U.S. Health Law Certificate
The U.S. Health Law Certificate is designed to provide students with comprehensive knowledge of health care law and regulation in the U.S., including public health programs and regulations, health care access and financing, the private insurance market, and Medicaid. Our renowned full-time faculty members teach a variety of courses in U.S. health law and provide advice on the development of the curriculum. Our adjunct faculty, all leading domestic health law and policy practitioners, draw on their wealth of experience to equip our students with the skills to practice in this growing and changing field.
The Certificate in U.S. Health Law is offered in conjunction with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law
While this certificate may be completed as a stand-alone program, students who enroll in this certificate program often find it beneficial to pursue their certificate studies along with the Global Health Law LL.M. The Certificate in U.S. Health Law is open to students and graduates of Georgetown’s LL.M. programs.
|Requirement||U.S.-Trained Students||Foreign-Trained Students|
|Specialization Credits Required||12||12|
|Program Course Requirements||1) Access to Health Care and Coverage: Law and Policy; 2) Health Law and Regulation; 3) The Affordable Care Act: Law and Policy Governing Private Health Insurance||1) Access to Health Care and Coverage: Law and Policy; 2) Health Law and Regulation; 3) The Affordable Care Act: Law and Policy Governing Private Health Insurance|
|GPA Requirement||Minimum B- (2.67/4.00) in specialization courses||Minimum B- (2.67/4.00) in specialization courses|
To learn more, please contact:
Phone: (202) 662-6664
Email Address: Sarah Roache
J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
The law governing access to health care has been in flux and in legal dispute in recent years. This course will examine America's programs for health care access and finance, including employment-based private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and VA. The course will also examine the enactment, implementation, and litigation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to these payment systems, the course will also at laws affecting non-comprehensive systems such as emergency rooms, public hospitals, and community health centers. No previous knowledge of health law is required.
Note: The course will not focus on biomedical ethics, medical malpractice, or pharmaceutical regulation.
This is a required course for the U.S. Health Law Certificate.
J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
One-fifth of the U.S. economy centers around health care industry sectors. This seminar examines criminal, civil and administrative tools used by federal and state enforcement authorities to police the U.S. healthcare system. We will focus on cases brought under federal and state False Claims Acts (FCA), the Anti-Kickback Statue (AKS), Stark laws, Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The seminar provides a survey of the enforcement activities of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of Inspector General at Department of Health and Human Services (OIG), and state Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) in matters against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies, physicians, hospitals, clinical practices, nursing homes, laboratories, and others. The seminar materials thoroughly cover the statues, safe-harbors, and regulations that govern the health care industry. We will also discuss risk mitigation strategies and compliance program best practices across industry sectors to provide insight into the impact enforcement has on (1) clinical decision-making, (2) costs to providers, payers, and patients, (3) patient safety, and (4) quality of care. In an effort to maintain a broad perspective with the diverse and frequently changing legal landscape in the area, in addition to the case book, materials discussed and presented in this course draw from news reports, trade publications, and U.S. government agency materials.
The class requires a paper of approximately 20-25 pages in length.
Recommended: Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.
LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
Beyond health insurance and the delivery of health care, goods and services related to individual and public health are highly regulated in the United States, and often serve as a basis for international regulations. These goods and services are a large and growing part of the U.S. and world economy, with some estimates being that more than one-quarter of U.S. food and medical products are regulated by the FDA alone. This regulation is carried out directly by a variety of State and Federal agencies (such as the FDA, the CDC, and the NIH) as well as indirectly through the purchasing power of federally financed programs, such as Medicare.
This course will include an introduction to the basic legal and regulatory frameworks within public health and an overview of the Constitutional limits and policy choices that have led to current law. The course will then move to a review of several major fields of regulation. From a high-level, this includes the regulation of health professionals, health systems, and medical or food products impacting human health. The course will then conclude with an examination of several contemporary problems, such as the safe and effective use of human drug products, infectious-disease prevention and control, ethical research practices, and rationing and allocation of limited resources.
The primary objective of the course is to teach students about the regulation of public health at the intersection of state and federal levels, recognizing that such regulatory frameworks often become the template for international policies. Students will be called on to learn the basics of two fundamental statutes—the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Students will also be called upon to follow examples of administrative change under these statutes, each year analyzing a new set of proposed regulations and sub-regulatory guidance documents. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe the major means by which goods and services used in both personal and public health are controlled, as well as areas in which future changes are likely.
Currently, there is no text or case book on this subject. The primary readings will be assigned by the professor.
Note: This is a required course for the U.S. Health Law Certificate.
LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
Despite significant progress in legal protections for—and the visibility of—LGBT people over the past decade, LGBT communities continue to face systemic obstacles to quality health care such as refusals of care, substandard care, and inequitable policies and practices in health care settings. These experiences of discrimination correlate with significant health disparities, including greater exposure to violence, higher rates of tobacco and other substance use, mental health concerns, HIV, and cancer. These disparities are even more pronounced for LGBT people who are also members of other groups that face discrimination because of race, ethnicity, or other aspects of identity—such as people of color and immigrants, among others.
In this seminar, students will learn about LGBT health law and policy issues from a variety of perspectives—including medicine, public health, women's studies, and U.S. foreign policy—and gain a better understanding of the social mistreatment and ostracism of LGBT people at both the individual and community level. Topics covered will include international human rights law, LGBT-inclusive data collection, clinical and cultural competency, and health issues facing LGBT youth and elders. This course will also examine the ways in which LGBT individuals and families are treated under federal, state, and international law and how these policies impact access to health care and contribute to health disparities.
J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
Many of the most important and intense political disputes in American history have come before the federal courts. From the controversy about the Second Bank of the United States reflected in McCulloch v. Maryland, to the conflict about slavery at the core of Dred Scott, to the rise of interest group litigation by civil rights, religious, environmental, and other organizations, those opposed to prevailing laws and policies have taken their grievances to court. In recent years, a new breed of political litigation has proliferated. Increasingly, the losers in legislative battles have leapt immediately into the judicial arena, challenging the constitutionality of the laws enacted over their objection. Increasingly, politicians and the entities they control have deployed litigation as another tool in the partisan arsenal. And increasingly, federal courts have become the arbiters of political disputes between the other two branches of the Federal Government, and between the Federal Government and the States.
This course will use the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act as the principal case study to examine how political disputes play out in litigation, from the trial courts to the Supreme Court. We will consider how and why partisan disputes generate litigation and discuss the issues this litigation raises regarding the appropriate role of courts in our democratic system. For the most part, though, the perspective will be practical, as we explore the legal, strategic, and tactical choices advocates make in bringing high profile political cases, in framing the legal issues, in harnessing the rules of procedure, and in managing the political features of the case -- both offensively and defensively, and both inside and outside the courtroom. We will discuss the hurdles litigants face in seeking to strike down federal laws, the particular challenges of representing the U.S. Government in defending those laws, and the conflicting pressures that bedevil advocates on both sides of the cases. In some of our sessions, students may be asked to strategize or to argue from the perspective of the plaintiffs or the defendant in the cases.
Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System (or Democracy and Coercion).
Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Federal Courts and the Federal System.
J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
This course explores the interwoven dynamics of legal and ethical aspects of public health issues in the United States and abroad, including infectious diseases, tobacco use, obesity, and the environment, among others. This course will be valuable for students interested in global health law, as well as students looking to broaden and deepen their expertise in preparation for a career in health law more generally.
This course will proceed in three movements. First, it will consider the conceptual foundations of public health law in the United States through the lens of governance, ethics, and human rights, affording particular attention to the statutory and regulatory powers and duties of federal and state governmental entities to protect the health and safety of the population. Second, it will examine the sources of tension between the objectives of public health and civil liberties including, among others: labeling and advertising restrictions and free speech; disease surveillance and privacy; and considerations in personal versus population-based conceptions of health. Lastly, this course will conclude by considering emerging public health issues at the intersection of law and ethics, such as biosecurity, vaccine policy, and the role for public health in broader discussions around health care reform in the United States.
LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
This course provides a general overview of the federal labor and tax law policies and principles that apply to employment-based retirement plans, health care plans, and executive compensation arrangements. Students will examine the principles of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA that govern the form and operation of employer-sponsored plans, especially tax-qualified pension plans, executive compensation arrangements and welfare plans (with a focus on health care). This class will concentrate on the structure and basic rules that govern such arrangements. In the context of tax-qualified and nonqualified plans and health and welfare programs, this course will explore plan administration, fiduciary duties, claims appeals and litigation.
Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation (formerly Taxation I).
Mutually Excluded Courses: Employee Benefits: Qualified Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits: Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits: Health & Welfare Plans, Employee Benefits Practicum
Note: Students enrolled in the Employee Benefits Certificate Program may not register for this course.DISTANCE STUDENTS REGISTER FOR CRN#: 29486. This course is open to both on campus and distance students. However, only students enrolled in the Executive LL.M. in Taxation, the Executive LL.M. in Securities & Financial Regulation, and the MSL programs may take this course on a distance basis. All J.D. students and resident LL.M. students may not enroll in this course on a distance basis.
LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—President Obama’s signature health reform legislation—has significantly impacted the health care system. Through changes to the regulation of private health insurance, federal subsidies for low-income people, individual and employer mandates, and dramatic expansion of the Medicaid program, millions of Americans have gained health insurance. Yet, implementation of the law’s most significant reforms has been challenging, and the law faces threats of repeal and replacement in coming years.
This course will examine the regulation of private health insurance with an emphasis on the issues that the Affordable Care Act was designed to address. Specifically, the course will explore regulatory changes such as new market reforms and health insurance marketplaces; the impact of federal and state approaches to implementation; legal and regulatory challenges; and areas where changes are anticipated. Guest lectures by speakers including legal experts, health policy experts, state and federal regulators, consumer advocates, and insurers will provide students with an in-depth understanding of how the Affordable Care Act has been implemented and what it means for millions of consumers across the country.
The primary objective of the course is to teach students about the regulation of private health insurance at the federal and state level, with the rare opportunity to witness real-time changes to this complex system. Through this course, students will gain practical experience in identifying and analyzing federal and state laws, regulations, and administrative materials. Students will also gain a broader understanding of regulatory advocacy, its significance in administrative law, and how it has affected Affordable Care Act implementation. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe how private health insurance is regulated at the federal and state level, the major reforms ushered in by the Affordable Care Act, federal and state progress in Affordable Care Act implementation, and likely areas of changes to the law given real-time debates.
Note: This is a required course for the U.S. Health Law Certificate.