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MUSC Bulletin | College of Health Professions

Masters in Health Administration | Course Descriptions

Descriptions for courses offered in MHA and Certificate in Health Management

HAP-620. Health Care Reimbursement Systems. This course provides students with an understanding of third party payers in reimbursement of health care services. Attention is given to the history of health insurance in the United States. A summary of insurance coverage is then provided. The important effect of managed care on hospital and physician reimbursement is highlighted. The structure of government payers, Medicare and Medicaid, are explained and the stringent coding rules mandated by Medicare are discussed. Students also participate in an experiment in which they are assigned the role of hospital administrator or physician, and are given a patient vignette to illustrate the importance of negotiation and cooperation in providing services under different reimbursement scenarios. 1.5 s.h. Summer and Fall

HAP-622. Health Care Marketing. This course provides students with a thorough understanding of the principles and concepts of health care marketing. Essential elements of marketing are discussed in detail to assist students in applying this knowledge in today’s dynamic health care environment. 1.5 s.h. Summer and Fall

HAP-632. Quality Management in Health Care. This course provides students with an understanding of quality management and performance improvement.  Attention is given to quality management components, such as quality assessment, risk management, utilization management, outcomes assessment, and benchmarking which are used in evaluating and improving health care services and patient safety. The course focuses primarily on providing students the necessary knowledge and skills for understanding systems improvement and then participating and leading quality improvement (QI) efforts.  Students gain competence in applying the principles, processes, and tools used in QI as they plan an improvement project using the Institute of Healthcare Improvement Model.  Students are introduced to factors that impact patient safety and explore ways of identifying and reducing risks. Students also gain knowledge of the importance of measuring and managing service excellence and patient satisfaction.3 s.h.

HAP-635. The Language of Medicine. The Language of Medicine is an elective pass-fail course designed to expose students to terminology used in the clinical aspects of healthcare.  The course introduces students to a word-building technique that enables them to substantially understand medical terms used in clinical settings.  The course provides an introduction to disease processes associated with body systems and acquaints students with appropriate laboratory tests and radiological and therapeutic procedures associated with these disease processes. Common abbreviations and acronyms used in patient care are also introduced.  Knowledge gained from this course enables students to communicate and interact more effectively with practitioners in healthcare facilities and better understand the meaning of clinical data.  The course is particularly recommended for students with no clinical experience in healthcare.  1 s.h.

HAP-702. Health Care Financing. This course will provide students with an understanding of the variety of mechanisms for financing health care in the United States. Of particular interest are the consequences that each mechanism has for the cost and efficiency with which health care is provided. Specific topics include the range and implications of service payment mechanisms, mechanisms for capital acquisition and their effects, organizational structures, markets for firm governance, and for-profit vs. not-for-profit enterprises. 3 s.h.

HAP-704. Health Policy. This course is designed to provide students with a conceptual and analytical understanding of health policymaking and politics. Micro and macro models of health policymaking are presented. Various factors and components of health policymaking and politics are examined, including the varying political, social, economic and institutional environments during the last fifty years. Health policymaking in the United States will be considered from a variety of perspectives. The relationships between health policymaking, health reform and the rapid changes now taking place within the U. S. health care industry and the society it serves will be explored. The course also examines significant differences between healthcare and other social sectors, and the impact these differences have on policymaking. Selected policy issues are explored through the application of political concepts and models, including micro and macro models of policymaking. The impact of global health developments, including the threats of disease and bioterrorism, will also be examined. 3 s.h.

HAP-705. Health Economics. This course is designed to provide students with a conceptual and analytical understanding of health economics. Health care systems in the United States will be examined from the perspective of supply, cost and demand determination. Fundamental concepts and issues associated with economic decision-making and selected economic issues will be explored through the application of various socioeconomic concepts and behavioral models. 3 s.h.

HAP-719. Health Care Management and Operations. This course introduces students to the management of health care facilities. Students gain an understanding of the major functions of management, governance, organizational structures, accreditation/licensure processes, and reimbursement issues in health care organizations. By the end of the course, students will understand, develop a philosophy of, and be able to identify the essential elements and skills necessary to manage efficient and effective health care organizations. Students will understand the historic models of health care organizations and blend successful hospital organizations with new structures of medical organization and finance. Students will become familiar with and understand the importance of the principles of management including planning, organizing, controlling, directing, and staffing. 3 s.h.

HAP-721. Health Care Delivery Systems. This course is designed to provide students with an overview of health care services in the United States, including its historical development within a unique social, economic and political environment. Current institutional structures and delivery systems are described, as are the evolving health needs of Americans. Emphasis is placed upon the basic concepts and issues that are associated with the management and regulation of health care providers and the delivery of services. Alternative systems of organization are also introduced, as are changes occurring in the health care professions and the health care sector as a whole. 3 s.h.

HAP-722. Health Behavior and Epidemiology. This course introduces students to the field of epidemiology--its concepts and methods—so they may gain an understanding of the behavior of populations. We will describe the health status of populations, discuss methods of measurement, and describe data sources and decision-making skills for health administrators. The course introduces students to Health Behavior including theories, lifestyle factors, social/descriptive epidemiology, health promotion and disease prevention. It also presents concepts that enable the students to apply epidemiological methods to a variety of aspects of health service administration. In addition, concepts involving community health, community theories, healthy communities, and community intervention programs (screening, research, initiatives) are presented and discussed. 3 s.h.

HAP-725. Statistical Analysis in Health Systems. This course is designed to teach students the application of selected statistical methods to the decision-making process in health services administration. Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles in the meaning and use of statistical analyses. Topics discussed include a review of descriptive statistics, the standard normal distribution, sampling distributions, simple and multiple regression, hypothesis testing using parametric and non-parametric methods, correlation, and point and interval estimation. Students will use Microsoft Excel and other appropriate computer software in the completion of assignments. Prerequisite: Completion of at least one undergraduate level statistics course with a grade of “C” or better. 3 s.h.

HAP-726. Health Care Accounting. This course introduces the student to selected financial accounting topics such as principles of health care accounting, financial statement preparation, governance and internal control, financial statement analysis, capital structure and leverage, working capital management, stock and bond valuations. 3 s.h.

HAP-729. Financial Management for Health Care Organizations. This course introduces the student to selected strategic finance topics such as cost concepts, costing systems, cost-volume-profit analysis, cost and revenue prediction, pricing strategies, budgeting, variance analysis, inventory management, performance evaluation, and incentive compensation. Prerequisite: HAP-726 Health Care Accounting. 3 s.h.

HAP-730. Healthcare Project Management. This course is designed to provide students with an overview of Operations Management within a healthcare organization. More specifically, it will focus on the many tools available to assess the organization’s strategic and tactical position as well as the tools and techniques required to shift an organization from its current state to one closer to the leadership’s stated vision. Emphasis will be placed on using project management as the discipline used to deliver on strategic objectives, including a review of the required governance that must be in place to be effective. Students will be expected to demonstrate project management tools and techniques through the implementation of a semester-long project within the community. 3 s.h.

HAP-735. Health Law and Risk Management. This course introduces the student to legal concepts and issues related to health care management. Special topics include liability, risk management, patient-provider relationships, fraud and abuse, antitrust, and health legislation. This course will also examine selected business law topics including agency and partnership, business corporations, and joint ventures. 3 s.h.

HAP-737. Organization Theory and Behavior. This course introduces the major historical and contemporary theories of organization and human behavior in the workplace. Emphasis is placed on the study of organization structures, principles, techniques and processes as they relate to the management of health services organizations. Opportunities to gain a better understanding of organizational behavior issues such as motivation, leadership, communication, interpersonal conflict, and group dynamics are provided in case analyses and skill building exercises. 3 s.h.

HAP-738. Management and Health Information Systems. This course provides students with an introduction to health care information systems, with an emphasis on clinical information systems. Students gain insight into the process of selecting, implementing, and evaluating health care information systems – and explore the importance of aligning information systems plans with the overall strategic plans of a health care organization. Students are introduced to different types of clinical and administrative information systems used in health care today. They also discuss a number of current issues related to the effective management of health information. 3 s.h.

HAP-739. Health Care Strategic Management. This course provides students with the opportunity to investigate the strategic management function within health care organizations. It is a capstone experience intended to integrate prior master’s program material. It emphasizes on the organizational strategic planning process, including the principles and methods of strategic assessment, administrative decision-making, competitive analysis, market analysis, strategy formulation and selection, implementation and evaluation of strategic actions. 3 s.h.

HAP-740. Human Resources Management. This course introduces students to the various human resources functions in health services organizations. These functions include recruitment, selection, job analysis, performance appraisal, compensation/benefits, employee health, grievance, discipline and discharge. Current social, behavioral, and legal issues are discussed from a human resources planning and management perspective. Numerous case studies are used to promote discussion and identify appropriate responses or solutions. Students gain a better understanding of human resources processes, procedures, and issues, and have opportunities to enhance their communication and interpersonal skills which are vitally important for the effective management of people in healthcare organizations. 3 s.h.

HAP-752. Health Administration Field Project. This course is an applied experience that integrates the principles, theories, and concepts of health administration with problems or issues existing in the health field. Emphasis is on application of financial management, human resource management, planning and marketing to a well-defined problem or issue confronting the health administrator. Students must have completed at least 18 hours in the program prior to doing a field project.  3 s.h.

HAP-753. Seminar in Ethical Leadership. This course helps students gain insight into viewing leadership from multiple perspectives including viewing from an ethical lens, thereby allowing them to expand their personal effectiveness by considering and utilizing alternative leadership approaches to various situations. Students are encouraged to explore and expand their current leadership skills, team process skills and critical thinking abilities. Students increase personal insight into their own strengths and abilities as a leader, review current literature and readings and speak to leaders in the field regarding their own perceptions and learnings, and assess the qualities necessary to lead healthcare organizations in the future. 3 s.h. 

HAP-754. Health Administration Internship. The Internship is an essential component of the Residential MHA Program. It is intended to provide MHA students with opportunities to apply theories and techniques learned in the classroom to actual situations, issues or problems within the healthcare community. It provides a student an opportunity to work with an experienced healthcare manager in a health care facility for a concentrated ten-week period of time. The scope of the Internship is broad and students should expect to be involved in a wide-range of management-level activities. Students may expect to be engaged in at least two projects as a component of the Internship experience. 6 s.h.

HAP-756. Executive Skills I. This course is the first course of two Executive Skills courses. It is taught seminar style and provides multiple opportunities for students to improve writing and presentation skills as well as engage with professionals from the healthcare community. Guest speakers and special events augment classroom discussion and experiences. The purpose of this class is to help students develop executive skills that will maximize their opportunities for success, and prepare students for presenting themselves in the best possible light. 1 s.h.

HAP-757. Executive Skills II. This course is the second course of two Executive Skills courses. It is taught seminar style and provides multiple opportunities for students to improve writing and presentation skills as well as engage with professionals from the healthcare community. In addition, students will be exposed to and digest advanced literature in organizational leadership. The purpose of this class is to help students develop executive skills that will maximize their opportunities for success, and prepare students for presenting themselves in the best possible light. 1 s.h.

HAP-820. Comparative Effectiveness. This course develops student skill in understanding and applying methods to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of procedures and treatment, and the performance of health care organizations. It also focuses on the interpretation and translation of data through decision models. These models and methods are used as tools for improving evidence-based decision making in health case settings. Topics include: clinical decisions and decision analysis, policy analysis approaches, expected values, contingent probabilities and uncertainty, utility assessments, decision trees, pay for performance models, cost effectiveness analysis, evidence-base practice, and the development of health quality meaasures. The course is designed primarily for the student in a health-related discipline who desires a greater understanding of conduct and interpretations of decision analysis and cost effective analysis. The design and construction of a decision model is required. Prerequisite: HAP-725 Statistical Analysis in Health Systems. 3 s.h.

IP-710. Transforming Healthcare for the Future.  This course provides the foundation for beginning health professions students to understand the complexities of the health care system and the role of interprofessional collaboration to improve the system.  Through an interprofessional context, students will explore the art and science of teamwork and communication stills, cultural competency, ethical issues, healthcare disparities, social determinants of health, and evidence-based medicine. 2 s.h.

Last Published with Edits:July 17, 2015 11:20 AM
Last Comprehensive Review: July 2015

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