Syllabus for MSP-642



Legal Issues in Healthcare is designed to give you an in-depth introduction to the issues of health services law & ethics, including the role of law in the US healthcare system, the legal system and legal research, managing and regulating the healthcare system including legal structure and governance of healthcare organizations, government regulations in public health and health services, protecting privacy of medical information, medical staff credentialing and clinical privileges, the laws in payment programs, antitrust law in healthcare field, legal & ethics issues in patient care & in healthcare insurance.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast law and ethics
  2. Discuss the US legal system
  3. Identify Issues associated with universal healthcare
  4. Explore the legal structure and governance of healthcare organizations
  5. Discuss  governmental regulations to protect the public, to ensure quality and contain cost and promote access
  6. Discuss the professional relationship between physicians and hospital
  7. Analyze the government’s influence on healthcare reimbursement and investigations of fraud and abuse
  8. Analyze antitrust law theory within the context of healthcare
  9. Examine state and federal laws that protect the privacy of patient information
  10. Discuss negligence issues and malpractice reform
  11. Analyze factors that determine the creation and termination of physician patient relationship
  12. Discuss the law in regard to patients who lack capacity or are disabled
  13. Examine provider contract law issues
  14. Discuss the legal Implications of financial incentives to to provide less care
  15. Discuss utilization of healthcare services


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

ISBN-13: 978-1-56793-279-9


Legal Issues in Health Care is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and assignments. 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 produce a final project in the form of a research paper.  See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Legal Issues in Healthcare requires you to participate in six (6) graded discussion forums that together count for a total of 30 percent of your course grade.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful. Deadlines for posting discussion threads are given in the Course Calendar.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete a total of six (6) written assignments; one assignment per module.  The written assignments focus on the topics covered in each of the course modules.  

Your work will be graded according to the criteria outlined in this  Written Assignment Rubric.

Due dates for all of these assignments can be found in the Course Calendar.  

Final Project: Research Paper

You are required to produce a Final Project in the form of a research paper and submit it at the end of the semester.

In your paper you will identify a particular current healthcare issue, problem or current trend and analyze it in terms of any laws or policies that support it together with any ethical issues involved.  Part of your paper will also involve  developing a plan of action to resolve or improve the issue you have identified.

You will produce your Final Project in four stages as part of your assignments for Modules 2, 3, 4 and 6.


For specific details regarding what you are required to do go the the Final Project: Research Paper area of the course.

Due dates for all of these assignments can be found in the Course Calendar.  


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:

Copyright © 2013 by Thomas Edison State College. All rights reserved.