Course Detail

Healthcare Business Analytics (40206)

Course Description by Faculty

  • Adelman, Dan
  • Content

    One of the today's most exciting and important applications of Business Analytics is Healthcare.  Every day, more data on provider performance is becoming available to consumers to help them make better informed decisions about their healthcare. Hospital revenues are being driven more and more by clinical results through value-based incentive programs for improving hospital readmissions, patient safety, costs, and patient outcomes. At the same time, population health is improving as Big Data is being used to learn what treatments are most effective at an unprecedented pace and scale.  Alternative payment models are developing that require providers to take on the full financial risk of patient care.  These forces are transforming the healthcare industry and public health.

    In this class, you will learn the business of healthcare through the lens of the data that drive it.  For its framework, the course develops the underlying financial model of a health system, and teaches you how operational and clinical performance drive business success.  You will learn how to conduct various analyses that are essential for consultants and business analysts who work in the industry, and thus the course intertwines management issues with data for decision-making.  The course combines lecture and discussion with hands-on work with large, real-world healthcare datasets. You will learn the underlying logic and calculations of value-based hospital reimbursement, outcomes measurement, and benchmarking, working directly with patient-level claims datasets from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and elsewhere.  By the end of the course, students will be prepared to conduct and/or participate in a real-world data analysis project at a major healthcare consulting firm, provider, or insurance company.  Students who end up working in firms whose ultimate customers are healthcare providers or insurers, such as IT start-ups or pharmaceutical/biotech/device manufacturers, will benefit by developing an understanding of how providers/payers can use their firms' products and services to improve business performance.

    Students interested in the Healthcare Analytics Laboratory (Bus 40721) are encouraged to enroll in this class. While this course is designed to complement the Healthcare Analytics Lab, it is a standalone offering and can be taken independently. Students seeking exposure to healthcare business analytics who are unable to make the commitments the Lab requires will find it useful preparation for future endeavors.

  • Prerequisites

    Basic introductory statistics. Students will not be required to write code (R or python), but occasionally you will be required to run or slightly edit pieces of code provided by the instructor. Almost all numerical work will be conducted using "point-and-click" recipes in Data Science Studio by Dataiku. Thus, students should have a willingness and interest in learning powerful new software tools and working with real-world data to transform it into usable management insights.

    All Non-Booth students require instructor approval:  strict. Cannot enroll in 40206 if you have taken 40205 or 40201: strict. 

    Students may take this course and Bus 40721 (Healthcare Analytics Laboratory) either concurrently or sequentially in any order.  These courses are organized similarly to typical college-level science courses, with both a lecture component (Bus 40206) and a lab component (Bus 40721).   Thus, students who take both receive the complete educational experience, but students may also choose to take only one.  Students in Bus 40206 receive foundational learning in the healthcare industry through the lens of business analyses using data, as well as training in conducting business analyses in an interface that does not require prior coding or data analysis experience. Students in both courses use Data Science Studio (DSS) by Dataiku, while students who take Bus 40721 also use Tableau to create data visualizations.

    Students who choose to take Bus 40721 without having had Bus 40206 will need to complete trainings in both DSS and Tableau.  Typically, teams in Bus 40721 include at least some members who have taken Bus 40206, and thus they are able to share any material from that course that is directly relevant to the project with other team members.  Students who choose to take Bus 40206 without taking Bus 40721 will not benefit from reinforcing and applying their learnings to a real-world project and sponsor. Students who take both courses will benefit from having a broad understanding of how business analyses are conducted in the healthcare industry, and how their lab project fits into the broader industry landscape.   They will be fully prepared to conduct business analyses in the healthcare industry from day one of employment as a consultant, analyst, or manager. 

    • Strict Prerequisite

  • Materials

    Students will use state-of-the-art commercial software tools that permit data preparation and collaboration on datasets too large to work with efficiently using spreadsheets. Data manipulation and analyses will be done using a combination of both point-and-click recipes and pre-prepared analysis scripts in the statistical software package R. 

    Students will work with real-world healthcare data that is protected by HIPAA, on a secure, private server housed at Chicago Booth. As such, students will receive training and certification in HIPAA as part of their first class assignment.

    Required Textbook: Risk Adjustment for Measuring Health Care Outcomes, by Lisa I. Iezzoni, 4th Edition, 2013.

    Supplementary articles and reading materials.

    Students will be required to bring their internet-ready laptop to every class session.

  • Grades
    Based on a series of mini-projects and class participation. Can be taken pass/fail.

    No auditors. Provisional grades will be given to graduating students.
    • Allow Provisional Grades (For joint degree and non-Booth students only)

    • No auditors

  • Syllabus
  • Winter 2024Section: 40206-01TH 2:00PM-5:00PMBooth 455 (NBC Tower)132In-Person Only
  • Winter 2024Section: 40206-81TH 6:00PM-9:00PMBooth 455 (NBC Tower)132In-Person Only
Description and/or course criteria last updated: November 3 2023