Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2018/2019

MGMT 340: Introduction To Healthcare Management

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  Course Description

Overview of the basic structure and operations of the U.S. healthcare system. 

Prerequisite: MGMT 330

Proctored Exams: None



  • Knickman, J. R., and A. R. Kovner. Jonas and Kovner’s Health Care Delivery in the United States. 11th ed. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co., 2015.  
    • ISBN-978-0-8261-2527-9

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

This course is designed to give students an overview of U.S. health care management. We will study and compare the structure, operation, governance, and financing of U.S. health care systems and subsystems; examine key public health issues and policies affecting health care delivery; distinguish health care delivery stakeholders’ interests; and identify issues, trends and the impact of technology on U.S. health care. This course also surveys the recently enacted Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its anticipated implications on US health care.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • To understand the characteristics and issues of healthcare delivery with respect to organizations, institutions, government and individuals.
  • To understand how the U.S. healthcare system is organized, managed and financed.
  • To understand the constraints and opportunities of stakeholders in the healthcare system.
  • To understand the features, components and services of the U.S. healthcare system and how they interact with one another.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the constraints and opportunities for change in the delivery of health care.
  • Describe the role of financing and insurance in the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Describe the roles of healthcare professionals and institutions.
  • Describe the role of government in the regulation and delivery of health care.
  • Explain the impact of technology on the healthcare industry.
  • Explain how the healthcare delivery system affects cost, access and quality.
  • Describe key problems and current issues in healthcare delivery.
  • Describe the structure and organization of health care in the United States.
  • Describe the major legal and ethical issues facing the healthcare sector.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 320 32%
Short Papers (2) 160 16%
Research Paper 200 20%
Quizzes 320 32%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 20 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 1 40 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 4 20 Friday/Sunday
Paper 1: Interview 80 Sunday
Quiz 2 40

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 6 20 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 3 40 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 8 20 Friday/Sunday
Paper 2: Health Care Issue 80 Sunday
Quiz 4 40

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 20 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 5 40 Sunday
Paper Topic

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 12 20 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 6 40 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 14 20 Friday/Sunday
Research Paper 200 Sunday
Quiz 7 40

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 20 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 16 20 Friday/Saturday
Quiz 8 40 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview

Discussion Assignments

There will be two graded discussions each week on topics addressed in the readings. Your initial post in the first discussion must be completed by Wednesday night; your initial post in the second discussion is due by Friday night, and two classmates responses in each of the weekly graded discussions must be completed by Sunday night (except in Week 8, when all work is due by Saturday).

Your initial response to each discussion question or prompt should be a full paragraph in length (8-10 sentences) and demonstrate your familiarity with and thoughtful analysis of the readings.

In addition, you are expected to respond to at least 2 classmates in each discussion by Sunday. Responses should be substantive posts that advance the discussion. Reflect the strengths of their comments and/or challenge them when you disagree (politely, of course). Pose questions that will engage your classmates in further discussion.


You will write two short papers and one longer research paper for the course.

Paper 1 (Due Week 2): Interview a health care worker. Give a brief summary of his or her background, education, job title, the nature of the individual's facility, and the type of patients with whom he or she works. Your interview should include questions about his or her general perceptions of both the U.S. health care system and his or her facility. Ask the health care worker, for example, what concerns he or she has with our current system in general, and with the facility in particular. Document several suggestions that the worker offers to make the U.S. health care system better, and specifically, how he or she would effectuate these changes. Lastly, add your own analysis. Do you agree or disagree that the issues raised by the health care worker are important? Would the solutions the health care worker proposes be feasible or effective? In your analysis, indicate several health care issues that you believe are important, and how you propose we address those problems. Cite to at least three (3) authoritative sources, one of which may be our text. This paper should be a minimum of 750 words.

Paper 2 (Due Week 4): Identify a current public health care issue raised in our text that affects you or someone you know. Public health care issues can be, for example, related to: clean air and water, vaccinations, communicable diseases, traffic safety, healthy food, gun use, birth control, birth defects, smoking, school lunches, and recreation opportunity, such as sufficient parks and bike paths. Define the public health issue you choose, and the public policy about this concern. Describe how this issue is addressed, whether federally, by states, locally, or by private groups, or by some combination of these. If this particular issue is relevant to only certain locations, or handled differently in different areas, explain this variance; and which, and how, various entities are responsible for and address (or don’t) the problem; and the difficulties involved. Conclude with your analysis on the importance of the issue, and, propose how the issue might be better addressed. Cite to at least 3 authoritative sources, one of which may be our text, to support your analysis and recommendations. This paper should be a minimum of 750 words.

Proposed paper topic (Due Week 5): Submit your paper proposal to the Dropbox, describing your topic in a minimum of 4-5 sentences.

Research Paper (Due Week 7): Your research paper will address a current health care topic (approved by the instructor in Week 5) that relates to this class or an extension of subject matter addressed in this class. It will be graded on your demonstrated grasp of the basic subject matter, supporting and conflicting authority on the issue, your application of critical thinking and analysis, which is supported by existing research and logical thought. The paper should use APA or MLA format for citations and include primarily materials from credible sources, such as those found at the Columbia College Stafford Library. Some citing to newspapers and authoritative magazine articles is acceptable, particularly peer-reviewed articles; however, the bulk of your research must include seven (7) current authoritative sources from recognized and respected authorities in the field of your chosen subject, and not from random websites with no scholarly credentials (Wikipedia, WebMD, magazines or ezines of a general nature are not considered respected authorities. If you have any questions about the acceptability of a source, please contact me.) A rubric is attached to this assignment under Assignments. The body (title page and citations not included) research paper should be at least 2000 words excluding any abstract, title or references pages, and rely on at least seven (7) scholarly and credible sources. Refer to the research paper rubric for additional grading details.


You will have a quiz each week to test your understanding of the readings for the course. Quizzes may include multiple-choice, fill in the blank questions or essay questions. Any essay question requires a minimum of 5 sentences in response. You will have 55 minutes to complete each quiz.

Please Note

All submissions for this class must contemporaneously written, and not have been previously submitted for this class, for any other class, or previously written for another purpose.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Chapters 1-3

Discussion 1

Introduce yourself to me and to your classmates. Tell us something about your interest in the field of health care management. What is your experience with, and knowledge of the US health care system?

Also feel free to share information about your hobbies, family, educational goals, and favorite books so that we can get to know one another as the class begins. Respond to at least two classmates’ posts.

Discussion 2

Discuss the shared responsibilities and general policy in health care. Where does the money come from, and how is it used? What is the relationship in our health care cost to our health care value?

Quiz 1

Covers content in Chapters 1-3.


Chapters 4-5

Discussion 3

Discuss the various health care system models and compare the systems in England, Canada, France and China to that in the US.

Discussion 4

Identify the primary components of, and compare, the Population Heath Model to the Medical Model, and discuss the social determinants on health behavior and health outcomes.

Paper 1: Interview

Your interview paper is due by Sunday night this week.

Quiz 2

Covers content in Chapters 4-5.


Chapters 6-7

Discussion 5

What is public health, who is in charge of it, what is its role, its core functions, and its future?
What strategies would you implement as an employer to address your employees’ health behavior risk factors?

Discuss the various health care system models and compare the systems in England, Canada, France and China to that in the US.

Discussion 6

During the past 20 years, what successful health interventions have we identified that increased patients’ adherence to prevention-oriented health behavior, and, increased providers’ use of clinical health interventions?

Quiz 3

Covers content in Chapters 6-7.


Chapter 8

The ACA (pp. 344, also look up and read online); also: Kovener and Knickman ACA Supplement.

Discussion 7

Who remain vulnerable populations in the delivery of health care, and how should their health care be organized, financed, delivered and improved upon?

Discussion 8

How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) affect our health care system—the needs, the access, the financing, the delivery, and the barriers (economic and non-) to the receipt of health care?

Paper 2: Health Care Issue

Your paper on a current public health care issue is due by Sunday night this week.

Quiz 4

Covers content in Chapter 8 and additional readings.


Chapters 9-11.

Discussion 9

What does the McAllen example demonstrate about the delivery of health care—motives, financing, HCO ownership, the practice of medicine and how different HCOs operate? How could these systems be improved upon?

Discussion 10

What are the critical issues today regarding the health workforce—training, hiring, paying and building—and how are these be handled by HCOs and insurers?

Quiz 5

Covers content in Chapters 9-11

Paper Topic

Submit your paper proposal to the Dropbox, describing your topic in a minimum of 4-5 sentences.


Chapters 12-13.

The Bitter Pill, Time Magazine (2013) Steven Brill (Link to this article on Content page)

Discussion 11

Why do we have such costly health care, and is this commensurate with the value received? What drives our health care costs and how can we control or reduce them while maintaining or increasing value?

Discussion 12

What are the advantages and the disadvantages of comparative effectiveness research (CER)? Should the US implement a CE effort? How is the US doing as far as major recent developments affecting quality care, and providing incentive for quality care?

Quiz 6

Covers content in Chapters 12-13

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Chapters 14-15

Discussion 13

How do HCOs operate—how are they governed, what do boards do and what challenges do they face? What are the responsibilities of an HCO manager? What responsibility do HCOs have in promoting health? In providing quality, coordinated, and reasonably-priced health care? How can this be measured in relation to evidence-based management?

Discussion 14

Health Information Technology: what is it, what is the government’s role (and why), what does HIT do for health care, how is it implemented, what are its challenges, and how will it work in the future? What’s good about EHR, and what’s not so good?

Research Paper

Your research paper is due by Sunday night. Check the rubric for specifics.

Quiz 7

Covers content in Chapters 14-15


Chapters 16

Discussion 15

What major trends affecting health care delivery will be important in the next 10 years, including the most significant aspects that will change? What are the most significant positive impacts of health care reform? What are likely to be the most serious problems?

Discussion 16

Was the ACA a good idea, or not? Can it be improved upon, and if so, how? How is the implementation of the ACA better than single-payer, and if not, why not? If single payer, similar to other OECD countries would be better, how could we get our country to go there, given the disagreements and reluctance to go as far as we have? Why are so many people opposed to health care for everyone—what is possibly gained by the denial of health care to some? Are there legitimate arguments against universal health care?

What should we do next?  Should health care be a profit-driven business?

Quiz 8

Covers content in Chapters 16-17

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Assignments are due on the dates specified. Points for any late submissions may be deducted each day that an assignment is late. I may not grade assignments submitted after more than one week after a deadline. Quizzes must be taken by the date assigned. In the case of an emergency, you must contact with me prior to the deadline. Emergent situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.