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Welcome to Healthcare Law

A survey of laws governing healthcare insurance, providers, patient care, privacy, discrimination, and public health.


Welcome to Healthcare Law! Designed for 2Ls and 3Ls, this course explores the legal issues that impact the unique world of healthcare providers and entities. This course is divided into seven chapters.

The first chapter explores health insurance, both public and private. On the public side, this chapter explains the general structure and operation of public-health-insurance giants Medicare and Medicaid. On the private side, the first chapter explores laws impacting private health insurance, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also known as ERISA, and the Affordable Care Act of 2010, or ACA.

The second chapter addresses legal issues impacting the formation of a healthcare entity. This chapter discusses topics like the legal issues that come with employing healthcare workers, an entity’s business-form options, state certificate-of-need requirements for new entities, and the requirements for obtaining tax-exempt status.

The third chapter provides an overview of the federal laws used to combat fraud and abuse in healthcare, including the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Stark Law. This chapter also discusses how those laws are enforced, including an explanation of whistleblower actions known as qui tam actions.

The fourth chapter explores federal antitrust laws that govern how healthcare entities may lawfully form networks or otherwise join together.

The fifth chapter discusses how healthcare providers and entities may be exposed to tort liability, such as malpractice liability. This chapter explains when and how a physician-patient relationship is formed and the legal duties that this relationship places on a physician. The fifth chapter also addresses how healthcare entities themselves may face tort liability.

The sixth chapter covers various recurring healthcare issues and laws that impact specific topics, such as contraception and reproduction, organ donation and transplantation, medical research on human subjects, and end-of-life care. This chapter also examines privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and antidiscrimination laws.

Finally, the seventh chapter examines state laws, as opposed to federal laws, that protect the public’s health. This chapter looks at the constitutional police power that authorizes state public-health laws as well as the constitutional limits on a state’s power to mandate public-health measures.

When you finish this course, you’ll be ready to navigate your Healthcare Law class or final with ease. Let’s get started.