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Course Descriptions

Course NumberCourse Title and DescriptionCredit Hours
MHA 619Health Care Human Relations Management
This course provides an overview ofthe nature, organization, and function of human resources in health care organizations.  Emphasis is placed on applications to real-world problems, rather than viewing human resources as an isolated function. This course begins with the Professional Development Seminar I (MHA 801) course and together make up the On-Campus Experience I.  Though the course begins during the On-Campus Experience it will continue online through the end of the term. Corequisite: MHA 801.
3.0
MHA 621Overview of the U.S. Health System
This course is a comprehensive analysis of the health care delivery system including the interface with the public health system and public health services. Components studied include members of the health care team and their roles; the solo practitioner; group practice; multi-specialty; HMOs; remote-site hospital clinics; tax-supported ambulatory health care facilities; home health care; mobile health care; mental health care; other inpatient and domiciliary care facilities; long-term care facilities; local, state and federal direct care and regulatory agencies; nonprofit organization promoting health and/or providing services; health planning and coordinating bodies at various levels; accrediting agencies for health care facilities and personnel; organizations representing health care personnel and facilities; organizations representing health care consumers; and health care services financing and reimbursement in public and private systems. Formal, informal, financial, and political relationships between and among these components are discussed. Additional topics include problems and potential solutions related to health services delivery and health care reform; consideration of differences between the U.S. system and the systems in other regions of the world; and trends in issues, policy, financing, regulation, and technology in U.S. health care.
3.0
MHA 625Health Care Financial Management I
This course provides a basic understanding of health services financial management with emphasis on the not-for-profit entity. We will begin with elementary accounting concepts and then focus on discounted cash flow analysis, risk, financial statements, capital investments, debt and equity financing, capital budgeting, and health care reimbursement models. The course blends accounting and finance concepts to enhance the health care manager’s decision-making skills using accounting and finance theories, principles, concepts and techniques most important to managers in the health care industry.
3.0
MHA 626Organizational Behavior and Leadership Theory
This course will provide a broad introduction to the theory, structure, and function of organizations, and the behavior of working in people in them. The primary purpose of the course will be to equip students with an understanding of organizational theory and related practical techniques for managing effectively in complex health care environments.
3.0
MHA 627Legal and Ethics I
Clinical Decision Making: Health law and bioethics are broad, dynamic and interrelated fields.  This course will address major legal, ethical, and policy aspects of controversies in clinical health care delivery.  Students will gain a working knowledge about how law and ethics can be applied to real-world health care issues.
2.0
MHA 628Legal and Ethics II
The Business of Health Care: This course provides an overview of legal and ethical issues facing the health care industry.  Students will gain a working knowledge about the influence that laws, policies and ethics have on the regulation, structure, and financing of the American health care system.  Select topics include scope of practice, licensure and regulation of health care providers; common forms and structures of health care enterprises; and the function of licensure, accreditation and inspection in quality assurance for health facilities. Prerequisite: MHA 627
2.0
MHA 629Organizational Development I
Systems Improvement: This course will incorporate a survey of contemporary organizational theory focusing on concepts relevant to health service organizations and systems.  Emphasizing organizational environment, goals, strategy, structure and processes.  The course provides a comprehensive overview of the key factors affecting an organization and exposes the student to theories that suggest effective organizational responses to such influences and changes.
3.0
MHA 630Health Care Financial Management II
This course builds on the foundational learning from Health Care Financial Management I.  We will shift our focus to for-profit entities within the health care sector.  The course goes into greater depth on discounted cash flow analysis, risk, financial performance evaluation, capital investments, capital budgeting, debt and equity financing.  A key objective of this class is to develop the student’s ability to engage in long-term financial forecasting and planning.  Students will complete a comprehensive financial forecast as their final project for this field of study. Prerequisite: MHA 625.
3.0
MHA 631Health Information Management
This course prepares students practicing in the health care industry to effectively identify, use and manage health information technologies.  Specific topics include an introduction to technologies and information systems supporting health care organizations; technology security; regulatory and compliance issues; system acquisition, implementation and support; health information exchange; alignment of technology initiatives; strategic planning; and assessing value in health information technology.
3.0
MHA 633Population Health and Managerial Epidemiology
This course is a demonstrated application of principles and tools of epidemiology to the health care management decision-making process. It requires the student to apply skills learned in Block I and II courses with an application of statistics testing and financial models. The course will challenge the students to combine traditional public health models with contemporary theories of management. The students will demonstrate how health care leaders can incorporate the practice of epidemiology into complex management functions.  The course structure includes an initial, reading-intense introduction to epidemiological principles, followed by a four-week, self-guided research, and concludes with a six-week structured case analysis based on the student derived research.  This course is preparatory for Block III courses, sets the stage for case study analysis and builds a potential model for the student’s use in the Field Based Learning experience.
2.0
MHA 642Long-Term Care Internship
The course is a field experience in which the student rotates throughout the nursing facility’s (NF’s) departments and functional areas to develop an intuitive feel for organizational life inside a nursing facility.  This course serves as an alternative to MHA 749 Field Based Learning.  The hours spent in this internship must adhere to the practicum requirements set forth in the Iowa Administrative Code regarding nursing home administration practicums.  Students outside the state of Iowa are expected to learn the requirements for licensure within their state and provide a copy for the course faculty to review.The LTC Internship is meant to provide the student with hands-on experience in a long-term care setting that is appropriate for the student’s growth and learning. This internship must be at least 400 hours and be guided under the direction of a qualified licensed nursing home administrator. The student must propose the internship experience to the preceptor and course faculty for review and approval.  Once approval is provided, the course faculty will request that the student be registered for the course.  Students successfully completing the long-term care internship (along with the balance of their MHA degree) should meet the state of Iowa practicum requirements to sit for the examination for licensure as a nursing home administrator.IMPORTANT NOTE:  Long-term care licensure in Iowa is regulated by the state.  It is the sole responsibility of the student to assure and verify he/she has met the legal requirements for certification.  Program faculty will assist with the requirements through the offering of the internship course (i.e., monitoring approved hours, verification of preceptor qualifications, providing an opportunity to reflect on the overall experience, etc.), but final responsibility for meeting all state, national or other licensure requirements rests with the student.
3.0
MHA 644Health Care Economics and Policy
An introduction to the theoretical foundations of health care economics and its application to the health care industry. Understand how economic trends can impact a wide range of health care issues such as markets, payment systems, and policy.
3.0
MHA 646Strategic Marketing and Communications
This course is designed to build innovative, customer-centered, thinking within the future leaders of the health care industry. This is accomplished with an introduction to the role of strategic decision-making through the core principles of marketing (the four P’s).  Students will also experience basic database management, the conduct of an internal and external environmental analysis, primary and secondary data gathering and interpretation and creation of a marketing plan to meet an unsatisfied market need or build volume for a health care product or service.  Finally, the role of corporate communication will be interwoven throughout the course as it supports marketing success.
2.0
MHA 648Organizational Development II
Process Development: This course is about operations management and the strategic implementation of programs, techniques and tools for reducing cost and improving quality in health organizations.  It covers the basics of operations management and explains how operation and process improvement relates to health care trends.   In addition, this course introduces the theories and tools related to organizational and process improvement. Prerequisite: MHA 629.
3.0
MHA 650Health Care Statistics and Research
This is an introductory course that exposes the student to the use of statistical techniques for health care data analysis. Topics covered include research design, data acquisition, types of data, univariate and bivariate data summarization techniques, tabular and graphical data presentation, inferential techniques using different theoretical distributions and introduction to the use of multivariate statistical techniques. Students will learn to apply statistical techniques for decision-making and/or research data analysis.
3.0
MHA 742Strategy Formulation and Implementation
Having an effective strategy is widely seen as essential for organizational success. However, in practice, defining exactly what constitutes a “strategy” can prove surprisingly difficult. Indeed, the academic literature on strategy creation and implementation might be characterized as complex, confusing, and often directly contradictory.  This course attempts to clarify and cut through these contradictions. We will examine the nature of strategy, what it is (and isn’t) and how one actually comes to develop an effective business strategy. You will be exposed to 10 leading “schools” or ways of thinking about strategy, and we will review the evidence for and against each methodology.  You will also learn the distinction between strategic analysis and the act of strategy formulation.  In the later part of the course, we will turn our attention to the equally important task of implementation. We will see that quite often, creating strategy has little to do with notions of traditional “strategic planning or strategy models.”This course begins with the Professional Development Seminar II (MHA 802) course and together make up On-Campus Experience II.  Though the course begins during the On-Campus Experience it will continue online through the end of the term. Prerequisites: MHA 801, MHA 619. Corequisite: MHA 802
2.0
MHA 748Organizational Development III
Tools Application: This course will provide hands on learning opportunities for students to discover and practice quality improvement theories and tools through practical application. Lessons will incorporate a series of the MHA curriculum including personal experiences, discovering how to improve organizational systems and processes.   At the outcome of the class, the student will be able to apply basic quality and continuous improvement tools in a work or personal setting. This course begins with the Professional Development Seminar III (MHA 803) course and together make up On-Campus Experience III. Though the course begins during the On-Campus Experience, it will continue online through the end of the term. Prerequisites: MHA 802, MHA 742, MHA 648. Corequisite: MHA 803
1.0
MHA 749Field-Based Learning
This course serves a culminating experience in which students are expected to apply knowledge gained from their graduate experience.  The course is designed to provide a field-based experience in which students demonstrate mastery of the programs curriculum and allow an opportunity for closure and connection between courses.  The purpose of this field-based experience is to facilitate the integration and synthesis of program content through critical thinking; it is also a turning point for the student from education to professional practice.Students may choose from the following optional tracts within the Field Based Learning experience:

  • Long-Term Care (requires additional 400 hour LTC practicum)
  • Research (requires sponsoring faculty approval)

Prerequisite: Students beginning their degree prior to fall 2012:  36.0 credit hours of core MHA courses; it is recommended MHA 749 be the last course the student completes.  Students beginning their degree fall 2012 or later:  completion of all MHA courses and on-campus experiences; MHA 803 is a suggested co-requisite to MHA 749 and enrollment in MHA 749 must be in the student’s final term.

3.0
MHA 801Professional Development Seminar I: Blending Theory with Practice
The MHA on-campus experiences are designed to help students build interpersonal skills, assemble key knowledge and bridge theory with practice in an intense learning community environment. Drawing on the benefits of a cohort-based curriculum, while providing the flexibility of an online degree needed by working professionals, the residency experience lets learners demonstrate their learning with faculty, support the growth and understanding of peers, and integrate the NCHL competencies into their scholarly and practical work.Students will be welcomed to the campus by key officials and receive a comprehensive orientation to the MHA program and graduate level education. Select topics that will be addressed include personal leadership, understanding differences in other, evidence-based scholarship, graduate writing, and competency-based education. Students will review their academic portfolio with their academic advisor and discuss their leadership development plans for the first phase of their academic program.Students meet with their peers in learning communities, led by their academic advisor and peers who are further in the program to support, mentor and grow as scholars and leaders.

Pre-residency work includes self-assessment, reading, self-reflection, and setting up student’s electronic portfolio accounts. Work during the residency includes participation in learning community activities, seminar-based learning, and, one-on-one and group reviews and critiques.

Post-residency work includes submission of assignments, participation in online discussions, and application, analysis and synthesis of residency content.  Students will update their learning portfolios with required documents and added portfolio assignments and, when complete, submit them to their academic advisor for review.

This seminar begins during the On-Campus Experience and continues online through the end of the term.  A residency fee is charged to those who enroll.  This fee provides most meals, snacks, and beverages, as well as the cost of required workbooks, educational materials and supplies, and a five-year subscription to the program’s electronic portfolio tool.  The student is responsible for purchasing required textbooks.  Corequisite: MHA 619

2.0
MHA 802Professional Development Seminar II
Blending Theory with Practice: The MHA on-campus experiences are designed to help students build interpersonal skills, assemble key knowledge and bridge theory with practice in an intense learning community environment. Drawing on the benefits of a cohort-based curriculum, while providing the flexibility of an online degree needed by working professionals, the residency experience lets learners demonstrate their learning with faculty, support the growth and understanding of peers, and integrate the NCHL competencies into their scholarly and practical work.Students will be welcomed back to the campus by key officials and will be challenged to build on and integrate their prior learning with new content to include personal and organizational wellness, change leadership, ways to work with a governing board, advocacy, conflict management, work/life balance and ethical decision-making simulations.Students will review their academic portfolio with their academic advisor and discuss their leadership development plans for the final block of courses.Students meet with their own peers in learning communities and will assume the role as mentors or guides to the new students enrolled in MHA 801.Pre-residency work includes self-assessment, reading, and self-reflection. Work during the residency includes participation in learning community activities, seminar-based learning and one-on-one and group reviews and critiques.

Post-residency work includes submission of assignments, participation in online discussions, and application, analysis and synthesis of residency content. Students will update their learning portfolios with required documents and added portfolio assignments and, when complete, submit them to their academic advisor for review.

This seminar begins during the On-Campus Experience and continues online through the end of the term.  A residency fee is charged to those who enroll.  This fee provides most meals, snacks, and beverages, as well as the cost of required workbooks, educational materials and supplies.  The student is responsible for purchasing required textbooks. Prerequisites: MHA 801, MHA 619.  Corequisite: MHA 742

1.0
MHA 803Professional Development Seminars III
Blending Theory with Practice: The MHA on-campus experiences are designed to help students build interpersonal skills, assemble key knowledge and bridge theory with practice in an intense learning community environment. Drawing on the benefits of a cohort-based curriculum, while providing the flexibility of an online degree needed by working professionals, the residency experience lets learners demonstrate their learning with faculty, support the growth and understanding of peers, and integrate the NCHL competencies into their scholarly and practical work.Students will be welcomed back to the campus by key officials and will be challenged to build on and integrate their prior learning with new content to include project management, team leadership, the role of gender in health care leadership, storytelling, and the preparation and presentation of their Field Based Learning project proposal. Students will review their academic portfolio with their academic advisor and discuss their leadership development plans for the final phase of their academic programStudents teach their peers how to guide others in learning communities to mentor and grow as scholars and leaders.Pre-residency work includes self-assessment, reading, and self-reflection. Students must come to the residency with a preceptor and project identified for their Field-Based Learning project in MHA 749. Work during the residency includes participation in learning community activities, seminar-based learning, and one-on-one and group reviews and critiques.Post-residency work includes submission of assignments, participation in online discussions, and application, analysis and synthesis of residency content. Students will update their learning portfolios with required documents and added portfolio assignments and, when complete, submit them to their academic advisor for a final review and grade.

This seminar begins during the On-Campus Experience and continues online through the end of the term.  A residency fee is charged to those who enroll.  This fee provides most meals, snacks, and beverages, as well as the cost of required workbooks, educational materials and supplies.  The student is responsible for purchasing required textbooks. Prerequisite: MHA 802, MHA 742. Corequisite: MHA 748

1.0