Course Syllabus

Note: This course code has changed from HS 345 to HCA 445. You may occasionally see references to the old course code or title.

Course Description

Within the context of the broad Healthcare Administration curriculum, Healthcare Finance is the one class that focuses on the issues of financial management. Elsewhere, we cover the policy issues of how healthcare is “financed”—the payer side of the industry. Our desire in this course is to introduce you to the processes by which the finances of the healthcare enterprise (For example, hospital, long-term care facility, or medical group) are actually managed.

Course Outcomes

During this course, you will do the following:

  1. Learn the key characteristics and terms of a business
  2. Understand the difference between Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting
  3. Understand the significance of for-profit versus not-for-profit business models
  4. Understand the different types of capital available to health services organizations
  5. Gain fundamental knowledge of foundational finance topics such as time value analysis and financial risk and required return
  6. Learn the principles of “finance” as they will apply to your healthcare administration career
  7. Be introduced to the best healthcare finance textbook—published in conjunction with the Health Administration Press and the American College of Healthcare Executives. This is the textbook used in many of the leading Master’s Degree programs in the country
  8. Have the opportunity to prepare for and teach your peers in the class
  9. Attend guest lectures presented by healthcare professionals
  10. Use the “Harvard Computer Science” method to perform case study financial analysis
  11. Incorporate sound financial management theory in your own managerial and personal decision-making

This course fulfills the “central aims, desired skills, and core competencies” of the healthcare administration program by providing:

Healthcare Literacy: Students will understand the “financial” structure, function, and issues of the healthcare industry related systems.

Business Management Literacy: Students will understand the basic principles of business administration and accounting.

Quantitative Analysis: Students will develop quantitative reasoning skills that allow them to solve financial and accounting problems in the curriculum.

Communication: Students will use written and oral communication skills and will utilize presentation software.

Teamwork and Leadership: Through projects executed in groups, students will utilize team-building principles and exceptional leadership.

Professional Ethics: Students will be encouraged to identify and eliminate any incongruities between their personal ethical tendencies and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Grading Criteria and Assignments

Pace of Course Assignments

This is a three-credit course. According to University policy, you should plan to spend at least nine hours a week on this course. Also, the pace of this course is considerably faster than most other courses you have taken. One way to approach the course is to break each week into first and second half. The typical pattern for each week is shown below. There is no restriction on starting readings and assignments an early if more time is needed to meet the deadlines.

First Half of the Week

The first half of the week will include the following items that are typically due:

  • Chapter reading
  • End-of-chapter questions and problems
  • Reading discussion board

Second Half of the Week

The second half of the week will include the following items that are due:

  • Chapter reading (additional chapter)
  • End-of-chapter questions and problems (for additional chapter)
  • Reading discussion board (for additional chapter)
  • Case study reading
  • Case study was written: analysis and questions
  • Case study discussion board

Late Assignments

An automatic grade deduction of 20% will occur for each day an assignment is late.

Exception: Because of the nature of a discussion board activity, late assignments will not be accepted for discussion boards.

Chapter Assignments (8 points each)

As in any fundamental finance course, the financial and accounting concepts build upon each other. It is imperative that you completely understand one concept before moving on to the next. Each chapter contains a series of questions designed to assess your understanding of the qualitative material in the chapter. The questions are followed by a set of problems designed to assess your understanding of the quantitative material. Answer and turn in the questions and problems at the end of each chapter. See the Course Schedule for due dates.

You may use your textbook and other resources to help you understand and answer the homework questions, as long as the assignment you submit is still your own work. If you complete the quantitative assignments in their entirety to the best of your ability and showing a full effort to complete the work, you will receive full credits and video tutorials will be made available to you once the assignment is graded. These video tutorials explain the solutions to each problem, step by step, so you can gain a full understanding of the solutions to the quantitative problems.

Chapter Discussion Boards

The chapter discussion boards are not required, but they are available as a forum and can be a helpful resource for the students if utilized. This discussion board is designed to be used for discussing the chapter and teaching one another about the concepts and quantitative problems from the chapter.

Teach One Another (50 points)

Each student will have the opportunity to work with a team to present a case study financial analysis of various healthcare organizations. Please refer to the case study section and the instructor for more specific information. 35 points of your grade will come from the instructor. 15 points will come from your team members' analysis of your performance.

Case Studies (25 points each)

As stated above, each student will have the opportunity to work with a team to present one of three financial cases. On the other three cases assigned for the class (two financial cases and one mini ethics case), each student will be required to submit answers to and analysis of the case questions (written assignment worth 15 points each), in addition to viewing your fellow class members' online presentations and participating in the discussion boards (discussion boards are worth 10 points each). To receive the full 25 points for each case that you do not formally present, you must submit your answers to the instructor and participate in the discussion boards, illustrating that you completely viewed the online presentations.

Video Discussion Boards (10 points each)

There are two weeks in the course that require the viewing of video guest lectures. Each student is required to view the videos and actively participate in the corresponding discussion boards. Each video discussion board is worth 10 points.

Miscellaneous Assignments (various point values)

There may be miscellaneous assignments that the instructor will require. These assignments include, but are not limited to, Ice Breaker Activities, Syllabus Quizzes, Course Evaluations, etc. Please see the course schedule for more information and due dates.


All exams are closed book, closed notes, closed homework and closed any other resource (including human resources). The content and point totals for the exams are listed below.

Exam #1

Chapters 14 (150 points)

Exam #2

Chapters 58 (150 points)

Comprehensive Final Exam (300 points)

Required Textbooks

Gapenski, Louis C.

  • Healthcare Finance: An Introduction to Accounting and Financial Management (6thEdition)

Teaching Assistant or Tutor

This course has a teaching assistant (TA) that also serves as a tutor. Besides assisting with grading, the TA will be running "drop-in lab" tutoring sessions the week before the exam. The TA will also spend time tutoring one-on-one by request. This service is paid for through the university, so please be respectful in your use of the TA or tutor. Attend your appointments, and be punctual.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Academic Honesty

As followers of Christ, all BYU–Idaho students, staff, and faculty are expected to be honest in all their dealings. This also applies and extends to behavior and actions related to academic work. It is critical for you to understand the seriousness of academic dishonesty and misconduct, which are not tolerated by the University, and strive to produce and submit only the results of their own effort and original work.

To copy another person’s work from the internet, a book, or from any other source and claiming it to be your own work is plagiarism. Read the official definitions of plagiarism and cheating from the Academic Honesty portion of the Honor Code. Although you are encouraged to work with one another and share ideas on assignments, directly copying another person’s work is inappropriate. Also, as stated previously in the syllabus, you are not allowed to use any resources while taking exams. Remember, there is never an acceptable excuse for plagiarism or cheating.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

Although the Academic Honesty section of the University Policies explains what constitutes each of the many forms of academic dishonesty, as well as procedures and guidelines for handling such incidents, specific application of consequences are left up to each individual instructor.

In this course, instructors will be responsible for creating and applying their own policies regarding penalties for academic dishonesty. Penalties may vary from point deductions to receiving a zero on the entire assignment. In some cases, the instructor may report an incident to the University Honors Office. Cases will be analyzed on an individual basis and penalties applied according to the severity of the misconduct.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due