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School for Adult Learning Graduate Programs

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Healthcare Consumer Advocacy Graduate Certificate Course Descriptions


Online quiz to determine readiness

The online quiz helps you determine general readiness and technological readiness to succeed in an online program environment. Follow suggested guidelines to enhance and improve online readiness if results indicate the need to do so.

HCCA 210–Healthcare Terminology (2 credits) (For those who do not have a healthcare background)

The course presents a basic overview of the vocabulary that is pertinent to the delivery of healthcare.  Basic anatomy and physiology terminology will be included, as well as terminology related to common ailments, diagnoses, and treatments.  This course will provide the foundation for obtaining healthcare literacy so that the Healthcare Advocate is knowledgeable in the terminology of healthcare issues.  It will also provide the infrastructure by which a Healthcare Advocate can assess the level of healthcare literacy of the healthcare consumer and his/her family.  A high level of healthcare literacy for both the Healthcare Advocate and the healthcare consumer is imperative for effective decision-making.

HCCA 500–Use of Online Management Systems

This course focuses on the use of ACE (Sakai), performing online searches and research, storing and presenting materials electronically, and using the various tools of ACE for certificate completion.  This is an asynchronous module which can be completed once a participant has been accepted into the Graduate Certificate for Healthcare Advocacy program.  There is no tuition for this course but it must be completed with a satisfactory result prior to beginning the certificate coursework.

Certificate Coursework (18-credit hours)

HCCA 510–Introduction to Healthcare Advocacy (3-credit hours)

This course focuses on the newly emerging field of healthcare consumer advocacy and its role in the healthcare system.  It explores the chronology of healthcare consumer advocacy in the United States from its inception as an idea to its current day implementation.  This course examines the various regulations and policies that govern healthcare in the United States, the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the policies and procedures that will evolve with implementation of the ACA.  Healthcare professions and their respective responsibilities are explored throughout this course. These include, but are not limited to, doctors, nurses, physician assistants and personnel employed in medical practices and/or long-term care facilities.  The concept and practice of cultural competency is introduced in this introductory class. The role of the Healthcare Advocate is explored throughout the course as it relates to the various components of the course.

HCCA 525–The Effects of Patient Illness (3-credit hours)

The first part of this course explores the various ways that the healthcare consumer’s illness impacts the healthcare consumer’s relationships, his/her self-identity, life choices, employment options, financial obligations and extrapolations, nutritional requirements, management of chronic diseases and overall mental and psychological health.  The second part of the course explores the multiple ways in which healthcare advocates support and guides each of these aspects of a patient’s life.  End-of-life care is a component of the second part of this course.

HCCA 530–Communication and Professionalism (3-credit hours)

The course explores the various ways in which healthcare advocates can and need to effectively communicate with healthcare consumers, their families, their caregivers, and their medical team.  The communication strategy of motivational interviewing is key within this course.  The ability to communicate effectively, accurately, and in a timely manner may well be the most important skill a healthcare advocate possesses.  This course continues the study and assessment of healthcare literacy for the Healthcare Advocate, the healthcare consumers, and their families.  A skill that is equally important is that of maintaining impeccable, accurate, and timely records of all communications between the healthcare consumer, the family, the caregivers and the healthcare team.  Strategies and techniques for maintaining accurate written record, even if electronically maintained, are explored in this course.  This course will also identify language barriers and cultural concerns and effective strategies for overcoming these potential issues.

HCCA 535–Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare (3-credit hours)

The course focuses on the ethical issues in healthcare and healthcare advocacy and their relationship to the legal implications of healthcare for both adults and children.  It focuses on potential courses of action, federal and state laws, and governmental involvement in the ethical and legal issues of healthcare.  Various legal case studies will be presented so that the student is able to identify the issues and allowed the opportunity to explore various paths to resolve the presented ethical and legal issues.

HCCA 540–Payment-for-Care Options (3-credit hours)

This course explores the healthcare financial system. It provides a chronology of healthcare financing, as well as the current environment for healthcare finance.  Students will explore public and private funding and become familiar with the various insurance terms, including Medicare and Medicaid.  The impact of payment-for-care options of the Affordable Care Act will be investigated and various case studies will provide the opportunity for the student to apply this information to the case studies.  The student will also learn how to navigate the payment-for-care systems in order to facilitate claims, as well as inclusions and exclusions, for the healthcare consumer and the healthcare consumer’s family.

HCCA 550–Healthcare Advocacy Capstone (3-credit hours)

The course will synthesize the learning from the previous courses.  Students will be given a healthcare consumer-centered case study, simulation, or scenario and develop a plan by which to navigate the healthcare consumer through the various transitions necessary for that individual.  Successful completion of that healthcare advocacy plan will determine the completion of the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Advocacy.  This course will also explore various resources, affiliations, associations, industry journals and organizations dedicated to maintaining currency in the healthcare advocacy field.