Xavier’s online master’s degree program in health economics and clinical outcomes research is designed to prepare you for a successful career with strong skills in statistics, health outcomes and economics and population health. It concludes with a capstone project that will allow you to demonstrate a working knowledge of the skills you have learned in your coursework.

Xavier’s online HECOR program provides the same academic rigor as our traditional on-campus program, but with the flexibility of online classes that allow students across the globe to participate and fit any schedule.

The MS HECOR program at Xavier University is a rigorous and challenging program that prepares its students to use data and statistical analysis to better understand trends in health care and propose solutions to problems that arise in the US Healthcare system. Not only have I been challenged academically, but I have also learned and honed new skills that have made me a more well-rounded individual.

Michelle U., student

Required Coursework

Statistics (13 credit hours):

  • HECO 521 Quantitative Methods in Healthcare (3)
  • HECO 601 Professional Skills I: Introduction to SAS (1)
  • HECO 522 Applied Analysis I (3)
  • HECO 523 Applied Analysis II (3)
  • HECO 624 Advanced Research Methods (3)

Graduates must be well founded in analysis techniques. This foundation is then advanced and deepened in the context of real health care problems and post market health surveillance data in the next two applied analysis courses with SAS programming. Finally, Advanced Research Methods focuses on using real world data and multivariate analysis to address real problems in the current health care field. Large scale U.S. HHS AHRQ Health Cost and Utilization (HCUP) data are used for course assignments. State of the art data visualization and graphics contribute to the student’s ability to communicate results.

Health Outcomes (15 credit hours):

  • HECO 471/571 Introduction to HECOR (3)
  • HECO/HESA 575 Health Economics (3)
  • HECO/HESA 579 Healthcare Policy & Policy Analysis (3)
  • HECO 631 Comparative Global Health Systems (3)
  • HECO 674 Cost Benefit and Effectiveness (3)

Graduates must be familiar with economic complexities and challenges in today’s global health environment. The first course is intended to be an introduction to the HECOR field using an economic lens. It is offered as a dual level grad/undergrad course to allow advanced undergraduates who may be interested in pursuing a master’s degree to learn more about the field. Subsequent courses deepen the level of economic and policy analysis of health care and regulation.

Population Health and Bioethics (8 credit hours):

  • HECO 602: Professional Skills II: Systematic Review (1)
  • HECO 603 Professional Skills III: Writing for Publication (1)
  • HECO 604: Professional Skills IV: Introduction to TreeAge and Tableau (1)
  • Health Ethics minimum 2 credit hours
    • HECO 583 Ethical Health Informatics & Data Use (1)
    • HECO 584 Ethical Health Research (1)
  • HECO/HESA 567 Applied Epidemiology (3)

This block rounds out graduates, providing a population health perspective on study design, clinical outcomes vital to functioning competently and ethically as health outcomes analysts, and befitting a Xavier graduate. External communication of health research findings is emphasized.

Capstone Project and Consulting Skills (4 credit hours):

  • HECO 690 Mentored Capstone I (2)
  • HECO 691 Mentored Capstone II (2)

Your capstone project supports development of professional and team-based collaborative skills needed in outcomes research. Students demonstrate skills in the context of current practice settings for analysts, including public health, academic medical centers, private nonprofit or private for-profit entities. Consulting, business and scientific written and graphic skills are emphasized.

HECOR Online Course Sequence: Year 1

August Start
January Start
Fall
  • Introduction to HECOR
    HECO 471/571 [3]
  • Quantitative Methods in Healthcare
    HECO 521 [3]
  • Professional Skills I Introduction to SAS
    HECO 601 [1]
Spr
  • Applied Analysis I

    HECO 522 [3]
  • Health Economics
    HESA 575 [3]
  • Introduction to HECOR
    HECO 471/571 [3]
  • Quantitative Methods in Healthcare
    HECO 521 [3]
  • Professional Skills I Introduction to SAS
    HECO 601 [1]
Sum
  • Applied Analysis II
    HECO 523 [3]
  • Applied Epidemiology
    HESA 567 [3]
  • Ethical Health Informatics & Data Use
    HECO 583 [1] (1st Half)
  • Ethical Health Research
    HECO 584 [1] (2nd Half)
  • Applied Analysis I
    HECO 522 [3]
  • Applied Epidemiology
    HESA 567 [3]
  • Ethical Health Informatics & Data Use
    HECO 583 [1] (1st Half)
  • Ethical Health Research
    HECO 584 [1] (2nd Half)

HECOR Online Course Sequence: Year 2

August Start
January Start
Fall
  • Mentored Capstone I
    HECO 690 [2]
  • Cost Benefit and Effectiveness
    HECO 674 [3]
  • Professional Skills II: Systematic Review
    HECO 602 [1]
  • Applied Analysis II
    HECO 523 [3]
  • Health Economics
    HESA 575 [3]
  • Professional Skills II: Systematic Review
    HECO 602 [1]
Spr
  • Mentored Capstone II
    HECO 691 [2]
  • Healthcare Policy & Policy Analysis
    HESA 579 [3]
  • Advanced Research Methods
    HECO 624 [3]
  • Mentored Capstone I
    HECO 690 [2]
  • Healthcare Policy &Policy Analysis
    HESA 579 [3]
  • Advanced Research Methods
    HECO 624 [3]
Sum
  • Comparative Global Health Systems
    HECO 631 [3]
  • Professional Skills III: Writing for Publication
    HECO 603 [1] (1st Half)
  • Professional Skills IV: Introduction to TreeAge and Tableau
    HECO 604 [1] (2nd Half)
  • Mentored Capstone II
    HECO 691 [2]
  • Comparative Global Health Systems
    HECO 631 [3]
  • Professional Skills III: Writing for Publication
    HECO 603 [1] (1st Half)
  • Professional Skills IV: Introduction to TreeAge and Tableau
    HECO 604 [1] (2nd Half)

HECOR Online Course Sequence: Year 3

August Start
January Start
Fall
  • Cost Benefit and Effectiveness
    HECO 674 [3]

Course Descriptions

HECO 471/571 – Introduction to HECOR (3)

This course will expose students to a general overview of health economics and clinical outcomes research. A number of contemporary approaches to comparative effectiveness research will be introduced. The topics covered in this course represent a broad selection of major themes in the field and each topic will provide students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the field as well as learn how economists, epidemiologists and statisticians think about and conduct research.

HECO 521: Quantitative Methods in Healthcare (3)

This course is a graduate-level introduction to statistical thinking and its applications to healthcare. Topics include: statistical and visual methods for summarizing data, basic principles of probability, univariate regression, and fundamentals of hypothesis testing and confidence intervals. Critical examinations of the results of a statistical analysis in Excel and SAS are emphasized.

HECO 601: Professional Skills: Introduction to SAS (1)

This course provides a brief introduction to SAS programming. Students will learn the basics of the SAS language and how to conduct simple statistical analyses in SAS. This course is designed to give students the universal tools all SAS programmers should know.

HECO 522 – Applied Analysis I (3)

This course is the first class in a three course series on applied statistics for health economic and clinical outcomes research. This first course is a detailed overview of statistical methods with emphasis on univariate analysis. The second course goes deeper into univariate analysis as well as methods to analyze categorical data and non-normally distributed data. In the third course, multivariate analysis methods will be covered in great depth. A strong emphasis on applied methods of data analysis using the SAS programming software will be present in all three courses in this series. You will learn how to program in SAS. The focus of all three courses will be real world application of statistical analysis as it relates to health services research, in particular, health economic and clinical outcomes research.

HECO 523: Applied Analysis II (3)

This course is intended as the second class in a three course series on applied statistics for health economic and clinical outcomes research. The first course (HECO522) is a detailed overview of statistical methods with emphasis on univariate analysis. This second course is a goes deeper into univariate analysis including techniques of modeling and methods to analyze categorical data and non-normally distributed data. In the third course (HECO624), multivariate analysis methods will be covered in great depth. A strong emphasis on applied methods of data analysis using the SAS programming software will be present in all three courses in this series. In this course it is assumed that the student will be familiar with statistical techniques as presented in HECO522 and has basic skills in the use of SAS for entering data sets and performing basic analyses and graphics. The focus of all three courses will be real world application of statistical analysis as it relates to health services research, in particular, health economic and clinical outcomes research. In all three classes you will learn how to deal with real world health outcomes data from various large databases.

HESA 575 – Health Economics (3)

Examines the application of economic principles to the allocation of scarce resources in health care; the use of economic theory to understand problems of organization, delivery, and financing of health services; and the choices available to society regarding these issues.

HESA 579 – Healthcare Policy & Policy Analysis (3)

Provides an overview of health policy in the United States and introduces both qualitative and quantitative methods for analyzing health policy with attention given to the political and economic perspectives on health policy questions.

HESA 567 – Applied Epidemiology (3)

Students are introduced to epidemiologic concepts, skills and data, the application of epidemiology to population health and health services and to the application of epidmiologic literature in health services management through an applied project using a health status analysis. Methods to determine risk factors for health problems are discussed and examined in this project.

HECO 602 – Professional Skills II: Systematic Review (1)

This course will introduce methods to perform systematic reviews of peer reviewed publications. Students will learn how to formulate an answerable research question, define inclusion and exclusion criteria, search for the evidence, extract data, assess the risk of bias and report their findings. Meta-analysis will be discussed at a high level.

HECO 603 – Professional Skills III: Writing for Publication (1)

This course teaches how to become more efficient and effective writer. The course uses practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good scientific writing, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. Note: students from non-science disciplines can also benefit from the training provided.

HECO 631 – Comparative Global Health Systems (3)

This course examines the structure of health care systems in different countries, focusing on financing; organization of delivery systems; reimbursement of physicians, hospitals and pharmaceuticals; and adoption of new technologies. We study the relative roles of private and public sector payers and providers and the effect of system design on cost, quality, efficiency and
equity of medical services.

HECO 604 – Professional Skills IV: Introduction to TreeAge and Tableau (1)

This course is a comprehensive introduction to using TreeAge Pro for economic modeling and Tableau for data visualizations. We introduce the required elements of theory, then provide hands-on instruction for creating and analyzing models with TreeAge and displaying data with Tableau. No advanced knowledge of TreeAge Pro or Tableau is required. The Tableau portion of the course is designed to help you understand the important concepts and techniques used in Tableau to move from simple to complex visualizations and learn how to combine them in interactive dashboards.

HECO 624 – Advanced Research Methods (3)

This is the last course in a four-course sequence on the application of statistical methods to problems in healthcare and public policy. The goal of this last course is to (1) to understand and (2) to confidently apply a variety of statistical methods that are essential for health services and public policy research. This class provides a survey of more advanced statistical methods with a focus on causal inference, i.e. methods designed to address research questions that concern the impact of some potential cause (e.g., a medical intervention, a change in treatment, economic conditions, or policies) on some outcome (e.g., time to event, comorbidity, healthcare utilization and expenditures). The course will begin by reviewing types of research designs (observational versus designed experiments and the role of randomization) followed by application of different statistical methods for causal inference (i.e., the counterfactual model of causal effects), including propensity score method, instrumental variables and difference in differences. We will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these methods with examples from the literature.

HECO 674 – Cost Benefit and Effectiveness (3)

This course will introduce you to the basics of economic evaluations of health care interventions or technology. This value depends, not only on how effective a treatment is, but how costly. Economic evaluations provide a method to assimilating different cost and health outcomes associated with medical treatments into a common metric that allows one to assess that treatment’s worth in relation to other possible alternatives. By the end of this course, students should be familiar with the basic types of economic evaluations and should understand what issues should be addressed in performing a sound economic evaluation. Through examples and applications, students should also become familiar with how specific economic evaluations are performed, and what are the major challenges and limitations of these approaches.

HECO 583 – Ethical Health Informatics (1)

This course is a graduate level introduction to basic ethical theory, language and methodology to critically examine contemporary cases in health informatics and health data use, such as patient confidentiality, large-scale data management, fraud and retrospective analyses. Students will investigate ethical and practical issues by participating in and leading discussion, and written reflective case analysis.

HECO 584 – Ethical Health Research (1)

This course is a graduate level introduction to basic ethical theory, language and methodology to critically examine contemporary cases in health research, such as patient-centered vs public health, electronic health record use for post-market and retrospective quality studies and sensitive information, e.g., genetic data. Students will investigate ethical and practical issues by participating in and leading discussion, and written reflective case analysis.

HECO 690 – Mentored Capstone I (2)

This course is the first in a series of two courses that integrates the specialized disciplines and knowledge learned from previous HECO courses through the use of case analyses. Students are challenged to formulate strategies that address complex problem situations faced by population and person-centered health outcomes, economic and market analysts. Students utilize an industry case study to examine issues associated with the strategic change and alignment of health organizations within their environment. Faculty and community experts present views on current issues and challenge students to formulate business plans and apply strategies to address problems faced today in quantifying health outcomes and impact.

HECO 691 – Mentored Capstone II (2)

This course is the second in a series of two courses that integrates the specialized disciplines and knowledge learned from previous HECO courses through the use of case analyses. Students are challenged to formulate strategies that address complex problem situations faced by population and person-centered health outcomes, economic and market analysts. Students utilize an industry case study to examine issues associated with the strategic change and alignment of health organizations within their environment. Faculty and community experts present views on current issues and challenge students to formulate business plans and apply strategies to address problems faced today in quantifying health outcomes and impact.