Assumption College Health Advocacy Program (HAP)

https://www.assumption.edu/graduate/health-advocacy
Contact: Susan M. Cahill
sm.cahill@assumption.edu
tel: 508-767-7365

HAP 505: A Systems Approach to Delivering Health Care in America

Approval active from August 21, 2019- August 20, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “A Systems Approach to Delivering Health Care in America” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits (3 of which qualify for Ethics)  by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course will take a systemic approach to health care delivery in the United States. An overview of health care delivery along with chronicling the evolution of health care delivery in the United States will be covered. The course will provide students with an understanding of the law, the legal system, and the policy-making process as it relates to healthcare. Individual and patient rights in healthcare and public health initiatives will be addressed in addition to public health institutions and systems. Critical policy issues and issues related to specific patient populations such as long-term care, medical technology, government health insurance programs, and health service financing will be addressed in this course. The course will culminate with a critical look at the future of health care and health-care delivery systems. 

Course Overview: This online course invites students to (1) develop a foundational understanding of the United States health care system (2) understand law creation, purpose, and role inside the healthcare industry, and (3) provide operational understandings that enable effective patient management and health care operations. Assignments are designed to encourage personal synthesis and reflection of course content and issues. Students are invited to address the instructor directly about any concerns.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop a foundational understanding of key roles of healthcare advocates in compliance with laws and operation within bounds
  2. Drive understandings of law creation, purpose, and role inside the healthcare industry
  3. Provide operational understandings that enable effective patient management and health care operations

Instructor: Kola Akindele, JD MS

  • UMass Medical School, Assistant Vice Chancellor for City & Community Relations, August 2018 – Present; Sr. Director Community & Government Relations, August 2015 August 2018
  • Assumption College, Adjunct Professor, MBA in Healthcare Management, August 2017 to present.
  • Worcester State University, Assistant Professor, Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration, August 2015- Present
  • Hartford Healthcare, Community & Government Relations Manager, January 2013- August 2015
  • UMass Medical School, Manager, Community & Government Relations, November 2010 to January 2013
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell Graduate Certificate, Health Policy
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell M.S., Health Informatics & Management
  • Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA J.D.
  • University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
  • B.A., Cum Laude Economics & Political Science

Relevant BCPA Competencies and Best Practices:

4.a Understand and be able to communicate generally how the healthcare system functions, and the roles, responsibilities, barriers, and constraints of patients, payers, and providers within the system;
4.b Facilitate the client’s navigation through the complexities of the healthcare system continuum;
4.c Clarify care transitions and assist clients in appropriate aspects of these changes; 
4.d Comprehend and apply the fundamentals of prescription drug costs and coverage for all clients;
4.e Recognize barriers to care coordination and work with clients and providers to overcome them;
4.f Understand and communicate to the client the basics of health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that affect payments for the client’s medical needs, including appropriate state variations and differences among programs;
4.g Gain fluency in basic medical bill interpretation and apply the general provisions of insurance coverage to each client’s situation;
4.h Offer information and empathy to clients experiencing the financial, emotional, and/or physical impact of medical debt;
4.i Integrate community-based resources to support and sustain the client’s well-being;
4.j Utilize appropriate grievance, appeals, and complaints processes.

HAP 515: Frameworks for Patient & Policy Advocacy in Health Care

Approval active from August 21, 2019- August 20, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “HAP 515: Frameworks for Patient & Policy Advocacy in Health Care” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits (3 of which qualify for Ethics)  by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course will solidify the role of patient and policy advocacy in the United States health care system. A framework for patient and policy advocacy practice will be covered with an emphasis on tasks, skills, and action. The specific skills of patient advocacy will be addressed with a focus on protecting the ethical rights of patients, improving patient quality of life and developing culturally competent advocacy skills. Advocacy knowledge and skills will be emphasized to promote prevention and assist patients to finance health care. Mental health service and community-based care advocacy will be addressed. Policy advocacy in healthcare, community and government settings will be covered.

Rationale for Course: The Institute of Medicine articulates healthcare quality as being patient-centered, timely, efficient, effective, safe, and equitable. Patient and policy advocacy is a central vehicle for negotiating patient navigation and systemic improvements in healthcare.

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify the complexities 0f the healthcare system in order to facilitate the consumers navigation across the continuum
  2. Understand the historical developments and trends that contributed to US Healthcare design and dysfunction
  3. Be introduced to seven problems that prevail in the US healthcare system that necessitates advocacy within the healthcare system
  4. Understand the distinction and relationship between care or patient advocacy and policy advocacy; identify barriers to care coordination and how to overcome them
  5. Study the tasks, skills, and actions embedded in the health care advocacy practice framework: reading the context, triage, allocating services, diagnosing task, strategizing task, implementing strategy, assessing advocacy interventions, progressing to policy advocacy.

Instructor: Beverly Erikson Stewart, CRC, CCM

  • UnumProvidentInsurance, Worcester, MA Director – Clinical and Vocational Resources 10/99 to present
  • Paul Revere Insurance, Worcester, MA
  • Manager/Psychiatric Services Unit- 10/97 to 10/99
  • Senior Consultant/Psychiatric Claims 12/95 to 10/97
  • Consultant/Psychiatric Claims, United HealthCare, Westboro, MA Disability Determination Supervisor- 11/91 to 7/94
  • Department of Mental Health, Marlboro/Westboro, Area Office Case Management Supervisor- 8/87 to 11/91
  • Mass Rehabilitation Commission, Worcester, MA Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor- 12/83 to 8/87
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor- 7/80 to 12/83

Relevant BCPA Competencies:

Empowerment, Autonomy, Rights, and Equity

2.b Promote equitable access to appropriate and safe health care and treatment;
2.c Offer continuous client-centered services that represent the best interests of the client, as determined by that client (or a legal healthcare proxy);
2.d Foster self-determination and client engagement, treating the client with respect and compassion in all interactions;
2.e Respect the right of clients to make their own decisions;
2.f Provide clients with information and resources to facilitate informed decision-making regarding care and treatment, including palliative and end-of-life care;
2.g Assist clients in understanding care and treatment options, including potential risks, benefits, and available alternatives;
2.h Convey relevant medical history, statutory patients’ rights, and possible care options to any legally designated surrogate, as authorized by the client, including personal conversations in which the client may have expressed certain wishes that might guide informed decisions;
2.i Understand and apply current and appropriate laws, documents, and approaches (e.g., the national standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS); Beauchamp and Childress’ Four Principles of Biomedical Ethics; or state and/or institutional statements of Patient Rights) to protect client’s rights and choices;
2.j Educate clients about important decision-related healthcare documents which may include but are not limited to Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs, Advance Directives, Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate orders (both in-hospital and out-of-hospital), and similar documents. Encourage clients to complete and save such documents, as appropriate.

Healthcare Access, Finance, and Management

4.a Understand and be able to communicate generally how the healthcare system functions, and the roles, responsibilities, barriers, and constraints of patients, payers, and providers within the system;
4.b Facilitate the client’s navigation through the complexities of the healthcare system continuum;
4.c Clarify care transitions and assist clients in appropriate aspects of these changes;
4.e Recognize barriers to care coordination and work with clients and providers to overcome them, requesting provider-to-provider conversations and other client-focused collaboration as required;
4.f Understand and communicate to the client the basics of health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that affect payments for the client’s medical needs, including appropriate state variations and differences among programs;

Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System

5.b Explain the structure and functionality of healthcare facilities and provider groups to clients and expose resources available through each system.

HAP 525: Critical Issues in Health Care (Ethics Graduate Course)

Approval active from August 21, 2019- August 20, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “HAP 525: Critical Issues in Health Care” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits in Ethics by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course will address the significant and critical ethical issues evident in current healthcare practice and systems. The course will provide a strong foundation in the principles and theory in healthcare. Healthcare disparities will be addressed with a focus on populations with inadequate access to healthcare. Critical ethical issues related to healthcare will be identified and studied including areas such as physician-assisted death, domestic violence, human cloning and spirituality. Ethical considerations related to older adults such as long-term care and assisted living will be covered. The ethics of healthcare reform will be studied in an effort to look toward the future of healthcare and potential ethical issues.

Course Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to define the underlining reasons why a foundation in ethics is necessary for health care professionals
  2. Students will be able to describe the common types of ethics
  3. Students will be able to list the types of normative ethics
  4. Students will be able to apply the concepts of egoism, virtue ethics, and natural law to their professional life
  5. Students will be able to apply ethical theories to their professional practice as a health care professional
  6. Students will be able to effectively understand ethical perspectives that may not be in alignment with his/her own and demonstrate an ability to successfully complete needed work when viewpoints may not align

Instructor: Professor Michael Hebert, RN MSN MBA LCSW CHCQM – is the Sr. Director for Utilization, Care Management & Geriatrics at Reliant Medical Group, a non-profit multi-specialty group practice consisting of more than 300 providers and 300,000 patients. He is responsible for directing many different aspects of service delivery designed to optimize the financial performance of the organization as it relates to managing total medical expense. Mike also plays a key role in the management of various projects designed to improve the delivery of quality healthcare through population health-related initiatives including a provider based care at home program as well as a transitions of care program for patients returning to the community following a hospitalization and/or short-term rehabilitation stay.

Mike also oversees the organizational efforts to ensure preventative screenings and testing are completed in order to maximize patients’ health in the community. The team consists of clinical as well as non-clinical staff and while many are imbedded within primary care practices other have centralized responsibilities designed to help providers in the management of patients with both acute as well as chronic illness. Mike holds an MBA from Fitchburg State University, a master’s degree in Nursing from St. Joseph’s College and a master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University. Mike is also Certified in Health Care Quality Management and is a Fellow of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.

HAP 530: A Strengths-Based Approach to Supporting Customers Through the Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care

Approval active from June 27, 2019- June 26, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “HAP 530: A Strengths-Based Approach to Supporting Customers Through the Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits (5 of which are in Ethics) by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course provides an understanding of the psychosocial issues that are present in the context of healthcare and healthcare delivery. The course will address patient-professional relationships and provide the necessary knowledge and skills for working effectively with patients in the healthcare environment. Students will learn and practice the basic helping skills that support patients’ movement through healthcare systems. The course employs developmental and strengths-based frameworks to understand the psychosocial aspects of illness, disability, and chronic conditions. Culture and spirituality will be covered as critical components of understanding patients and their healthcare needs. The significance of cultivating and recognizing support systems will be addressed related to recovery, coping, loss, and grief.

Course Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with the foundations of client-professional relationships, health care ethics, and creating environments of care.
  2. Recognize attitudes, beliefs, and values, including issues related to discrimination in health care (HIV/AIDS, mental illness, obesity, drug and alcohol addictions, and disability).
  3. Recognize multicultural perspectives in health advocacy, including issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, acculturation, assimilation, and biculturalism.
  4. Understand ethnocentrism and its potential detrimental impact on avoiding bias as it impacts our consumers in the health advocacy field.
  5. Appreciate the impact of spirituality on the professional relationships that develop in health advocacy, including connections of the mind, body, and spirit.
  6. Recognize relevant elements of effective communication and approaches to developing client-practitioner rapport in health advocacy, including the use of humor in building positive communication systems.
  7. Understand the principles associated with motivation, adherence, and collaborative treatment planning on health advocacy work, including barriers to adherence and the role of health care professionals in promoting motivation and adherence.
  8. Understand the types of loss and the impact of grief on clients in the health advocacy field.
  9. Understand coping behavior and coping skills, including defense mechanisms and psychosocial adaptation strategies.
  10. Understand family needs, roles, and responsibilities related to health advocacy, including family systems, caregiver needs, and caregiver burden.
  11. Understand the social context of disability as it relates to health advocacy, and the different disability categories.
  12. Understand the impact of chronic conditions on health care consumers, and the differences between disease and illness.
  13. Recognize the stages of sexual development and related clinical interventions in health advocacy to incorporate sexual development into client planning.
  14. Recognize the potential impact of psychiatric disorders, self-destructive behaviors, and abuse/neglect on challenging the efficacy of health advocacy work, as well as strategies to minimize the negative impact of these potential barriers on outcomes for clients.

Instructor: Beverly Erikson Stewart, MA/CAGS, CRC, CCM

  • UnumProvidentInsurance, Worcester, MA Director – Clinical and Vocational Resources 10/99 to present
  • Paul Revere Insurance, Worcester, MA Manager/Psychiatric Services Unit- 10/97 to 10/99
  • Senior Consultant/Psychiatric Claims 12/95 to 10/97 
  • Consultant/Psychiatric Claims United HealthCare, Westboro, MA Disability Determination Supervisor- 11/91 to 7/94
  • Department of Mental Health, Marlboro/Westboro, Area Office Case Management Supervisor- 8/87 to 11/91
  • Mass Rehabilitation Commission, Worcester, MASenior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor- 12/83 to 8/87
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor- 7/80 to 12/83

Relevant BCPA Competencies

Empowerment, Autonomy, Rights, and Equity

2.a Treat clients fairly regardless of age, race, religious/spiritual practice, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, and immigration status;
2.b Promote equitable access to appropriate and safe health care and treatment;
2.c Offer continuous client-centered services that represent the best interests of the client, as determined by that client (or a legal healthcare proxy);
2.d Foster self-determination and client engagement, treating the client with respect and compassion in all interactions;
2.e Respect the right of clients to make their own decisions;
2.f Provide clients with information and resources to facilitate informed decision-making regarding care and treatment, including palliative and end-of-life care;
2.g Assist clients in understanding care and treatment options, including potential risks, benefits, and available alternatives;
2.h Convey relevant medical history, statutory patients’ rights, and possible care options to any legally designated surrogate, as authorized by the client, including personal conversations in which the client may have expressed certain wishes that might guide informed decisions;
2.i Understand and apply current and appropriate laws, documents, and approaches (e.g., the national standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS); Beauchamp and Childress’ Four Principles of Biomedical Ethics; or state and/or institutional statements of Patient Rights) to protect client’s rights and choices;
2.j Educate clients about important decision-related healthcare documents which may include, but are not limited to: Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs, Advance Directives, Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate orders (both in-hospital and out-of-hospital), and similar documents. Encourage clients to complete and save such documents, as appropriate.

Communication and Interpersonal Relationships

3.a Provide empathetic, non-judgmental, supportive listening and interactions that promote self- determination, well-being, resilience, and confidence; 
3.b Collaborate effectively with other members of the healthcare team, both in and out of the hospital, to ensure appropriate and compassionate care for the client;
3.c Include the family and caregivers in the client’s planning process according to the client’s wishes;
3.d Provide any written communication and documentation requested by the client in a timely, appropriate, and professional manner;
3.e Incorporate into communications the complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that enhance the client’s functioning and well-being;
3.f Advocate to alleviate suffering, promote health, promote safe care, and encourage well-being whenever and wherever possible;
3.g Utilize appropriate style/approach to meet the client’s cognitive, literacy, and personality characteristics;
3.h Utilize basic conflict management skills in interactions between the client and family, health professionals, or other relevant stakeholders;
3.i Integrate cultural, gender-based, and religious/spiritual perspectives that may influence the client’s experience of illness, pain management, treatment, and health.

HAP 535: Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability

Approval active from June 27, 2019- June 26, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “HAP 535 Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits (3 of which are in Ethics) by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course provides information regarding medical and psychosocial aspects of chronic illness and disability. Particular emphasis will be placed on the physical, psychological, and social impact of chronic illness and disabilities. In addition, functional limitations associated with each of these conditions and its impact on employment, family and social life, as well as activities of daily living will also be discussed. Additional emphasis will be placed on effective approaches to treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation often encountered in human service settings. This course will also provide an overview of adaptive measures that may enable persons with various severe chronic illness and disabilities to enhance their functioning and overall quality of life.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain basic medical aspects related to human body system and disabilities.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental medical terminology
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the diagnostic process used by medical and other health professions.
  4. Utilize existing or acquired information about the existence, onset, severity, progression, and expected duration of an individual’s disability.
  5. Articulate the functional limitations of disabilities.
  6. Apply working knowledge of the impact of disability on the individual, the family, and the environment.
  7. Explain the implications of co-occurring disabilities.
  8. Determine the need for assistive technology and the appropriate intervention resources.
  9. Evaluate the influences and implications of the environment on disability.

Instructor: Dr. Godwin ‘O. ORKEH, Jr. is a Physician, experienced Medical Director, Public Health Officer and Quality Improvement Officer, with an interest in International Health and Development. He has worked extensively in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance internationally, in the Middle-east and North African Region, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and in Latin America; where his work has focused on Public Health Assessments in a range of humanitarian crises (man-made or natural disasters), war and conflicts, population displacements, disaster preparedness and in the development of health systems.

As a fellow of the International Human Rights Consortium (2002-2003), Dr. Godwin Orkeh traveled widely in Central America, researching rights to health and other socio-demographic and economic considerations affecting access to health. He has considerable experience in the field of health policy, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance in complex settings. He has been blessed with cross-cultural experiences and have had opportunities to tackle real-life, diverse professional challenges and have successfully designed or implemented programs in remote mountain top Himalayan communities, in dust-bowl desert terrain, Mayan indigenous villages, to conflict-affected populations in different regions of the world.

He serves with specialized agencies of the United Nations and is active in the non-governmental & non-profit sector. He is retained as an emergency public health specialist in the Global Health Cluster of the World Health Organization. He is a proud Ralph Bunche International Medalist.

Relevant BCPA Competencies

  • Maintain familiarity with basic medical terminology, major life-threatening illnesses, and chronic diseases;
  • Incorporate into communications the complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that enhance the client’s functioning and well-being;
  • Advocate to alleviate suffering, promote health, promote safe care, and encourage well-being whenever and wherever possible;
  • Foster self-determination and client engagement, treating the client with respect and compassion in all interactions
  • Promote safe care and the patient’s awareness of patient safety issues at all times, which may include but are not limited to diagnostic accuracy, and prevention of hospital-acquired infections, pharmaceutical, and biologic drug or medical device errors, care coordination errors, radiologic (imaging) errors, and other potential health care-related hazards and errors.
  • Avoid diagnosing or prescribing any medical/mental health treatment for clients, even if the advocate has additional licensure or training; Refer clients to qualified alternate professionals if a client’s needs are outside the scope of the advocate’s knowledge or training.
HAP 555: Core Curriculum for Case Management in Health Care

Approval active from August 21, 2019- August 20, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “HAP 555: Core Curriculum for Case Management in Health Care” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits (3 of which are in Ethics) by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course will provide the foundational core curriculum for case management in healthcare settings. The history and evolution of case management will be covered to provide a context for the role of the case manager in healthcare settings. The preparation of case managers will be addressed specifying the necessary education, training and certification for effective practice. The case management process will be delineated and studied with attention paid to the role of the case manager in the process. Specific settings for case managers such as palliative care, hospice, acute care, home care and rehabilitation will be covered. Case management for life care planning, workers’ compensation, disability and occupational health, disease management, geriatrics, and behavioral health will be addressed to provide a comprehensive understanding of case management in healthcare. Legal and ethical issues related to the practice of case management will be covered.

Course Objectives:

  1. To develop competence in the essential activities of ethical and professional case management practices across a variety of healthcare practice settings.
  2. To focus case management outcomes around patient-centered / family-centered care, simultaneously promoting the client’s wellness, autonomy, and appropriate use of service and financial resources.
  3. To promote effective communication with all case management stakeholders (patients, payers, providers, and public) for interdisciplinary collaboration.
  4. To identify and distinguish among the healthcare service, delivery, and reimbursement models to facilitate resource stewardship and community-based service provision when appropriate.
  5. To cultivate cultural competence and health literacy in health care case management.
  6. To increase understanding of emerging healthcare trends and consideration of special populations as it relates to case management.

Instructor: Beverly Erikson Stewart, MA/CAGS, CRC, CCM

  • UnumProvidentInsurance, Worcester, MA Director – Clinical and Vocational Resources 10/99 to present
  • Paul Revere Insurance, Worcester, MA Manager/Psychiatric Services Unit- 10/97 to 10/99
  • Senior Consultant/Psychiatric Claims 12/95 to 10/97 Consultant/Psychiatric Claims
  • United HealthCare, Westboro, MA Disability Determination Supervisor- 11/91 to 7/94
  • Department of Mental Health, Marlboro/Westboro, Area Office Case Management Supervisor- 8/87 to 11/91
  • Mass Rehabilitation Commission, Worcester, MA Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor- 12/83 to 8/87
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor- 7/80 to 12/83

Relevant BCPA Competencies

  • Maintain familiarity with basic medical terminology, major life-threatening illnesses, and chronic diseases;
  • Incorporate into communications the complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that enhance the client’s functioning and well-being;
  • Advocate to alleviate suffering, promote health, promote safe care, and encourage well-being whenever and wherever possible;
  • Foster self-determination and client engagement, treating the client with respect and compassion in all interactions
  • Promote safe care and the patient’s awareness of patient safety issues at all times, which may include but are not limited to diagnostic accuracy, and prevention of hospital-acquired infections, pharmaceutical, and biologic drug or medical device errors, care coordination errors, radiologic (imaging) errors, and other potential health care-related hazards and errors.
  • Avoid diagnosing or prescribing any medical/mental health treatment for clients, even if the advocate has additional licensure or training; Refer clients to qualified alternate professionals if a client’s needs are outside the scope of the advocate’s knowledge or training.
HAP 600: Management and Supervision of Health Care Professionals

Approval active from: June 27, 2019- June 26, 2020 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: Assumption College Graduate Course, “HAP 600: Management and Supervision of Health Care Professionals” is approved for a total of 15 Continuing Education Credits (3 of which are in Ethics) by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Course Description: This course will provide an overview of basic management functions and the leadership skills necessary for effective healthcare supervision. Topics covered will span the vast knowledge and skill areas associated with effective healthcare business management and leadership. Management functions such as position descriptions, personnel recruitment, training and orientation, safety and workplace violence, motivation, reward, and recognition, and conflict resolution will be covered. Cultural diversity within the workplace will be addressed. Practical management functions such as time management, decision making, effective meetings, delegation and coping with stress and burnout will be covered. The course is a practical and skill-based approach to management within healthcare organizations.

Learning Objectives

  1. Course content will attempt to combine management theory with the student’s past and present experience(s) working within a healthcare environment. Overall goal is to increase student knowledge and comfort with managing and supervising and/or being managed or supervised in healthcare settings and in various positions:
  2. Acquaint the student with management concepts essential to the understanding of the organizational environment within which the functions of management are performed.
  3. Provide a base for further studies in management concepts, as needed.
  4. Provide sufficient detail in selected areas to enable the practitioner to apply the concepts in day-to-day situations of management and supervision.

Instructor: Shannon M. Thibault, MBA, MHA

  • Croix Systems, VP, Hospital Operations
  • Universal Hospital Services UMass Memorial Medical Center, Sr. Director of Hospital Operations, Department Administrator, Department Clinical Engineering
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center, Sr. Regulatory Director, Department Manager – Department of Clinical Quality and Regulatory Department/Nursing Administration

Relevant BCPA Competencies

4 Healthcare Access, Finance, and Management

4.a Understand and be able to communicate generally how the healthcare system functions, and the roles, responsibilities, barriers, and constraints of patients, payers, and providers within the system;
4.b Facilitate the client’s navigation through the complexities of the healthcare system continuum;
4.c Clarify care transitions and assist clients in appropriate aspects of these changes;
4.d Comprehend and apply the fundamentals of prescription drug costs and coverage for all clients;
4.e Recognize barriers to care coordination and work with clients and providers to overcome them, requesting provider-to-provider conversations and other client-focused collaboration as required;
4.f Understand and communicate to the client the basics of health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that affect payments for the client’s medical needs, including appropriate state variations and differences among programs;
4.g Gain fluency in basic medical bill interpretation and apply the general provisions of insurance coverage to each client’s situation;
4.h Offer information and empathy to clients experiencing the financial, emotional, and/or physical impact of medical debt;
4.i Integrate community-based resources to support and sustain the client’s well-being;
4.j Utilize appropriate grievance, appeals, and complaints processes.

(Specialized) Access, Finance, and Management Skills:

The following skills are more specialized and may be referred services. See the Introduction section of this Competencies and Best Practices document.

4.k Recognize the need for advanced expertise in health insurance coverage regarding such issues as omissions, impediments, shortfalls, subsidies and tax credits, metrics, potential penalties, and alternative insurance providers, and facilitate client access to qualified professionals in this area;
4.l Recognize the need for advanced expertise in medical billing, claims, denials or other payment-related issues and facilitate client access to appropriate expertise when needed.
4.m Recognize limitations in standard grievance, appeals, and complaints processes and facilitate client access to appropriate legal expertise when needed

5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System

5.a Maintain familiarity with basic medical terminology, major life-threatening illnesses, and chronic diseases;
5.b Explain the structure and functionality of healthcare facilities and provider groups to clients and expose resources available through each system;
5.c Access the full range of healthcare providers and care delivery models and enable second opinion options;
5.d Assist clients to coordinate care among many clinicians, settings, and affiliated providers;
5.e Conduct research to uncover detailed and reliable medical information relevant to each client.
5.f Promote safe care and the patient’s awareness of patient safety issues at all times, which may include but are not limited to diagnostic accuracy, and prevention of hospital-acquired infections, pharmaceutical and biologic drug or medical device errors, care coordination errors, radiologic (imaging) errors, and other potential health care related hazards and errors.

(Specialized) Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System: The following skills are more specialized and may be referred services. See the Introduction section of this Competencies and Best Practices document.

 5.g Recognize the need for advanced expertise in research on medical options and research trials and facilitate client access to qualified professionals when needed.

6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

6.a Assess the client relationship on a regular basis, continue to recognize, develop, and maintain professional boundaries as defined in the Ethical Standards for a Board Certified Patient Advocate and avoid situations that may jeopardize those boundaries;
6.b Maintain, update, and provide proof when required of all credentials, liability and business insurance, legal contracts, and other practice-related requirements;
6.c Continue to develop skills and maintain competence in all specific areas of expertise;
6.d Work within the scope of the BCPA credential and obtain continuing education credits, as required;
6.e Keep abreast of laws, policies, research developments, and trends that affect the practice of patient advocacy;
6.f Take initiative to seek out colleagues, mentors, and other experts regarding challenging client situations.

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