Photo of Lawton R. Burns

Lawton R. Burns

James Joo-Jin Kim Professor, Professor of Health Care Management

Research Interests: formal organizations, health care management, hospital-physician relationships, integrated health care, physician networks, physician practice management firms, strategic change, supply chain management

Links: CV, Personal Website

  • HCMG841 - Health Services System

    This course provides an overview of the evolution, structure and current issues in the health care system. It examines the unique features of health care as a product, and the changing relationships between patients, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, communities, and government. The course examines three broad segments of the health care industry: payors, providers and suppliers. Within the payor segment, the course examines the sources and destinations of spending, managed care (HMOs, PPOs),employer based health insurance, technology assessment, payor strategy, and efforts to pay for the elderly, the poor & the medically indigent. Within the provider segment, the course examines the impact of cost containment and competition on hospitals and integrated delivery systems, long term care and disease management, and the important role of epidemiology in assessing population health needs and risks. Within the supplier segment, the course will examine developments in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical devices, genomics and IT industries. NOTE: This is a required course for Wharton Graduate Health Care Management majors; it counts as an elective course for all other Wharton Graduate students. It is also open to Law School and Nursing School students with a joint Wharton Program.

  • HCMG890 - Advanced Study Project Seminar

    There are two ASP Seminars: HCMG 890-001 Management of Health Care Service Businesses; HCMG 890-003 Health Business and Policy

    HCMG 890-001: This course examines issues related to the Services Sector of thehealth care industry. For those interested in management, investing, or bankingto the health care industry, the services sector will likely be the largest and most dynamic sector within all of health care. We will study key management issues related to a number of different health care services businesses with a focus on common challenges related to reimbursement, regulatory, margin, growth, and competitive issues. We will look at a number of different businesses and subsectors that may have been unfamiliar to students prior to taking the course. We will make extensive use of outside speakers, many of whom will be true industry leaders within different sectors of the health care services industry. Speakers will address the current management issues they face in running their businesses as well as discuss the career decisions and leadership styles that enables them to reach the top of their profession. Students will be asked to develop a plan to both buyout and manage a specific health care services business of their choosing and will present their final plans to a panel of leading Health Care Private Equity investors who will evaluate their analysis. Prerequisites: HCMG 841

    HCMG 890-003: This course focuses on the critical relationship between healthcare business and government in the US. Healthcare is regulated, purchased, guided, and overseen by a range of state, federal, and local government agencies. Strong working relationships with government entities is critical for business operations in healthcare, and markets are made or broken by the government. Understanding that business and policy will always co-exist in healthcare, the goal of is to enable students to craft solutions to business problems that are consistent with policy, and to develop an understanding of how to judge strategic opportunity stemming from policy actions in healthcare. The course teaches with practical examples of how each major sector of the health economy engages with government entities. We will cover life sciences (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device), insurance (large commercial, blues, Medicare, Medicaid), and provider (hospital, physician group practice, post-acute care). As well, the course covers the range of government entities engaged: Federal (executive branch and the Congress), State, and Local. Case examples will be selected from what is most compelling in the Spring, and will include a focus on how healthcare companies are engaging in and affected by the 2016 election.

    Senior healthcare executives and policy leaders will be engaged as guest speakers.


    Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the Department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, 898-6861.