MASTER'S DEGREE IN HEALTH POLICY AND LAW

Curriculum

The master’s degree in Health Policy and Law was developed in response to the increasing need to equip professionals from the healthcare and legal disciplines with a more complete understanding of the best scientific, ethical, regulatory, and management practices. As medical decisions grow more complicated and far-reaching, the intersection of legal and medical/healthcare practices will be one of the most critical focal points of society for decades to come.

Program Format

The master’s degree in Health Policy and Law consists of 45 quarter units (30 semester units) of study. Core courses make up 30 quarter units followed by 15 quarter units of general electives selected by the student to complete the degree requirements. Some of the general elective pathways a student may focus on include global health, ethics in health, and political advocacy. Students in the program may choose to have some of their work published.

Classes are offered fall, winter and spring quarters at UC San Diego, and fall, spring, and summer trimesters at California Western School of Law. Coursework can be completed in one and a half, two or three years, depending upon a participant’s time to devote to the program. Students enter the program in the fall (September).

Qualified applicants who miss the fall admission date may sample some elective courses in the program before the next admission date. These elective courses will be applied towards meeting the MAS degree requirements if you are formally admitted to the program. Contact the department for more details.

Classes are typically held in the late afternoons, evenings, to allow flexibility for participants’ home/work lives. Some elective courses at California Western School of Law may only be offered during daytime hours.

The portfolio of course offerings for the MAS program in Health Policy and Law includes:

Core Courses (all required) Course Number Units
Foundation in Law & Medicine/HC Practice HLAW-211 3
Principles Health Law/Policy – A HLAW-207A 4.5
Principles Health Law/Policy B HLAW-207B 4.5
Current Topics in Health Policy & Law HLAW-213 3
Applied Health Law & Policy HLAW-210 3
Health Law Research Forum A HLAW-298 A 1
Health Law Research Forum B HLAW-298 B 1
Health Law Research Forum C HLAW-298 C 1
Bioethics and Medical Practice HLAW-216 3
Comparative Study of Healthcare Systems HLAW-215 3
Bioethics-Legal Focus SEM-613 3
Capstone Project HLAW-299 3

Program Course Offering Overview (PDF)

Course Descriptions

Fall Quarter

Foundation in Law & Medicine/HC Practice - 3 units - HLAW-211

This course covers the important issues associated with healthcare and the law by reviewing the law and discussing important policy issues that implicate these rules. Course topics include litigation and malpractice, Informed Consent, Medical Information, Records, and Confidentiality and Quality, Access, Costs & Healthcare Reform, clinical trials, and clinical research.


Principles Health Law/Policy – A - 4.5 units - HLAW-207A

This foundation course will consist of lectures and didactic presentations on a range of topics relevant to health law and policy. Topics include the organization of medicine, access and financing of healthcare, the regulation of healthcare and fraud and abuse, privacy and confidentiality, expert witness and scientific evidence, reducing medical errors, and bioethics. The structure is designed to encourage students from both healthcare and the legal fields to discuss and work together on key issues from their own professional perspectives.


Health Law Research Forum A - 1 units - HLAW-298 A

This course was introduced to provide ongoing structured emphasis on the development of critical thinking, scholarly writing, and research skills throughout the student’s first year.


Comparative Study of Healthcare Systems - 3 units - HLAW-215

This course assesses the major models for provision and financing of healthcare in the U.S. and the world today. Students gain an understanding of the health policy process, and how healthcare is financed, as well as learn to evaluate health policies according to a range of criteria for cost, quality, and equity. Advantages and disadvantages of the various ways of organizing and financing healthcare are considered. Actions taken by employers, insurers, consumers, and government, and the effects on physicians and provider organizations are analyzed.


Modern Healthcare (General Elective) - 2 units - LHCO-215

This course describes and analyzes the healthcare delivery system in the U.S. You will gain an understanding of the health policy process and how healthcare is financed. Organizational structures of institutions and professional groups are assessed. Actions taken by employers, insurers, consumers, and government, and the effects on physicians and provider organizations are analyzed.


Independent Study in Health Policy & Law (General Elective) - 1 units - HLAW-214

In this course you will have the opportunity to take completed class projects that are of publishable quality and learn the entire publication process. You will be subject to instructor peer reviews of your work prior to submission, and then be guided through the submission and external peer review/law review process, including online systems, open access versus non-open access journals, submission targeting, and maximizing the use of research performed. (This class may be taken up to 3 times.)


Special Topics in Health Law (General Elective) - 2 units - HLAW-212

1. Politics and Public Policy of American Healthcare – 1 Week Immersion course in Washington, D.C.The class travels to Washington D.C. for a week and meets with the law-makers and those involved in the healthcare field who have an impact on policy making.

2. Healthcare Leadership & Political Advocacy– Course includes 1 day in Sacramento. Within the context of healthcare advocacy, the course examines the organizational and individual issues that impact success in promoting and advocating for a healthcare agenda. The course aims to provide clarity to that process and assist students with understanding how to navigate the political landscape. Students learn about the legislative process, lobbying, the impact of political campaigns, the involvement of the media and how healthcare economics impact politics.

3. Health Policy Writing Workshop. This course provides specialized training in the tools, strategies, and processes of how to publish in the peer review. 

4. Global Health Business and Innovation. Learn about how new business and innovation models can transform the most pressing global health challenges of our time. The class will explore a range of interdisciplinary topics from digital health and vaccine delivery to social entrepreneurship and corporate strategy. It will also examine global health ventures and frameworks that highlight how profit with a purpose is the future of sustainable development. 

5. Global Pharmaceutical Policy: A Multisectoral Perspective. This course is designed for students who are interested in probing pharmaceutical public policy issues at the global and national levels. During this class, we will explore the interrelationship between global and domestic pharmaceutical policy, and study how pharmaceutical policy matters for different interest groups. Students will also be expected to complete a separate online/skype advising session with the professor.

May be taken up to three times.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (General Elective) - 4.5 units - PRAC-706

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which refers to the resolution of civil disputes using a process other than trial, has become an everyday part of the civil litigation process. The course will define and distinguish ADR from trial. Finally, the course will introduce you to various methods of advocacy that are effective in the context of ADR. Because this is a practicum, there is a major emphasis on practical learning utilizing role-playing, stop action videos, negotiations, and preparation for ADR processes. Additionally, the basic legal aspects of arbitration are reviewed and discussed.


Health Law & Policy (General Elective) - 4.5 units - SEM-637

This course examines the systems by which the United States accesses, finances and delivers health care. To that end, we will look at the history of health care and the influences that have led us to a status quo of a $2.5 trillion system that excludes approximately 50 million Americans and where an estimated 100,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable error. The course will use the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” as a prism to discuss such health care and policy issues as access, affordability, third-party payment, provider reimbursement, regulation, cost-control and rationing, and the effects, sometimes perverse, that law has had on the development of the system.


Representing Healthcare Organizations (General Elective) - 4.5 units - SEM-704

Law, Science, and Medicine (General Elective) - 4.5 units - SW/OP-654

This course explores the interaction between scientific/medical advances and the law. Often the law lags behind scientific and medical developments. One historical example is the rise and fall of nuclear energy – which came about, in large part, through a failed interaction between science and the law. Recent examples include sequencing of the human genome and assisted reproductive technology. These developments in the scientific and medical worlds potentially create legal issues, including, for example, privacy concerns. This course addresses how these problems arise and explores the ways to approach the scientific, medical and legal landscapes. No background in science, medicine or law, is necessary.


Medical Malpractice Litigation (General Elective) - 3 units - LAW-504

Biotechnology Seminar (General Elective) - 4.5 units - SWR-612

Winter Quarter

Principles Health Law/Policy B - 4.5 units - HLAW-207B

This course presents a comprehensive view of modern issues at the intersection of health care and law, with an emphasis on improving understanding and synergy between the professions. The course stresses foundational understanding of how health law and policy is formulated and the application of health law and policy in current practice. A portion of the class is devoted to group work where students select and study issues in depth to build a framework for resolving enduring challenges in the field. A variety of timely topics on the health law system and procedures/processes, such as Medicare and MediCal coverage, are introduced to reinforce understanding.


Current Topics in Health Policy & Law - 3 units - HLAW-213

Under the guidance of faculty, this survey course features a speaker series of experts covering a range of the most current topics in health policy and law.


Health Law Research Forum B - 1 units - HLAW-298 B

This course was introduced to provide ongoing structured emphasis on the development of critical thinking, scholarly writing, and research skills throughout the student’s first year.


Global Health Policy A: Foundations (General Elective) - 3 units - HLAW-219A

Global health is increasingly becoming a dominant issue in discussions regarding public health, international relations, biomedical and environmental sciences, economics, social sciences, public policy, diplomacy, and law. Global health describes a phenomenon that occurs all throughout the world and invokes transnational health issues requiring multidisciplinary and global efforts to solve some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. Approaches to address these concerns require an understanding of the process of public policy integrated with the reality and specifics as to the issue, geopolitical concerns, and limits defined by local and global contexts. The resulting efforts at global health policy have origins within and outside the realm of the peoples and populations who are the focus of the policy.

In this course you will learn fundamental principles and concepts of global health policy, law and governance. The course will emphasize that global health policy challenges require a multidisciplinary approach involving a broad set of stakeholders, and that local, national, and global health policy are all intertwined.


Independent Study in Health Policy & Law (General Elective) - 1 units - HLAW-214

In this course you will have the opportunity to take completed class projects that are of publishable quality and learn the entire publication process. You will be subject to instructor peer reviews of your work prior to submission, and then be guided through the submission and external peer review/law review process, including online systems, open access versus non-open access journals, submission targeting, and maximizing the use of research performed. (This class may be taken up to 3 times.)


Special Topics in Health Law (General Elective) - 2 units - HLAW-212

1. Politics and Public Policy of American Healthcare – 1 Week Immersion course in Washington, D.C.The class travels to Washington D.C. for a week and meets with the law-makers and those involved in the healthcare field who have an impact on policy making.

2. Healthcare Leadership & Political Advocacy– Course includes 1 day in Sacramento. Within the context of healthcare advocacy, the course examines the organizational and individual issues that impact success in promoting and advocating for a healthcare agenda. The course aims to provide clarity to that process and assist students with understanding how to navigate the political landscape. Students learn about the legislative process, lobbying, the impact of political campaigns, the involvement of the media and how healthcare economics impact politics.

3. Health Policy Writing Workshop. This course provides specialized training in the tools, strategies, and processes of how to publish in the peer review. 

4. Global Health Business and Innovation. Learn about how new business and innovation models can transform the most pressing global health challenges of our time. The class will explore a range of interdisciplinary topics from digital health and vaccine delivery to social entrepreneurship and corporate strategy. It will also examine global health ventures and frameworks that highlight how profit with a purpose is the future of sustainable development. 

5. Global Pharmaceutical Policy: A Multisectoral Perspective. This course is designed for students who are interested in probing pharmaceutical public policy issues at the global and national levels. During this class, we will explore the interrelationship between global and domestic pharmaceutical policy, and study how pharmaceutical policy matters for different interest groups. Students will also be expected to complete a separate online/skype advising session with the professor.

May be taken up to three times.


Project Management for Healthcare Professionals (General Elective) - 2 units - LHCO-217

This course covers core body of knowledge and skills of project management specific to the healthcare industry. Students learn how to define, plan and execute a project on time, on budget and within performance specifications. Topics include project life cycle, definition, and charter creation; assembling high performance teams; risk analysis; and project closure.


Spring Quarter

Applied Health Law & Policy - 3 units - HLAW-210

The course focuses on legal issues from the view point of the administrator or chief clinical officer, including the patient record/HIT/HIPPA. The course gives emphasis to practical application and knowledge/skills to prepare the students for job search or career transition.


Health Law Research Forum C - 1 units - HLAW-298 C

This course was introduced to provide ongoing structured emphasis on the development of critical thinking, scholarly writing, and research skills throughout the student’s first year.


Bioethics and Medical Practice - 3 units - HLAW-216

Recent advances in medicine and biomedical research present daunting ethical challenges on a variety of fronts, including genetics, reproductive medicine, stem cell research,  neuroscience, and psycho-pharmacology. This course equips legal and medical professionals with the skills to provide leadership on ethical review boards for human subjects, animal subjects, and stem cells, hospital ethics committees, and other public policy, regulatory, and oversight committees faced with increasingly complex ethical and legal decision-making.


Bioethics-Legal Focus - 3 units - SEM-613

This course uses medical literature and case law to cover a range of topics such as the principles and theories of bioethics, truth-telling and confidentiality, informed consent, research on animals and human subjects, technology and reproduction, surrogacy, abortion and fetal rights, maternal/fetal conflict, the right to die, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, medical futility, caring for the elderly, medical decision-making for incompetent patients and minors, and the changing nature of the doctor-patient relationship from a legal perspective.


Global Health Policy B: Advanced Topics (General Elective) - 3 units - HLAW-219B

This course examines advanced current topics in global health policy using a combination of instruction, student participation, and policy simulation. Topics examined are cross-cutting across local, national, regional and international health policy making with practical examples of why more coordinated global health governance is needed.

 


Independent Study in Health Policy & Law (General Elective) - 1 units - HLAW-214

In this course you will have the opportunity to take completed class projects that are of publishable quality and learn the entire publication process. You will be subject to instructor peer reviews of your work prior to submission, and then be guided through the submission and external peer review/law review process, including online systems, open access versus non-open access journals, submission targeting, and maximizing the use of research performed. (This class may be taken up to 3 times.)


Special Topics in Health Law (General Elective) - 2 units - HLAW-212

1. Politics and Public Policy of American Healthcare – 1 Week Immersion course in Washington, D.C.The class travels to Washington D.C. for a week and meets with the law-makers and those involved in the healthcare field who have an impact on policy making.

2. Healthcare Leadership & Political Advocacy– Course includes 1 day in Sacramento. Within the context of healthcare advocacy, the course examines the organizational and individual issues that impact success in promoting and advocating for a healthcare agenda. The course aims to provide clarity to that process and assist students with understanding how to navigate the political landscape. Students learn about the legislative process, lobbying, the impact of political campaigns, the involvement of the media and how healthcare economics impact politics.

3. Health Policy Writing Workshop. This course provides specialized training in the tools, strategies, and processes of how to publish in the peer review. 

4. Global Health Business and Innovation. Learn about how new business and innovation models can transform the most pressing global health challenges of our time. The class will explore a range of interdisciplinary topics from digital health and vaccine delivery to social entrepreneurship and corporate strategy. It will also examine global health ventures and frameworks that highlight how profit with a purpose is the future of sustainable development. 

5. Global Pharmaceutical Policy: A Multisectoral Perspective. This course is designed for students who are interested in probing pharmaceutical public policy issues at the global and national levels. During this class, we will explore the interrelationship between global and domestic pharmaceutical policy, and study how pharmaceutical policy matters for different interest groups. Students will also be expected to complete a separate online/skype advising session with the professor.

May be taken up to three times.


Topics in Financial Mgmt/Decision Making in HC (General Elective) - 2 units - LHCO-206

This course will present you with real-life applications in healthcare provider organizations of financial management and decision-making. Topics include budgeting, uses of financial reports, development of long-range financial forecasts, benchmarking, business plan development and actuarial analysis in projecting healthcare delivery costs.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (General Elective) - 4.5 units - PRAC-706

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which refers to the resolution of civil disputes using a process other than trial, has become an everyday part of the civil litigation process. The course will define and distinguish ADR from trial. Finally, the course will introduce you to various methods of advocacy that are effective in the context of ADR. Because this is a practicum, there is a major emphasis on practical learning utilizing role-playing, stop action videos, negotiations, and preparation for ADR processes. Additionally, the basic legal aspects of arbitration are reviewed and discussed.


FDA Law (General Elective) - 4.5 units - SWR-601

This course in an introduction to a number of areas of law that affect the development and use of healthcare products, particularly drugs and medical devices, and gives students an understanding of how this area of law affects the cost and quality of healthcare in the United States.  Students may also write their seminar papers on other areas of food and drug law, such as food safety regulation, or even cosmetics issues, however, little or no class discussion is scheduled for those topics.


Mental Health Law (General Elective) - 3 units - SEM-671

Summer Quarter

Independent Study in Health Policy & Law (General Elective) - 1 units - HLAW-214

In this course you will have the opportunity to take completed class projects that are of publishable quality and learn the entire publication process. You will be subject to instructor peer reviews of your work prior to submission, and then be guided through the submission and external peer review/law review process, including online systems, open access versus non-open access journals, submission targeting, and maximizing the use of research performed. (This class may be taken up to 3 times.)


Special Topics in Health Law (General Elective) - 2 units - HLAW-212

1. Politics and Public Policy of American Healthcare – 1 Week Immersion course in Washington, D.C.The class travels to Washington D.C. for a week and meets with the law-makers and those involved in the healthcare field who have an impact on policy making.

2. Healthcare Leadership & Political Advocacy– Course includes 1 day in Sacramento. Within the context of healthcare advocacy, the course examines the organizational and individual issues that impact success in promoting and advocating for a healthcare agenda. The course aims to provide clarity to that process and assist students with understanding how to navigate the political landscape. Students learn about the legislative process, lobbying, the impact of political campaigns, the involvement of the media and how healthcare economics impact politics.

3. Health Policy Writing Workshop. This course provides specialized training in the tools, strategies, and processes of how to publish in the peer review. 

4. Global Health Business and Innovation. Learn about how new business and innovation models can transform the most pressing global health challenges of our time. The class will explore a range of interdisciplinary topics from digital health and vaccine delivery to social entrepreneurship and corporate strategy. It will also examine global health ventures and frameworks that highlight how profit with a purpose is the future of sustainable development. 

5. Global Pharmaceutical Policy: A Multisectoral Perspective. This course is designed for students who are interested in probing pharmaceutical public policy issues at the global and national levels. During this class, we will explore the interrelationship between global and domestic pharmaceutical policy, and study how pharmaceutical policy matters for different interest groups. Students will also be expected to complete a separate online/skype advising session with the professor.

May be taken up to three times.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (General Elective) - 4.5 units - PRAC-706

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which refers to the resolution of civil disputes using a process other than trial, has become an everyday part of the civil litigation process. The course will define and distinguish ADR from trial. Finally, the course will introduce you to various methods of advocacy that are effective in the context of ADR. Because this is a practicum, there is a major emphasis on practical learning utilizing role-playing, stop action videos, negotiations, and preparation for ADR processes. Additionally, the basic legal aspects of arbitration are reviewed and discussed.


Child Welfare Law & Policy (General Elective) - 3 units - SEM-349

This course will introduce you to child welfare law and policy. The course will provide an overview of this specialized area of law, including a discussion of the causes and consequences of child maltreatment, the legal framework of child welfare law and the child welfare legal process. The course will also include a discussion of current policy issues and a mock juvenile court hearing.


Practicing Healthcare Compliance (General Elective) - 4.5 units - LAW-679

In this course you will learn about common regulatory issues encountered by healthcare organizations and providers. Particular focus is given to the requirements and enforcement of licensing restrictions for individuals and organizations, attempts to regulate quality, and issues related to various reimbursement structures. California law is used as an example in most issues under state jurisdiction. The last class sessions examine the rise of compliance programs – both voluntary and mandatory – in healthcare organizations over the last fifteen years.


Capstone Project

Capstone Project - 3 units - HLAW-299

The final course in the MAS program is the Capstone Project. This is a centerpiece of the degree program. To fulfill the course requirement, you will select one of 3 tracks depending on your academic/professional interest and goals: Track 1: Scholarly Writing; Track 2: Applied/Experiential Project; or Track 3: Peer Review Article Submission. Track assignment takes place in the HLAW-298 course series during your first year. You will enroll in this course during your final quarter.

 

 

 


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