Medical Field Thesis

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Business Law

Medical Field

There are many laws in this country that are designed to regulate the medical field. These laws can be found at the federal, state and local levels. These laws are put into place in order to protect not only those who work in the medical field but also the general population that is served by medical professionals. Safety is often the number one priority of medical laws which is one of the reasons that they are necessary. Medical rules and regulations are put into place in order to make sure that services are provided on a consistent basis and in the most effective way possible.

One example of a federal law that affects the medical field is that of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This law was designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system. The law includes Administrative Simplification provisions that require Health and Human Services (HHS) to adopt national standards for electronic health care transactions and code sets, unique health identifiers, and security. Congress implemented this because they recognized that advances in electronic technology could erode the privacy of health information. Congress included into HIPAA provisions that mandated the adoption of Federal privacy protections for individually identifiable health information. This Rule established national standards for the protection of individually identifiable health information by three types of covered entities: health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers who conduct the standard health care transactions electronically. Compliance with the Privacy Rule was required as of April 14, 2003 and April 14, 2004, for small health plans (HIPAA Administrative Simplification Statute and Rules, n.d.).

Most people believe that their medical and other health information is private and should be protected. There is also a need to know who has access to such information. The Privacy Rule which is a Federal law gives a person rights over their health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive that information. Those who have access are called covered entities. Covered entities include:

Health Plans, including health insurance companies, HMOs, company health plans, and certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Health Care Providers -- this includes those who conduct certain business electronically, such as electronically billing of health insurance -- including most doctors, clinics, hospitals, psychologists, chiropractors, nursing homes, pharmacies, and dentists.

Health Care Clearinghouses which are entities that process nonstandard health information they receive from another entity into a standard electronic format or data content (HIPAA Administrative Simplification Statute and Rules, n.d.).

The enforcement of the confidentiality of patient safety work product is crucial to maintaining an environment for providers to discuss and analyze patient safety events, identify causes and improve future outcomes. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) seeks voluntary compliance with the confidentiality provisions by providers, patient safety organizations and other responsible persons that hold patient safety work product. They may conduct compliance reviews and investigate complaints alleging that patient safety work product has been disclosed in violation of the confidentiality provisions. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, they may impose a civil money penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. OCR provides technical assistance to persons seeking to comply with the confidentiality provisions and public information regarding the administration of the enforcement program (HIPAA Administrative Simplification Statute and Rules, n.d.).

An example of a state law that affects the medical field is that of the State of Ohio law surrounding telemedicine certificates. Section 4731.296 of the Ohio Revised Code defines telemedicine as the practice of medicine in the State of Ohio through the use of any communication channel, including oral, written, or electronic communication by a physician outside the state. Telemedicine and Teleradiology are both considered a practice of medicine in Section 4731.34 of the Ohio Revised Code (Telemedicine Certificate, n.d.).

A person who wishes to practice telemedicine in Ohio must have an Ohio license in order to do so. The requirements are essentially the same as if applying for full licensure, with a couple of exceptions. In order to be eligible for a telemedicine certificate, the applicant must hold a current, unrestricted license to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery issued by another state that requires license holders to complete at least fifty hours of continuing medical education every two years. The applicant's principle place of practice must be located in that state. A holder of a telemedicine certificate may not practice medicine in person in the state of Ohio without either obtaining a special activity certificate under Section 4731.294 of the Ohio Revised Code, or converting the telemedicine certificate to a full certificate issued under Section 4731.29 of the Ohio Revised Code.

A telemedicine certificate may be converted to a full certificate upon receipt of a written request from the certificate holder. Once the telemedicine certificate is converted, the holder is subject to all requirements and privileges attendant to a full certificate, including continuing education requirements (Telemedicine Certificate, n.d.).

An example of a local law that affects the medical field can be seen in the establishment of health department in the city of Toledo, Ohio. A Department of Health and Environment was established pursuant to the authority of Section 102 of the Charter and Ohio R.C. 3709.05, which provides for an administration of public health to be established and maintained under authority of a city charter different from the City Board of Health. The overall functions and duties that were formerly carried out by the City Board of Health were transferred to the City with the institution of this law (Department of Health and Environment, 2008).

Under this law all contracts, agreements and obligations entered into by the former City Board of Health were assumed by the City effective immediately. All regulations adopted by the Board of Health, codified in all appendices to Part Seventeen of the Toledo Municipal Code were ratified, affirmed and approved until such time as they were ever modified by the Director of Health and Environment and/or Medical Officer. The Toledo Municipal Code Part Seventeen-Health Code, which includes Title One, Three and Five, and their respective appendices were made to be administered and enforced by the Director of Health and Environment of the City of Toledo. Any references in Toledo Municipal Code Part Seventeen to the Commissioner of Health were revised to Director of Health and Environment and/or Medical Officer as established by this law. Any references in Toledo Municipal Code Part Seventeen that read Board of Health or Toledo Board of Health were fixed to read City of Toledo Department of Health and Environment and/or Director of Health and Environment (Department of Health and Environment, 2008). This law completely established the city of Toledo as the governing body over the city's health department.

This law also established that The Director of Health and Environment was to be a licensed physician, licensed dentist or a licensed veterinarian or be the holder of a master's degree in public health or an equivalent master's degree in a related health field as determined by the Mayor. They also needed to have adequate experience as determined by the Mayor. The administrative functions, under the Ohio Revised Code and the Toledo Municipal Code, of the Board of Health were given to the Mayor and Director of Health and Environment. The legislative functions, under the Ohio Revised Code and the Toledo Municipal Code of the Board of Health were given to Council, the Mayor and the Director of Health and Environment, except that any authority to make regulations of the Department of Health and Environment intended for the general public shall be the responsibility of the Director of Health and Environment (Department of Health and Environment, 2008).

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Medical Field.  (2009, November 25).  Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-field/92447

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"Medical Field."  25 November 2009.  Web.  25 January 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-field/92447>.

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"Medical Field."  Essaytown.com.  November 25, 2009.  Accessed January 25, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-field/92447.