Medicare and Medicaid Practicum - (Fall Term)
Students may take just the fall semester (for 3 credits). Students may not take the spring semester alone. However, students are encouraged to enroll in both the fall and spring semesters, to maximize the practicum’s experiential element.
The practicum is composed of two separate course components (3 credits each).
The first component – offered during the fall semester – will provide an introduction to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It will examine the function and accessibility of these two systems, applicable code and regulatory elements, and recent judicial decisions. The first semester will also emphasize the development of client counseling and advocacy skills that will enable students to effectively identify and resolve client issues, with simulated client interview and counseling exercises and the observation of real client counseling sessions. By the end of the fall semester, students will be prepared (and should be confident) to successfully tackle the health care benefit cases that they are assigned, assisting clients with in-depth counseling to help them access affordable, quality health care.
The second component – offered during the spring semester – will emphasize the experiential process of client counseling and advocacy, with students now performing actual client counseling. It is designed to be a continuation of the fall semester program, building on the information and skills acquired during the previous semester. For this semester, students will break out into their individual counseling rotations. Students will negotiate (with Mr. McKendree) the times/days/locations that they will provide counseling services for the SHIP program. Each week of the spring semester will be composed of 1 hour for contact and case review (with Mr. McKendree) and 2 hours for client counseling (field work).
The practicum is also designed to provide students with an opportunity to network and interact with local law firms, health care systems, government agencies and private non-profit programs. The Allegheny County SHIP program regularly works with these entities to assist clients in accessing various health care benefits and services. In addition, the SHIP program sponsors several networking events during the spring semester to showcase the practicum’s students and profile their capabilities.