ATLANTA – Ten Georgia State Law students attended the “Fundamentals of Health Care Law” conference held on March 2, which was co-sponsored by the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and the Institute of Continuing Education in Georgia (ICLE).
“This was a unique opportunity for law students to get a day-long immersion in the real-world practice of health law,” said Charity Scott, Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society. Scott had coordinated with ICLE’s Executive Director, Larry Jones, about allowing student attendance. “We’re incredibly grateful to ICLE for making this opportunity available to our students.”
Health care is a highly regulated industry, and students can be overwhelmed when first confronted with the range of its programs, acronyms, and regulations, such as Medicare and Medicaid, HIPAA, ERISA, CON, PPACA, CMS, and Stark and Anti-Kickback laws. “I came away with the impression that health care institutions need lawyers to do just about anything,” said Josh Kahn, 1L.
“Sometimes it can be like drinking from a fire hose,” acknowledged Joseph Leonard, 2L, referring to the range of new terms, programs, and legislation in health law. “This event was an invaluable tool in having many of these hieroglyphs deciphered into easily digestible pieces. I was enthralled by the subject matter and happy for the opportunity to soak it all in.”
Students had high praise for the speakers. “It was clear that many of the speakers had presented before,” said Daniel Parker, 2L. “They were all great educators.”
The conference was a good opportunity for 2Ls and 3Ls to deepen and reinforce what they have been learning in their health law classes at the College of Law. “Even though I have had exposure to these federal regulations multiple times before now, I still feel like any review of the material is helpful,” observed Sarah Ketchie, 2L. “Each time I cover the material, the better I understand it.”
The conference proved worthwhile for first-year students as well. “As a 1L, not yet having the opportunity to participate in the courses on health law, this was a great introduction to the basics of both national and state health care legal issues,” said Kara Gordon, 1L. “With the scope of health law changing by the minute in the present day, the speakers provided insight into the current provisions of the law and how they predict the changes will be implemented in the future.”
“This conference provided an amazing – and humbling – opportunity to learn about how health law is practiced in the real world,” said Gregory Fosheim, 1L. “It really exposed me to just how basic my knowledge of health law was, despite my public health background. It also really excited me for future health law classes where these principles and regulations are further explored.”
The ethical dimensions of legal practice also made a strong impression. “What the speakers emphasized is something I will carry with me throughout my entire career: the issue is not whether you can represent someone legally and without sanctions, it is whether or not you should from a moral perspective,” said Ashley Worrell, 1L. “If I took nothing else from the conference, the reminder to always keep that in mind was such a gem in the conversation that it would be worth the entire day for that alone.”
All student attendees were members of the Student Health Law Association. They were:
Liath Bricks (1L); Megan Daugherty (3L); Gregory Fosheim (1L); Kara Gordon (1L); Kyle Gregory (1L); Josh Kahn (1L); Sarah Ketchie (2L); Joseph Leonard (2L); Daniel Parker (2L); Ashley Worrell (1L).
Senior Administrative Coordinator