Health Care Strategy

Understand business strategy to facilitate health care success

In this course, Harvard Business School faculty teach learners to align business strategy with the challenges and structures of the health care industry in the United States.

Featuring faculty from:
April 2023
5 weeks, 4-6 hours per week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Applications Close
July 2023
5 weeks, 4-6 hours per week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Applications Close
Apply today for Health Care Strategy

What You'll Learn

What can business strategy teach us about health care innovation in the United States? Why is a strategic vision important to health care organizations? How do health care providers and institutions create value — and, more importantly, how do they capture value? 

When you think of health care organizations, do the terms sustainable advantage or strategic differentiation come to mind? In an industry with increasing competition and innovation, leaders of U.S. healthcare organizations, or those delivering care, need to understand how the success of their business depends on these key principles. This includes understanding the industry you’re in and market dynamics, the forces that make it easy or difficult to capture value, and how you can successfully compete against rivals. You must go beyond simply creating value to develop the critical thinking and analytical skills to evaluate the needs of your business, and its constituents, in order to optimize business decisions and inform new or innovative health care ventures.


Balancing the needs of multiple parties—patients, purchasers, and providers—can be daunting and many decision makers struggle to meet the growing demands of an evolving industry. By exploring real-world case studies, you will step into the shoes of health care business leaders and learn to face these problems directly, identifying both opportunities and challenges, to derive actionable insights for your own business. Further, you will use economic and policy frameworks to seek ways to improve the efficiency of the health care sector, particularly as it relates to spending. This course is primarily focused on U.S. health care and institutions; however, the business strategies and principles can be applied broadly in health care settings around the world to identify sources of competitive advantage. 

Led by Harvard Business School professor Leemore Dafny, Health Care Strategy will help you align the principles of business strategy with the unique challenges and structures of U.S. health care organizations. The course will enable you to enable you to define the mission of your organization, develop a strategy to create and capture value, and lead your organization to success with confidence.

Combine the best business strategies with the fundamentals of the health care sector in the United States.


The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
This activity has been approved for 24 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will have access to claim their credits through the Harvard Medical School’s continuing education platform.

The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:


  • Understand core business, economic, and policy principles and how they apply to the health care sector in the U.S.
  • Learn the building blocks for creating a strategy: industry analysis, sustainable advantage, and how to develop a plan to sustain profits in the face of competition
  • Gain new perspectives as key health care stakeholders, improving their business decision making and analysis
  • Develop a framework using the strategies applied in the course that can be used to advance your organization and career
  • Understand how to evaluate the intersection of strategy and develop firm boundaries to make better build versus buy decisions
  • Know how to align incentives of the health care chain and where their organization fits in the industry, focusing on specialized services or approaches to gain market share

Your Instructor

Leemore Dafny is the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where she teaches courses in healthcare strategy and co-directs to PhD Program in Business Economics. Professor Dafny also serves on the faculties of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the interdisciplinary Program in Health Policy.

Real World Case Studies

Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

Beth Zoneraich

Beth Zoneraich

Explore how business analysis aided this CEO on entering the health care business.

Kevin Tabb

Kevin Tabb

Hear from the CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health and how business strategy is affecting the health care industry.

Dr. Jorge Plutzky

Dr. Jorge Plutzky

Learn about capturing value from an expert at Brigham and Woman's Hospital.

Who Will Benefit

Leader Icon

Rising Managers

Grow your career and explore various strategies from the perspective of clinical providers, payer organizations, and purchasers.

Meeting Icon

Clinical and Administrative Leaders

Learn the fundamentals of strategy, including value creation and capture, competitive analysis, and organizational structure and definition.

Changemaker Icon

Health Care Executives

With or without clinical experience, better understand how the health care ecosystem within your organization operates and learn how to define a successful business strategy.

Learner Testimonials

"The course completely fulfilled all I wanted to learn about the health care industry in the United States. I would highly recommend it to anyone starting out in the health care industry as a business leader. I particularly enjoyed the case studies because it gave real world application examples of how business is done. I also learned about pioneers that I was able to discuss with my manager at work."

Tracy Lyn De Silva
CWH Advisors

"I enjoyed the style of presentation for this online course, which was a combination of case studies and brief video discussions in the context of highly selected rich educational materials. The questions asked for discussions and peer-engagement platform helped the course look like a live lecture, while participants benefit from the comfort of their personalized schedules. I not only do recommend Harvard Online courses to my friends and colleagues, but also look forward to future opportunities to joining other courses."

Payam Tarighi
 Lead Data Analyst
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Online's Health Care Strategy course.

Apply Now

Still Have Questions?

What are the learning requirements? How do I list my certificate on my resume? Learn the answers to these and more in our FAQs.


Health Care Strategy Course Certificate

Related Courses

Read More

Health Care Economics

Explore the economic forces shaping US health care

Taught by Harvard Medical School faculty, this course provides insights into the interactions between industries in the US health care sector and teaches what economic forces are shaping health care.

Read More

Digital Health

The future of health care is digital

Digital technologies and big data offer tremendous opportunities to improve health care.

Read More

Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care

Address racial biases and barriers. Improve equality in health care.

In partnership with the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH, this course will help you deliver high-quality health care to all through organizational change.