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BUS-411-20, Top: Intro/US Healthcare System (FA15)

INSTRUCTOR: S. Mary Fanning, Ph.D., MBA, FACHE

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Semester/Tuesdays/6 – 8:45 PM, 09/01/2015-12/01/2015


The US healthcare delivery system is characterized by its complexity and size (1/6 of the economy). The system includes multiple types of institutions such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices, and ambulatory care facilities, providing direct services to consumers as inpatients and outpatients in for-profit and not-for-profit settings. Direct care is provided by multiple types of professionals such as physicians, nurses, therapists, and pharmacists. Professionals and institutions are regulated by many government agencies. Some of the largest US corporations provide equipment, supplies and services to healthcare institutions and providers. In this course students will be introduced to the institutions, professionals and public policies that define the US Healthcare System through readings and cases that highlight strategic and policy issues.


1. To identify the structures, the economics and developing policy in the US health care system.

2. To discuss and debate current health care policy issues.

3. To analyze problem areas in the health care delivery system and propose solutions.


1. This is a web-enhanced course. Readings supplementing the text will be posted to the Joule course site. All assignments will be submitted through Turnitin on the course site.

2. The class format will be seminar style. There will be limited lecture on the topics followed by class discussion of readings.

3. Each student will make a presentation of a topic on which the student has done in-depth research.


1. Five (4-6 pages) reflection papers. The paper should address one or more aspects of the assigned readings. 50 %

2. In depth research and presentation to the class as a final project. Topics may be chosen by the student or provided by instructor. 50 %


Health Care Delivery in the United States. (2015). (J. R. Knickman & A. R. Kovner Eds.). New York: Spring Publishing Company. (ISBN 978-0-8261-2527-9). Additional readings from journals and books will be posted on Joule course site.


Read and be ready to discuss Section I of the text, which covers chapters 1 through 4. This section provides an overview of the US healthcare delivery system, the payment mechanisms, the role of government and a comparison of the US system with other national health systems. This overview will provide the basis for future discussion of successes, challenges and opportunities in the US healthcare delivery system.