Health Spending in the U.S. and the Cost of Healthcare

Course Description: During the semester, we will present theoretical, conceptual, historical and analytical materials relating to the health care system. We will analyze the status, institutions, attitudes, behaviors and delivery of services related to health care in the United States. Included in this analysis will be the evolution, structure and dynamics of health professions. Personal and institutional aspects of the health care system and their effects on such areas as planning, public policy, the sick role, physician-patient relationships, death and dying, the hospital, and health care politics will also be examined. We will also monitor any health care issues that may be debated on the local, state or national scene. Contemporary information about the health care system will be emphasized throughout the course.
Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Describe the private, governmental, professional and economic contributions to the development and operation of the healthcare system.2. Describe the types and interrelationships of healthcare facilities, services and personnel.3. Understand the important challenges of public sector health policy making.4. Understand the major ethical, economic, professional and legal issues confronting providers, insurers and consumers.5. Describe the special problems of high-risk populations and health system responses.6. Identify and describe the quality control activities of the current healthcare system and relate service provider behaviors to legal, ethical and financial considerations.7. Describe the values and assumptions that underlie the changing priorities in health planning resource allocation.8. Students will produce competent writing with an in-depth term paper on the evaluation of a health care issue or problem with reasoned conclusions, analysis and critique of the available literature. Library research is required for the bibliography. Papers must be 8-10 pages in length and should demonstrate an understanding and show some command of the subject.
Required Course Text: Health Care USA: Understanding Its Organization and Delivery (Seventh Edition), by Harry A. Sultz and Kristina M. Young.AIDitional articles or handouts may be presented in class.
Course Format: This course will employ a variety of educational opportunities including instructor lecture, assigned textbook and article readings, and class discussion. Please note that while lectures may amplify reading assignments, they constitute an independent framework for the course. Examination questions will be drawn from lectures, text assignments and handouts. As far as the readings are concerned, your responsibility is to integrate and raise questions in class about any ideas or issues that require clarification