European Master in Health Economics and Management

Study programme

The Eu-HEM programme offers excellence in health economics and management, and is taught by four top European universities in this field. Based on international research, we equip you to take on challenges in healthcare and prepare you for a successful international career.

Important note:
The courses mentioned below are only the courses that are being taught in Rotterdam during the first and second semester (tracks EEH/DMH and GH). Please find the full overview of courses at our joint website.

In the second semester, Eu-HEM students from the EEH/DMH and GH specialisation choose one of the elective courses.

    • Block 1

      • Historical developments, political choices, and societal structures influence the organization of healthcare systems across countries. The main purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to various conceptual frameworks that help you to understand and utilize economic principles applied to healthcare systems. The course will deal with theory of supply and demand in healthcare, the crucial role of information (asymmetry), private and social health insurance, managed competition, the organization and financing of long-term care, payment systems for care providers (including value-based payment reform), and the public/private mix in the financing and provision of healthcare. The course looks at how healthcare systems, in the Netherlands as well as in other developed countries, deal with important policy issues such as competition and regulation, solidarity, and the role of voluntary supplementary health insurance.

      • The focus is not on learning many new (statistical) methods – since a solid knowledge of those is assumed beforehand - but mostly on interpreting and criticizing results, combining theory and data, and seeing the big picture. A key element of the course is assessing the design and execution of existing successful and flawed studies. Methods and techniques are introduced in lectures and literature, and put into practice in workgroups and computer labs.

        The course consists of three parts. In the first three weeks, quantitative and epidemiological topics will be the focus. They include causal inference, using causal graphs as a tool for designing quantitative analyses and advanced interpretation of logistic and linear regression results. The next two weeks will be devoted to understanding qualitative research methods, with a specific focus on formulating theoretically informed research questions, searching for and synthesizing. In the final week, separate topics will be presented to HEPL and HCM/ZoMa students: policy impact evaluation and organisational design studies, respectively

    • Block 2

      • This course builds on Economics and Financing of Healthcare, in which the principles of health economics and healthcare financing are explained. This course uses the tools and concepts discussed in that course to analyse and compare health and healthcare at the macro or system level. The performance of healthcare systems may be evaluated by analysing whether the outcomes are efficient and equitable. Therefore, this course consists of three parts.

        The first part is about the relationships between health, healthcare and income. Understanding these relationships is an important goal in its own right, but also provides some of the building blocks that are necessary for the definition and measurement of equity (part 2) and efficiency (part 3). In each of the three parts, the main focus is on applying the analytical framework – and evaluating how other researchers’ applied it – to compare the performance of developed and less developed countries and discuss the aspects of healthcare systems and their performance in a structured manner.

      • This course will give you exactly what it indicates, the pillars in healthcare management, upon which you will invent and develop your own healthcare management style. To do so, we will work -just as a manager- collaboratively; holding responsibility for each other’s learning (Rheingold, 2012). We reflect upon healthcare management by working together on assignments, both in class as online.

        The course is based upon the elements for effective learning (Rheingold, 2012). You will work with assignments, blogs and discussion forums. The working groups are organized according to the principles of flip the class room.

        A selection of the assignments will be used to determine your grade.

    • Block 3

      • This course focuses on the impact of international treaty law on regulating healthcare systems. Therefore, this course starts with identifying the underlying principles of health law. These principles explain the ratio of regulatory intervention in healthcare, i.e. good health. Good health raises questions about access to medical care, human rights and healthcare, scarcity of resources, mobility of patients, health professionals and medical products, and market competition in healthcare. For instance, who has access to healthcare services, what is the meaning of informed consent, and what services should be included/excluded from the basic benefit package. To a large extent these questions are influenced by legal standards as defined by international treaty law.

      • Why do countries which share many similarities, such as the USA and Canada, have such different healthcare systems? Why do healthcare policies often change incrementally, even when stakeholders in the governance of healthcare argue for immediate change? And why may healthcare policies that are successful in one country fail in another?

        The course focuses on various actors in healthcare governance and adopts an institutional theory perspective. At the end of this course, students will be able to explain why countries have different or similar healthcare policies; why healthcare policy reform often proves to be difficult; and how, when and why institutional change takes place. Furthermore, students will be able to execute a comparative health policy analysis and to judge the possibilities for cross-country learning.

    • Block 4

      • Although patients demand access to all healthcare programmes available, the scarcity of resources necessitates that choices have to be made. Given that health is such an important matter and that choices usually have far reaching consequences for individuals, the choices require careful consideration, preferably based on transparent and unbiased data. Health Technology Assessment is a multidisciplinary research area closely related to health economics.  HTA research attempts to examine the short- and long-term consequences (e.g. health effects and costs) of new and existing healthcare programs.  This is done in a systematic and consistent way in order to provide evidence for the relative cost-effectiveness of healthcare programs. Policy makers in healthcare are increasingly using the results of these studies in making choices on priorities in healthcare.

        EEH/DMH track: mandatory
        GH track: mandatory

      • The pharmaceutical market is among the most regulated markets in society. Governments foster the development of safe, effective and affordable medicines. More and more, the regulatory instruments are based on global and EU market principles. Understanding the origin and process of the pharmaceutical market, the course provides a comprehensive overview of the Global and EU pharmaceutical legal framework and conveys an understanding of the history and development the pharmaceutical acquis with regard to clinical trials, market authorization, patenting medicines, parallel trade and other relevant issues.

        International and EU pharmaceutical law; access to essential medicines; TRIPS and bilateral trade agreements; patents and data exclusivity; outsourcing clinical trials; pharma’s corporate social responsibilities; product development; marketing authorization (procedures) and supervision; principles of good clinical practice; pharmacovigilance; advertising and information; generics and parallel trade; market competition on the pharmaceutical market (‘pay for delay’).

        Mandatory: DMH and EEH track 

      • In the developing world, millions of people have no, or limited access to urgently needed healthcare. Universal access to essential, if not comprehensive, healthcare remains an important but elusive goal. Many poor households are exposed to great financial risks related to ill health, or forced to forego essential treatments altogether. The World Health Organization has once again put universal healthcare coverage high on the policy agenda with the 2010 and 2013 World Health Reports focusing on the topic. While health insurance coverage is woefully lacking, cover is currently being extended in a number of low and middle income countries (LMICs) at varying speeds and through a variety of financing instruments.

        Generally, increasing healthcare coverage in LMICs requires (i) raising more money for health, (ii) moving away from financing healthcare by direct payments at the point of use & (iii) using resources for health more efficiently and equitably (more health for the money). This course aims to provide students with a better understanding of each of these three aspects. Introductory lecturers will be given to set the scene, followed by more in-depth case studies & work groups.

        GH track: mandatory

    • Block 5

      • This course examines the links between health, health spending and economic welfare at the individual and at the societal level. The course deals with two broad issues (i) the linkages between health and economic development, in particular, in the context of developing countries and (ii) an examination of the effectiveness of public health spending including issues such as absenteeism of health workers, corruption in the health sector and approaches that may be used to tackle corruption.

        EEH/DMH track: elective
        GH track: mandatory

      • A pharmaceutical pricing strategy is more than simply setting a price to recover R&D investments and adding a mark-up to guarantee a desired profit level. Indeed, a price has often little to no relationship to manufacturing costs in this market. It is the perceived value of a new drug in a broad sense, and how a drug is positioned in the market, that is critical to its success. Especially now that development costs are growing, blockbusters are being displaced by niche drugs, treatment is increasingly personalized, and governments are limiting expenditure on healthcare. For a pharmaceutical company, getting sufficient returns on investments and keeping the pipeline filled becomes increasingly challenging.

        Many pharmaceutical companies have shifted their focus from sales and marketing to strategic pricing and market access. This has been accompanied by a shift from a product-centered culture to a disease service-centered culture. Clinicians remain important decision makers, but they must move within the boundaries set by payers. Payers are now the ultimate and most influential clients of the pharmaceutical industry.

        The course Pharmaceutical Pricing and Market Access (PPMA) aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of this complex and changing market. We will follow each step of the life cycle of a drug, from phase II clinical trials up to post-launch, integrating both market access theory and examples from the real world. We will discuss the importance of optimizing product launches, real world post marketing studies and innovative pricing agreements. Students will gain insight into how the latest changes in regulations, guidelines and stakeholders in the major EU, US and BRIC countries impact the success of brands, as well as the interactions between all the actors on the markets. They will learn to understand how differences between healthcare systems impact optimizing market access for pharmaceutical products.

        EEH/DMH track: mandatory
        GH track: elective

      • Subjects addressed in this course are: statistical issues surrounding economic evaluation, properties of the QALY model, the valuation of health and the discounting of health.

        EEH/DMH track: elective
        GH track: elective

    • Block 6

      • The course is about how organizations develop and evaluate innovative services in healthcare. An important question to this course is: how and when do we know that an innovation is better. The specific questions we will address in this course are: What is the value of specific innovations? What impact do technologies have on clinical practice? Why do certain innovations emerge while others do not?

        In this course students are asked to participate in an innovation contest such as the the Dutch Healthcare innovation Award. The course provides an introduction in innovation science. Innovations science is interdisciplinary. It combines economy, sociology, change management and organizational sciences. The examination of the course represents all elements of innovation and implementation processes. Students are asked to write a proposal, to present this proposal to both healthcare professionals, managers and board members and to review an innovation proposal.

        EEH/DMH track: mandatory
        GH track: mandatory

      • Cost-effectiveness studies aim to evaluate the efficiency of an innovative health technology relative to current care. The basis for such studies are often cost-effectiveness models, based on the principles of health state transition modelling or Markov models. The principles of cost-effectiveness modelling were introduced during previous courses. During this course more advanced applications of cost-effectiveness modelling are being studied and applied. For this purpose, students will work on a real life case developing their own model and writing a technical report to present this.

        EEH/DMH track: mandatory
        GH track: mandatory