Health Care and Social Law




Healthcare and Social Law includes the law of public health, health care generally, and medical care specifically. Maintaining public health is a chief duty of the state. Health regulations and laws are almost all administered at the state level. Many states delegate authority to subordinate governmental agencies such as the board of health. These boards are created by legislative acts.

Federal health law emphasizes the activity of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It directs a wide assortment of agencies and programs, like providing financial assistance to needy individuals; guiding medical and scientific research; providing health care and advocacy services; and imposing laws and regulations related to human services. A significant part of the HHS is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which supervise the Medicare and Medicaid Programs. Their goal is to ensure that elderly and needy individuals receive appropriate medical care.

Private health insurance is primarily received through health maintenance organizations (HMO's). Managed care basically creates a relationship between physician, patient, and payer. Physicians are paid a flat per-member per-month fee for basic health care services, regardless of whether the patient seeks those services. The risk that a patient is going to require weighty treatment shifts from the insurance company to the physicians under this model. Because of the prominence of the industry, HMO's are heavily regulated. On the federal level the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 governs.

For more information on Health Care and Social Laws, please review the links found below. Additionally, you can find legal assistance with these types of claims and questions by clicking on the "Lawyers" tab in the menu bar at the top of this page.

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Articles on HG.org Related to Health Care and Social Law

  • Pain Medication Errors and Medical Malpractice
    Medication often affects individuals differently based on body chemistry and many different factors. It sometimes requires some tweaking and testing to determine which pills work the best for the patient. To discover the right medication for the person, careful attention to the entire process is required by the healthcare professional.
  • Product Liability: Talcum Powder and the Link to Ovarian Cancer
    The insidious nature of ovarian cancer makes it difficult to detect in its early stages when treatment is most effective.
  • How to Qualify for SSDI
    If you have been injured resulting in a disability that prevents you from returning to your job, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The amount of benefits you will be eligible for depends on your work record. This means that you will likely receive what your Social Security retirement benefit would have been if you continued to work until retirement age.
  • Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit
    When a woman goes into labor, she puts the life of her unborn baby in the hands of well-trained medical professionals. In most cases that person is an obstetrician, gynecologist, neonatologist, or other doctor who has had the necessary training to safety deliver babies. Some women decide to go a slightly different, more natural route, by opting to have a midwife deliver their baby.
  • Common HIPAA Violations
    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is legislation that provides guidelines and practices for the safeguarding of private medical information. Most familiar to the general public is HIPAA’s Title II, which established national standards for the electronic access and transmission of personal health care information.
  • Viagra Lawsuits Centralized Into New Multidistrict Litigation
    More lawsuits are being filed against Pfizer for their negligence and for allegations that Viagra elevated the risk of Melanoma.
  • $17.6 Million Opiate Abuse Verdict
    In a stunning verdict that is being hailed as a message to physicians who overprescribe opiate medications, a St. Louis jury awarded $17.6 million in punitive damages to a couple severely affected by opiate abuse.
  • Social Security Disability Benefits for Bone Fractures
    A broken bone, also known as a bone fracture, can be extremely painful, often requiring a fair amount of time to fully heal. Some fractures heal relatively quickly without any complications, while more severe breaks can be more problematic.
  • Is Congress Ready to Revise the Stark Law?
    It seems that most physicians do not have a favorable opinion of the physician self-referral provisions, known as the Stark Law. The Stark law is actually three separate provisions that govern self–referral for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
  • High Stakes Privacy Breaches – HIPAA Compliance for Law Firms
    Since 2013, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its Final Rule implementing revisions to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the potential for business associates to be sanctioned for privacy breaches has been a concern to law firms that regularly handle protected health information (PHI). A recent settlement involving a business associate brings that concern into sharper focus.
  • All Health Care and Social Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Health Care and Social including: defective drugs, failure to diagnose, informed consent, medical law, medical malpractice, medication errors, pharmaceutical law, social security, social services law, surgical errors.

Health Care and Social Law - US

  • ABA - Health Law Section

    The Health Law Section is one of the 27 Sections, Divisions and Forum of the ABA. We are governed by a Council which includes the Officers. We have four dedicated staff. The Section has the Divisions: Administrative, Member Services, Policy, Program and Publications. The Section has twelve Interest Groups which are listed below. Each Section member can join Interest Groups at no charge.

  • FoodSafety.gov

    FoodSafety.gov is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies. According to the Key Findings of the Food Safety Working Group: “The federal government will enhance www.foodsafety.gov to better communicate information to the public and include an improved individual alert system allowing consumers to receive food safety information, such as notification of recalls. Agencies will also use social media to expand public communications.”

  • Health Information Privacy

    The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes.

  • Health Law - Overview

    Improvements in technology and medical care have increased life expectancy by a considerable amount. Alongside these improvements, health care costs have risen dramatically. Because the health of the people in a nation reflects the health of the nation itself, health care law is vital for the stability of the United States.

  • Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973

    Today, many people receive health care through health maintenance organizations (HMO's). Managed care essentially creates a triangle relationship between physician, patient, and payer. Because of the importance of the industry, HMO's are heavily regulated. On the federal level the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 governs.

  • Indian Health Service

    Our Mission... to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.

  • National Health Law Program

    The National Health Law Program is a national public interest law firm that seeks to improve health care for America's working and unemployed poor, minorities, the elderly and people with disabilities. NHeLP serves legal services programs, community-based organizations, the private bar, providers and individuals who work to preserve a health care safety net for the millions of uninsured or underinsured low-income people.

  • Social Security Administration

    SSA delivers services through a nationwide network of over 1,400 offices that include regional offices, field offices, card centers, teleservice centers, processing centers, hearing offices, the Appeals Council, and our State and territorial partners, the Disability Determination Services. We also have a presence in U.S. embassies around the globe. For the public, we are the “face of the government.” The rich diversity of our employees mirrors the public we serve.

  • US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

  • US Food and Drug Administration - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

    The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

Health Care and Social Law - Europe

  • European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

    The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was established in 2005. It is an EU agency with aim to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases. ECDC's mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases.

  • Health Care and the European Union

    Slowly, in health and social affairs ministries across Europe, the realisation is dawning that European Union law has profound consequences for the organisation of national healthcare systems. Even in the United Kingdom, which for many years was in a state of active denial about the influence of Europe, ministers are looking at how to exploit the opportunities offered by provisions on free movement of patients (to France) and professionals (bringing teams of German surgeons to operate at weekends in NHS hospitals).

  • Overview of Health Strategy in the European Community

    Health is an important priority for Europeans. We expect to be protected against illness and disease. We want to bring up our children in a healthy environment, and demand that our workplace is safe and hygienic. When travelling within the European Union, we need access to reliable and high-quality health advice and assistance.

Health Care and Social Law - International

  • Global Health

    In international health, one of our Nation's greatest strengths is our considerable convening power—it's our ability to inspire, to set an example, and to call upon the best knowledge, experience, and resources, from individual experts, private institutions, and government agencies.

  • Health Law - Guide to Health Law in Australia

    This guide contains links to Internet resources and documents in the area of federal health law, as well as providing links to other guides and directories which contain material on State and Territory and overseas law. More detailed guides are also provided for topics of current interest to the federal Parliament.

  • Public Health Agency of Canada

    To promote and protect the health of Canadians through leadership, partnership, innovation and action in public health.

  • South Africa Department of Health

    Our Mission is to consolidate and build on the achievements of the past five years in improving access to health care for all and reducing inequity, and to focus on working in partnership with other stakeholders to improve the quality of care of all levels of the health system, especially preventive and promotive health, and to improve the overall efficiency of the health care delivery system.

  • WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement)

    This Agreement applies to all sanitary and phytosanitary measures which may, directly or indirectly, affect international trade. Such measures shall be developed and applied in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.

Organizations Related to Health Care and Social Law

  • American College of Legal Medicine

    Founded in 1960, the American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM) is the official organization for professionals who focus on the important issues where law and medicine converge. The ACLM is a professional community of physicians, attorneys, dentists, healthcare professionals, administrators, scientists, and others with a sustained interest in medical legal affairs. The ACLM is the organization of healthcare and legal professionals whose diverse education, training, and experience enable the College to promote interdisciplinary cooperation and an understanding of issues where law and medicine converge.

  • American Health Lawyers Association

    The mission of the American Health Lawyers Association is to provide a collegial forum for interaction and information exchange to enable its members to serve their clients more effectively; to produce the highest quality non-partisan educational programs, products, and services concerning health law issues; and to serve as a public resource on selected healthcare legal issues.

  • American Public Health Association

    The American Public Health Association is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872. The Association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health professionals and others who care about their own health and the health of their communities.

  • American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics

    The mission of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics is to provide high-quality scholarship, debate, and critical thought to the community of professionals at the nexus of law, medicine, and ethics.

  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

    ASTHO is the 501(c) (3) non-profit membership association representing the chiefs of state and territorial health agencies and the 120,000 individuals who work for them. It is supported by 57 members, senior state and territorial health agency leadership, an active Alumni Society of former members, a network of 20 affiliated organizations, and staff.

  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

    CMS' Mission * To ensure effective, up-to-date health care coverage and to promote quality care for beneficiaries CMS' Vision: * To achieve a transformed and modernized health care system. * CMS will accomplish our mission by continuing to transform and modernize America's health care system.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Collaborating to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

  • Centers for Law and the Public's Health

    Founded in October, 2000 as a CDC Collaborating Center in Public Health Legal Preparedness, and in June, 2005 as a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center in Public Health Law and Human Rights, the Centers for Law and the Public's Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities is a primary, international, national, state, and local resource on public health law, ethics, human rights, and policy for public health practitioners, lawyers, legislators, judges, academics, policymakers, and others.

  • European Association of Health Law (EAHL)

    The European Association of Health Law (EAHL) aims to strengthen the health and human rights interface throughout Europe, and to serve as an indispensable source of advice and guidance for the future of health law and policies in Europe.

  • Health Action International (HAI)

    HAI works towards a world in which all people, especially the poor and marginalised, are able to exercise their human right to health. HAI’s contribution is through advocating for increased access to essential medicines and improved rational use of medicines (RUM). This is achieved through research excellence and the engagement of civil society in advocacy in the medicines policy debate.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people's health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease as well as the causes, treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases.

  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

    The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with more than 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization and enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system.

  • Public Health Foundation (PHF)

    The Public Health Foundation (PHF) is dedicated to achieving healthy communities through research, training, and technical assistance. For more than 35 years, this national, non-profit organization has been creating new information and helping health agencies and other community health organizations connect to and more effectively use information to manage and improve performance, understand and use data, and strengthen the workforce.

  • World Health Organization

    WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

Publications Related to Health Care and Social Law

  • Health Affairs

    Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in both domestic and international spheres.

  • International Journal for Quality in Health Care

    About the Journal The International Journal for Quality in Health Care makes activities and research related to quality and safety in health care available to a worldwide readership. The Journal publishes papers in all disciplines related to the quality and safety of health care, including health services research, health care evaluation, technology assessment, health economics, utilization review, cost containment, and nursing care research, as well as clinical research related to quality of care.

  • Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare and Ethics

    This is a peer reviewed journal. Every published article has been reviewed by members of the editorial board and the editor-in-chief. All articles are archived by Internet Scientific Publications LLC and recognized by The Library of Congress Catalog of Publications.

  • The Milbank Quarterly

    Published for more than eighty years, The Milbank Quarterly features peer-reviewed original research, policy review, and analysis, as well as commentary from academics, clinicians, and policymakers. According to the Institute for Scientific Information, the Quarterly has either led or been in the top three for "impact factor" (based on citations of published articles) of forty journals in Health Policy & Services and of fifty-seven journals in Health Care Sciences & Services since 2003. Articles published in the Quarterly also have the longest citation half-life of journals in Health Policy & Services.




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