UNITEK COLLEGE OF NURSING

Health Care Economics Course Syllabus

Summer 2011 Term 1 

Professor:  Michael A. S. Guth, Ph.D., J.D.

 

 


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Michael A. S. GUTH, Ph.D., J.D.
Health Economics & Health Policy Researcher

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(E-mail is best method of contact).
  116 Oklahoma Ave.
  Oak Ridge, TN
  37830-8604
  Phone: (865) 483-8309

 



 

Course Description:  Health Economics is designed to teach you basic principles of microeconomics and how to use those principles when thinking about health care policy issues. We will use these principles to understand the demand for health care, the supply of health care, the health insurance market, and the role of the government in health policy.  The textbook provides an academic perspective on health care economics; the discussion boards and your term papers will provide very practical applications.

 

The course characterizes America’s health care industry by focusing on the market structure and the conduct and performance of the sub-sectors that compose this industry. Private insurance, pharmaceuticals, physician services, hospital service and medical education markets are evaluated. Within each of these sub-sectors, output and pricing decisions are analyzed along with the positive economic implications for efficiency as well as the normative ethical implications. Additionally, malpractice, risk, and the role of competition and government regulation as a tool to remedy inefficiencies and inequities in these markets are studied. Alternative health care systems are also studied, including the Canadian, German, British and Japanese health care systems.

 

The purpose of the course is not to make you health economists. Health Economics Course Syllabus  The purpose instead is threefold:  (1) to enrich your conceptual and technical understanding of the economic principles that drive the health care system (the role of economic incentives, competition, and regulation in the performance of the health care system), and (2) to teach you how consumers – with and without health insurance – are adapting to the system to receive health care at the lowest cost to them, and (3) to show how the United States could achieve enormous reductions in unnecessary deaths, demand for health care, and health care costs by changing the focus from “waiting for health problems to occur and having insurance pay for them” to “each person proactively taking charge of his or her health and preventing problems from occurring.”

 



 

Instructor Biography:  Dr. Michael Guth is a public health economics researcher and attorney at law based in Oak Ridge, TN.  He has taught more than thirty on-line courses for public and private universities in the areas of economics, finance, business strategy, and tax law.  His current research comprises public deficiencies in Vitamin D and the consequences to health care costs from weakened immune systems, loss of bone density, greater risk of heart attacks, and increased risks of cancer and stroke.  He is also interested in the health care benefits of lowering serum glucose levels in the general public to prevent a variety of diseases, including the now epidemic incidence of Type II diabetes.  Dr. Guth received his B.A. (economics) from Rice University, his M.S. in Social Sciences (quantitative economics) from Caltech, and his Ph.D. and J.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  Health Care Economics is one of his favorite courses to teach. This Health Economics Course Syllabus will be updated each term to reflect the latest trends in health economics research.

 

 

Returning Messages:  In general, I will respond to e-mail messages within 24 hours, but you can usually expect a response sooner than that.  During my normal office hours, students will receive responses usually in a matter of minutes.  Therefore, students should check their email accounts for a response shortly after they send me a message.  I will return long distance phone calls from students only if the matter is urgent.  For both urgent and non-urgent matters, students are asked to communicate with me through e-mail if at all possible.

 

 

Course Content / Topics Covered:


1.       Health Economics.

2.       Production Possibilities Curve.

3.       Opportunity Cost.

4.       Cost-Benefit Analysis.

5.       Theories of Health Economics.

6.        Healthcare System- Models Other Countries.

7.       First-Dollar Coverage.

8.       National And Socialized Health Insurance.

9.       The Production of Medical Services.

10.   Utilization Management Programs.

11.   Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility of Health Services.

12.   Structural, Process And Outcome Quality.

13.   Lifestyle, Medical Devices and Life Expectancy.

14.   Healthcare Expenditures.

15.   Law of Demand for Healthcare Services.

16.   Health Insurances Impact On Demand.

17.   Coinsurance and Deductibles.

18.   Indemnity Insurance.

19.   Moral Hazard.

20.   Own-Price Elasticity of Demand.

21.   Demand for Private Health Insurance.

22.   Risk Avoidance.

23.   Employer Contribution to Health Insurance.

24.   Insurer Relations.

25.   Types of Managed Care Models.

26.   Selective Contracting- Deselection.

27.   Managed Care Gag Rules.

28.   Short and Long Run Costs of Production.

29.   Neoclassical Cost Theory.

30.   Cost Identification Analysis.

31.   Under and Overprovision of Medical Services.

32.   Value of Life.

33.   Cost Effectiveness Analysis.

34.   Perfect Competition.

35.   Determination of Market Price and Quantity.

36.   Taxes And Location of For-Profit Hospitals.

37.   Regulated Market for Human Organs.

38.   Profit Maximization.

39.   Market Structure/Market Power.

40.   Degree of Monopoly.

41.   Oligopoly.

42.   Barriers to Market Entry.

43.   Imperfect Consumer Information.

44.   Monopsony And Price Setting.

45.   Product Differentiation and Advertising.

46.   Market Structure, Conduct And Performance.

47.   Not-For Profit Concepts.

48.   For-Profits and Profit Maximizing.

49.   Physician Control Model.

50.   Supplier Induced Demand.

51.   Market Behavior and Hospital Ownership.

52.   Ownership Conversion of Not-For-Profit to For-Profit.

53.   Conversion Foundations.

54.   Size Distribution of Community Hospitals.

55.   Sources of Hospital Funds.

56.   Managed Care and Market Structure.

57.   Market Structure and Hospital Behavior.

58.   Hospital Ownership and Hospital Behavior.

59.   Drive Through Delivery.

60.   Integrated Delivery System.

61.   Hospital Price Inflation.




 

 

 

Learning Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

 

 

1.  REQUIRED:

 

Textbook Overview:  Health Care Economics is an introductory health economics textbook. It is more "user friendly" and less theoretical (mathematical) than many of the health care books on the market.  The book illustrates how microeconomic theory can be used to understand the operation of health care markets as well as to analyze various problems and issues related to health care economics.

 

2.  CLASS POLICIES:

I will try to give you hints throughout the course that will assist you with problems.  The Internet will be a valuable research and question-answering-tool for you in this course.  Although some of the problems in this course are challenging, you will find the Internet contains helpful references or explanations for techniques with which you might not be familiar.   However, there are several policies that will be followed:

 

 

 

4.  GRADING:

Unitek College

Institutional Grading Policy

 

Letter Grade

Range (%)

Grade Point

A

90.0-100.0

4.0

B

80.0-89.9

3.0

C

70.0-79.9

2.0

F

Below 70.0

0.0

 

 

 

 

Grading Rubric for Discussion Postings

 

 

10 (Excellent)

9 (Good)

8 (Fair)

7 (Poor)

Contribution to the Classroom

Posting is insightful, thorough, and interesting.

Posting is thorough and interesting.

Posting is interesting but lacks insight and depth.

Posting is uninteresting and/or too brief for the assignment.

Inspires Reply Postings from Other Students

A serious effort is made to frame the discussion posting in such a way as to encourage others to reply.  Posting generates questions and opens up new avenues for discussion.

A serious effort is made to frame the discussion posting in such a way as to encourage others to reply.

Some effort is made to frame the discussion posting in such a way as to encourage others to reply.

No effort is made to frame the discussion posting in such a way as to encourage others to reply.

Demonstrated Understanding of the Reading Assignment

Posting demonstrates a thorough understanding of the reading assignment and is substantiated by several examples from the textbook and/or companion website.

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the reading assignment and is substantiated by at least one example from the textbook and/or companion website.

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the reading assignment but is not substantiated by examples from the textbook and/or companion website.

Posting demonstrates very little understanding of the reading assignment.

Grammar, Mechanics, Spelling, and Sentence Structure

Posting is highly polished; no grammar or spelling errors.

Posting is polished; maximum of one grammar or spelling error.

Posting is adequate; maximum of two grammar or spelling errors.

Inadequate posting; more than two spelling or grammar errors.

 


GRADING RUBRIC FOR ESSAYS

 

Category

0-4 points

5-8 points

9-12 points

13-16 points

17-20 points

Technical requirements (grammar, punctuation, spelling, typed, double-spaced, min. Length; font size no larger than 12

Grammar, punctuation, spelling errors are frequent and distracting; not typed; or d-spaced or not min length

Grammar, punctuation, & spelling errors are frequent and distracting(>3 but <10); typed, d-spaced, and at least 3 pp. Long.

Major grammar, punctuation, & spelling errors (>3 but <10); typed, d-spaced, and min length

Minor (<3) grammar, punctuation, & spelling errors; typed, d-spaced, and at least 3 pp long.

Essay is technically flawless; typed, d-spaced, and at least 3 pp long.

Documentation: valid sources; signal phrases; quotes, paraphrases, and summaries are appropriately documented; adequate original ideas. Works are cited plagiarism is avoided.*

Sources are not appropriate; no signal phrases; inadequate documentation;

Sources not appropriate; no signal phrases; research is somewhat documented but not well integrated; paper overly dependent on outside sources.

Sources appropriate. No signal phrases. Research is documented but not well integrated; too dependent on outside sources.

Sources appropriate; use of signal phrases; research is fairly well integrated and fairly well documented. Works not cited properly.

Sources are appropriate; signal phrases are used to introduce research which is properly documented; works cited.

Thesis is debatable point. Opposing viewpoint considered; specific supporting evidence. Sensitivity to audience.

Thesis is not clear or is a fact; opposing views ignored. Lacks specific evidence; writer not sensitive to audience.

Thesis is clear but weak; evidence is weak or very general. Opposition ignored, no sensitivity to audience.

Thesis is debatable point; inadequate evidence. Opposition considered; some sensitivity to audience.

Thesis is debatable point; supporting evidence is moderate. Some sensitivity to audience.

Thesis is a debatable point; opposing points recognized; specific supporting evidence; sensitive to audience.

Demonstrates understanding of theories or methods or concepts discussed in class.

Does not demonstrate understanding of topics discussed in class.

Demonstrates lack of understanding of 3 or more topics.

Demonstrates fair under-standing of 1-2 topics.

Demonstrates good understanding of 3-4 topics.

Demonstrates good understanding of 4-5 topics.

Critical thinking and analysis

Shows no effort and/or analysis.

Shows minimal effort and analysis.

Shows adequate effort and analysis.

Shows excellent effort and analysis.

Shows exceptional effort and analysis.

                                                                                                            Total Score
COMPUTING YOUR FINAL GRADE

Assignments:

Percentage:

Date:

GRADING SCALE:

Midterm Paper

30%

Due at end of Week 4

A to F

Final Paper

30%

Due at end of Week 8

A to F

Homework

20%

Weekly

High Pass or Fail, with cumulative letter grade A to F at the end of the term.

Threaded Discussions

20%

Weekly

A to F

 

ASSIGNMENTS:

Homework assignments are due at the end of the week for the assigned reading.  A week is defined in this course as beginning on Monday and ending on the following Sunday.  Assignments will also be posted to the Moodle Web page for this course.   Students should turn in their assignments through the digital drop box on Moodle.  The homework assignments will be graded on a pass-fail basis subject to the following condition:  to receive a passing grade on the homework, the student must turn in answers that merit an A or B letter grade.  If a student does not complete the homework in a satisfactory manner, the assignment will be rejected and the student will have to resubmit corrected answers if he or she wants credit for that assignment.  Students will have only one opportunity to resubmit their homework assignment.   Because students will be solving objective, numerical problems with each week’s homework assignments, the midterm and final exams have been replaced with mid-term and final course papers. 

 

ACTIVE STUDENT LEARNING

 

Students will actively learn about health care economics in two manners.  First, the two required papers and the discussion board topics will bring in current events and the latest medical research that has an impact on health care economics.  The midterm paper must pertain to a topic that concerns both nutrition and health care economics.  Writing on nutrition alone or on health care economics unrelated to nutrition will not be acceptable.  The final term paper is more broadly concerned with efficiency and the economics of health care.  Both of these assignments will require students to demonstrate creativity and not merely regurgitate the same old information about the rising costs of health care.  Students will be asked to “think outside the box” and discuss how health care should be provided cost effectively, not merely describe how it is provided today.

 

Second, the weekly homework assignments ensure that students will master the contents of the textbook and the ambitious learning objectives for this course.  By turning in weekly homework assignments on their chapter reading assignments, students will prove they understand the economic concepts well enough to solve problems posed to them at the end of each assigned chapter.  Hopefully, the work and exercise of preparing homework answers will lead students to incorporate new material and economics concepts into their course papers that they would have otherwise overlooked.

 

 

 

HANDY HINTS:

 

The best way to do well this class is to:

 

(1) participate actively in the course discussion board,

(2) frequently examine the rest of the course web site,

(3) do the homework,

(4) read the book, and

(5) STUDY!

 

ASSIGNMENTS:

 

WEEK 1 REQUIRED READINGS:

·         Getzen, Allan, and Moore (hereafter referred to as Text) Chapters 1 & 2.

·         There are no homework exercises in the first week of this course.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.

 

WEEK 2  REQUIRED READING:

·         Text Chapters 3 & 4.

·         Homework exercises for Chapters 3 & 4 are due at the end of the week.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board. 

 

WEEK 3  REQUIRED READING:

·         Text Chapters 5 & 6.

·         Homework exercises for Chapters 5 & 6 are due at the end of the week.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.

 

WEEK 4

*At the end of Week 4, the first course paper is due.  The first paper will concern a topic in health care economics and nutrition.

REQUIRED READING:

·         Text Chapters 7 & 8.

·         Homework exercises for Chapters 7 & 8 are due at the end of the week.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.

 

WEEK 5  REQUIRED READINGS

·         Text Chapters 9 & 10

·         Homework exercises for Chapters 9 & 10 are due at the end of the week.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.

 

WEEK 6   REQUIRED READING:

·         Text  Chapters 11 & 12. 

·         Homework exercises for Chapters 11 & 12 are due at the end of the week.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.

 

 

WEEK 7   REQUIRED READING:

·         Text Chapters 13 & 14.

·         Homework exercises for Chapters 13 & 14 are due at the end of the week.

·         Go to the Lecture Notes button on Moodle and read the Power Point slides / lecture notes for the two chapters assigned this week.

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.

 

 

WEEK 8

*At the end of Week 8, the second course paper is due.  This paper will concern one or more methods to improve the provision of health care either through lower costs, reaching more people for the same level of expenditures, or some aspect of health care economics.  Students are free to select any topic covered in the textbook or suggest a new topic that interests them.

REQUIRED READING:

·         Text  No additional reading

·         No Homework exercises

·         Post at least three scholarly messages and three or more other messages to this week’s discussion board.