New Regulatory Horizons and Old Policy Conflicts

Robert I. Field

in Health Care Regulation in America

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195159684
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864423 | DOI:
New Regulatory Horizons and Old Policy Conflicts

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What challenges lie ahead for regulation of health care, which represents over one-sixth of America's economy? Several developments are transforming the industry, most notably use of electronic medical records, implementation of protocols to guide care, reliance on genomics to design treatments, and aging of the population. Recent regulatory responses have included oversight of data privacy under HIPAA and use of clinical data to review provider quality. Future regulatory arrangements will likely be as complex as existing ones, combining roles for federal, state, and local agencies and for private organizations. Often, relationships between different regulators have been characterized by confrontations over conflicting authority and missions. However, each plays a distinct role, and compromises between them have maintained the system. This intricate regulatory arrangement mirrors the complicated industry for which it is responsible. By providing needed oversight, it has actually served to nurture that industry over the years.

Keywords: information technology; genetics; regulation; government; privacy; clinical protocol; health policy

Chapter.  6668 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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