Administrative Law Primer
Administrative law is the law the governs the organization and powers of governmental agencies.
Public health law is mostly state and local administrative law.
Participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other governmental programs subjects medical care practitioners to broad administrative regulations.
Violation of administrative regulations can result in fines and imprisonment.
Administrative searches allow access to regulated medical care practitioners’ records and to medical information about individuals.
Public health agencies were among the first administrative agencies, with some, such as the Boston Board of Health, able to trace their linage to the colonial period. Medical care finance is heavily regulated, and these regulations shape medical care delivery. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enforce Medicare/Medicaid regulations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines what drugs and medical devices are available and what information about them must be provided by the manufacturer, the Office of the Inspector General for HHS (OIG) investigates possible false claims, state licensing boards determine if the practitioner may practice at all, the local fire department will check the clinic for fire hazards, and, the Department of Justice (DOJ) may prosecute for criminal misconduct. Public health and medical care practitioners must understand how administrative law differs from criminal law and from private civil litigation. Although agencies (other than DOJ or other prosecutors) cannot put you in jail, they can take away your livelihood, and they do not have to give you all the constitutional protections that the criminal law system provides.