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Healthcare law on legal and policy issues

Healthcare law on legal and policy issues

Sample Answer 

Healthcare law on legal and policy issues

Question 1: HIPAA Security Policy

The situation presented requires the Patients-R-Us executives and employees to respond to the HIPAA security and disclosure policy. Salapura (2017) notes that under the HIPAA security rule, healthcare institutions are expected to implement measures to protect health information that is received, maintained, generated, and transmitted electronically. The scenario in question requires the Patients-R-Us’ manager and employees to demonstrate compliance with the HIPAA security rule. Patients-R-Us is the custodian of patient health records; hence must ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the health information. Besides, the information must be protected against threats to information security and integrity (Salapura, 2017). Finally, the healthcare organization should protect the information against illegal disclosure and make it available to authorized persons when needed.

Disclosure of healthcare records can easily attract lawsuits; hence, they should handle it with care. According to Salapura (2017), the custodian must follow all the set legal processes in the disclosure of health records and determine their legal responsibilities and liabilities before making a disclosure. In the scenario at hand, it is important to determine if the request is valid and meets the set legal procedures since the communication is made through a phone message. I will recheck the organization’s privacy policy as a healthcare administrator to ensure compliance. The healthcare administrator should consult with the health information manager to authenticate and certify the information for legal purposes. Electronic records should have a traceable date and author, and employees should never attempt to alter these records.

HIPAA security rule requires healthcare information to uphold integrity (Salapura, 2017). The administrator must also consult with the Patients-R-Us’ legal officer to ascertain the information is disclosed in compliance with HIPAA’s policies and state laws. I should also familiarise myself with the information submitted in case I am required to testify in a court of law. Finally, the information provided should be accompanied by user instructions to protect against accidental loss, especially where federal officers are granted direct access to facility computers.

Question 2:  Conflict of Interest in Medical Research

Insisting on non-disclosure raises conflict of interest concerns on the part of the pharmaceutical firm. As noted by Lo & Field (2018), conflict of interest in medical research creates professional risks that may jeopardize the primary objectives of the research. The board and the CEO have an ethical responsibility to promote the health and safety of the patient. Healthcare workers also must take all the due diligence to ensure patients are safe. Colluding with the pharmaceutical organization to treat patients using the new vaccine may attract lawsuits. The board and CEO have a duty of care to the patient. To execute this responsibility, they must uphold the integrity of research, the quality of the vaccine, and the welfare of the patient (Lo & Field, 2018). To be sure of vaccine safety, the CEO should be at the forefront to compel disclosure to ensure the secondary interests of the research do not crowd its primary interests.

Disclosure of conflict of interest in medical research upholds ethical and legal compliance (Lo & Field, 2018). Also, disclosing the identity, leadership, and funding for the research will allow the regulatory bodies to take appropriate approval measures for the vaccine. The CEO should advise the manufacturer of the information to disclose and the information to conceal. Since medical research are made for financial gains and promoting human health, declaring conflicts of interest will give the vaccine public acceptance while promoting human safety. The board members have a legal duty to protect the patient through the use of verified and approved drugs and healthcare procedures.


Lo, B., & Field, M. (2018). Conflict of interest in medical research, education, and practice.  2009. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine.

Salapura, V. (2017, April). HIPAA Compliant Cloud for Sensitive Health Data.     In CLOSER (pp. 568-574).


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Healthcare law on legal and policy issues

The quality of your responses matters most! Please answer in no more than three (3) paragraphs for each of the two situations. Please proofread your responses. If I cannot understand what you mean, I will award fewer points.
**Remember to answer both questions. Write based on your best understanding of what you have learned.

Healthcare law on legal and policy issues

Healthcare law on legal and policy issues

1. You have worked a long, busy day as a health care administrator at the headquarters of Patients-R-Us, Inc., an integrated health system based in Fairfax, Virginia. Fifteen minutes before you plan to leave for home, you receive an urgent text from the office manager at a Patients-R-Us site in Leesburg, VA. She just has received a “visit” from federal agents who flash their badges and demand to see “someone in charge” who will “give them access to all office computers and hard copy files.” The chief agent produces a Subpoena Duces Tecum (from the Eastern District of Virginia federal court) for your office’s written and electronic documents. This law enforcement official says, very assertively, “We know what we’re here to gather. My team and I will wait as long as necessary.”

You and your office manager colleague in VA agree that your days just got extended! This is the first federal “drive-by” visit that you have confronted in your career. What legal and policy concerns should you and other Patients-R-Us employees address? Apply risk management concepts: what should Patients-R-Us do – and not do in this situation? Be specific in providing guidance to Patients-R-Us executives and the manager.

2. Physicians in a multi-specialty clinic in New Orleans, LA desperately attempt to treat waves of patients who have the COVID-19 virus. State and local shutdowns of businesses and social distancing helped reduce the rate of increase, but new cases still occur. Over 100 potential treatments and vaccines have emerged, but health experts question which one will work. One day, the clinic’s board meets virtually to discuss its medical – and economic – future. The numbers look bleak.

But then a new board member who is an executive with a major pharmaceutical manufacturer offers a ray of hope. He states that the manufacturer has leveraged artificial intelligence to pinpoint research that has significant promise for a viable solution. AI-powered tools sift through massive amounts of data to identify the best studies. Could the resource aid the clinic’s patients? Perhaps. Our board member expresses optimism that tests so far have offered good models. He will “pull all strings necessary” to push research for this metropolitan healthcare clinic that struggles to treat in severe need.

Only one catch exists. The manufacturer insists on remaining anonymous to everyone. It will not disclose its identity, leadership and funding sources. “Ugh,” exclaims the hassled chair of the clinic’s board, as she realizes many people will question this “veil of secrecy.” However, other board members press her and the CEO to proceed. AI will find answers more quickly and also help discredit research that lacks scientific validity.

Advise the board, including its CEO. What legal and policy issues do you find with this situation? Provide specific guidance.

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