2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Healthcare Leadership (HC)


HC 4000 Healthcare Systems and Regulatory Environments (4 Credits)

This course opens with a comprehensive overview of the functions of various types of healthcare organizations: providers, insurance companies, government agencies, and professional associations. Alternative payment and provider models are reviewed, regulatory bodies and issues are explored, and healthcare reform efforts and proposals are discussed. Supply and demand projections for personnel are examined. The work of key federal agencies (NIH, National Center for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration) is reviewed as well as the activity of national and international non-governmental organizations. Major national and global public health challenges are introduced.

HC 4005 Healthcare Macroeconomics (4 Credits)

This course focuses on macro analysis of the current financial state of healthcare in the United States. The relationships of value, quality, and price are analyzed. Transparency related to price and quality is considered. Fundamental items such as balance sheets/income statements, accounting vs. financial reporting, equity, cash flows, and debt financing are covered in detail. Payment and incentive models are considered in connection with employer-furnished benefits, private health insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid. Current issues, such as pay for performance, shared savings, cost shifting, and healthcare for the aging, under and uninsured are discussed. Students will discuss variations in health policy related to payment and coverage systems.

HC 4010 Healthcare Communication and Leadership (4 Credits)

This course focuses on the welfare of patient, family, and community in the context of medical team communication and leadership. Models for communicating highly technical medical information with patients and others involved in their care are examined. Students weigh and assess differences in personal and organizational cultures to optimize patient-centered outcomes. Students acquire a sound body of knowledge and terminology to facilitate communication and leadership across a multitude of disciplines essential in the delivery of healthcare. NOTE: This course is strongly recommended within the first 3 terms of study.

HC 4015 Healthcare Finance (4 Credits)

This course presents an overview of financial management in healthcare organizations operating in the United States. Students will gain a broad overview of the business of healthcare in the United States, including interpretation of financial statements, budgeting, variance analysis, operational analysis, capital investment analysis, expense management issues, revenues, and payment systems used in the current United States healthcare system. The course will use a case-based approach where students will demonstrate mastery of financial management skills through application of knowledge to real-life scenarios from the industry.

HC 4100 Management Principles in Healthcare Systems (4 Credits)

Healthcare systems are complex, dynamic, multilayered and unpredictable. They require constant situational awareness to maintain safety, efficiency, compliance, relevance and fiscal responsibility. Management and leadership need to have the vision to respond to changes and unexpected events. In this course, students encounter and explore the management functions required to lead and administer various types of healthcare systems. Students will engage in activities such as analyzing a healthcare system or organization’s current level of performance or culture to inform ways to lead that organization toward excellence.

HC 4110 Healthcare: Innovative Strategies and Change Management (4 Credits)

Effective healthcare takes continual innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of the population. Through an examination of disruptions that create a catalyst for change, this course focuses on teaching students how innovative strategies can enable quality care and sustainability both within the healthcare delivery system and the health industry. Further, the drivers of innovation are explored from their use in grassroots efforts through regulatory reform through the lens of supply and demand. Finally, strategic planning for maximum use of financial resources to meet stakeholder expectations is ventured into in this course.

HC 4130 Organizational Behavior in Healthcare (4 Credits)

Customer and employee satisfaction elements of healthcare management are often a result of how well the entire healthcare system functions. Students examine successful and less successful examples of cooperation, compatibility, and dedication within the workplace and explore what contributes to a harmonious and effective healthcare environment. Interpersonal skills are discussed, as are ethical guidelines and laws that define acceptable workplace behavior.

HC 4200 Comparative Healthcare Systems (4 Credits)

This course describes variations in healthcare delivery systems locally, nationally, and globally as they relate to policy, structure, and finance. Comparisons of systems are made relative to expenditure of resources and outcomes. Students learn about healthcare coverage, access to care, healthcare rationing, provider manpower distribution, and seeking healthcare in foreign countries (medical tourism). The discrepancy between the desirable and the practical is explored, and students are asked to outline and defend a system that they believe is both desirable and practical.

HC 4210 Quality Improvement for HC Leaders (4 Credits)

This course is designed to review the body of knowledge and core competencies needed to function at the level of Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) in a healthcare organization. Skills gained are applicable to managers and administrators of hospitals, practices, and clinics. Course content is beneficial to clinicians and others interested in quality and patient safety. This course facilitates the successful pursuit of the CPHQ certification exam. Core competencies, aligned with the CPHQ certification exam, to be explored in detail include: Leadership and Management; Quality and Performance Improvement; Healthcare Safety; Information Management and Regulation, Accreditation and Continuous Readiness. Students are strongly encouraged to complete HC4000 and HC4220 prior to registering for the course.

HC 4220 Ethical Considerations in Healthcare (4 Credits)

This course provides a survey of important ethical considerations encountered in U.S. and global healthcare, past and present. It covers issues on which consensus has generally been reached, and some on which debate is currently active. Clinical, professional, and organizational scenarios will be examined, with an occasional glance toward public policy. Students will practice recognizing the elements of ethical problems and applying a "toolbox" of principles, theories, and concepts to understand them. Through readings, class discussions, and assignments, students will review noteworthy cases and policies. They will evaluate the merits of ethical arguments taking different forms. They will compare different frameworks for making ethical judgments and solving dilemmas that arise from competing value perspectives. This background is an essential foundation for practitioners and leaders in every role in a healthcare environment.

HC 4225 Healthcare Public Policy and the Legislative Process (4 Credits)

This class provides students with an understanding of the political and legislative procedures that lead to healthcare policy change and reform. Students examine the influences and functions of government agencies, legislative processes and procedures and executive branch rule-making. Students objectively evaluate how policy changes occur at the federal and state levels and subsequently affect the functioning as a citizen and a professional. Class lecture focuses on the legislative path of federal law and then follows it through to the outcomes at the state level. Students explore the importance of developing relationships, communication and advocacy strategies with elected officials and various stakeholder groups that interact with the federal and state legislative processes.

HC 4230 Implementation and Evaluation of Healthcare Public Policy (4 Credits)

This course examines strategies for implementation and evaluation of healthcare public policy. Students develop skills in analyzing issues, considering and weighing pros and cons of proposed policy, and defending strategies for bringing about change. Beginning with the passage of a new law, policy, or regulation, students track the process to implement and evaluate new policy. Topics related to implementation of a new policy include funding the implementation, effect on constituents and the overall national economy, sustainability, and short- and long-term evaluation of the policy. At the conclusion of this course, students will prepare an implementation plan for selected recently passed state legislation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete HC 4000 prior to registering for this course.

HC 4300 Health Equity and Justice (4 Credits)

In this course, definitions and historical perspectives of health equity, health disparity, and social justice will be introduced. Students will learn to recognize the geographic, cultural, and social contexts, where health inequities occur. Through reflection and journaling, students will explore the concept of implicit bias. From this critical reflection, students will gain an understanding of the impact of bias on patient care and population health in the U.S. healthcare system. Issues of, racial, ethnic, and gender status and their relationships to health disparities and inequities will be analyzed. Through course assignments, students will conceptualize interventions and design improvement projects aimed at making substantive positive changes toward health equity and justice.

HC 4305 Healthy Aging: A Healthcare Imperative (4 Credits)

As technology advances, the ability to healthcare to keep people alive increases, but not always in ways conducive to improving quality of life. It is the hope of healthcare providers that quality of life improves as well. However, there are many factors this piece of the puzzle challenging. In this course, the older adult population is examined both for the challenges they face and the effects of an increasing elder population on the healthcare delivery system. The course will focus on specific assessment of the impact of unhealthy lifestyles that create the co-morbidities, health disparities commonly seen in aging populations, and the improvements that can be made in health and technological illiteracy/accessibility on older adults. Extending this assessment, students create a cultural care model for end of life care. These explorations of older adulthood culminating in evaluating the underlying cultural issues that need to be addressed to improve population health and resiliency in meeting the challenges during the end of the life spectrum.

HC 4400 Legal Dynamics of Healthcare Leadership (4 Credits)

This course is a primer on the legal and compliance considerations associated with organization, payment, and administration of facilities and provider groups. Topics will include the corporate and contract law, Stark and anti-kickback law, licensure and credentialing, professional liability, professional review and patient safety, HIPAA and patient privacy, and other laws affecting healthcare providers and organizations.

HC 4410 Legal Frameworks of the Healthcare Industry (4 Credits)

This course reviews the recent history of healthcare reform in the United States beginning with the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) and moving to health reform since the ACA. Students examine the influences and functions of Medicare and Medicaid as well as the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) role in shaping benefit coverage throughout the healthcare industry. Students will explore the importance of, and examine legal issues related to, public health and healthcare provided by entities within the Federal Government such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Indian Health Service (IHS). Students will objectively evaluate the legalities and ethical issues associated with clinical research as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s involvement in the development of pharmaceutical agents and medical devices. The course concludes with students analyzing the future landscape of health reform and public sector influence in healthcare.

HC 4420 Legal Fundamentals of Revenue in Healthcare (4 Credits)

This course provides an understanding of the legal complexities of creating and managing delivery and payment models for healthcare services. Course content revolves around the current challenges of evolving from volume-based to value-based payment principles. Topics will include fraud and abuse and compliance, legal foundations of private and public payment systems, fee for service, managed care, value-based systems, and a review of current healthcare payment reform efforts. The course wraps up with the role of clinical health information and related data systems in healthcare delivery and payment.

HC 4430 Significant Healthcare Law (4 Credits)

As a foundation, students begin with an overview of healthcare law and an analysis of the sources of law to include the Constitution, statutes, regulations, and case law. Throughout the course, students will objectively analyze constitutional issues and major federal healthcare laws and will further delve into regulations implementing statutes as well as cases interpreting them. Students will examine the intersection of traditional areas of law and healthcare to include torts, antitrust, contracts, and intellectual property. They will explore the contemporary and emerging areas of information and innovation in healthcare law as well as the Affordable Care Act, to include the Supreme Court’s landmark decision. The course concludes with a consideration of the pervasive problem of fraud, waste, and abuse. This course is delivered in a seminar style with significant independent work/research on the part of students and should be taken after introductory and concentration courses.

HC 4500 Operational Challenges in Global Health Management (4 Credits)

This course presents challenges in operations that are unique to healthcare services and products being delivered in the international market. Topics include international marketing of services and healthcare products, negotiation styles, ethical considerations, organizational structure, transporting of medical goods and personnel, individual travel health and medical tourism as a business model. Cultural and religious considerations in healthcare delivery are discussed. Grants and research management for global health are compared with domestic procedures.

HC 4510 Legal and Employment Issues in Global Health Management (4 Credits)

This course presents legal considerations involved in conducting global programs and business related to healthcare services and products. Employment and labor law are discussed in relationship to employment across international lines and within foreign countries. Intellectual property, patent and copyright of healthcare products, curriculum, and programs are examined. Customs laws, foreign trade, and other regulations such as healthcare licensing and credentialing of personnel are developed. Human resource challenges such as remote team management are discussed.

HC 4520 Global Health NGO Management (4 Credits)

Students will examine factors that impact organizational performance in the global nonprofit health sector. Students expore current challenges associated with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that operate in low-income and middle-income countries. Examples include Doctors Without Borders, Shoulder to Shoulder, and others. Students are empowered to research and compare different NGOs and analyze factors that impact organizational effectiveness. Key challenges facing NGO leaders are analyzed and students provide recommendations to improve organizational performance. Course topics include assessment of NGO strategies, organizational resources and financing, and stakeholder relations. Other topics include analysis of countries' demographics, culture, healthcare delivery, policies, and external environment. It is recommended that students in the Global Health Program Management concentration or certificate complete HC4500 and HC4510 prior to registering for this course. Students in other concentrations or programs may take this course at any time as an elective.

HC 4530 Regulatory Affairs in Global Health Management (4 Credits)

This course discusses the various regulatory requirements of conducting healthcare related business from the perspective of research, development, and marketing of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Both domestic and international requirements will be examined. Students will develop a template of skills for investigating healthcare related compliance issues that can be adapted to specific markets as needed.

HC 4701 Topics in Healthcare Management (1-10 Credits)

This is an advanced special topics seminar course. The focus is on specialized areas of interest. Topics courses may be used as electives within the Healthcare Leadership degree and certificates, and, with advance approval from Academic Director, may substitute for core courses in the degree or certificate programs.

HC 4805 Virtual Care: Opportunities and Barriers for Health Systems (4 Credits)

Leaders in telehealth and virtual care settings must learn to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of populations. Students will explore the factors that impact the success of telehealth and virtual care programming including barriers to care, the social determinants of health (SDOH), and the concerns of special populations. Students will develop the skills needed to create a telehealth and virtual care plan that takes into account health policy and regulatory compliance, best practices in population health, and the social context of the healthcare system.

HC 4900 Experiential Learning in Healthcare (4 Credits)

This course is for students who want to do independent research by completing an industry project and serves as a connector between research methods and a student’s Capstone Project. The course will connect an academic research question with an experiential learning opportunity in healthcare for students as they prepare for their Capstone Project experience. Students will choose a Capstone Advisor, choose a topic, develop a thesis statement, explore project methodologies, write a proposal, and complete the necessary Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements. Students will also agree to the structure and deliverables of their projects. There is an expectation for face to face (virtual is acceptable) meetings between students and their prospective Capstone Advisor during this course. This course is a prerequisite for any students planning to complete the Capstone Project (HC 4901) as it is the beginning of the Capstone Project process. Prerequisites: approval by Academic Director, acceptance as a degree candidate, and completion of between 30-40 quarter-hours. This course meets an elective option.

HC 4901 Capstone Project (4 Credits)

The Capstone Project provides students the opportunity to research a topic, problem, or issue within their field of study, and work individually with a Capstone advisor. Similar in weight to a thesis, but more flexible, this final project will synthesize and apply core concepts acquired from the program. The student will select an appropriate Capstone advisor who is knowledgeable in the field of study to work closely with and whom can guide the research project. Evaluation will be focused on the quality and professionalism of applied research and writing; critical and creative thinking; problem-solving skills; knowledge of research design, method, and implementation; and contribution to the field and topic of study. Please see the Capstone Guidelines for additional details. Prerequisites: A Capstone Proposal that has been approved by both the Capstone Advisor and the Academic Director, acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

HC 4902 Capstone Seminar (4 Credits)

The Capstone Seminar is a graduate seminar in which students utilize the knowledge and skills gained through the degree program to create a culminating work that critically addresses a problem in their degree field of study. The students produce a Capstone of 7000-8000 words that presents a position on a relevant problem, supports the position with professional and academic literature, analyzes and tests the proposed solution, and discusses the findings as related to the field of study. The seminar is dependent upon quality, collegial discussion, and feedback of students’ research and work products, under the facilitation of a faculty member. The course structure guides the students through the process of independent, secondary research and writing of a Capstone. No primary research is allowed. Students generate the course content through ongoing discussion and peer feedback on the Capstone process and individual topic areas under investigation. Students professionally and academically communicate through written work and oral presentation. Students must have: Acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Students must complete the Capstone Seminar in one quarter; no incomplete grades are assigned.

HC 4904 Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar (4 Credits)

The Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar is a graduate seminar in which students utilize the knowledge and skills gained through the degree program to create a culminating work that critically addresses a problem or issue in the degree field of study. Members of the class will include students from various UCOL programs, representing multiple topics of study. On campus offerings of this course include required online components. The student produces a paper of 7000-8000 words that presents a position on a relevant problem or issue, supports the position with professional and academic work in the field, analyzes and tests the paper position, and discusses the role of the findings within the field of study. Students professionally and academically communicate their findings through written work and oral presentations. The seminar is dependent upon active and collegial discussion and critique of student research and work under the facilitation of a faculty member, and it is governed by the quality of participation and contributions of the students. Students must have: Acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Students must complete the Capstone Seminar in one quarter; no incomplete grades are assigned.

HC 4910 Research Practices and Applications (4 Credits)

This course develops competencies including principles and practices of: academic inquiry, writing, and ethics. Students will complete Institutional Review Board (IRB) training, data collection, analysis, and evaluation; and synthesize application of peer-reviewed literature. Competencies will be applied and integrated throughout the course of study and demonstrated in the culminating work of the master’s degree. Competencies are additionally developed for use in professional employment settings.

HC 4915 Experiential Learning in Business (4 Credits)

This course is for learners who want to increase their range of business skills and industry experience. As learners navigate ten modules, they will walk through reflection on specific activities related to professional business skills. These skills include items such as building a personal brand, creating value add, informational interviewing, negotiating, and system evaluation. This course will use virtual reality to ensure an equitable experience for remote students. At the culmination of this course, learners will have a basic set of professional business skills they can use throughout their careers.

HC 4980 Internship (0-10 Credits)

The Healthcare Internship is designed to offer students a purposeful experience in a practical, industry related setting. The internship is an individualized learning experience. A training plan is created for each student in conjunction with the internship site supervisor to provide experiences related to the skills and knowledge covered in the certificate and master’s programs as well as professional goals. Students are responsible for finding their own internship site and proposing their internship ideas. University College will send notification to all Healthcare students if they hear of internship possibilities. Students may also work through the DU career center, to explore opportunities for internship experiences.

HC 4991 Independent Study (1-8 Credits)

This is an advanced course for students wishing to pursue an independent course of study. The student must be accepted in a degree program, have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or better, obtained the approval of the department director, and have completed the Independent Study form and filed the form with all appropriate offices before registering for the independent study. Independent Study is offered only on a for-credit basis.

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