The course examines a range of public health and civil rights strategies to assist persons with histories of drug and alcohol dependence gain access to health care and fight discrimination based on their disability. Students will work primarily on projects designed to ensure access to health care through Medicaid and private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Students will (1) educate consumers and treatment providers about the key provisions of the ACA; (2) represent clients who have problems enrolling in public or private insurance or accessing drug treatment services; and (3) evaluate and recommend policy changes to improve Marylandís implementation of the ACA and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act on behalf of consumers with alcohol and drug problems. Individual and organizational clients are from Baltimore and surrounding counties, and the policy work has a state-wide focus. Students will have an opportunity to collaborate with health care advocates, treatment providers, community-based organizations and inspirational persons involved in recovery and treatment.
The Drug Policy Clinic offers a unique opportunity to be involved in individual client representation, public policy development and advocacy relating to the implementation of the ACA in Maryland. While the Clinic focuses on assisting persons with substance use and mental health problems, clinic students will gain broad exposure to health care delivery and financing as well as insurance practices. Students will also work with other advocates to shape Maryland's health care reform to better serve low income and underserved individuals. As ACA implementation enters its second year, we expect to participate in a range of projects that will translate our clientsí on-the-ground experiences into proposals to improve Marylandís implementation of the law.
Students will gain substantial experience in interpreting and applying statutory and regulatory standards under Medicaid, the ACA and disability discrimination standards. They will also gain an understanding of insurance practices and health care financing and delivery and interact with the Stateís administrative agencies that regulate Medicaid and health insurance. Students will also gain experience in fact investigation; interviewing clients, persons in recovery, and treatment providers; drafting a wide range of documents including legal memos, legislative advocacy materials, analyses of statutes/regulations, client letters, fact investigation outlines and demand letters; oral advocacy with government agencies and other policymakers; presentation of legal standards to non-lawyers in a range of settings; and coalition building and team work.
Examples of the legal work students have performed in the past year
In previous years, students also performed significant legislative work in Annapolis. They drafted bills, amendments and advocacy documents and met with legislators to advocate for legislation related to Marylandís health care reform implementation, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and overdose response initiatives.
The weekly classroom seminar will explore health law theory and will expose students to a range of legal strategies that practitioners use to address legal problems. Because of the complexity of the legal standards governing federal and State health reform efforts, the seminar component of the course will be particularly intensive during the first six weeks of the fall semester. Over the course of the first semester, students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the statutory and regulatory reforms affecting individual consumers since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Students who are in the law and health program may receive credit toward the Law and Health Certificate and all slots are eligible for Cardin. This Clinic is a full-year clinic. Ten students may enroll.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|This course is not currently scheduled.|
Last offered Spring 2016.