The course examines a range of public health and civil rights strategies to assist persons with histories of drug and alcohol dependence and the programs that serve them. Students will work on healthcare projects designed to expand access to drug treatment under healthcare reform and represent individual clients who face discrimination in insurance coverage, employment or housing based on their drug histories or the organizations that serve them. 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 services.
The Drug Policy Clinic offers a unique opportunity to be involved in public policy development and advocacy as well as individual client representation relating to the implementation of federal healthcare reform in Maryland. With expanded access to addiction and mental health services to begin in January 2014, clinic students will work with clients to ensure full access to these health benefits. They will also continue the Clinic's active role in shaping Maryland's health care reform to best serve uninsured persons with addiction problems. We expect to participate in a range of health care reform projects related to both private insurance and Medicaid, and students will be exposed to the Stateís administrative agency and legislative processes.
Our policy and legislative work will focus on: (1) implementing our 2013 overdose response legislation; (2) evaluating gaps in healthcare reform implementation; and (3) ensuring the Maryland Insurance Administration enforces the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Our individual client representation will assist individuals with addiction histories who are seeking health insurance coverage or facing discrimination in insurance coverage or other areas of life.
Students will gain substantial experience in statutory and regulatory interpretation and application of health care and disability discrimination standards; 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 legislators and government agencies; 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 recently
The weekly classroom seminar will expose students to a range of legal strategies that practitioners use to address legal problems, including client counseling, negotiation, legislative and administrative agency advocacy and, depending upon the projects for the semester, the representation of individual clients. Our work also offers an opportunity to examine our nationís approach to drug problems and the consequences of policies that focus on criminal justice interventions rather than public health solutions.
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. Eight students may enroll.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|543D (CRN: 25879) Credits: 4|
Spring, 2014 (Day).