Course required for the Health and Biomedical concentration.
The course introduces students to the United States health care system. The course will examine the law relating to health care institutions, (hospitals, managed care organizations, and other payers and providers) and selected health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Specifically, the course examines how health care providers are reimbursed, the regulation of health care facilities, the tax status of health care institutions, fraud and abuse laws, the patient-doctor relationship, informed consent, and selected issues in bioethics. The casebook will be supplemented by current legal materials.
Faculty comments: This course is one of two courses specifically required for the Health and Biomedical Law Concentration. The course provides an introduction to the structure and function of the means of delivering health care services in the United States. Because of the tremendous influence of public policy and government regulation on health care, the course begins with an examination of health care policy by considering how the law addresses medical error and mechanisms for achieving distributive justice in health care services through a case study of organ transplantation. The course also provides background on the regulation of health care organizations, such as hospitals, managed care organizations, and insurance entities, and considers in some detail public health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Time permitting, the course touches on the professional relationships in health care organizations, corporate, tax, fraud and abuse, and antitrust issues relevant to health care enterprises. In addition to covering these topics, the course in health law provides insights into the overlapping and separate roles of state, local, and federal governments in health care policy, and offers the opportunity for comparisons with analogous policies in other legal systems. Given the recent enactment of federal health reform legislation, the course will consider how the changes attempt to address problems identified in recent approaches to providing health insurance and delivering health care. Finally, the course will identify future areas ripe for reform—regulating the cost and quality of health care.
Teaching method: This professor uses Socratic instruction with heavy emphasis on student discussion, including discussion of problems in navigating health care insurance and delivery systems and holding practitioners and institutions accountable for quality of care.
Methods of evaluation:
Paper: Approximately 40% of the course grade is based on a writing assignment distributed to students approximately midway through the semester. Papers are usually not more than 7 typewritten pages in length. The topic for this paper usually invites students to evaluate a current health care reform proposal.
Class Participation: Participating in class is a part of the learning process for all students and the professor. Regular class attendance, therefore, is encouraged. For truly outstanding participation in class, course grades may be raised by a half letter grade, e.g. from “B-” to “B”.
Examination: Evaluation for work in the course is based also on a final examination. The examination typically consists of approximately two-thirds essay questions and approximately one-third multiple choice questions and count for approximately 60% of the course grade. This examination is a limited open book examination which means that each student will be permitted to bring the required texts for the course and any notes the student has prepared. No treatises, commercial study aids or outlines, or other such materials are permitted. For a full explanation of the exam rules, please see description on prior years’ examinations.
Health/Biomedical Concentration Requirements
<<Course Updated: November 18, 2010>>