This course provides a survey of the broad-ranging topic of health law. Areas of coverage include: an introduction to the health care insurance industry, including an overview of private and public insurers and individual mandates for insurance; the organization and structure of health care institutions, including the provider-patient relationship and licensure and accreditation standards; legal mechanisms to reduce and compensate for medical errors; employee/employer relationships in the health care setting including coverage mandates and ERISA preemption; patient privacy (e.g., HIPAA and related state laws); and the regulation of billing practices, including issues related to the False Claims Act and the Stark anti-kickback laws. In addition, this course examines the ethical and legal tensions related to public health law, such as the tension between safeguarding public health versus individual rights. Public health laws regulates a wide-range of issues from controlling communicable diseases to limitations on tobacco usage. Public health laws also closely relate to issues in bioethics, specifically in regards to regulation and rationing of genetic technologies, organ transplantation and end-of-life care. Lastly, this course will provide an overview of Food and Drug Law, including background on the organization and structure of the FDA as well as the relationship between the FDA, regulated industry and the public, including access to experimental medicines. Although this course approaches issues that are also covered in the Bioethics and Medical Litigation classes, the courses are designed to be complementary, with minimal repetition. The course will rely upon co-instructors and/or frequent guest lectures from health law practitioner(s), with academic background in public health. Thus, public health students are encouraged to enroll.
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