Syllabus for MSP-540



Advanced Studies in Health Care (MSP-540) provides an overview of the health care services system in America. Topics covered this course are: characteristics of the U.S. health system, the role of health care professionals, medical technology, health care financing sources, health care delivery structures (including outpatient and primary care), inpatient facilities, managed care and integrated organizations, long-term care and the services for special populations, and system outcomes such as health care cost, access, and quality.


  1. Major characteristics, foundation, and evolution of U.S. health care delivery
  2. Health care providers and professionals
  3. Medical technology
  4. Health care financing and reimbursement methods
  5. Hospitals
  6. Managed care and integrated systems
  7. Long-term health care services
  8. Underserved populations
  9. Three major cornerstones of health care delivery
  10. Health policy and the future of health services delivery


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss the key characteristics of the U.S. health care delivery system. (CO1)
  2. Assess the organizations and resources—both human and nonhuman—employed in delivering health care. (CO2)
  3. Appraise health care system processes, beginning with outpatient and primary care services, hospitals, managed care, community-based and institutional-based long-term care services, and vulnerable populations and their special health care needs. (CO3)
  4. Compare and contrast the main outcomes of the health care system and how those outcomes are addressed through health policy. (CO4)
  5. Evaluate the health insurance issues raised during the Obama administration. (CO5)
  6. Evaluate the major constraints affecting a system-wide reform of health care in the United States and estimate what effects these constraints are likely to have. (CO6)
  7. Identify emerging global challenges in health care and analyze the likely effects that they will have on the health and well-being of Americans. (CO7)



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

ISBN-13: 978-1-4496-2650-1


Advanced Studies in Health Care is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.  


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum where you will introduce yourself to your mentor and classmates, you are required to take part in ten (10) graded discussion forums.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six (6) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Final Project:  Research Paper

You are required at the end of the semester to submit a Final Project in the form of a research paper.  Consult the Final Project section of the course space for details regarding this assignment and the due dates associated.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

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:
























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.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


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 can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. 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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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 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.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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