in this profile is an expert in the problems affecting the overall cost of healthcare, funding methods, services contracts, the relationship between co-funding mechanisms and supplier reimbursement schemes, the roles and relations between suppliers, patients and third party funders.

Health Economist

Health systems have to tackle the pressing need to combine potentially unlimited health needs and the increasing demand for services with the limited availability of resources. Health Economists provide their skills to support strategic decisions, institutional reforms, organisational innovations, in all contexts in which these are required to tackle the problem of rationing. The professions included in this profile conduct research on the concepts, theories and methods for analysing and understanding the operations of the health goods and services market, to identify solutions to the problems of allocation and failures in the healthcare market, programme and support the implementation of health policies and regulations.

Expert in economic evaluation in healthcare

The strong focus on the cost of health services is soliciting increasingly transversal interest in the formalised methods of cost-effectiveness analyses of treatments, care, medicines and medical devices. This requires health workers to understand how to perform and interpret these evaluations on different levels: from operational and clinical to strategic and managerial. Experts in economic evaluation in healthcare provide and disseminate cost-effectiveness analysis techniques among the members of the organisation, particularly among the health staff.

Expert in healthcare cooperation programmes

The increase in international aid to support health programmes in developing countries, and the growing interest in global health issues by governments, multilateral organisations, NGOs, civil society and the private sector, underline the constant demand for this professional profile. These professionals are experts in global health problems which go beyond national boundaries and thus require health policies aimed at multi-governmental cooperation and the pooling of innovative solutions.

Degree Programme Structure

The first semester is dedicated to the fundamental course units, following harmonised learning programmes running at all four partner institutions. The second and third semesters are dedicated to one specialisation according to the chosen track. Each curriculum includes two semesters of specialisation, run at different partner institutions.

The final semester is dedicated entirely to research activities and the production of the final dissertation.

Further opportunities for specialisation are offered by internships in health organisations and Summer and Winter Schools run annually by the partner universities.

Access to further study

It gives access to third cycle studies (Dottorato di ricerca/Scuole di specializzazione) and master universitario di secondo livello.

Career opportunities

Manager of healthcare institutions

function in a professional context:

The Manager of healthcare institutions:

- Examines and assesses the economic, regulatory and legislative context the organisation operates in;

- Assesses and enhances the resources available to the organisation

- Establishes the organisation's mission according to operational objectives;

- Coordinates working groups from departments within the organisation, ensuring smooth cooperation among the various figures involved

- Cooperates with the departments within the organisation, contributing to the smooth cooperation of the various figures involved

- Drafts analyses, project and strategy documents

- Drafts short and medium term strategic plans

- Describes and assesses the implications on the organisation of the adoption of alternative strategic choices;

- Drafts and performs analyses of the impact of strategic choices adopted;

- Uses data to measure quality and performance for decision-making.

Graduates in this field of specialisation enter the profession as assistants to the top management of business and organisations working in the health sector. They help to coordinate the management structures, and provide support in the definition, planning, management and coordination of policies, production strategies and activities, complying with the instructions of the board of directors or the management. To acquire autonomy and responsibility in the performance of the above activities, graduates may acquire further competencies through internships in specific businesses and organisations.

competencies associated to the function:

The following are required to perform the above-described functions:

- Knowledge and specialist skills in economic, managerial, legal, statistical and quantitative fields.

- Understanding of management tools and techniques used to design and manage healthcare organisations

- Understanding of financial control and accounting principles

- Ability to read and understand financial statements, solid understanding of management control

- Knowledge of organisational innovation management models applied to the health sector

- An inclination for self-learning and lifelong learning

- Transversal communication, organisational, managerial and planning skills, in line with the assigned levels of autonomy and responsibility and the organisation and working methods adopted

- Analytical skills applied to different subject areas and strategic focusing skills to support decision-making

- Knowledge and use of staff selection, management and motivation models

- Ability to interpret advanced health service quality analyses in order to guide strategic choices using an evidence-informed approach

- Reasoning skills required to work in multicultural and multi-disciplinary contexts.

- In-depth knowledge of economic theory and evaluation models applied to health programmes

- Ability to critically interpret health assessment studies (Health Technology Assessment).

career opportunities:

- Governmental agencies and regulatory authorities working in healthcare markets

- Governmental agencies and regulatory authorities in the drug and health technologies sectors

- Regional health authorities and regulatory bodies

- Insurance companies working in the health sector

- Manufacturing companies working in the pharmaceutical, medical and diagnostic technologies and prostheses fields.

- Health and hospital boards

- Suppliers of hospital, diagnostic, rehabilitation of specialist health services

- Ministry and other bodies responsible for health programming

Expert in Economic Evaluation in healthcare

function in a professional context:

The Expert in economic evaluation in healthcare:

- Defines protocols for the cost-effectiveness analysis of treatments

- Supervises, gathers and analyses the required data

- Liaises with operators to interpret the results

- Drafts summary reports to support decision-making.

competencies associated to the function:

The Expert in economic evaluation in healthcare:

- Has in-depth knowledge of economic theory and evaluation models applied to health programmes

- Understands the main theories of decision-making in conditions of uncertainty

- Is able to design and conduct Health Technology Assessments

- Is able to develop decision-making trees and Markov models for economic assessment and measure/evaluate the uncertainty of the results of these models

- Is able to assess the contents and quality of an economic assessment study

- Has an understanding of the different decision-making contexts he is required to work in: rational decision-making process, political decision-making process.

career opportunities:

Economic Evaluation is used increasingly (to define treatment protocols, assess care practices, identify health plan priorities) in a wide range of health institutions and organisations, including:

- Regional health authorities and regulatory bodies

- Insurance companies working in the health sector

- Public and private research bodies

- Ministries and other bodies responsible for health programming

- Services and consulting firms

- Pharmaceutical companies

- Governmental agencies and regulatory authorities in the medicines and health technologies sectors.

Health Economist

function in a professional context:

The Health Economist:

- Examines the specific health market, assessing the relationship between resource and regulatory constraints , competitive structure of the market and economic and health performance

- Develops original analyses and economic forecasts on specific healthcare markets using quantitative methods

- Examines the intervention options available to remove resource constraints, change bad practices, redefine the competitive structure, regulate the incentives offered to health market stakeholders

- Evaluates and measures the effects on health, clinical data and the efficient use of resources produced by the strategies and policies adopted through the statistical and econometric analysis of survey and administrative data

- Drafts analyses of the impact of the health sector regulatory programmes, policies and strategies

- Systematically reviews scientific literature and drafts research reports on specific fields of analysis and policy

- Performs comparative analyses of international practices for health regulation, planning and policy, to identify the best practices suited to the referred healthcare system.

competencies associated to the function:

The Health Economist:

- Possesses advanced scientific competencies meeting the requirements for admission to PhD programmes in health economics

- Is able to apply economic models and concepts to the analysis of health and health service demands, health insurance demands, the supply of healthcare services and health insurance

- Is familiar with basic economic theories and regulatory methods applies to the provision of healthcare services and insurance

- Possesses advanced knowledge of the determinants of health behaviour and an overview of recent policies aiming to improve the lifestyles of the population

- Understands the nature and sources of socio-economic and health data

- Possesses the knowledge and skills for applying econometric models to evaluate the behaviour of economic agents in the healthcare sector, according to cross-sectional and longitudinal data

- Is able to interpret the healthcare sector decentralisation processes in progress in many countries

- Is able to draft intervention strategies, resource utilisation plans, economic governance frameworks

career opportunities:

- Public and private research bodies

- Governmental agencies and regulatory authorities working in healthcare markets

- Regional health boards, regulatory and planning bodies

- NGOs working in health cooperation projects

- International organisations

- Universities

- Ministries and other bodies responsible for health programming.

Expert in healthcare cooperation programmes

function in a professional context:

The Expert in healthcare cooperation programmes

- Identifies and examines the causes of global healthcare problems

- Assesses the resources and objectives of cooperation projects

- Examines the economic, regulatory and legislative context the cooperation organisation works in

- Describes the implications on the organisation of the adoption of alternative strategic choices

- Drafts analyses, project and strategy documents

- Drafts analyses of the impact of strategic choices adopted.

competencies associated to the function:

The Expert in healthcare cooperation programmes

- Understands the global distribution of key diseases and the underlying epidemiological factors

- Understands the mechanisms linking the health of the population to the economic development of a country

- Is able to calculate and interpret equity measures in the distribution of health and access to healthcare

- Possesses appropriate knowledge of the particular conditions affecting health policy and economics in low and middle income countries

- Understands the healthcare funding mechanisms in countries with low and middle income and their consequences for financial protection and access to care

- Is familiar with the governance structure managing global healthcare problems through national, multilateral and private institutions

- Understands the relationship between international law and public health

- Possesses in-depth knowledge and skills for the comparative analysis of healthcare reforms

- Understands theories and models for the economic evaluation of vaccination programmes, medicinal supplies, eradication of diseases, promotion of healthy lifestyles

- Understands the methods for interpreting and critically reviewing the econometric evaluations of the impact of policy interventions

- Has the reasoning skills required to work in multicultural and multi-disciplinary contexts.

career opportunities:

- Pharmaceutical companies

- NGOs working in health cooperation projects

- International organisations

- Non-profit and international philanthropic organisations

Expert of health funding and payment systems

function in a professional context:

- Conducts negotiations for healthcare service payments and reimbursements

- Checks the quality of the healthcare services indicated in the contract

- Examines databases containing claim data and drafts statistical and descriptive reports aiming to assess the financial sustainability of insurance plans

- Drafts analytical plans of the financial and care impacts of negotiations on the price of health services and health supplies generally.

competencies associated to the function:

The Expert of health funding and payment systems:

- Possesses specific knowledge and specialist skills in economic, managerial, legal, statistical and quantitative fields

- Possesses appropriate knowledge of how health insurance works and can compare general models of healthcare insurance contracts

- Understands the theoretical and empirical profile of various demand-side cost-sharing models of healthcare and the economic incentives they have for the insured persons

- Understands the theoretical and empirical profile of various payment models of healthcare and the economic incentives they have for suppliers

- Understands the EU antitrust rules and laws applicable to the health sector.

career opportunities:

- Governmental agencies and regulatory authorities working in healthcare markets

- Governmental agencies and regulatory authorities in the drug and health technologies sectors

- Regional health boards, regulatory and planning bodies

- Insurance companies working in the health sector

- Pharmaceutical companies

- Health and hospital boards

- Public and private research bodies

- Ministry and other bodies responsible for health programming