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Course Catalog

300.651.81 Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System

Health Policy and Management
4th term
4 credits
Academic Year:
2014 - 2015
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Brad Herring
Course Instructor:

Introduction to Online Learning.


Focuses on the organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare in the U.S. Contrasts the private and public sectors and examines the effects of market competition and government regulation. Examines the ways that medical providers are paid, and explores the major issues currently facing physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Also discusses several potential small and large scale reforms to the U.S. healthcare system and evaluates their likely effects on healthcare spending, quality of care, and access to care.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply basic economic concepts related to health insurance coverage
  2. Explain how both private health insurance and public health insurance are financed
  3. Evaluate the ways in which private and public health insurers reimburse medical providers
  4. Assess private and public models of financing and delivery of healthcare services
  5. Analyze various aspects of the hospital, physician, and pharmaceutical drug industries
  6. Explain how nonprofit status, competition, quality, and safety affect medical providers
  7. Identify the various determinants of access to care for low-income and vulnerable populations
  8. Evaluate how specific policy proposals will likely affect access to care and healthcare spending
  9. Critique how the political process affects how healthcare reform is undertaken in the U.S.
Methods of Assessment:

Students taking this course for academic credit will be graded on two exams consisting of 20 short-answer questions each. Students must work independently on these two exams. The midterm exam is worth 50% of the course grade, and the final exam is worth 50% of the course grade. The final exam is cumulative, with a slight emphasis on the material covered after the midterm exam. Students will have 90 minutes to take each exam over a 48 hour period. Students suspected of cheating will be forwarded to the Office of Academic Integrity.

Enrollment Restriction:

Undergraduate students are not permitted in this class

Instructor Consent:

No consent required