Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Choose courses that best match your personal and professional interests as you develop your own specialization. You have the flexibility to select from courses that cover such topics as health policy, health promotion and education, and healthcare administration.
Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Select one course from any of the Ph.D. Health Services specializations and select three courses from the following list:
Select two courses from any Walden doctoral program (8-10 cr.)
The prospectus is a brief paper, typically 15–20 pages in length, which helps students organize, delineate, and make decisions regarding their doctoral study and appropriate research methodology. Students create a prospectus to establish the background for the problem statement; the problem statement itself; a survey of relevant literature (typically 25–75 references); and a research, implementation, and evaluation plan for the solution of the problem. Students in this five-credit course focus specifically on the process of writing the dissertation prospectus. They employ their preliminary research plan to develop a problem statement for their dissertation. Students further refine the problem statement and carry out the planning and the library research that leads to the formulation of a dissertation prospectus.
Healthcare delivery is one of the largest industries in the United States. Students are provided with the opportunity to gain thorough insight into the current structure and components of health services and delivery; they are also presented with an abbreviated history addressing the nature of population illness and disease. Students identify and describe components of the system, including patients, healthcare professionals, public and private third-party payers, regulators, reimbursement methods, and technology. They engage in activities and discussions focused on the continuum of services related to healthcare, such as hospitals and hospital systems, ambulatory care, and long-term care. Students also explore issues related to these services, such as wellness, prevention, and community and public health, for a comprehensive understanding of the system. Students contextualize their study through the examination of current factors and challenges as well as the impact these challenges have on delivery and management.
The structure of healthcare organizations is complex and unique, and the behaviors within these organizations often have a direct impact on their success. Students in this course examine organizational behavior as well as the roles and responsibilities of management within healthcare organizations through the macro (organization-wide) perspective and micro (individual and team performance) perspective. Students also focus on understanding organizational values, mission, and vision; management and leadership principles to help navigate change; and effective delivery of services in an increasingly global environment. Students also learn and apply theories of organizational design, governance, and alternative organizational structures, and they consider the theory and practice of managing individuals and groups through motivation, communication, teamwork, leadership, organizational change, coalition building, negotiation, and conflict management and resolution. Through group assignments and personal assessments, students work toward developing self-awareness and effective management styles and strategies.
Because of the complexity and uncertainty of the healthcare system, as well as the scope of resources consumed by health and health-related organizations, managers must appreciate the economic implications of decisions regarding allocation of resources. Students in this course examine the application of economic principles to managerial decision making regarding the amount, structure, and distribution of healthcare resources and services. Through discussions and application-based assignments, students build on their knowledge of economic principles as they examine the population’s demand for healthcare; the supply of organizations and practitioners; the role of insurance, moral hazard, and adverse selection; the practice of cost shifting; the structure, competitive nature, and dynamics of markets; differing objectives of for-profit and non-profit organizations; variation in consumer access to and use of services; roles of uncertainty and information asymmetry; strategies for consumer cost sharing; and challenges that healthcare organizations face in pricing, producing, allocating, and distributing health services. Students also devote special attention to understanding how health services differ in a variety of competitive markets.
The health of individuals as well as access to and delivery of health services in the United States depend on policy makers who make authoritative decisions based on legal standards, carried out at the federal, state, and local levels. Students in this course examine the process for developing and implementing policy at the various levels of the legal system, key stakeholders and interest groups involved in the health policy process, and how U.S. health policy changes over time. They also explore and discuss key health policy initiatives that address health issues in the United States, including Medicare and Medicaid; access to care and the uninsured; disease-specific efforts, such as HIV/AIDS and organ transplantation programs; emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases; terrorism and emergency preparedness; and funding issues associated with health policy. Applying course concepts, students complete practical assignments focused on various topical issues, such as stakeholder influence on the policy-making process, access to insurance and care, and pay-for-performance policies, among others.
This course is an introduction to the terminology, theory, concepts, and techniques used in the accounting and finance functions in healthcare organizations. Students gain an understanding of the important role of finance in healthcare organizations, and they learn various techniques to develop, manage, and control finances. Using an applied approach, students also learn how to develop, apply, and interpret various financial tools, including budgets, sources of revenue/reimbursement by payer, income statements, balance sheets, dashboards, statements of cash flow, pro formas, return on investment analysis, financial ratios, capital budgeting, debt service and borrowing, depreciation, and cost allocation and cost accounting techniques. Additionally, students develop portions of a business/financial plan using these techniques and analyze the viability of their business/financial plan using accepted financial management tools.
Students in this course are provided with an overview of law, regulation, and court decisions that affect healthcare organizations, as well as ethical underpinnings and principles that healthcare organizations follow in the delivery of services. Students explore and discuss a variety of topics, including key federal and state laws; regulatory oversight and licensing of facilities and practitioners; credentialing requirements and processes; scope of practice for practitioners; admission and discharge processes; privacy and confidentiality of patient information; patient protection, including advanced directives; organizational liability; conflict of interest legislation; antitrust law; contract law governing relationships with employed physicians and other providers; risk management; and organizational governance issues, among others. Using case studies and hypothetical situations, students assess management roles and key ethical principles and challenges underpinning healthcare organizations.
In this course, students explore leadership models and theories, the core principles of public health leadership, and the application of systems thinking to public health. They examine how to create strategies and solutions that efficiently utilize public health and healthcare resources. Students also discuss descriptive and prescriptive systems, focusing on the application of these processes to current public health issues and challenges at the organizational and community levels.
Community health assessment and its application to program planning are covered in this course. Students learn to identify and prioritize problems, then assess and utilize community resources to address these problems. Topics include measuring selected determinants of community health status and health services use, classifying community assets, identifying data sources, and applying certain methods to maximize community participation. Students synthesize the results of a community health assessment to create a community diagnosis that serves as the basis for program planning and research design.
An overview of marketing and public relations principles as they relate to public health, highlighting theoretical concepts that are commonly used in health communications research, is provided to students in this course. Topics include using social marketing techniques, promoting health literacy, developing community partnerships, and creating culturally sensitive and appropriate promotional materials. Students focus on using social media to identify and advance public health interests and ethical principles. Through case studies, students examine how they can use marketing practices to translate health research into social action and behavioral change.
Competency in program design, implementation, and evaluation are promoted in this course. Students are provided with an overview of public health program planning and development, as well as needs and assets assessment. The focus of the course is on the methods required to implement programs and evaluate their efficacy. Students discuss the administration and coordination of public health program interventions and activities, and they explore the variety of methods used to facilitate public health research.
An in-depth review of how population-based strategies are used in the prevention of disease and disability is provided to students in this course. Students explore the topics of population health and disease prevention from the perspective of understanding the determinants of health. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, students examine how economics, social factors, health policy, urbanization, globalization, the environment, and other factors influence disease. Students consider how research in disease prevention, health determinants, and population health apply to public and community health efforts.
In this course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their program of study into an in-depth exploration within an interest area through the completion of a research study. Students complete the dissertation independently, with the guidance of a dissertation supervisory committee chair and committee members. They must also participate in an accompanying online course and complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and final dissertation paper and presentation. Once students register for HLTH 9001, they are registered each term until successful completion of the dissertation. (Prerequisites: Foundational and core curricula; appointment of an approved dissertation committee chair.)
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