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Healthcare Planning and Policy - HCMG 7325

Course Length: 8 weeks

In this course, you will study the political, social and economic dimensions of U.S. healthcare policy at the national, state and local levels, and their implications for current and future healthcare organizations across the spectrum of care. You will apply this knowledge by tracking healthcare legislation in progress at the national, state and local levels. You will consider policy development at the local, state and national level and how they can short-term and long-term program strategic planning in health services delivery systems.

Coursework Highlights

Coursework is designed for engagement and collaboration. Here is an example of just some of the assignments and projects you will complete as part of HCMG 7325.

  • Write papers that align with weekly themes.
  • Complete a team assignment related to strategic planning.

Weekly Themes

Throughout the course, each week focuses on a different theme. Group discussions and coursework will align with that week’s theme, as well as its primary objectives.

Week 1 – Introduction to Healthcare Policy

During the first week of the course, you’ll examine public policy and review policy making at the national, state and local levels. You will also review some of the important issues that impact healthcare policy in the United States.

  • Learn the difference between public and private policy making.
  • Be able to identify the various entities responsible for establishing healthcare policy.
  • Explore the key issues impacting healthcare planning and policy in the United States.

Week 2 – Costs, Access and Quality

During week two you’ll continue your studies and examine the three major issues that plague our healthcare delivery system. Explore why healthcare costs continue to rise and identify the main factors that contribute to spiraling costs. You will also explore access to care, and the challenges associated with the uninsured.

  • Learn how physicians and hospitals were reimbursed prior to prospective payment system changes.
  • Explore why the healthcare delivery system may not operate under traditional supply and demand theory.

Week 3 – How Do We Control Medicare Costs?

In week three you’ll study the Medicare expenditure curve and look at past and present public policy initiatives intended to help control Medicare expenditures.

  • Explore efforts taken under the Affordable Care Act to reduce growth in Medicare expenditures.
  • Compare and contrast hospital and physician reimbursement before and after the DRG system was implemented.

Week 4 – Is Our Healthcare Delivery System Broken?

Week four focuses on the transparency and fragmentation in the healthcare delivery system. You will explore how these issues adversely affect efforts to reduce costs and increase quality.

  • Learn some of the ways hospital charges are determined.
  • Identify examples of inefficiency within the healthcare delivery system.
  • List the challenges faced with reforming a fragmented system.

Week 5 – Improving Quality and Controlling Hospital Costs Through Public Policy

During week five you will examine one of the primary initiatives under the Affordable Care Act that is intended to address both quality and rising costs.

  • Explore the concept of Value Based Purchase (VBP) and how it will help hospitals increase profits and quality.
  • Analyze the relationship between national policy making and local planning.

Week 6 – Is Competition the Answer?

In week six you’ll explore the relationship between competition and healthcare delivery. Does more competition lead to higher quality or lower cost?

  • Examine how under traditional supply theory competition impacts costs.
  • Analyze how politics can adversely impact effective policy making.

Week 7 – Government and Healthcare Reform

Week seven examines the role of the government in healthcare policy. You will also compare and contrast U.S. and Canada's healthcare delivery system, exploring myths and considering opportunities for improvement.

  • Explore the differences between the free-market and socialized systems of healthcare delivery.
  • Study the key aspects of the Affordable Care Act as it pertains to access and controlling costs.

Week 8 – Final Exam

Week eight marks the last week in this course. In this week, you will have a comprehensive exam on all material covered in the course to date.

Get Started

To learn more about this course, or other courses in the online MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.