Health Economics, Finance Specialist Joins HSA Faculty

OCTOBER 3, 2013 - This semester, Sean Huang, PhD, joined the School of Nursing & Health Studies as an assistant professor of health systems administration.

Huang, who completed his doctorate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, specializes in health economics and finance.

“My research,” he says, “is focused on three areas – health care finance, corporate governance, and long-term care.”

Nursing Home Care

Throughout the course of his doctoral studies, Huang developed an interest in long-term care and focused his attention on quality of care within nursing homes.

The researcher set out to understand if the care patients receive is somehow tied to broader economic conditions.  For example, if jobs are scarce, do nursing homes retain more capable employees who provide better care to residents?  Is the reverse true?

Huang is continuing his research to determine if there is a relationship.

Corporate Governance

Another area of focus for Huang has been on the relationship between an organization’s governance structure and the quality it provides.

“One of these projects is looking at how managers’ ownership affects quality of care,” he says.

Huang is analyzing three different scenarios – managers at not-for-profit institutions, managers at for-profit institutions, and managers who are also the owners at for-profit institutions.

Impressive Atmosphere

In addition to his research, Huang will be teaching courses at the undergraduate and master’s levels focusing on financial management in health systems and budgeting and fiscal management.

He says he is happy to be on the faculty at Georgetown.

“When I was interviewing here, I was impressed by the atmosphere,” Huang says.  “Georgetown is a great university in a great location.  We have speakers from all over the world.  And with other universities and institutions like the RAND Corporation right here in Washington, there are lots of opportunities for collaboration.”

By Bill Cessato