Insight by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Adapting to uncertainty in the health care industry

This content is provided by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

At the start of a new year and a new decade, the ever-changing health care industry is more complicated than ever. Institutions and agencies worked throughout the 2010s to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted at the beginning of the decade. Now, with sustained opposition to the ACA in Congress, and ongoing actions in the courts, the future of health care coverage in America is profoundly uncertain.

And the ACA is only one area of the health care landscape posing a moving legal target. As researchers continue to advance medical science with innovations like CRISPR gene editing and 3D printed human organs, the health care industry is racing to address emerging legal and regulatory questions. Meanwhile, consumers have access to an increasing array of products such as home DNA and gut microbiome testing kits that have raised serious questions about privacy and regulation of these technologies.

Medical providers, administrators, and government officials need to be adaptable leaders with unprecedented expertise in a regulatory environment in constant flux. The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s MS in Law with a specialization in Health Care Law fulfills that need with a two-year, part-time evening program. Taught at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Health Care Law specialization enables students to delve into such topics as the Affordable Care Act, insurance regulation, health care information privacy, bioethics, and professional licensure, graduating with the legal capabilities to be nimble problem-solvers.

“I received an education that allows me to understand the inner workings of government and the legal jargon specific to public health, says Andrea Fellows (MSL ’19), who used her master’s degree to enrich her capacity to take on a supervisory position in public affairs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “I’ve been able to take all that knowledge from the classroom and put it into practice.”

A capstone project gives students the opportunity to critically analyze the law as applied to a real-world problem facing a specific organization, such as a hospital, governing body, or advocacy organization. Closely advised by distinguished law school faculty, students are encouraged to investigate an issue directly from their own work settings and begin experiencing the benefits of the program well before graduation.

Fellows conducted in-depth research on CDC policies and regulations for her capstone project, supervised by Kerri Lowrey, deputy director of the Network for Public Health Law – Eastern Region at Maryland Carey Law. The resulting paper explores quarantine laws and how hospitals and medical professionals balance individual rights and public health necessities—context that informs her work crafting messaging for CDC’s senior leadership.

For experienced professionals not seeking to earn a JD and practice law, Maryland Carey Law’s MS in Law program offers a way to complement expansive industry experience with valuable legal knowledge and skills. Find out more about the MS in Law specializing in Health Care Law.

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