Healthcare laws exist to ensure that patients have the best care possible. If they don’t get the treatments they expect, these patients can lean on legislative acts to get relief. And regulatory agencies can step in and close down those groups that don’t follow healthcare acts, so no future patients are harmed.
Multiple healthcare acts exist, but in this piece, we’ll focus on those devoted to protecting the rights of patients.
4 Healthcare Laws to Know
Healthcare acts protecting patient privacy are likely well-known to most consumers and professionals. These are the laws we talk about in common conversations about the care we get when we visit the doctor.
This list of healthcare laws isn’t comprehensive, but it can give you an idea of the landscape regarding patient rights.
These are four healthcare laws to know:
- ACA: The Affordable Care Act is commonly associated with insurance. Under the legislation, consumers can tap into programs to help them pay for medical expenses. But the law also includes regulations regarding preexisting conditions and covered care.
- EMTALA: The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act allows patients to head to the emergency room to get care even if they can’t pay the bill that comes when treatment is complete.
- GINA: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ensures that people won’t face discrimination based on the results of genetic testing. If patients participate in a test and some issue is revealed, they can fight back if their employers penalize them for the results.
- HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act includes rules that protect patient privacy. Patients can limit who sees their information, and they can ask for compensation if a breach occurs.
Again, this list of healthcare laws isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Instead, think of it as a research starting point.
Moving Beyond Healthcare Laws
Medical professionals must comply with applicable healthcare acts and laws. But they’re also guided by their ethics, including some versions crafted by oversight agencies.
For example, the American Medical Association has a formal Code of Medical Ethics that all physicians commit to. These rules cover how doctors relate to their patients, how they communicate medical news, and more.
Also, some healthcare professionals are guided by rules that originate at the state level. A hospital, for example, might have state laws regarding patient care. They can’t take in more cases than staffing rules allow even if they want to help more people.
If you’re confused about the legal landscape in your area, let us help. We have a skilled team that can help you understand your local laws. Contact us to find out more.