The healthcare industry has seen record growth in the United States in recent years. Along with this growth, the industry has also seen an increase in the need for health law and medical law professionals to guide and represent the many organizations that serve the public as well as the consumers who use such services. Although these two types of legal practice specialties may seem the same, they are different in a number of ways, primarily who is being counseled and represented.
Therefore, healthcare businesses should understand how the medical and health law branches differ to best protect themselves and the many patients they serve.
What Is Medical Law?
Medical law is the section of law involving patient rights and provider responsibilities. Attorneys usually represent patients and clients whose rights have been violated or who have been victims of medical negligence. Malpractice or negligence and confidentiality issues, including HIPAA compliance, are two main areas of focus concerning medical law.
Attorneys in this area of the law work with patients who have faced negligence or a breach of confidentiality on the part of the provider; attorneys also help medical providers understand and abide by current confidentiality regulations. These attorneys may advise professionals and organizations on matters such as ethical issues, end of life concerns, and other equally sensitive issues.
What Is Health Law?
Health law deals with the regulatory issues of the healthcare industry in the delivery of health care. This area of law focuses on issues that deal with interpreting federal and state laws, such as the Affordable Care Act, and helps ensure that all medical personnel and facilities practice within the scope of the law in providing proper patient care.
Health law attorneys work with hospitals, nursing homes, medical practices, and other industry businesses and organizations in the development and implementation of legal policies that affect the services these groups provide. This legal focus also deals with the relationships between providers and professionals, hiring and employment concerns, healthcare business issues, and regulations regarding discrimination and professional duty to treat. Health law also involves dealing with licensing issues for the healthcare provider.
The Relationship Between Health and Medical Law
While medical law focuses mainly on the patient, the services provided, and patient privacy concerns, health law focuses on healthcare delivery and financing as well as how that delivery correlates with the legislative side of the industry. Health law ensures that all medical providers practice according to industry regulatory and business laws.
Considering this, the area of medical law falls within that of health legislation, which governs professionals and organizations to ensure they operate according to state and federal healthcare laws, statutes, and regulations. So health law provides the very basis of all laws and procedures that medical professionals must adhere to in terms of actual patient care, privacy issues, and business operation.
The differences between medical law and health law may not seem apparent to everyone; however, it is essential for those who seeking legal assistance to understand them. Getting the most appropriate and necessary legal counsel depends on contacting the right legal professionals. Patients and clients of healthcare services with legal concerns should refer their questions to experienced medical law attorneys; professional healthcare businesses and organizations need guidance from experienced health law attorneys.
The Stevenson Law Firm, PC
6302 W. Broadway, Suite 120
Pearland, TX 77581
Phone: (832) 481-4548