This is a survey course of fundamental issues, covering a broad range of topics, in health law and policy intended both for students who merely wish to become acquainted with the field, and for those who plan on concentrating in the field. For those planning on concentrating, this course provides a foundation for in-depth courses such as Health Care Business Transactions, Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Health Care Antitrust, and Financing in the Healthcare Industry. For students not concentrating in health law, it provides an introduction to the multitude of issues with which lawyers working with clients in the health care industry need to be familiar.
The course examines the role that law plays in achieving three societal goals: increasing access to health care, controlling health care costs, and assuring quality of health care. Specific topics are the structure of the health care system(including integrated health care delivery systems); regulating quality through licensing, staff privileges, and accreditation; labor and employment issues; the legal obligation to provide treatment, including EMTALA); tax exemption and charitable purposes; health care reform; state and federal regulation of health insurance and managed care (including ERISA); federal initiatives to expand private insurance coverage(including HIPAA, COBRA and ADA); Medicare/Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and reform efforts; health care fraud and abuse (False Claims Act, Antikickback statute, Stark); and antitrust issues in the health care industry. This course does not examine issues of professional liability, and it does not cover ethical issues in health care (covered in "Bioethics and Law").