Spring 2014
6331 Health Law Financing, Organization & Quality - EVANS- 23497

Professor(s): Barbara Evans (FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Health Law 

Time: 6:00p-7:30p  MWLocation: TUII-211 

Course Outline: This course introduces students to the structure, financing, and regulation of the American health care system. The focus is on health care institutions, such as hospitals and health insurers, rather than the physician-patient relationship. Issues studied include how health care institutions are legally organized and accredited, managed care, Medicare and Medicaid, fraud and abuse, and health care transactions.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus revised 1/13/2014

Course Notes: Students cannot receive credit for this course and Health Law II (formerly titled: Health Law Survey: Access, Regulation & Enterprise).  This course uses two modestly priced books that are on order, plus a law practice guide available at no cost through students' Westlaw accounts and supplementary statutory and case material to be provided in PDF format. This section of Health Law Financing, Organization, and Quality (“HLFOQ”) explores the following hypothesis: Medicine is about to go through a major shake-up that has little to do with the Affordable Care Act (colloquially known as “Obamacare”). The recent debate about the Affordable Care Act focused on healthcare of the present rather than healthcare of the future. Present healthcare is often ineffective, costly, and thus hard to extend to all citizens, so the present healthcare debate has focused on rationing and who will be excluded or under-served. Unnoticed in this debate is that the U.S. healthcare system is on the brink of an epochal cost- and biotechnology-driven restructuring which, by some accounts, will force every healthcare institution in America to rewrite its business plan during the next five years. This section covers the same body of laws and regulations that HLFOQ traditionally has covered, but it explores how these existing laws may pose barriers to fundamental cost- and biotechnology-driven restructuring of the healthcare industry. This section aims to teach students a set of core practice-oriented competencies to prepare them to advise healthcare institutions and corporations that pay for employee healthcare on how to successfully navigate this restructuring.

Prerequisites: No  This is an introductory course that requires no prerequisites other than completion of the general 1L curriculum. This section of the course is designed to avoid overlaps with the Law Center’s other basic health law course (Health Law Survey). Students can take either or both of Health Law Financing, Organization, and Quality (“HLFOQ”) and Health Law Survey and take them in any order.

First Day Assignments: Topol, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: Read: Introduction (pages v - xi); Quickly skim Chapter 1 (pages 3 - 18) for main points; Read: Chapter 2 (pp. 19 -32)

Read: Atul Gawande, The Cost Conundrum, NEW YORKER, June 1, 2009, www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande

Day 1 Assignment: Write a short (1 page, or up to 2 pages max) “thought piece” on the following topic. Bring it with you and turn it in at the start of class: Antibiotics became widely available after the mid-1940s. The rise of large hospitals in the last half of the 20th century coincided with the availability of effective antibiotics. Clustering large numbers of sick and immune-compromised people under one roof was feasible in part because antibiotics could manage the risk of intra-institutional disease transmission. U.H. pharmacologist Vincent Tam predicts that antibiotics will cease to work in the next 5 - 10 years, because widespread over- and misuse of antibiotics has favored the evolution of antibiotic resistant organisms. How may the end of “the antibiotic era” affect the future structure of the healthcare industry?

Final Exam Schedule: Take home exam      

This course will have:
Exam: Take-home final (70% of course grade).
Paper: Short ungraded papers plus graded mid-terms (30%)

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No