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EHC 3302 Healthcare Organizations

Course Description

Studies the U.S. healthcare system. Includes structure, finance, governance, personnel, and cultural values. Emphasizes the influences exerted by the economic, political and social forces within the larger society and the healthcare system's response to these influences. 

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to

  • Explain the historical evolution of the U.S. healthcare system
  • Explain health services utilization indicators and predictors
  • Describe the regulatory environment within which healthcare organizations operate
  • Identify the various policies and financing mechanisms that impact service delivery of healthcare
  • Identify the various health professions practicing within healthcare organizations and their impact on health service delivery
  • Articulate the contrasting major views toward solving healthcare crises presented by various interest groups
  • Explain the healthcare organizations operating within public health, ambulatory health services, hospital services, long-term care services, and mental health services
  • Identify how the change in demographics impact the U.S. healthcare system

Week 1

Module: Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Course Introduction
Lecture: U.S. Healthcare System, Part 1
Lecture: U.S. Healthcare System, Part 2


  • Identify the major characteristics of the U.S. healthcare system
  • Understand the foundations of the U.S. healthcare system
  • Describe the U.S. healthcare system from a historical perspective
  • Define healthcare providers and professionals
  • Understand how healthcare is delivered in the U.S.
  • Discuss how a holistic approach to healthcare delivery focuses on curative medicine, health promotion, and disease prevention
  • Define the issue of equity in the distribution of health services using the contrasting theories of market justice and social justice in U.S. healthcare delivery

Week 2

Module: Historical Overview of the U.S. Health System
Lecture: Historical Overview of the U.S. Health System
Lecture: Healthcare Providers and Professionals
  • Discuss how healthcare delivery has evolved in the U.S. since the 1800s
  • Discuss the evolution and current trends of U.S. healthcare
  • Identify the large array of health service professionals
  • Describe the differences and imbalances between primary and specialty care services characterized in the U.S. healthcare system

Week 3

Module: Significant Features of the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Technology, Financing, and Reimbursement, Part 1
Lecture: Technology, Financing, and Reimbursement, Part 2


  • Explain the meaning of medical technology
  • Understand the reasons why the U.S. leads the world in medical technology development
  • Discuss technology diffusion and the role of government
  • Identify financing and various insurance programs
  • Describe methods of reimbursement
  • Discuss national health expenditures

Week 4

Module: Significant Features of the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Patient Services, Part 1
Lecture: Patient Services, Part 2


  • Describe the important roles outpatient services and primary care play in today's healthcare delivery
  • Describe the hospital, its evolution and role in healthcare delivery
  • Explain the legal requirements for operating a hospital
  • Identify basic healthcare ethics

Week 5

Module: Organization of the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Impacts to the System: Managed Care and Integrated Systems
Lecture: Impacts to the System: Long-Term Care Services


  • Explain the growth and development of managed care
  • Define the meaning of long-term care and describe its main characteristics
  • Identify vulnerable and underserved populations
  • Discuss the reasons for the dramatic rise in healthcare expenditures

Week 6

Lecture: Organization of the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Underserved Populations
Lecture: Cost, Access, and Quality


  • Describe the different vulnerable and underserved populations, their health needs, and challenges
  • Discuss the major reasons for the dramatic rise in healthcare expenditures
  • Identify how cost, access, and quality contribute to the rapidly growing expenditures in the U.S.

Week 7

Module: Health Policy and the Future of the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Health Policy


  • Define health policy and explore its principal features in the U.S.
  • Describe the development of legislative policy and give examples of critical health policy issues
  • Provide an outlook for the future of U.S. health policy

Week 8

Module: Health Policy and the Future of the U.S. Healthcare System
Lecture: Future of the U.S. Healthcare System


  • Discuss the future of healthcare reform and delivery
  • Describe a future model of care delivery and workforce challenges
  • Evaluate the status of evidence-based healthcare
  • Assess future workforce challenges

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. November 2013