Block 1: Introduction and Vocabulary (1st half Spring Semester)

HCA-5100 – Intro to Healthcare Consumer Advocacy/Patient Navigation
This course prepares students to begin the study of Healthcare Consumer Advocacy and Patient Navigation through understanding the broad range of services Advocates/Navigators can offer to their clients. This will include an introduction to such areas as client needs assessments, research on treatment options and preventative practices, identifying and accessing social services, communications and conflict resolution, billing and reimbursement advice, patient rights advocacy, and more.

HCA-5170 – Understanding Medical Terminology and Major Diseases
This course will focus on medical terminology and disease states of the major systems of the human body, providing Healthcare Consumer Advocacy/Patient Navigation students with the language skills to communicate effectively with healthcare practitioners and assist clients in understanding health information.

Block 2: Skills and Knowledge I (2nd half Spring Semester)

HCA-5140 – Interpersonal Communications
This course prepares the advocate to transmit and receive information about patient-focused issues with clarity and skill. It teaches skills in developing appropriate rapport with patients, families and healthcare providers for the benefit of the healthcare consumer. Topics to be covered include communication of patient-focused issues with clarity and skill; facilitation of the involvement of interested parties; development of a professional rapport with patients, families, and all healthcare providers; working with the medical team; and
family dynamics.

HCA-5160 – Patient Rights and Advocacy
This course prepares Healthcare Consumer Advocates/Patient Navigators to be aware of the philosophical issues and principles surrounding medical practices and to be involved in ethical decision making. Students will develop knowledge in legal issues relative to advance directives, the Patient Bill of Rights, organ donation, research, and advance directives.

Block 3: Skills and Knowledge II – Summer Session

HCA-5180 – Integration of Healthcare Modalities
In this course the students will be introduced to emerging modalities of holistic medicine and their integration into traditional medical approaches. Alternative treatments and natural therapies such as massage, yoga, healing touch, homeopathic medicines, herbal remedies,
etc. will be considered in relation to current scientific paradigms alongside Western medical treatment.

HCA-5190 – Health Insurance and Reimbursement
This course will introduce Healthcare Consumer Advocacy/Patient Navigation students to major healthcare insurers and issues arising from payments and reimbursement for healthcare procedures. This will include Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance (HMOs, PPOs, and others) and the influence they have on medical practices and decisions. It will also include practice reading and interpreting insurance reimbursement documents.

Block 4: Skills and Knowledge III – 1st half Fall Semester

HCA-5110 – Understanding Healthcare Systems and Medical Information
This course will help the advocate/navigator understand the structure and financing of healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics, specialist practices, and others, and the impact such structures have on healthcare delivery and decisions. It will also examine medical records and problems that arise for advocates and clients when working with multiple institutions. This will be presented within the context of the evolving economics of healthcare in the U.S.

HCA-5120 – Mediating Conflict and Crisis in Healthcare
This course gives the advocate the skills to intervene in conflicting relationships involving the interests of patients and others in the healthcare environment and to promote reconciliation, compromise or settlement. Topics include intervening in relationships of conflict; stabilizing the crisis event; focusing on the well- being of the patient/family; involvement of interested parties (family, staff, physician and others); and means of promoting reconciliation, compromise or settlement.

Block 5: Preparation for Entering the Field – 2nd half Fall Semester

HCA-5150 – Advocacy in Action: Client Assessment and Planning
This course prepares the Healthcare Consumer Advocate/Patient Navigator to begin professional work with clients. Students will conduct client assessments, engage with client scenarios, and plan strategies for solving client issues. This will also involve considering their choices regarding their current state of health, in light of their personal philosophies of life, their religious/spiritual beliefs and cultural expectations.

HCA-5130 – Advocacy/Navigation: Understanding the Profession
This course will help students understand Healthcare Consumer Advocacy/Patient Navigation as a profession and to identify the kind of work they would like to do in the field. The course will then assist them in preparing professional materials and job search strategies to successfully pursue their professional goals.

In addition to the coursework, each student works 80 supervised clinical hours in one or more
advocacy/navigation settings.