Health care law focuses on the legislative, executive, and judicial rules and regulations that govern the health care industry. The health care industry includes hospitals and hospital systems, other health care providers (such as nursing homes, psychiatric centers, acute care centers and health maintenance organizations), public and private insurers, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, and the individual practitioners who treat patients. Some of the regulations relevant to this industry include Stark, HIPAA, Anti-Kickback Statute, EMTALA and state privacy laws.
What do Health Care Lawyers do?
Health care lawyers often represent clients in the health care industry in connection with general corporate matters, including corporate reorganization, capital financing, employee benefits, tax, and antitrust issues and general contract negotiation. In addition, health care lawyers often provide advice regarding physician recruitment, acquisition of physician practices, and medical staff relations matters. Health care lawyers also provide guidance concerning Medicare and Medicaid fraud, abuse and payment issues, HMO and insurance regulation, telemedicine and health reform issues. Finally, health care lawyers often address risk management, informed consent, confidentiality, and bioethical issues including end of life decision-making, assisted reproduction, and health care decision-making.
Health care lawyers represent health care providers before federal and state agencies that regulate the health care industry. They also assist health care providers with various types of litigation, including medical malpractice, fraud and abuse claims, antitrust issues, breach of contract disputes, intellectual property matters, real estate issues, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement matters, and labor and employment disputes.
Many health care lawyers work for law firms that have departments that specialize in health care law. Others work for government agencies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, medical equipment corporations, or other organizations with a health care focus.
Exploring a Career in Health Care Law
Georgetown Law Courses/Clinics
Georgetown Law Student Groups
- American Bar Association (ABA) –Health Law Section
- State Bar Associations–Health Law Sections
- American Health Lawyers Association
- American Association of Nurse Attorneys
- Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA)
Where it’s Hot
- Washington, DC
- Florida (Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville)
- New York, NY
- New Jersey
Helpful Health Care Law Resources
- HG.org: Health Law
- American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM)
- ABA Health Law Section Resources for Law Students
- National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
- American Health Lawyers Association Job Listings Bank
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor &Pensions
- U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee