The Mount Sinai Hospital (New York)
Navigating the Changes in Healthcare Policy
Entering the medical profession often stems from an inner desire to help and heal others. However, as healthcare law continues to evolve at both the state and federal levels, many practitioners — including Joan Alt-Neumann — have stood at the crossroads between providing expert care and maneuvering through government regulations that can impact or delay the delivery of those services.
“Over the last 20 years I saw many changes, including an increase in the number and complexity of insurance programs,” Joan recalled. “The complexity of authorizations for procedures and other paperwork, the decrease in payments to physicians and hospitals, the decline of private practice and the dissatisfaction many physicians have with the practice of medicine are all a net result of many of these changes.”
Having already earned her M.D. degree, Joan realized that in an era where politics, law and medicine often intersect, it was important to understand the healthcare industry from a legal perspective. Her search for an education that met her exacting standards resulted in her enrolling in the online Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy program at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
“I chose this program because I wanted to have a better understanding of what it means to practice medicine in today’s political and economic environments,” Joan said. “With a better understanding of these and other issues, I may be able to effect changes that will benefit both patients and physicians.”
Guided by an experienced and expert faculty, Joan took advantage of every opportunity to gain added depth and perspective on the legal side of the healthcare industry. Rigorous coursework offered practical insight toward the interpretation and application of healthcare policy, as well as the impact it has on her own daily routines, including her patients’ outcomes.
“The courses involving ethics helped me deal with ethical issues in my own practice,” Joan noted. “The ADA and compliance courses helped pinpoint deficiencies in my office as well. The course on drug development provided insight toward the development of the drugs that I prescribe daily.”
Joan learned how to better protect herself against malpractice claims and other issues that face medical professionals in the modern era. Additionally, the course on joint ventures provided greater insight toward many of the changes happening in her hospital system.
“In the future, I hope to possibly incorporate my Hofstra Law education into an administrative position,” Joan added. “As a practicing physician for over 20 years, I feel my experience combined with my Hofstra education will allow me to contribute greatly in the administration of a health system, as I now have insight from many perspectives.”
Even while looking ahead toward her own career opportunities, Joan is quick to share her experience and professional insight with those seeking to enhance their careers by enrolling in the online Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy program at Hofstra Law.
“I would advise them to take the program seriously,” Joan said. “This is not an easy program, and a lot of work is required to gain the full benefit, especially for students who might be working full time. Try to do more than just the minimum required so you get the most out of it.”