Healthcare Delivery Education


Key Points*:

  • Why is healthcare delivery and policy education limited in the medical school setting?
    • It's complicated
    • It's politically charged
    • It's boring
    • It's not on USMLE Step 1 or 2 exams
  • Don't get bogged down in details
    • Provide students with a basic level of competency
  • Integrate with clinical material
    • Students will care if you show them how it affects patients
  • Be neutral
    • Present the range of opinions with an eye on the facts
  • Demonstrate relevance to students' careers
    • Once you mention salaries, people pay attention
  • Reach across disciplines
    • Content should be useful for all health professions students

 *Key points abbreviated from content by Nathan Moore. See his excellent book below.



  • Meaningfully contribute to education and discussions on healthcare delivery, policy, and economics


Recommended Resources: 

Brief Review


ObamaCare: The Affordable Care Act Explained. Keith Hughes. 17 minutes.

Healthcare System Overview. Khan Academy. 8 minutes.

Medicare Overview. Khan Academy. 16 minutes.

Healthcare Triage series by the Incidental Economist. Various lengths.


Askin E, Moore N. The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System, 2nd Edition. 2014.

Health Care Cheat Sheet Series. The Advisory Board Company. 2014. Login required.


Wallace EA, Moore NH, Askin ET, Schumann JH. A Team-Based Learning Module on the United States Health Care System. MedEdPORTAL iCollaborative. Three modules, based on "The Health Care Handbook," designed to focus on the basics of our complex health care systems that can be used separately or combined.

    • Health Care Systems and Delivery. This Team-Based Learning module is designed to teach learners in the health professions about health care systems and delivery in the United States. Learners will define medical errors, describe the challenges of creating a primary care workforce, analyze different hospital systems, and examine different governmental and non-governmental health care delivery systems. Finally, learners will put this information in the context of their own future employment as a physician was well as make decisions on what physicians to employ based on their knowledge, success, and failures within the health care system.
    • Health Care Insurance and Economics. Learners will explain the fundamentals of health insurance, describe different types and the effects of cost-sharing, identify types of health insurance the relationship to the economics of United States, identify the major drivers of health care spending, and describe the medical malpractice system and its economic impact. Finally, learns with evaluate the ethical implications of caring for patients without insurance and calculate cost of different care options based on the type of health insurance.
    • Health Care Policy and Reform. Learners will compare health care quality and costs, describe how the Affordable Care Act will impact health care access and costs, and describe Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Information Exchanges. Finally, learners will interpret provisions of the Affordable Care Act to help patients select affordable coverage options and evaluate ethical implications of providing care to patients with different health insurance coverage.

Mayo Clinic Quality Academy Educational Resources. 12 free modules introducing quality improvement, patient safety, evidence-based medicine, and health policy. Certificates can be printed for each completed module.


In-Depth Review


Population Health for the Clinician: A Podcast Series. New Hampshire Medical Society (NHMS) and the Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP). This series aims to introduce the listener to the principles and practices of population health, and to share resources to help the clinician incorporate population-based strategies into their practice. Eight 15 minute podcast episodes.

The Evolution of U.S. Health Care Delivery Policy. Robert Kulesher, PhD. 54 minutes.


Health Affairs. Journal on health service research and policy.

New England Journal of Medicine. "Health Policy and Reform" and "Medicine and Society" collections.

Journal of the American Medical Association. "Health Care Delivery," "Health Care Reform" and "Health Policy/Health Economics" collections.

Kaiser Health News


High Value Care Course. MedU. Medical students must understand how their decisions about diagnostic testing, care management, and other interventions affect the costs and efficacy of care. Including the HVC curriculum in every medical students education is a step to making high value care a reality in clinical practice. These six innovative online case-based modules have been adapted from the ACP-AAIM's HVC Resident Curriculum to begin teaching the fundamentals of value in healthcare to medical students and all health care professionals. Modules include short interactive virtual patient cases, brief instructional videos, embedded links so that students can apply principles from the HVC modules to other cases, and key teaching points. $ Fee Required 

An Introduction to Global Health. Coursera, University of Copenhagen.

Understanding and Improving the US Healthcare System. Coursera, University of Michigan.

Principles of Public Health. Coursera, University of California, Irvine.

Fixing Healthcare Delivery. Coursera, University of Florida and Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act. Coursera, University of Pennsylvania.