WHAT IS HEALTH LAW?
Health care lawyers often represent hospitals and other health care providers, such as nursing homes, psychiatric centers, and acute care centers, as well as health maintenance organizations (HMOs). These organizations, like other corporations, seek legal advice regarding general corporate matters such as corporate reorganization, capital financing, employee benefits, tax, and antitrust issues. They also seek legal advice concerning issues that are unique to health care providers, such as physician recruitment, the acquisition of physician practices, and numerous medical staff relations issues - including the review of staff bylaws, credentialing issues, disciplinary matters, the development of faculty/staff practice plans for teaching hospitals, and the formation of physician-hospital organizations.
The healthcare industry is highly regulated, and hospitals and other health care facilities must therefore carefully monitor legislation affecting the industry. Lawyers represent health care providers before federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and state agencies that regulate issues such as licensing, reimbursements, and other administrative issues.
Health care lawyers may also assist hospitals and health care organizations with many types of litigation, such as the defense of medical malpractice cases, as well as commercial disputes, breach of contract disputes, intellectual property cases, real estate issues, and labor disputes. Health care organizations may also be involved in antitrust litigation, health care fraud and abuse litigation, and litigation involving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING PURSUING A CAREER IN HEALTH LAW...
1. Take a broad range of law school classes. Health law encompasses a vareity of traditional practice areas, and therefore a broad range of classes is helpful to practicing in this area.
2. Take at least one introductory health law class; advanced health law classes can be helpful as well.
3. Gain practical experience in the health care field by working as a summer associate or law clerk at a law firm with a health care practice or as an intern for a federal or state agency that does health care-related work.
4. Sharpen your writing skills by writing for Loyola's Annals of Health Law.
5. After you have completed 51 or more credit hours, pursue a non-judicial externship with a health law organization such as the American Medical Association, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Legal Assistance Foundation's Health Law Project, or one of several area hospitals.
6. Get to know Loyola's professors specializing in health law - Lawrence Singer, John Blum, Nadia Sawicki, Emily Benfer, Barbara Youngberg, and Cynthia Ho. Click here for a list of adjunct health law faculty members.
HEALTH LAW RESOURCES
Careers in Health Law - Prepared by the Beazley Institute (PDF)
Careers in Health Law Powerpoint - Peter Leibold, CEO of American Health Lawyers Association
Chicago's 25 Largest Hospitals
Chicago's 25 Largest Health Insurers