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BUS-411-20, Top: Intro/US Healthcare System (FA13)

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

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Semester/Thursdays/6 – 8:45 PM, 09/05/2013-12/05/2013


The U.S. 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, ambulatory care facilities, providing direct services to consumers as inpatients and outpatients in for-profit and nonprofit 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Healthcare System through readings and cases that highlight strategic and policy issues.


1. To identify the structures, the economics and developing policy in the U.S. 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. The class format will be seminar style. There will be limited lecture on the topic followed by class discussion of readings.

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


1. Three (4-6 pages) reflection papers. The paper should address one or more aspects of the assigned readings - 30%

2. Midterm exam - 35%

3. One in-depth case analysis and presentation. The case will be provided by the instructor - 35%


The course will not have an assigned text. There will be assigned readings from journals and books that will be posted for students on Joule as well as journal articles accessible from the library website.


In the first class we will discuss the U.S. Healthcare System from a systems perspective. In the following classes we will focus on the various components of the system. To assist us in discussing the system of healthcare delivery in the United States, please read We can do better—improving the health of the American people by Steven A. Schroeder and National Health Systems as Market Interventions by Milton I. Roemer, both of which are posted to Joule.