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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Health Policy and Administration (H P A)

H P A 057 (GHA) Consumer Choices in Health Care (3) Introduction to consumers' role in health-care decisions, including health benefits, physician and hospital choice, and end-of-life choices.

H P A 057 Consumer Choices in Health Care (3)

H P A 057 is designed to provide students with an understanding of the consumer's role in health care decisions. The growth in health care information resources, the expansion of for-profit medical care, the consumer revolution, and increasing cost pressure mean consumers must be aware of the critical issues involved in health care decisions. Consumer knowledge and decision-making affect the cost and quality of health care received. The main goal of this course is to educate students to become knowledgeable health care consumers. H P A 057 (GHA) can be used as a General Education course for all Penn State students. It focuses on all 4 aspects of General Education in Health and Physical Activity and several of the overall General Education criteria. It helps students learn how to gather information about health and health care and synthesize and analyze that information to make good choices that will enable them to achieve and maintain good health, including making healthful lifestyle choices. H P A 057 emphasizes that students must develop consumer skills, attitudes, and habits that will enable them to make the choices expected of consumers in today's health care system. Active learning is a critical component of H P A 057, as students must actively gather information and use it to make decisions. H P A 057 also addresses the issue of intercultural competence, by addressing different cultural views of health and information on how culture influences interactions between patients and others in health care settings. It requires students to write and speak about the choices they make through assignments that demonstrate their understanding of the information resources and the reasoning underlying their choices. Finally, several in-class and out-of-class assignments employ collaborative learning and teamwork as students gather and synthesize information. Students in Health Policy Administration may use H P A 057 for a supporting course in their major. It is also a required course in the Minor in Health Policy and Administration. H P A 057 does require a technology classroom to enable demonstration of consumer health information on the web and students will need some independent laboratory access to complete assignments. H P A 057 will be offered 2-3 times per year at University Park and on several other Penn State campuses with an expected enrollment of 50-200 students per semester.

General Education: GHA
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2004

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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