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Health Policy and Law Basics

Health Policy and Law Basics

Healthcare policies define a set of principles that govern and dictate healthcare delivery and access. These principles shape care operationalizations within the jurisdictions in which they are applicable. Health policies vary in scope and may range from localized care facilities to the entire globe. Healthcare providers should demonstrate adequate knowledge of policy frameworks and development processes.

Policy Establishment At The Federal And State Level Of Government

Policy establishment within the healthcare system at the federal and state levels follows a sequential process that is initiated upon the emergence of a healthcare issue. Issues such as operational inefficiencies, disease outbreaks, and quality compromises may trigger a policy development process. After identifying emerging healthcare issues, the next step is agenda setting. In this step, all conceivable options are laid out and assessed for their viability. This step narrows down all conceived options to a thinner outline, which now becomes the focus of attention. Decision-making follows. In this step, a panel of experts makes a decision on which option to use in addressing the emergent issue. The selected options are then implemented and evaluated periodically for their effectiveness in addressing emergent issues.

Policy establishment at the federal and state levels of government has some resemblance. Their scope is, however, varied. While state policies address emergent issues within the state, federal policies address emerging issues across the country and globally (Wilensky & Teitelbaum, 2020). These policies are similar in structure. Both outline the emerging issue they are targeting to address, the goals they seek to achieve, the underpinning principles that guided their postulation, and the policy instruments that address the emergent problem.

A Federal Bill Related To Healthcare

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is an example of a federal policy that guides health information technology utilization. This policy grants the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to utilize health information technologies that promote safety and quality of care operationalizations. HITECH Act promoted the adoption of electronic health records as a meaningful health information technology in healthcare. The advantage of this act is that it has encouraged many healthcare organizations to adopt EHR and integrate it into their mainstream system of care delivery (Lite et al., 2020). On the downside, the act prescribes a non-compliant penalty for parties that do not comply with its provisions. This may be unfavorable to startup care organizations that may not have the financial freedom to incorporate expensive technologies such as EHR into their mainstream care operationalization.

Sources Of Law Related To Healthcare

Laws related to healthcare are domiciled in the Constitution, federal and state statutes, and administrative regulations. The Constitution is the basic source of the federal government’s legal authority. It documents all healthcare laws passed at the federal level. Statutes are congress enactments that give power to various federal agencies, such as the HHS, to develop policies concerning their operationalizations. Congress grants administrative regulations to various federal agencies to respond to emergent issues. An example of a law in action is the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), which is a federal statute that covers the cooperation of the state and federal governments. Pursuant to this act, federal agencies are authorized to accept assistance from local and state governments in the enforcement of quarantine regulations. They are also expected to assist states and local governments in preventing and suppressing communicable diseases in case of an outbreak (Yang et al., 2022). This provision became handy when movement restrictions were being rolled out by various governments to curb the spread of COVID-19.


Healthcare policies remain important in defining healthcare delivery and access. Healthcare providers, in this regard, should demonstrate knowledge of the policy structure and establishment. Such policies as HITECH that govern technology use in healthcare maintain significance in the healthcare landscape. The constitution and federal and state statutes are important sources of policies that are applicable in healthcare.


Lite, S., Gordon, W. J., & Stern, A. D. (2020). Association of the meaningful use electronic health record incentive program with Health Information Technology Venture Capital Funding. JAMA Network Open, 3(3).

Wilensky, S. E., & Teitelbaum, J. B. (2020). Essentials of health policy and law (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Yang, L., Fang, X., & Zhu, J. (2022). Knowledge mapping analysis of public health emergency management research based on web of Science. Frontiers in Public Health, 10.


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Week 3 Assignment – Health Policy and Law Basics
The role that laws play in the study of healthcare and public health is vital in understanding how your job in healthcare intersects with legal areas. This assignment will explore healthcare policymaking and the sources of law that govern healthcare organizations. The knowledge obtained will help you understand how policy structures and laws affect patient care. For this assignment, refer to your textbook for examples of specific sources of federal laws, state laws, and administrative regulations.

Health Policy and Law Basics

Health Policy and Law Basics

Write a 2–3 page paper in which you:
Evaluate the policy-making process and policy structure within the healthcare system at the state and federal levels.
Analyze an example of a state or federal bill related to healthcare, showing it in action and including one advantage or disadvantage.
Analyze three sources of law related to healthcare and provide an example of one law in action.
In addition to the textbook, provide two sources to support your writing. Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and valid. Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment. For help with research, writing, and citation, access the library or review library guides.
This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:
Assess the different types of healthcare laws, their foundations, their types, and their importance.

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