HCAD 4354 – Economics for Healthcare Industry Analysis Term Paper
The purpose of this term paper is to provide each student with the opportunity to
apply economic analysis to a U.
healthcare related industry and to learn how to
deal with business problems from an economic perspective.
There are five
industries related to U.
healthcare for choices: private health insurance physician services hospital services pharmaceutical long-term care
Students are supposed to choose one among the five choices to develop analysis
paper for the industry in the U.
Defining the Industry
It is very important to define the industry precisely; otherwise, there will be a
tremendous amount of unrelated data available.
Classification (SIC) system has been replaced by the North American Industry
Classification System (NAICS) (you can find them trough any website search
These codes are widely adopted for record keeping purposes and are often
used to index private publication such as market guides, directories of companies,
and periodical indexes.
Familiarize yourself with the SIC/NAICS categories.
Remember: it is important to either narrow or broaden your industry definition based
on how much information you are finding.
For any strategic planning process, it is important to understand the industry in
which you are or will be operating, for without an understanding of that industry,
your strategy is unlikely to succeed.
Every manager must determine for him/herself
the information required to address the decision at hand.
In an increasingly
competitive and dynamic business environment, success depends on a
continuous updating of information on market trends, competitors, and customers.
1 There are two types of data that can be collected and analyzed: (a) primary data
collected from government record; (b) secondary data collected from reference
Prior to conducting any primary research, savvy managers know that
secondary research should be the starting point in the data collection process.
government and other agencies publish a great deal of information which can be
invaluable in an industry assessment, and which is readily available if you know
where to look.
While you may not be able to find out everything you need to know,
secondary information is an essential management tool.
The sources of this information are abundant (in printed documents, via the
), however, they are not always easy to find.
Your first challenge is to
know where to look and find the most current, relevant, accurate, and reliable
information, in a timely manner, when there are so many sources to choose from
Data must be current, reliable, unbiased, accurate, and relevant
to the problem at hand if they are to be useful to the manager.
rely on this information to make decisions that are based on the realities of the
marketplace, not their opinions or conjectures.
Decisions based on information,
however, are only as good as the information itself.
Each paper must include a cover sheet (see the MS-Word file "COVER
Your paper should have a logical flow to it, and make use of appropriate
headings and subheadings.
Follow the suggested format described in Section
Any table, graphic (such as bar charts, trend lines, etc.
) must be included in
an appendix at the end of the paper.
The text of your paper (the text only, not including Table of Contents,
References, Tables, Charts, and other appendices should be about 10~12
The text must be double-spaced with font size 12 with 1 inch margin
in the MS Word format.
For the whole paper, limit the length within 15 pages
(not including the cover page).
Be sure to acknowledge the source of all information from outside sources in
the text (e.
, “According to Wards’ Automotive News, December 2002, GM
has a …”).
For article citation, author name and year are required; for
example, (Smith, 2007).
Also be sure to have a list of references (i.
required for online reference) at the end of your paper.
Use of information
from outside sources that is not attributed will be considered plagiarism.
consequences of academic dishonesty will result in getting a failing grade in
Quotations must correspond exactly with the original in wording, spelling, and
Page numbers must be given.
Changes must be indicated: use
brackets to identify insertions; use ellipsis dots (...
) to show omissions.
indicate where emphasis has been added.
Only lengthy quotations (more
than 50 words) should be separated from the text; such quotations must be
double-spaced and indented at the left margin.
References to authors in the
text must exactly match those in the Reference/Bibliography section.
Tables must be designed to fit comfortably on a page.
For tables, use the
‘create table’ feature in MS-Word.
Each table must have a title and be
numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers.
Do not abbreviate in column
For example, spell out "percent"; do not use the percent sign.
Place a zero in front of the decimal point in all decimal fractions (i.
Each table should be no more than 10 columns wide.
Figures should be supplied as high quality.
Figures should be produced in
black and white.
Tints and complex shading should be avoided.
have a title and be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers.
References should be prepared in general accordance with the APA
(American Psychological Association).
The references themselves should be
in 10 point font and formatted as a left margin indented with the first line
realigned with the left margin.
Below are some examples of different citations.
Citing a Journal Article
Boulton & J.
from small business owners.
Academy of Management Review, 9(2), 354-359.
Citing an Online Journal Article
Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being.
Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 0001a.
Retrieved November 20, 2000, from
Citing a Book
Small business management: Tools for success
Houston, TX: Dame Publishing.
Citing an Article in a Magazine
Gendron & B.
Burlingham (1989, April).
The entrepreneur of the decade: An interview
with Steve Jobs, Inc.
Citing an Article in a Book
The psychology of the entrepreneur.
Sexton, & K.
), Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship (pp.
3 Citing an Internet Source
GVU’s 8th WWW user survey.
) Retrieved August
edu/gvu/usersurveys/survey1997-10/ 8, 2000, from 10.
Final versions of your paper should reach the instructor in clear and
grammatically correct English.
Proof reading, before you submit the final
version, is highly recommended.
Typos and grammar errors will damage your
score in grading for sure.
Paper Outline and Grading Weight
Table of Contents (1 page): 2%
Executive Summary (1 page): 10%
The last part you write, but which should appear first in your report, is the
An Executive Summary is usually a one-page synopsis,
touching on key, insightful highlights of the report.
Picture the Executive
Summary as satisfying someone’s request to "just give me the short version”.
It should contain the following two parts:
A brief summary of what the industry paper says.
Identify the common managerial strategies for profit growth applied by
existing firms and provide your own recommendation.
In addition, please
comment whether a potential entrant should or should not enter this
Introduction (1~2 pages): 10%
This is to be a general introduction to the particular industry.
What does the industry produce? What is SIC/NAICS code and
A brief history.
How has the organization of and the nature of
competition in the industry evolved from its earliest beginnings? (3%)
What parts of the chain of production/service do the firms
undertake themselves and what do they buy from outside suppliers or
pass on to independent distributors or retailers? (2%)
Relevant governmental or environmental factors.
What role does
government play in the industry? How does (will) regulation or other
government (future) policy (e.
reform, trade policy …etc.
) affect the
industry? (2%) IV.
Market Structure (1 page): 10% 4 You need to answer the following two questions precisely:
How can the market structure of the industry best be characterized:
perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, or monopoly?
Briefly go over the market characteristics to confirm your definition here.
How many major firms (up to top four if applicable) are there in the industry
and what is their market share? A table showing the market shares in the
is required here.
Industry Demand (1 page): 10%
What are the key determinants of the market demand in your chosen
Describe the current change (at least one) in the determinants that has
caused the demand change.
You may want to think about the following factors: population and demographic
changes, new regulation (reform), income and wealth trends, consumer tastes
and preferences, prices of substitutes and complements in consumption,
introduction of new substitutes or complements in consumption, expectations
about the future prices of this particular good/service.
Cost Structure (1 page): 10%
You need to answer the following two questions precisely:
What are the key determinants of an existing firm’s (1) fixed costs and (2)
variable costs in the short-run? (5%)
What is the shape of the existing firm’s (1) average cost cure and (2)
marginal cost curve (i.
U-shaped or L-shaped)? A graph illustration here
will be a plus.
SWOT Analysis (1~2 page): 15%
SWOT analysis is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business venture.
SWOT analysis involves specifying the objective (i.
profit growth) of the
business venture and identifying the internal and external factors that are
favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective.
Setting the objective
should be done after the SWOT analysis has been performed.
This would allow
achievable goals or objectives to be set for the organization.
5 Please choose one of the top 4 firms in the industry to analyze the firm’s
objective of profit growth: Strengths: characteristics of the firm that give it an advantage over others
Weaknesses: are characteristics that the firm at a disadvantage relative to
Opportunities: external chances to improve performance (e.
profits) in the environment
Threats: external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for
the firm A.
Please summarize the analysis in a SWOT matrix.
(10%) The following
matrix serves as an example: B.
Highlight one section in the SWOT matrix to provide your recommendation
Analysis of Competitive Forces (Porter’s five forces) (2 pages): 20%
Please consider each of the following five forces for the industry.
beginning of each force, please highlight the force as “strong”, “moderate” or
The threat of entry by new competitors (4%)
For example, those industries with high entry barriers, such as
pharmaceutical manufacturing, will have fewer firms entering.
firms, there is less environmental complexity, and it is easier for one firm to
begin to dominate the industry.
Economic rents are usually higher in such
an environment and entry becomes more attractive.
For industries with a
low barrier to entry, such as the physician service, new service providers
come and go with great rapidity.
This prevents dominance by any one, or a
Economic rents are usually low.
The intensity of rivalry among existing competitors (4%)
What are the current top firms and their market shares in the U.
they compete (i.
price or quality)? Any alliance or particular strategy is
practiced now for competition? An industry characterized by high rivalry is
unattractive because it limits the ability to achieve above normal economic
At the other extreme, industries with no rivalry are usually dominated
by a few major firms which could limit strategic flexibility.
Pressure from substitute products (4%)
Are the industry’s products/services differentiated and, if so, according to
what characteristics (design, function, price range, geographic market,
)? How innovative is the industry, and what are the sources of
innovation? An industry will be attractive if there is no threat from substitute
A substitute is any product or service that will fulfill the same need
while using a different technology.
The relevance is that substitutes can
render obsolete the present capital investment of the industry.
The bargaining power of buyers (4%)
First, determine who the buyers are.
What are the channels of distribution
for the industry? Do not only consider the ultimate consumers unless there
are no intermediaries.
Identify significant macro-environmental trends, such
as changes in customer demographics, needs, wants, lifestyle, etc.
have/will positively/negatively affect the industry.
Do buyers have strong
power over firms to negotiate price in this industry? How the power is
The bargaining power of suppliers (4%)
What are the markets for inputs (labor, machinery, capital, raw materials,
) like? While we were concerned about threats in the "entrants" section,
here we are concerned with power.
Do suppliers have power over firms in 7 this industry? The first step is to determine what this industry purchases.
Not in detail, but as a generalization.
Focus on suppliers of key items that
firms in this industry must have.
Would firms have access to labor on
favorable terms? Does this industry have unions? If so, they limit access to
labor and usually increase costs.
Do firms in this industry require highly
skilled knowledge workers? How is the present labor market for this
Conclusion (1 page): 10%
Your analysis should lead you to reasonable conclusions.
You have, by
now, discovered a number of factors.
State what you consider to be the
opportunities and threats for this industry.
Support your final argument as
to whether this industry will be more profitable; or, what managerial
strategies of profit growth for existing firms should be most effective.
sure that conclusion/recommendation and executive summary are
Do not just repeat the sentences in the previous sections.
Please list the references that you cite, but also a listing of the material that
contributed to your body of knowledge.
Here you might put your tables, charts, or anything else that you think is
important to an understanding of this industry.