2020-2021 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 sucessful pursuit of the CPHQ certification exam. Core competencies, aligned with the CPHQ certification exam, to be explored in detail include: Leadership and Managment; Quality and Performance Improvement; Healthcare Safety; Information Managament 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 explores ethical considerations encountered throughout the United States' healthcare industry as well as within the broader global environment. Both clinical and non-clinical scenarios will be examined. Students will learn to apply ethical principles, theories, and concepts to analyze and draw conclusions for a broad range of ethical dilemmas. Through readings, class discussions, and assignments, students will recognize how ethical considerations vary depending on the perspective of the stakeholder or assessor, a critcal step in making ethical decisions with no single right answer.

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 4301 Foundations of Digital Health (4 Credits)

Health information technology (HIT) can improve cost and efficiency when systems are properly evaluated, implemented, and optimized. Effective IT systems are also increasingly being associated with better patient outcomes and reduced costs. However, healthcare has lagged behind other industries in the adoption of IT systems. A major challenge to healthcare professionals is to articulate the major underlying technical concepts involved in the jargon-filled world of health information technology. This foundational course provides a working knowledge of key HIT definitions and concepts. It is not designed to turn students into network administrators or software developers; rather it is to equip students to become an active and valuable participant – or even a team leader – in the evaluation, selection, implementation and ongoing operation of health information systems. NOTE: This course is a prerequisite for HC 4325 unless approved by the academic director.

HC 4310 Healthcare Information Systems (4 Credits)

Electronic health records systems (electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records (EHRs), personal health records (PHRs), and health information exchanges (HIEs)) are all the buzz these days, yet for the past 30 years the healthcare sector has clung to paper records, file folders, and clipboards. This course will explore the technical and controversial aspects of healthcare information technology in general, and the specific factors involving evaluation and adoption of EMR systems. The course also covers the fundamental components of modern electronic records systems and reviews their impact on both business and clinical functions. Key areas of interoperability, interfaces, and standards will be introduced. The course will be practical and thought-provoking as it emphasizes critical thinking and the synthesis of ideas from multiple sources and perspectives. Participants will be challenged to develop their own viewpoints and opinions, substantiated by the published work of those who are thought leaders in the field of HIT, as well as the participants’ own experiences.

HC 4315 Digital and Virtual Health (4 Credits)

The lack of access to proper medical facilities presents a gap in quality healthcare, particularly populations, geographies, and specialties. Other populations simply prefer receiving some healthcare services in locations and/or during times that are more patient-centric. This course will present the advantages and challenges of telehealth services to close these gaps, and to develop more efficiencies in providing healthcare services across populations. This course will also cover a broad variety of healthcare services and specialties but will focus on services and specialties that primarily utilize synchronous technologies. After a broad review of the telehealth field, this course will focus on how to set up, sustain, and lead a telehealth, digital, or virtual program. This will include regulatory issues such as state-based licensure, state-based licensing boards, emergency management procedures, reimbursement, and credentialing and privileging. In addition to these regulatory issues, the course will focus on current and emerging technologies, how to conduct a needs assessment, define staff training needs, overcome resistance, market services, implement different business models, and evaluate best practices for leading virtual teams. The course will also cover how some innovative and emerging technologies such as mobile apps and virtual reality are being used in healthcare.

HC 4325 Values and Outcomes in Digital Health (4 Credits)

This course covers the major healthcare information technologies and topics other than electronic health records systems. Electronic health records systems represent a large focus in healthcare technology; however, many other important systems form the complete framework of modern connected healthcare. These include electronic practice management (EPM/PMS) systems, scheduling, billing, diagnostics/labs, reporting, payment interfaces, and business intelligence in healthcare. This course focuses on the fundamentals of how to be an analyst of health IT technology.

HC 4335 Healthcare Cybersecurity (4 Credits)

This course will introduce students to information security risks facing the healthcare industry. Students will learn how to protect healthcare organizations and their patients’ data better. Students will learn about recent security breaches, the impact of those breaches on healthcare organizations, and all of the key players involved. This course also covers the evolution of healthcare IT and the continuously evolving risk and regulatory landscape. Students will explore regulations of HIPAA, NIST/ONC, HITECH, and Meaningful Use and how they relate to day-to-day operations in healthcare organizations. Additionally, this course will prepare students to support information security initiatives in order to protect the organization while furthering the advancement of healthcare IT capabilities. This is not a technical course; however, the course covers how security is impacted by technology and what one must do across technology to secure healthcare systems, organizations and patients.

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 4600 Healthcare Data and Delivery by Perspective (4 Credits)

This course evaluates the environment of the U.S. healthcare delivery system and introduces the 4P (patient, provider, payer, population) perspective framework. This framework is generated from the natural flow of healthcare delivery starting with the patient, moving to the provider, towards the payer, and evolving into population health. Students will learn about the associated data that is generated from the patient as a consumer, from the provider through clinical operations, from the payer perspective, and finally how all of these contribute toward population health data. This course will cover the basics of U.S. healthcare research and clinical intervention, and students will have the ability to model the conceptual as well as practical application of health informatics.

HC 4610 Healthcare Ethics and Biostatistics (4 Credits)

This course discusses research investigator training and outlines the progression of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process. In addition, this IRB process will be compared with the business process improvement cycle. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as data governance issues are surveyed from the patient, provider, payer, and population perspectives. The connections between these topics and ethics are explored, and the principles of biostatistics are discussed. Common statistical packages used within healthcare research and business applications are covered, and this course concludes with an analysis of resulting ethical implications of short- and long-term healthcare data. Prerequisite: HC 4600.

HC 4620 Healthcare Methods and Programming (4 Credits)

This course presents the basic study designs of epidemiology and illustrates the field’s benefit to the healthcare industry. Randomized control trials (RCT) through correlation studies are explained through case studies as well as practical application. Informatics tools such as machine learning, clinical decision support, and natural language processing (NLP) are categorized with respect to their relative positions in the 4P (patient, provider, payer, population) perspective framework. This framework is generated from the natural flow of healthcare delivery starting with the patient, moving to the provider, progressing on to the payer, and evolving into population health. This course concludes with the many benefits of auditing as a check and balance for healthcare methods and programming. Prerequisite: HC 4600.

HC 4630 Healthcare Data Mining, Integration, and Interpretation (4 Credits)

This course explores available public healthcare data sets and the data mining process. In addition, this course articulates the value of mapping relationships between data points and workflows. This process determines the level of integration of disparate data sources and is explored through the 4P (patient, provider, payer, population) perspectives. This framework is generated from the natural flow of healthcare delivery starting with the patient, moving to the provider, progressing on to the payer, and evolving into population health. Once the data sources are integrated, the focus becomes how to turn this data to into information, knowledge, and insight. This course wraps up by exploring both business and research options for interpreting data through visualizations and predictive analytics. Prerequisite: HC 4600.

HC 4640 Healthcare Database Applications (4 Credits)

This course covers the growing functions of security in healthcare data and specifically elaborates on the vulnerabilities and emerging solutions for dealing with data once it is stored. Database architecture is surveyed, which transitions into an exploration of terminologies and standards and how these impact interoperability of data in warehouses. A significant portion of this course focuses on the specifics of medical coding and how coding is affected by the 4P perspectives. This framework is generated from the natural flow of healthcare delivery starting with the patient, moving to the provider, progressing on to the payer, and evolving into population health. The course wraps up with a compilation of Structured Query Language (SQL) capabilities and a study of their influence of their practical application.

HC 4650 Healthcare Project Management and Professionalism (4 Credits)

This course applies skillsets acquired during the course of the program. It is important to learn how to utilize these skillsets, as well as to understand how cultural issues influence processes within the healthcare delivery system. In addition, this course compares research collaborations and business mergers and acquisitions. Finally, the course includes exercises to build professionalism in reporting to convey actionable items. The combination of all of these skills informs students’ strategies for addressing change management, program implementation, and evaluation. At the culmination of this course, students will have a baseline proficiency in the cultural aspects that are required to succeed as a healthcare informatics and analytics professional. Prerequisites: HC 4600, HC 4610, HC 4620, HC 4630, and HC 4640.

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 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. A final grade of a B- or better is required to pass.

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. A final grade of B- or better is required in this course to meet degree requirements. 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. A final grade of B- or better is required in this course to meet degree requirements. 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 competency in principles of research and measurement for use in the professional setting. As an initial course in the program of study, students will learn research methods to apply to program and systems design and evaluation to achieve successful measurement of outcomes and goals. Students will become critical consumers of pertinent literature to provide background and support for the choice and application of proper qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis for professional application. Critical thinking through comparing and contrasting cause and effect is used to build logic models. Research, design, and evaluation processes that address issues of implementation, feasibility, and sustainability are emphasized. At the conclusion of this course students will be prepared to apply and clearly communicate the practice of scientific research principles in the professional environment to ensure that the question being asked can be answered through rigorous research and the design and formative assessment of the program or system. Completion of Institutional Review Board (IRB) training via CITI Program is required as a basis for discussion of research ethics and IRB procedures. Competencies gained in this course, including practices of inquiry, self-analysis, and evaluation, will be applied and integrated throughout the course of study and demonstrated in the culminating capstone work of the master’s degree. This course is required of all degree-seeking students and should be taken in the first three quarters of enrollment.

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 (1-10 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.

HC 4992 Directed Study (1-8 Credits)

This is an advanced course for students wishing to pursue a directed 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 Directed Study form and filed the form with all appropriate offices before registering for the directed study. Directed Study is offered only on a for-credit basis.

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