Online Programs

HCS 600: Standards & Systems in U.S. Healthcare

This course focuses on evaluating the healthcare delivery system in the U.S. and the impact various initiatives have had on healthcare quality, cost, and access. You will become familiar with the costs involved in healthcare, tiered services, preventative healthcare, trends in healthcare utilization, and the role of major providers and payers, such as insurance companies and government programs like Medicare.

Coursework also explores the history and transformation of the healthcare delivery system, including the impact of policies and practices as they relate to commercial payment reform and the evolution of clinical standards for providers. Each week, students will speak with a healthcare professional about how different factors at play in the industry affect their role.

Sample topics of exploration and discussion include:

  • The “Iron Triangle” – access, quality, and cost
  • The impact of the Affordable Care Act (and the implications of its potential repeal)
  • Coding and accounting systems for healthcare finance
  • Medicaid programs
  • Healthcare delivery models
  • The balance between regulation and innovation in healthcare

Examples of assignments and projects include:

  • A research paper
  • Peer-to-peer research analysis
  • Financial data analysis
  • An analysis of different healthcare delivery models

Course Outcomes

Upon completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the structure and financing of the healthcare market, including changes in payment models and related state and federal policies that are shifting sites of service.
  • Identify and interpret trends in cost, quality, and access that explain the state of the overall healthcare market.
  • Describe the changing roles of providers and payers in healthcare delivery, support, services, and financing.
  • Analyze healthcare trends in cost, quality, and access, including the underlying factors on a local and national level that most impact these trends.
  • Predict future changes to the healthcare system based on ongoing reforms to payment and delivery.
  • Appreciate the complexity and pace of innovation and change in the healthcare system and use that understanding to predict the trajectory of industry transformation.

Click here for the official course description from the American University Catalog.

Learn more today. Call us at 855-725-7614 to speak to an admissions adviser, or request more information here.