Syllabus for HCF-701

HEALTHCARE FINANCE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course focuses on some of the unique components of finance as they relate to healthcare facilities and some of the major issues they are faced with.   Students will strive to develop an understanding of the healthcare industry and the unique aspects related to healthcare finance.  Increased knowledge of major national issues pertaining to Medicare and Managed Care payment systems and how they affect the economics of providers will be explored.  Students will also develop an understanding of significant and nonsignificant financial management and management process issues.  A preview of the healthcare industry and its effect on healthcare finance will also be explored.  Additional topics include reimbursement systems, managed care, insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, DRG Prospective Payment, accessibility, eligibility, budgeting, and planning.  Emphasis will be placed on the application of these topics to aid in making managerial decisions.  

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you will be able to:

 

  1. CO1  Identify and define healthcare financial management concepts.
  2. CO2  Explain the function of financial management in healthcare organizations.
  3. CO3  Apply skills and knowledge to forecast financial needs of the organization.
  4. CO4  Assess the role of federal entitlement programs in the US Health System.
  5. CO5  Analyze the sources and use of funds in the US health system.
  6. CO6  Summarize the payment methods used to reimburse health service providers and the associated operational implications.
  7. CO7 Utilize financial and accounting information to prepare and manage budgets, and make sound long term investment decisions.
  8. CO8  Evaluate the process and impact that information technology will have on the finance systems.
  9. CO9  Prepare and present financial models electronically as they would be disclosed to auditors and the finance committee.
  10. CO10 Analyze complex, practical problems in healthcare financial management.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Berger, Steven (2008). Fundamentals of Health Care Financial Management: A Practical Guide to Fiscal Issues and Activities (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.   ISBN-13: 978-0787997502

COURSE STRUCTURE

Healthcare Finance is a three-credit online course, consisting of four (4) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, discussion forums, and written assignments. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Foundations of Financial Management, Planning, and Accounting Principles
  2. Module 2: Financial Reimbursement and Revenue Cycle Management

  1. Module 3: Healthcare Budget Preparation and Implications of Health Systems Technology
  2. Module 4: Year End Annual Reports:  Preparation and Delivery

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in five (5) graded discussion forums, two (2) synchronous events, and to complete three (3) written assignments. You are also required to complete a final project.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in five (5) graded discussion forums. There is also one ungraded but required forums in Module 1. In addition, there are two discussion forums for synchronous events. Click to view Online Discussion Grading Rubric.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete three (3) written assignments. Each written assignment focuses on topics or cases covered in the modules.  It can be essay questions or scenarios related to healthcare finance. Click to view Written Assignment Rubric.

Synchronous Events

You are required to participate in two synchronous events during Week 3 and 6 of the semester. You will dial into a teleconference number (provided by your mentor) at a set time. Your mentor will work with the class to propose a time that works best and accommodates the majority. Both synchronous events will focus on the issues or questions related to the final project. See the Module 2 and Module 4 areas of the course web site for further details.

Final Project

You are required at the end of the course to submit a final project based on your research of a healthcare organization you have chosen. The final project covers most of the healthcare financial management topics you learned in this course.

See the Final Project area of the course web site for further details.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Discussion forums (5)—25%
  2. Written assignments (3)—24%
  3. Synchronous events (2)—10%
  4. Final project—41%

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

B–

=

80–82

A–

=

90–92

C+

=

78–79

B+

=

88–89

C

=

73–77

B

=

83–87

F

=

Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Students must maintain a B average to remain in good academic standing.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  4. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

Thomas Edison State College. All Rights Reserved.