Penn State

Penn State offers ‘safety net’ health care class

A new course will be offered at Penn State in the fall to address the changing needs and services for patients who are impoverished, migrant, homeless or uninsured.

They fall into what is called the safety net.

Health Policy and Administration 497 Safety Net Health Care will focus on the level of services and resources available for people that don’t have access to health care. The population of those people, according to a Penn State press release, still exists since the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The course is programmed to educate students about what safety net health care is, how it is delivered, financed and current policy and practice initiatives related to it. They will also review how the PPACA impacted services for the safety net population, how poverty is defined in the United States and other countries and how that affects social insurance benefits.

“The goal of this course is for students to realize we have our own vulnerable populations in the U.S., what infrastructure is in place for this population and what challenges this population faces,” senior lecturer and research associate professor of health policy and administration Caprice Knapp said. “The needs are much more prevalent than students may think.”

Students in the course will likely work with people in the safety net, according to Knapp.

The course will feature guest speakers and require students to participate for one week in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Challenge in which participants live on the federal daily food aid benefit of about $4 a day.