Health care law is an exciting and rewarding field with countless opportunities to take on challenging cases and make a significant impact on clients’ lives. For lawyers who are interested in specializing in this area, an advanced graduate education provides the grounding in relevant problems and policy to practice in areas such as medical malpractice, elder law or employment and labor law. With an extensive understanding of health care regulations and compliance issues, an attorney may build a career as in-house counsel or serve as an external consultant, representing clients ranging from pharmaceutical and insurance companies to individual doctors and patients.
Legal professionals can gain that high-level expertise through ahealth law policy program. Earning an online Master’s in Healthcare Law from Hofstra is a chance to explore some of the most important conflicts affecting hospitals, doctors, businesses and individuals. Students in the LL.M. program take nine courses that teach them to address a wide range of pressing health care issues by applying legal principles and strategic thinking.
If you enroll in one of Hofstra Law’s online health law programs, you can expect to take part in some of the following classes.
Explore vital government health programs in Medicare and Medicaid Law
According to estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the average monthly enrollment totals for 2017 reached approximately 58 million people in Medicare Part A or B and 72.3 million in Medicaid. These programs provide many Americans — including people over age 65, individuals with low incomes, children and pregnant women — with access to health coverage and medical care. With that mission comes numerous legal complications, and it’s essential for experts to have an extensive understanding of issues related to Medicare and Medicaid.
In this course, students explore how the two programs have developed since Medicare was established as a national insurance program in 1966. They learn about the impact of more recent changes like the establishment of Medicare Part D, which began covering prescription drug costs in 2006, and the expansions in Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Students consider how various methods of cost containment and utilization management have influenced access to care and patient outcomes.
Medicare and Medicaid fraud are increasingly urgent concerns, with Inspector General’s Office statistics showing more convictions for these crimes over recent years. Lawyers in this class can gain a fuller awareness of the role they play when representing patients, doctors or hospitals in cases involving the abuse of federally funded health care programs.
Take on tough questions in Bioethics and the Law
Health care providers routinely encounter difficult situations that could have major consequences for the lives and well-being of patients. For anyone involved in resolving these complicated medical questions, it’s important to think through the ethical implications. Advances in technology open up new possibilities for treatment but also raise thorny debates that legal professionals may have to help resolve.
A course in bioethics gives students insights into some of the toughest contemporary issues at the intersection of law and medicine. Legal professionals who plan to specialize in health care benefit from opportunities to think critically about how legal and medical institutions balance patients’ rights, doctors’ responsibilities and the best interests of society at large. This class tackles many controversial and highly relevant issues, including genetics research, reproductive health, human trials for medical products and end-of-life care.
Learn how key regulations are applied in The ADA: Statutory Interpretation
Any legal professional must be versed in the processes of statutory interpretation, through which judges interpret legislation and put it into action. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, its civil rights protections have been the basis of a number of significant cases. As amended in 2008, the act covers individuals living with a variety of conditions, including impaired mobility, blindness, deafness and intellectual disabilities, and both employers and courts must carefully navigate its provisions.
In this class, students engage with the interpretation and implementation of the ADA. They examine the history of legislation, past judicial decisions and administrative regulations. In the process, they develop a nuanced understanding of how the law works to prohibit discrimination by employers, public entities, businesses offering public accommodations and telecommunications service providers.
Investigate the many facets of Health Care Compliance
For businesses and individuals involved in health care, compliance must be constantly front of mind. Physicians, government agencies, research institutions and product developers need to stay in line with all applicable regulations. If these parties don’t have reliable legal guidance and strict policies in place, they may put themselves and their patients at risk.
This course prepares students to dive into the statutes and regulations, doing their part to create cultures of responsibility and compliance within organizations. Lectures and exercises focus on widely discussed areas of interest, like the handling of electronic records and use of mobile apps under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Students analyze current statutes and explore how legal obligations can shape effective internal policies.
Gain a fresh perspective on the connections between health care and law
Graduates from health care law programs are prepared to embark on careers centering on crucial problems in patient treatment and provider obligations. Hofstra University’s online Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy curriculum consists of nine courses, including a capstone. The School of Law regularly evaluates its courses to ensure its offerings reflect the latest thinking and current areas of controversy in health care policy.
Students finish the program with a rich, insightful and up-to-date perspective on the legal concerns faced by today’s health care providers and life sciences organizations. With all courses available online and three start dates throughout the year, legal professionals can take a convenient route to building their expertise and advancing their careers. Visit the program page to find out more about earning a Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy.