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Health Reform: Overview

This guide is designed to assist students in Prof. Marshall Kapp's Health Reform Seminar (Fall 2016)

Course Information

Health Reform Seminar, Law 7930

Class meets on Tuesdays, 3:15-5:05 PM, Rm. 326, B.K. Roberts Bldg.

Instructor Contact Information

Marshall B. Kapp, J.D., M.P.H., Director, Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine & Law; Professor, FSU College of Medicine--Department of Geriatrics; Professor of Medicine and Law, FSU College of Law, College of Law:  Room 236, 850-644-7265                            

College of Medicine:  Thrasher Building, Room 4235, 850-645-9260

Available to meet with students by appointment and immediately before and after class sessions.


There is no required textbook for this course.  Readings and videos are listed on this Syllabus with links or will be handed out in class.


  • The grades and grade distribution for the class will conform to the COL Grading System posted at
  • There are three components to each student’s grade in this course:  (A) the research paper (60%); (B) the two class presentations [status report and final] and draft description of topic (20); and (C) class participation (20%).       

Syllabus Change Policy

Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is only a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.  

Course Description


The health care enterprise consists of an array of services and products intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, and conduct research on medical ailments.  This enterprise encompasses preventive interventions, acute and chronic diagnostic services and treatment delivered in both inpatient and outpatient settings, biomedical and behavioral research, institutional and community-based long-term care, and mental health and addiction services.  The American health care enterprise consists of participants drawn from the governmental, private not-for-profit, and proprietary (for-profit) sectors.  The primary, tripartite goal of the health care enterprise is to deliver high quality health care services that are affordable and accessible to the public.  This seminar will explore the ways in which recent federal and state legal and programmatic developments, as well as initiatives mounted by private actors (such as insurance companies, health care corporations, and employers), are impacting or are likely to impact the accomplishment of the quality/affordability/access goal.  At the federal level, main emphasis will be placed on the Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  

Learning Objectives

As a result of completing this course, the student will--

  • be more familiar with the essential vocabulary and concepts involved in the legal regulation of health care financing
  • better appreciate who pays for health care in the United States and the mechanisms through which that payment is accomplished
  • better understand the legal issues affecting, and arising from, the financial relationships existing among individual patients, health care providers, federal and state governments, and public and private insurers and other third-party payers
  • be better prepared to participate in public policy discussions regarding potential changes to the American health care financing marketplace

Policy Information

  • Class attendance is required, in conformity with the COL Attendance Policy posted at
  • Class attendance will be recorded at each class session.  Unless previous arrangements have been made, a student who is not present at the beginning of the class session will be recorded as absent for that session.
  • Each student is permitted a total of three (3) absences for the semester.  No distinction will be drawn between “excused” and “unexcused” absences. 
  • If a student exceeds the three permitted absences, that student will be dropped from the course unless the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs instructs the professor to do otherwise.
  • The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.  Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “be honest and truthful and…[to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University.”
  • Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center and (2) if necessary, speak privately during the first week of class with the professor about the need for any reasonable accommodations.  For further information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the FSU Student Disability Resource Center, 850-644-9566,  This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.
  • As a recipient of Federal financial assistance for education activities, FSU is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ensure that all of its education programs and activities are free from discrimination on the basis of sex. Sexual discrimination includes sexual misconduct (sexual violence, stalking, intimate partner violence, gender based animosity and gender based stereotyping). If you have questions about Title IX or wish to file a Title IX complaint, please visit the FSU Title IX website: or call Jennifer Broomfield, Title IX Director 850-644-6271.  Please note that as Responsible Employees, all faculty are required to report any incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office.
  • For information about the confidential on-campus Victim Advocate Program, please visit

Teaching/Learning Methods

As background for weekly class discussions, students are required to do assigned reading assignments, with links indicated on this Syllabus. Each student will write a ULWR-eligible research paper on a specific topic within the health care reform arena, to be negotiated between the student and professor.  Class participation is expected and forms part of the student’s grade; part of this participation consists of presentation of individual mid-semester progress reports to the class and later-semester full individual presentations to the class reporting on each student’s research project/paper.      

Student Responsibilities

  • Students are required to attend class sessions (see below).
  • Students are expected to do reading assignments and watch assigned videos  prior to the delineated class meeting. 
  • Students are expected and encouraged to actively participate in class discussions.
  • As noted under Teaching/Learning Methods, above, students must write a ULWR-eligible research paper on a specific pre-approved topic within the health care reform arena, present individual mid-semester progress reports to the class, and present later-semester full individual presentations to the class reporting on each student’s research project/paper.
  • Additionally, the individual mid-semester progress report to the class must be accompanied by a 250 to 750 word draft description of the student’s topic delivered to Professor Kapp and the student must subsequently meet with Professor Kapp to receive feedback on the draft and presentation.   
  • Students may not use cell phones, Blackberries, blueberries, or any other form of telecommunication device during class sessions.  All such devices should be turned off during class.  Cell phones should never be heard during class unless there is a spouse in active labor at the other end.
  • Students are permitted to use laptop computers to take notes during class, but the misuse of laptops during class (e.g., for e-mail, shopping, entertainment, etc.) is strongly discouraged.  
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