Syllabus for HCM-308

Healthcare Legal and Ethical Considerations


The rapidly evolving healthcare system presents the healthcare administrator with complex challenges and risks. Healthcare administrators must be able to assess external and internal healthcare policies in order to improve organizational design and delivery of healthcare services. Healthcare Legal and Ethical Considerations focuses on the laws and regulations developed by policymakers that impact healthcare organizations. Students review key laws that govern patient care delivery, employee relations, contracts, and fraud. Also examined are the ethical underpinnings and principles that healthcare organizations and administrators follow in the delivery of services to patients.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Examine the sources of healthcare law.

CO2        Evaluate approaches to healthcare ethics.

CO3        Assess the interrelationships and roles of various healthcare providers and organizations.

CO4        Evaluate appropriate legal standards for use in healthcare organizations.

CO5         Evaluate appropriate ethical standards for use in healthcare organizations.

CO6        Analyze the relationship between ethics and law in the context of healthcare.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-1449694340

Other Resources


Healthcare Legal and Ethical Considerations is a three-credit, 12-week online course consisting of 12 modules. Activities include discussion questions, written assignments, exercises, and a final paper. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments and exercises, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in 17 graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. There is also one ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1.

You should follow the guidelines for discussion forums below.

  1. You are to work to make these as much like an in-class discussion as possible in our online environment.
  2. Make your initial posting before you read what others have posted and make your initial posting early.
  3. Your comments on the postings of others should be substantive and should move the discussion forward. Comments like “great post” or “I agree” do neither. Your comments should do things like ask or answer questions or provide additional information or examples.
  4. Do be positive. Feel free to disagree with each other but not disagreeably.
  5. Don’t feel you must have the absolutely correct answer before you can comment. Your job is to be a learner and you are not expected to be an expert.
  6. Please proofread before posting.

Written Assignments and Exercises

You are required to complete five written assignments and five exercises.

Final Project

The purpose of this project is to synthesize your understanding of law and ethics and their relationship to each other. You will select a piece of legislation that directly impacts healthcare and conduct a historical and content analysis of the law, discussing the ethical basis that forms the law’s foundation. You will evaluate the impact of the legislation on a particular workplace and create recommendations for compliance that take into account the interrelationships and roles of various healthcare providers and organizations.

Be sure to decide on your topic before the end of Week 10. If you do not select from the list provided in the course documents, obtain approval from your mentor for your choice by the end of Week 10.

See the Final Project area of the course site for details.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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