Health Spending in the U.S. and the Cost of Healthcare

Health Spending in the U.S. and the Cost of Healthcare.
HCR 300 – Health Care in the United States
Course Description:    During the semester, we will present theoretical, conceptual, historical and analytical materials relating to the health care system.  We will analyze the status, institutions, attitudes, behaviors and delivery of services related to health care in the United States.  Included in this analysis will be the evolution, structure and dynamics of health professions.  Personal and institutional aspects of the health care system and their effects on such areas as planning, public policy, the sick role, physician-patient relationships, death and dying, the hospital, and health care politics will also be examined.  We will also monitor any health care issues that may be debated on the local, state or national scene.  Contemporary information about the health care system will be emphasized throughout the course.
Course Objectives:     Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1.         Describe the private, governmental, professional and economic contributions to the development and operation of the healthcare system.
2.         Describe the types and interrelationships of healthcare facilities, services and personnel.
3.         Understand the important challenges of public sector health policy making.
4.         Understand the major ethical, economic, professional and legal issues confronting providers, insurers and consumers.
5.         Describe the special problems of high-risk populations and health system responses.
6.         Identify and describe the quality control activities of the current healthcare system and relate service provider behaviors to legal, ethical and financial considerations.
7.         Describe the values and assumptions that underlie the changing priorities in health planning resource allocation.
8.    Students will produce competent writing with an in-depth term paper on the evaluation of a health care issue or problem with reasoned conclusions, analysis and critique of the available literature.  Library research is required for the bibliography.  Papers must be 8-10 pages in length and should demonstrate an understanding and show some command of the subject.
Required Course Text:  Health Care USA:  Understanding Its Organization and Delivery (Seventh Edition), by Harry A. Sultz and Kristina M. Young.
Additional articles or handouts may be presented in class.
Course Format:  This course will employ a variety of educational opportunities including instructor lecture, assigned textbook and article readings, and class discussion.  Please note that while lectures may amplify reading assignments, they constitute an independent framework for the course.  Examination questions will be drawn from lectures, text assignments and handouts.  As far as the readings are concerned, your responsibility is to integrate and raise questions in class about any ideas or issues that require clarification.  Questions and discussions regarding reading assignments or lectures are always welcome. Class participation is strongly encouraged and will be a part of your grade.
Date    Topic/Activity
September 4th    Introduction
September 9th     Overview of Health Care:  A Population Perspective.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 1
September 11th     Overview of Health Care:  A Population Perspective. (continued)
September 16th     Benchmark Developments in U.S. Health Care.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 2
Homework Assignment #1
September 18th     Benchmark Developments in U.S. Health Care. (continued)
September 23rd       Hospitals:  Origin, Organization, and Performance.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 3
Term Paper Outline Due
September 25th     Hospitals:  Origin, Organization, and Performance. (continued)
September 30th     Ambulatory Care.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 4
Quiz Study Guide Distributed
October 2nd      Ambulatory Care. (continued)
Quiz #1
October 7th    Medical Education and the Changing Practice of Medicine.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 5
Homework Assignment #2
October 9th    Medical Education and the Changing Practice of Medicine. (continued)
October 14th    Health Care Personnel.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 6
October 16th    Health Care Personnel. (continued)
Mid-Term Study Guide Distributed
October 21st     Financing Health Care.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 7
October 23rd    Financing Health Care. (continued)
October 28th    Mid-Term Exam
October 30th     Long-Term Care.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 8
November 4th    Long-Term Care. (continued)
Homework Assignment #3
November 6th    Mental Health Services.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 9
November 11th    Mental Health Services. (continued)
Quiz Study Guide Distributed
November 13th    Public Health and the Role of Government in Health Care.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 10
November 18th    Public Health and the Role of Government in Health Care. (continued)
Quiz #2
November 20th    Research:  How Health Care Advances.
Reading:  Sultz/Young, Chapter 11
Homework Assignment #4
November 25th     Research:  How Health Care Advances. (continued)
November 27th     No Class – Thanksgiving Recess
December 2nd      The Future of Health Care.
Reading:  Chapter 12
December 4th    The Future of Health Care. (continued)
Term Papers Due
December 9th    Catch Up Day
December 11th    Wrap-up Activities
Last Day of Class
December 16th     Final Exam – 4:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity–Intellectual integrity is the most fundamental value of an academic community.  Students and faculty alike are expected to uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity in their scholarship.  No departure from the highest standards of intellectual integrity, whether by cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or aiding and abetting dishonesty by another person, can be tolerated in a community of scholars.  Such transgressions may result in action ranging from reduced grade or failure of a course, to expulsion from the University or revocation of degree.
Plagiarism: taking credit for someone else’s work or ideas, submitting a piece of work (for example, an essay, research paper, assignment, laboratory report) which in part or in whole is not entirely the student’s own work without fully and accurately attributing those same portions to their correct source.
Supplemental Resources
There is a course companion for this class on Blackboard.  I will post PowerPoint slides to this site AFTER each class as well as other materials and information.  Initially the site contains background materials under the “Course Materials” and “Web Sites” sections, and other items will be added throughout the semester.
Homework Assignments
Four times during the semester you will be expected to complete homework assignments that will be provided at least one week in advance.  The assignments will be focused on responding to a question or series of questions related to the material presented in class or the book.  They will be due on September 16th, October 7th, November 4th, and November 20th.
Class Participation/Discussion
Your participation is critical in making this a valuable course to you and your classmates.  I am sure you would rather not listen to me the entire time we are together.  You need to ask questions, make comments and provide your own perspective on the issues we are discussing.  It is my intention to know all of your names within the first couple of classes, which will allow me to determine how well you participate in class.  I will also take attendance at the beginning of each class.  If you are not here, you cannot participate, which means you cannot learn.
There will be two announced quizzes:  the first on October 2nd and the second on November 18th.  Each quiz will have approximately 15 multiple choice and true/false questions.  A study sheet will be provided to the class before the quiz, and each will be worth 75 points.
Term Paper
The term paper is an in-depth evaluation of a health care issue or problem with REASONED CONCLUSIONS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUE of the available literature.  You must do library research for your bibliography.  Some online retrieval systems (such as Medline and others) may be major sources of information for you.  See a research librarian early in the semester for assistance.  Papers should be 8 – 10 pages in length.  You should demonstrate that you understand and have some command of the subject.  This type of paper should have a minimum of four outside, credible sources used.  DELAY IS DANGEROUS.  Students will be required to use APA format.  Below are some suggested topics for your paper.  No other topics will be accepted unless prior approval is given in writing based on a written proposal from the student.
You must submit a written outline (no more than one page) for your paper by September 23rd.  All completed term papers must be submitted by December 4th, but you can always turn them in early.
Potential Paper Topics
1.    Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use among Adults.
2.    The New Age of Consumerism in Healthcare.
3.    How Do Americans Rate the Health of Healthcare?
4.    Health Spending in the U.S. and the Cost of Healthcare.
5.    Will Disruptive Innovations Cure Healthcare?
6.    The State of Medicare.
7.    Redefining Competition in Healthcare.
8.    How Does the Quality of Care in America Compare with Other Countries?
9.    Patient Safety in American Hospitals.
10.    Characteristics of the Uninsured.
11.    Health Care Coverage in America.
The Writing Center can help you with any writing or speaking project, from starting an assignment to the finished paper or speech. You can get help with papers or speeches for any course on campus, graduate or undergraduate.  Take a draft of your paper or speech to the Writing Center and the tutors will help you complete it. If you have an assignment sheet, bring that too.  For more information about the Writing Center or to schedule an appointment, go to the Writing Center website at or call (810) 766-6602. The Writing Center is located in 559 French Hall.
There will be a mid-term exam on October 28th and a final exam on December 16th. These exams will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, definition of terms and possibly essay questions.
Grading:        Homework Assignments        100 points (10%)
Class Participation/Discussion    100 points (10%)
Quizzes                150 points (15%)
Term Paper                200 points (20%)
Mid-Term Exam            200 points (20%)
Final Exam                250 points (25%)

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