Health Law

 

The Health Law curriculum offers LL.M. candidates substantive courses in health law, complemented by field placements in a wide variety of settings, including the New York State Health Department and the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

An unusual opportunity available here is an interdisciplinary seminar that is team-taught by an Albany Medical College faculty member along with an Albany Law School professor and is open to law students and resident physicians in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

In addition to our Health Law curriculum, we offer a wealth of course offerings in other areas of concentration that overlap with health law, such as government law and policy, science and technology, intellectual property, and environmental law. Students wishing to pursue a Health Law LL.M. will have the opportunity to study in these related areas as well.

At least 18 of 24 credits must be earned in core courses, up to three credits in a placement approved by the faculty advisor, and up to six credits in Health Law research and writing projects completed under faculty supervision.

Courses

  • Title
  • Type
  • Credits
  • Examines application of the antitrust law to healthcare activities, including restrictions on healthcare advertising, enforcement of trade association ethical rules, peer review by hospitals, provider-payer relationships, physician joint ventures, and hospital mergers. ​

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    ​Explores bioethics issues such as clinical decision making, informed consent, organ donation and transplantation, physician assisted suicide, ethics in managed care, death and dying, and medical research.

  • Covers the federal healthcare fraud protection laws relating to false claims, kickbacks, physician self-referrals, and hospital emergency treatment requirements. Examines the unique ways in which the healthcare industry is regulated to protect consumers and the federal healthcare programs (Medicare and Medicaid) from fraud.​

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Describes the medico-legal paradigm within which genetic technologies are presently pursued or restricted. Discusses the scientific basis of the genetic technologies providing students with basic appreciation of potential issues and a guide to the scientific, rather than the legal, literature related to the growing area of genomics. The course will be organized along six areas of the law: criminal law, family and property law, tort law, insurance law, labor law, and intellectual property law. No science background is required.

  • ​Examines the structure and financing of our healthcare system, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance.  Examines issues related to managed care, regulation of employer health benefit plans, and how health reform deals with the issue of the growing uninsured population.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​This survey course covers several topics essential to an understanding of the health-care system and the issues confronting health-care lawyers today. The topics are: health-care delivery systems; quality of and access to health care (including medical malpractice, institutional liability, and allocation of health-care resources); health-care professionals' rights and responsibilities (including professional licensure/discipline and institutional peer review); and patients' rights (including informed consent, advance directives, surrogate decisionmaking, research involving human subjects, determination of death, and anatomical gifts).​

  • ​Discusses the moral and legal issues concerning both ordinary and assisted reproduction. Covers constitutional and common law doctrine on reproductive liberty, government regulation, and medical control over procreative choice, the reproductive autonomy of minors, the effects of advances in cell biology on reproductive issues, and the rights and responsibilities of gamete contributors.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    Focuses on in-class presentations by students on legal and ethical issues present in the medical records of hypothetical obstetrical or gynecological patients. Law students work in teams with resident physicians in obstetrics and gynecology.

  • Elective
    Credits: 2

    Focuses on professional liability and cases concerning numerous health-care professionals, including physicians. In addition, students study statutory reforms enacted to modify the common law so as to decrease the costs of malpractice liability. Explores the relationship between malpractice and professional misconduct. Institutional liability is addressed as a complement to (and possibly a future replacement for) professional liability.

  • ​Provides an in-depth examination of the healthcare information privacy and security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Gives students practice in interpreting and applying the statute to assist clients with privacy questions and problems.

  • Elective
    Credits: 3

    ​Explores role of government in protecting and promoting public health and safety. Examines legitimacy of public health activities and explores sources of authority for public health action. Introduces the sciences of biostatistics and epidemiology.

  • ​This course will explore the origins of the current healthcare crisis, systematically examine some of the current methods for containing healthcare spending, and probe whether those methods are successful and equitable. The course will also explore the government's role in dealing with bioethical issues regarding, inter alia, physician assisted suicide, reproductive technologies, cloning, stem cell research, and organ transplantation.

Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Matthew D. Babcock, B.A., J.D.
Vice President, Legal Affairs, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica, N.Y.

Thomas F. Gleason, B.A., J.D.
Principal, Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O'Shea, Albany, N.Y., specializing in insurance law