Graduate certificate programs in healthcare compliance typically feature a small number of courses that focus on different aspects of healthcare policy, laws, regulations, and management. The aim of a certificate program of this kind is to prepare you for an upper-level administration or management position in the healthcare field. In this article, you can learn about some of the common courses that make up the curriculum of graduate certificate programs in healthcare compliance as well as information about how you can apply to the program of your choice.
Healthcare Compliance Graduate Certificate Coursework
The majority of healthcare compliance graduate certificate programs require students to complete 5 core courses totaling between 12 and 15 credit hours. Although coursework may vary, there are a number of common courses that will be included in the certificate program.
Generally studied in increasing depth, a course in healthcare compliance will cover the fundamentals of the field, including the different regulations and laws that healthcare organizations need to comply with, and will go on to provide students with a solid understanding of the field's best-practices by examining case studies to understand how lessons are learned and guidelines are formed. You could study such specific topics as fraud and abuse, internal investigations, antitrust laws, and corporate integrity agreements. Students may be required to complete practical research projects to help them apply their fresh knowledge to the industry.
HIPAA: Patients and Privacy
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) law governs all health care information, and this will make up a large portion of the study, looking at compliance tasks, implementation cost considerations, technology, and training methods. This course focuses exclusively on the foundations for patients' privacy and protection, and may also explore the way HIPPA interacts with and affects state and other federal health privacy laws.
Another key aspect of healthcare compliance is risk management and this course will examine the principles and concepts surrounding risk management in terms of patient safety and regulatory compliance. A range of risk management topics, including medical and criminal liability, claims management and disclosure, and informed consent will be covered here. Some courses of this type might also cover risk analysis and compliance issues in the context of other organizations, such as insurance, banking, and other industries.
There are a number of different system components in the healthcare system so it is important to understand these systems, to understand where potential risks and breaches could occur. Most classes on healthcare systems concentrate on the American healthcare system, covering the way it's organized and financed. You might also study issues and concerns surrounding the cost, outcomes, and quality of the American healthcare systems and also how to improve it, including how to expand healthcare coverage.
Ethics & Law in Healthcare
Ethics and the law are a major factor when looking at healthcare compliance, and this course explores ethical decision making and where this sits within the law. These courses usually examine different ethical theories and methodologies and then apply those to case studies, for example, doctor-assisted suicide. You may also study ethics in terms of specific healthcare business decisions and how to use your best professional judgment to make those decisions.
Admittance Information for Healthcare Compliance Certificate Programs
Applicants should hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 2.75. Although school requirements may differ slightly, the majority will require an application to be submitted along with a statement of purpose, and a resume. Some programs may require a letter of recommendation or an interview as well. Applicants may need to express their interest in working in the healthcare compliance industry.
Graduate certificate programs in healthcare compliance can be completed in 12-15 credit hours of coursework, generally split across 5 courses. Courses could cover a range of topics, but most commonly there will be courses on healthcare systems, ethics, compliance concepts, and risk management.