Out-Of-Pocket's Healthcare 101 Crash Course

Crash course the basics of US healthcare in a simple to understand and fun way. Understand who the different stakeholders are, how money flows, and trends shaping the industry.

Covering All Of The Bases

Each day we'll tackle a few different parts of healthcare and walk through how they work with diagrams, case studies, and memes. Lightweight assignments and quizzes afterward will help solidify the material and prompt discussion in the student Slack group.
Brian Swartz
"Great combination of industry fundamentals and real-world examples of startups working on hard problems in healthcare, delivered with the wit and on-point memes we've come to expect from OOP."
Clare Hawthorne
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Out-of-Pocket Healthcare 101 course! Nikhil makes several intimidating topics much more digestible and easier to understand. I’d recommend this course for anyone who is working in healthcare for the first time — you’ll feel much more grounded with these sessions under your belt."

Things You'll Get From This Course


We're go through payers, providers, pharma, medical devices, and everything in between them.

Case Studies

We'll take a look at how certain companies make money and how others are trying to disrupt the system.

Expert Guests

Guest speakers building in the trenches to tell you what they're building and their experience.


Slack group with other students taking the course and discussion prompts to get others perspectives.

Meet Your Instructor, Nikhil Krishnan

Nikhil Krishnan is a healthcare research analyst, writing about the intersection of healthcare, business, and software. He has a beautiful smile.

He was a senior research analyst at CB Insights, where he wrote reports about trends in the industry, deep-dive analyses into companies, and built the healthcare newsletter to 90K+ subscribers. He also worked at TrialSpark, working to make clinical trials faster and more efficient.

Currently he writes a healthcare analysis/comedy newsletter called Out-of-Pocket. He's been reading, writing, and investing in healthcare companies for 7+ years and has done research in nearly every pocket of healthcare. Healthcare shouldn't be so hard to learn - his goal is to make it easy, approachable, and entertaining to learn about the industry.

Course Syllabus & Schedule

Day 1

Introduction, Providers, and Revenue Cycle

(3/21, 12-130 PM ET)

We'll start by building a foundation of macro level parts of US healthcare including spend, disease prevalence, population information, and the "big problems" in US healthcare. Then we'll jump straight into learning what providers are, the different kinds that exist, and learn how they actually bill for things.

Day 2


(3/23, 12-130 PM ET)

There's a lot of different entities that pay for care - Medicare, Medicaid, Commercial, your employer, etc. We'll go through the basics of how each one works, main terms to understand, and each of their unique quirks. We'll have a guest speaker building a new payer from the ground up.

Day 3

Pharmacies, PBMs, and Brokers

(3/28, 12-130 PM ET)

Oh you thought there was only one type of pharmacy? We'll talk about the different types, how coverage works, and what pharmaceutical benefits managers do. As an added bonus we'll talk about the people who help set your coverage up and have more influence than you think - brokers. We'll even have a real, live broker show us their pitch to clients.

Day 4

EHRs and Medical Devices

(3/30, 12-130 PM ET)

Everyone wants to understand why health records are so bad. We'll talk about how we got here what EHRs do, ways you might interact with them, and how they might be improving. Then we'll hard pivot because I don't have a good segue and talk about medical devices, how they get paid for, and how they get regulatory approval.

Day 5

CROs, Pharma, and International Health Systems

(4/4, 12-130 PM ET)

We'll round out our tour of the US health system by talking about clinical trials, contract research organizations who run them, and then pharma. A guest speaker will come talk about what actually happens during a clinical trial.

Day 6

Value-Based Care, International Health Systems, and Trends In Healthcare!

(4/6, 12-130 PM ET)

On the final day you'll be sad. But we'll go through what "value-based care" actually means and some examples of it in action, the different tradeoffs other countries make when designing their health systems, and some up and coming areas in healthcare.

Day 7

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Day 8

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Day 9

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Day 10

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course for?

Anyone who wants to understand the broader healthcare ecosystem. This has seen a lot of interest from:

-New hires to companies that are new to healthcare and need to get up to speed quickly

-Employees who have been in one specific role or slice of the industry and want to learn the other parts of it

-Investors, consultants, or people at agencies that are onboarding members to their healthcare teams.

-International startups looking to crack into the US market.

How much is it?

The current price for the course is $1200. For bulk discounts, email me at nikhil@outofpocket.health

Do I have to be at every session? How long are they?

Each session is 1.5 hours, twice a week.

Sessions will be recorded - however you'll be missing out on the interactive parts and chances to ask questions. Plus be honest with yourself, are you really going to go back and listen attentively?

Will I be a healthcare expert after finishing this course?

No. This course is meant to give you a basic understanding of who all the main players are and what motivates them. Plus it'll teach you some concepts you'll probably need to google later to remember when you encounter them. This is a course for foundational knowledge that you can refer back to later, obviously it can't cover the entire industry in ~10 hours.

Is there a lot of work?

You'll get as much as you put into it. There's pre-reading and supplemental reading if you want to go deep in any area. There's lightweight optional assignments that should be a paragraph or two and meant to solidify what you've learned and create discussions in the Slack.

You could just sit back and listen to the lectures, but I think you'll get more out of it if you do some of the extra work.

I have another question not answered here

Email me nikhil@outofpocket.health and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Learning healthcare, but funny