Health Policy, MS Core Competencies

1. Knowledge of the Policy Environment in Health Care

Understanding the environment and issues for developing and influencing public policy that are important to various stakeholders in the health care system. 

Understanding the policy environment in health care should include knowledge of the following:

  1. Economics of health care
  2. Public health issues and trends
  3. Roles of federal and state government in health care and how policy affects health care systems
  4. Politics of health policy decision making
  5. Financing and payment trends in health care
  6. Recent health care legislation and regulations
  7. Current legislative, regulatory, judicial, and fiscal environment affecting policy formulation and implementation
  8. Major health care interest groups and stakeholders
  9. Changing role of health care consumers
  10. Models and trends in health care technology, cost containment, and quality improvement

2. Knowledge of the Public Policy Process

Understanding the theoretical, environmental, political, and legal frameworks for public policy making.

Understanding the public policy process should include knowledge of the following:

  1. Components and strategy of policy formulation and implementation
  2. Nature, structure, and methods of policy evaluation and analysis
  3. Role of research
  4. Role of politics

3. Application of Policy Research and Decision Analysis Methods

Effective use of research and various policy analysis tools for supporting policy development, implementation, and evaluation

Application of policy research and decision analysis methods should include the ability to:

  1. Propose, design, implement, and evaluate pragmatic policy solutions to complex health system problems
  2. Compare/analyze competing priorities and alternative courses of action among an array of health system organization, financing, and delivery solutions
  3. Use qualitative and quantitative research and analysis tools for administrative and clinical applications
  4. Integrate scientific evidence, consumer preferences, and expert opinion to identify and evaluate policy issues, options, and programs
  5. Understand the impact of policy on behavior of health systems, service providers, consumers, and government agencies

4. Communication

The ability to write and speak in a clear, logical, persuasive, and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations and to prepare cogent professional papers and presentations

Competency in communication should include the effective use of:

  1. Written, oral communication, and presentation skills.
  2. Communication applications
  3. Professional communications, including policy agenda statements, policy briefs, and problem and impact analyses

5. Relationship Management and Professionalism

The ability to establish and maintain effective relationships; to lead and facilitate constructive interactions with individuals and various stakeholder groups to achieve optimum decision making in policy advocacy, development, implementation, and analysis; and to align personal and organizational conduct with ethical and professional standards.

Competency in relationship management and professional should include the ability to:

  1. Build collaborative relationships
  2. Know and implement leadership techniques and ethics
  3. Respect diverse and conflicting interests
  4. Manage political behavior
  5. Manage time and stress
  6. Know and exhibit professional standards and ethical principles
  7. Understand and apply ‘conflict of interest’ situations
  8. Know and respect the rights and responsibilities of clients

6. Critical Thinking

The ability to habitually explore and interpret policy issues, ideas, events, and process in advance of policy development and decision making.

The ability to apply critical thinking in:

  1. Problem statement and issue identification/explanation
  2. Interpreting the context and influence of issues
  3. Selecting and using evidence to investigate a point of view or conclusion
  4. Personal position or perspective
  5. Statistical analysis and research methods
  6. Cause and effect relationships
  7. Options analysis
  8. Political and implementation implications/consequences
  9. Operational issues