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.

  1. Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2012). Delivering health care in America: A systems approach (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.  

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.  

  1. Module 1: Major Characteristics of U.S. Health Care Delivery
  2. Module 2: System Foundations
  3. Module 3: Systems Processes, Part 1
  4. Module 4: Systems Processes, Part 2
  5. Module 5: System Outcomes
  6. Module 6: System Outlook


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:

  1. Online discussions (10)20%
  2. Written assignments (6)30%
  3. Final project: Research Paper50%

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:

  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.


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.


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.

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