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Understanding and Improving the US Healthcare System

University of Michigan via Coursera

3 Reviews 121 students interested
Found in Public Health

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Health is important to everyone.  For most people, that means that understanding the healthcare system is important.  As a patient or a caregiver for a loved one, your understanding of the system can mean everything from getting the right help, to economic stress in paying medical bills, to medical misadventures and even worse.  And if you’re a healthcare professional (or are in training or want to be a healthcare professional someday), understanding the system is a critical – but often under-developed – part of optimizing the help you can provide your community.


Despite this importance, confident understanding of the US healthcare system is alarmingly rare.  This course is designed to change that – by helping students understand the core structure and accomplishments of the system, the recurring shortcomings, and attempted remedies through policy reform.  Rather than emphasizing complexity (a focus of many other courses about healthcare policy), the lessons in this course will highlight central themes that learners can take away from the course and apply to their own experiences – and other coursework – with confidence.  Moreover, students who seek more advanced content will have ample opportunity to tailor their learning accordingly.


In addition, through a unique, coursewide group exercise that will serve as a keystone of this course, all learners will have the opportunity to learn how they can improve the US healthcare system.  Whether as individuals, in groups, or as future architects of system reform, students in this course will enjoy a premier opportunity to understand the US healthcare system – and their options for addressing problems in the system – as they never have before.  

This course was co-developed by the course director, Matthew Davis, MD, MAPP, and course producer, Michael Rubyan, MPH.  Davis is a senior faculty member and longtime teacher regarding health policy at the University of Michigan Medical School, School of Public Policy, and School of Public Health.  Rubyan is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.


Taught by

Matthew Davis


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Reviews for Coursera's Understanding and Improving the US Healthcare System
2.3 Based on 3 reviews

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  • 3 stars 67%
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  • 1 star 33%

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3.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Informative and yet a disaster for those like myself who sought a Certificate of Accomplishment. PROS (what's good): I gained a framework to better understand the US healthcare system, seeing the main players as patients, payers, providers, and public health. I grappled with what's important to me and what is not in doing the "CHAT" exercise in allocating (rationing) scarce healthcare resources. For these, five of five stars. CONS (the disaster): Grading took months, not weeks, and I (and many others) received failing grades (exactly 66.7%) even though we dutifully did all of the ungraded assignments. If you want a Statement of Accomplishment, don't get your hopes up! It would be crazy to pay money to take this class on Signature Track. For this disaster, zero of five stars. Overall grade: 2.5 stars.
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Sivananda R
3.0 4 years ago
Sivananda completed this course.
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