USC Price School of Public Policy

Executive MHA Curriculum

Executive MHA Curriculum

The Executive Master in Health Administration (EMHA) course of study features an integrated thematic approach focusing on five themes related to accountability in health services organizations. This graduate program is specifically and uniquely designed to focus on the academic and leadership imperatives necessary to enable highly talented midcareer professionals to excel in our rapidly changing health care delivery environment.

» Theme One: Thriving in Transformational Times Through Innovative Leadership
» Theme Two: Delivering Cost Effective Care in an Era of Value-Based Purchasing
» Theme Three: Providing Efficient Management and Administration
» Theme Four: Developing and Implementing Strategies to Enhance Patient Safety and Quality of Care
» Theme Five: Demonstrating Organizational and Clinical Effectiveness through Health Information Technology
» Executive MHA Degree Requirements


Theme One: Thriving in Transformational Times Through Innovative Leadership

The focus of this theme is to develop executives who anticipate health care delivery system changes and who develop strategies to take advantage of these opportunities to maximize organizational potential. The learning objectives for Theme One include:

  • Gaining a broad understanding of various leadership styles with the objec¬tive of enhancing overall effectiveness as a health care leader.
  • Understanding the role of performance measurement, risk assumption and evidenced based medicine in an era of population health management.
  • Gain a greater understanding of the statutory and regulatory changes af¬fecting the delivery of health care and how such changes can be effectively managed.

HMGT 520: Leading People and Health Care Organizations (4 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Gain an understanding of effective leadership competencies to maximize profes¬sional effectiveness in an era of rapid change
  2. Examine leadership skills to motivate employees to excel in their individual work environments
  3. Examine group behavior in organizations including team building, conflict resolu¬tion, formal and informal negotiations

HMGT 575: Managing and Improving Health (4 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand the principles of evidenced-based medicine
  2. Understand mechanisms to improve clinical quality and achieve operational efficiencies
  3. Understand the role of internal and external quality bench-marking and value based purchasing

HMGT 570 Strategic Management (4 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand and become familiar with strategic management concepts and prin¬ciples
  2. Learn to apply various strategic responses to transformational change occurring in the delivery of health care
  3. Develop a professional competencies portfolio based on the contents of this class as well as selected competencies gained in other courses throughout the EMHA learning experience


Theme Two: Delivering Cost Effective Care in an Era of Value-Based Purchasing

The focus of this theme is to develop a cognitive and intuitive understanding of the funda¬mental factors driving health care delivery system evolution (cost and effectiveness) and how the organization can evolve to align with these objectives. The learning objectives for Theme Two include:

  • Develop the ability to conduct economic analyses of various health care issues.
  • Acquire competence in solving financial problems through the application of core financial skills.
  • Understand the principles and implications of various aspects of risk assumption by health care organizations with special emphasis on evolving financial reim¬bursement and utilization trends

HMGT 540 Healthcare Economics, Financing, and Reimbursement (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Learn to apply health economic concepts to current health care issues and evolv¬ing policies and regulations associated with reform and market developments
  2. Develop an understanding of key economic factors driving the health care market
  3. Examine evolving health care financing and policy issues associated with reform from a legal, regulatory and market perspective

HMGT 565 Managing the Organizations Financial Health (4 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Develop an understanding of basic financial decision points, tools and analysis specific to the health care sector
  2. Understand financial theories, scenarios and techniques used in financial man¬agement of health care organizations
  3. Understand and analyze financial statements, operating performance and evalu¬ate financial capital decisions

HMGT 600 Managing Risk in Contracting to Meet Performance Objectives (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand the various aspects of risk assumption by physicians and health care organizations
  2. Demonstrate competency in using tools and techniques for managing in a risk bearing organization
  3. Understand models for analyzing risk for physicians and health care orga¬nizations associated with current and evolving health care reimbursement models


Theme Three: Providing Efficient Management and Administration

The focus of this theme is the translation of the fundamental factors of cost and effectiveness in the internal operations of the organization to improve productivity, clinical outcome and patient experience. The learning objectives for Theme Three include:

  • Development of a broad range of professional competencies in financial management as a foundation for effective management in a changing environment.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of Six Sigma and Lean Methodology and the application to process improvement in health care organizations.
  • Ability to effectively address emerging issues in the financing of health care brought about by federal and state statutory and regulatory requirements.

HMGT 601 Operations Management for Accountability (4 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Gain skills to assess current operations and identify appropriate tools and techniques for process improvement
  2. Understand the statutory, regulatory and market forces driving the need for improved efficiencies and economies
  3. Understand the concept of population based health care and the impera¬tive for improvement in patient safety, quality of care and patient satisfac¬tion

HMGT 602 Operational Efficiency Processes in Health Care Organizations (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand Six Sigma and Lean Metrics at a fundamental level
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply Six Sigma and Lean tools to achieve higher qual¬ity and improved productivity in health care processes
  3. Use change control and documentation to develop skill in establishing process baselines and ensuring permanence in process improvement

PPD 605 Strategic Financial Management (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Develop an understanding of health care reform as the new economic reality
  2. Explore contemporary financial issues facing health care organizations while de¬veloping a set of consistent methodologies to support critical analyses and strate¬gic decision making
  3. Understand critical financial principles and concepts critical to effective financial management in an era of health care reform


Theme Four: Developing and Implementing Strategies to Enhance Patient Safety and Quality of Care

The focus of this theme is operationalizing outcomes that matter to payers, organizations, and clinicians. The learning objectives for Theme Four include:

  • Understanding health risk, measuring performance and assessing opportunities for improvement in the area of patient safety and clinical outcomes.
  • Gain a rich understanding of the tools for tracking clinical performance and costs.
  • Gain and understanding regarding the coordination of clinical services across a continuum of care as a means improve individual patient outcomes and enhance population health.

PPD 518 Quality of Care (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand various approaches to performance improvement in clinical areas in the in-patient and out-patient settings
  2. Develop an understanding of the national, state and local programs monitoring and reporting on quality of care, the various matrices used and how quality of care reporting impacts reimbursement for providers
  3. Develop competency interpreting published data and using reported data to in¬form and educate care givers and consumers

HMGT 603 Development and Monitoring of Quality and Patient Safety Outcomes (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand the various programs in place at the government and private sector level for improving quality of care and communicating outcomes
  2. Develop skill in data collection and analysis of clinical care outcomes
  3. Understand the various initiatives for improving patient safety, incident reporting, and “root cause analysis” in health care organizations


Theme Five: Demonstrating Organizational and Clinical Effectiveness through Health Information Technology

The focus of this theme is to understand how health information technology systems provide a foundation for the strategic growth of the organization. Learning objectives for Theme Five include:

  • Understanding the requirements for real time data and information exchange between all participants in the continuum of care as well as the necessity of user friendly patient portal accessibility.
  • Understand the role of Information Technology (IT) as an enabler for health care delivery transformation.
  • Appreciate the role of IT to track and measure patients’ outcomes and experienc¬es across multiple clinical settings; inpatient, long term care, specialty out- patient and primary care.

PPD 511 Health Information Systems (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Understand the role of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) in health care in the inpatient and ambulatory settings
  2. Evaluate the benefits to all parties from various perspectives including patient safety, evidenced based medicine and reimbursement
  3. Develop an awareness of other information systems commonly used in health care including patient scheduling, decision support, patient tracking systems, electronic prescribing, physician/patient electronic visits, etc.

PPD 521a Information Technology Management Systems in Healthcare (2 units)
In this course students will:

  1. Examine the changing demands of patients, government, payers and physicians regarding personal health records
  2. Understand various repositories of patient medical records, patient access and privacy protection issues (HIPAA) and the transportability of such information
  3. Explore social media applications and patient activity in response to the trend toward the empowered medical consumer, on-line medical shopping and learning opportunities

TOTAL DEGREE UNITS: 36

Executive MHA Degree Requirements
Degree candidates will be required to complete a total of 36 units to be eligible for the executive MHA degree.

Executive MHA Curriculum

A high level of attendance is expected and program participants are required to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average to fulfill degree requirements. Failure to do so, or to make appropriate compensatory arrangements with course faculty, may jeopardize successful completion of the degree. If it becomes necessary to discontinue or extend the course of study, it is possible to make arrangements to do so. However, administrative fees and/or higher program costs may apply.

We continually review the Executive Master of Health Administration program to ensure the best possible educational experience. As a result, we reserve the right to alter at any time the curriculum, class schedule, fees, faculty, location or other program components for the purpose of achieving our educational mission.