Healthcare law is an extremely interesting field, spread out over many types of organizations and industries.
At the time that the paralegal profession originated, in the early 1970s, paralegals involved in healthcare law worked primarily in medical malpractice for law firms.
Many Diverse Specialties
But over the last thirty years, healthcare paralegals have expanded into other incredibly diverse niches. These niches include:
* healthcare law, legislation, regulation, compliance, and lobbying within law firms;
* insurance and corporate matters in health insurance company offices;
* legal nurse consultant businesses;
* medical malpractice groups in law firms;
* healthcare newsletter and website editing for law firms and legal publishing companies;
* the offices of patent and intellectual property lawyers, both in-house and outside counsel, of pharmaceutical companies;
* disability law firms specializing in ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and other relevant laws;
* Social Security disability law firm practices;
* elder law (Medicare, Medicaid, trusts and estates, elder abuse, guardianship issues) ;
* domestic violence, shelters, homeless, mental health, and substance abuse issues;
* Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other pharmaceutical and drug law practices within law firms;
* the general counsels’ offices of hospital systems and health maintenance organizations (HMOs);
and we are employed in many other settings, including government agencies dealing with healthcare issues.
If the full range of healthcare paralegal niches could be counted, we would constitute one of the largest specializations within the paralegal profession. It is likely that new niches will open up for us over the next twenty years.
Goals of Healthcare Paralegals Federation
Because we are spread out over so many different career niches, where we have not gotten many opportunities to network with each other, except within a few of the sub-specialities described above, the Healthcare Paralegals Federation (HPF) hopes to provide opportunities for us to:
1. meet each other and learn about each others’ specializations;
2. find out about online and bricks-and-mortar paralegal training programs in various areas of healthcare law and exchange information about our experiences with these programs;
3. learn about books, podcasts, videos, and other media from which we can find out more about various aspects of healthcare law;
4. create a job bank for paralegals interested in various types of healthcare paralegal work;
5. provide information about industry news in our various specializations within healthcare law;
6. monitor the forms that healthcare reform may take over the next two decades, and its impact on our careers; and
7. offer information about work done by other healthcare law professional organizations that HPF members would find interesting.
We hope that you will join us and tell other paralegals about us who are interested in healthcare law!
(We wish to thank the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the header picture on our website. The picture shows the NIH Administrative Building (Building No. 1) as photographed by Mr. Chris Spielmann for the NCI collection in July 2002. To access additional NCI pictures, please visit: http://visualsonline.cancer.gov/
NCI keeps hundreds of photos that are now in the public domain in this collection and available for download, provided that credit is given to the photographer and NCI.)