The Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School is one of the few academic departments nationwide located in a medical school and specializing in health policy. Thus, HCP has the rare ability not only to foster the careers of physicians and social scientists (including economists, sociologists, and statisticians) but also to develop close research ties with clinicians at Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals.

Since our founding in 1988, we have moved steadily to develop rich research and teaching programs—carrying out research on today’s critical health care policy issues but also guiding those who will help shape tomorrow’s policy decisions. The issues we address affect all Americans, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, or income. 

Our wide-ranging research includes broad topics on financing and delivery of health care, quality of care, studies on special and disadvantaged populations (including those with mental disorders), and access to care. We also manage large-scale efforts related to benefit design and the care of the elderly. In many cases, these applied studies are augmented by fundamental contributions in statistics and biostatistics. Further information is available under our faculty pages and in the publications section. 

Our teaching program covers a broad spectrum of the Harvard community. HCP faculty teach undergraduates at Harvard, students at HMS, doctoral students in the university-wide PhD Program in Health Policy, master’s students at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and, as of 2006, students in the combined MD/MBA program with Harvard Business School. The department hosts several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as visiting scholars.