Spring 2018
7301 WRC: E-Health - SCOTT- 20593

Professor(s): Ronald  Scott (RESEARCH PROFESSOR)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Health Law 

Time: 1:00p-2:30p  MWLocation: 119  TUII

Course Outline: E-health Writing Course 2018

This course will examine regulatory approaches to new technology, including health information technology (HIT), by state legislatures, boards of medicine and pharmacy, and federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

We will address healthcare privacy (including HIPAA-the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), regulation of physicians practicing medicine via the Internet, Internet pharmacies and e-prescribing, electronic health records, personal health records maintained online, and regulation of iPhone apps as “medical devices.” We will also discuss use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter by healthcare providers and the legal and ethical considerations arising from such use.

The Internet is largely unregulated, and reaches across state and international borders. Physicians, pharmacies, pharmacists, and other health care providers have historically been regulated by the states. Perceived abuses by virtual pharmacies and physicians prescribing drugs based on on-line consultations have resulted in state and federal regulatory responses, together with attempts at self-regulation.

Consumers are concerned about the privacy of health information they provide to e-health Web sites for the purpose of getting answers to medical questions, learning about new therapies, or accessing other health-related information. Physicians’ and patients’ use of social networking sites such as Facebook has raised new privacy concerns. Cybermedicine (on-line consultations) also presents newly emerging liability exposures for physicians.

Mobile health devices such as the iPhone have also triggered regulatory responses from the FDA. Physicians are using the iPhone to access patients’ medical records, to electronically prescribe drugs, and order needed medical tests such as lab work. More than 1400 health care apps are available for the iPhone including apps that check medication dosing and allow obstetricians to monitor a baby’s heartbeat remotely. Powerful apps converting iPhones and smartphones into electrocardiographs, electronic stethoscopes and glucose monitors have prompted the FDA to regulate some of the apps as “medical devices” under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Physicians, hospitals, insurers and other stakeholders in health care are already asking e-health questions. Should a physician communicate via e-mail with her patients? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (federal health reform law) includes provisions that encourage physicians and hospitals to deploy electronic health records (EHR). How can a hospital comply with federal law when it moves to electronic health records? Join us to learn the answer to these and other cutting-edge legal issues.

This course will have three short papers rather than one long paper, in accordance with the alternative revised Upper Level Writing Requirement for a “Writing Course.”

The requirements state in part: “Students in a Writing Course must complete several kinds of practical writing assignments. Assignments must be no more than 2,500 words each, when feasible. Instructors have discretion over the kind and number of assignments students complete; however, students must complete at least 5,000 words of writing over the course of the semester.”

Students will complete three assignments. The first assignment will be a client letter reviewing and analyzing a proposed or recently enacted statute or a proposed or enacted regulation. For example, in 2013, new regulations and guidance addressed prescription refill reminders under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), i.e., when such reminders constitute “marketing” and require an “authorization” from the patient. . Students could be asked to explain the regulations to clients.

The second assignment is also a client letter, but will require the student to utilize multiple sources rather than summarizing a single source.

The final assignment is mini-thesis, similar to a bar journal type article. This assignment is also more in the nature of “academic” legal writing, requiring the student to argue a “thesis” or “point of view” as is typical of academic legal writing. The final assignment will be due during finals, after the course is finished, but a draft will be due earlier, during the course.

Students will not be required to do much actual legal research. Most of the needed materials will provided to you. You may find it necessary to update a particular statute or regulation, but this is primarily a legal writing course.

For each of the assignments, students must submit a draft. I will provide detailed comments on the drafts which I will expect you to incorporate into the final versions of the papers. Each of these assignments should be a minimum of 2000 words each not including footnotes (About 8 pages double spaced). The total of all assignments must total 5000 words to meet the Upper Level Writing Requirement.

Revised 9/18/2016

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes:   Quota=12


First Day Assignments: “First Assignment:

First, Welcome to the course.

For the first class, please read the materials posted on Blackboard for Jan. 17. [2018SP-20593 LAW 7391 WRS E-HEALTH. ](The description should say WRC-ignore the error).
The materials include the course description, syllabus, writing assignment 1 and a Mercy Hospital article. I will provide an overview of the course. I have included a copy of my slide presentation but you do not need to read or make a copy of the presentation before the class. (It will keep you from having to take notes during class if you want to check on something later.)

I have included a copy of the first writing assignment at this early stage so you will understand the context of a video we will watch this class or at the beginning of the next class and the materials you will be reading for the next class. We will discuss the assignment in more detail in the third class.

See you in class,


Prof. Scott,
rscott@central.uh.edu “

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

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

Experiential Course Type: no

Bar Course: No

Course Materials (10/16/2017 7:13:30 AM)

No book required for this course

There is no book required for this course.