Healthcare law concerns who can receive healthcare, and who should pay for it. This is a surprisingly complicated area of law given how expensive healthcare can be in the United States. Furthermore, the laws concerning who health insurance companies can and must cover are constantly changing as policymakers attempt to find a way to provide health care to the greatest amount of people at the least cost.
Since healthcare is so expensive, several government programs help people in the U.S. pay for medical services, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Insurance. Lawyers help patients apply for benefits and ensure that patients receive the payments to which they are entitled.
Healthcare attorneys also help families plan for long term care and elder care. As people begin to live longer, their medical care typically becomes more and more expensive. In addition, these elderly patients often lose the mental or physical capacity to care for themselves. Families can plan ahead by setting aside money for medical costs, creating a living will, and deciding which kind of long term care service to use before the need arises.
Finally, healthcare attorneys work with medical providers and patients to ensure that patients' rights are respected. This includes the right to informed consent, which requires doctors to educate you about your medical options before you make a decision, and a patients' right to privacy in their medical records. Healthcare law also governs what procedures doctors may or may not perform. Particularly controversial procedures include assisted suicide and abortion.
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If you have a Medicare or Medicaid issue, or have a question regarding the services a doctor may provide, be sure to contact a qualified local attorney using the tools below.