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Top 5 Healthcare Compliance Laws That You May Be Overlooking

Healthcare Compliance Laws

If you are exploring a potential career in healthcare compliance, you might know a bit about the field already, or the world is brand new. Whether you developed a passion for healthcare compliance early on or it’s a recent discovery, it’s good to be cognizant of commonly-encountered laws in the field.

There are a variety of healthcare compliance laws that are important to know. You will likely work with them regularly. So, what are some well-known compliance laws? Which laws are important for the field? We made a list below of the top five.


HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is a compliance law that you have likely heard of. The law applies explicitly to the medical field. It was established in 1996 and keeps your medical information private. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton and is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. HIPAA recognizes this right under the Privacy Rule, which also contains standards for individuals’ rights to understand and control how their health information is used. 


The HITECH Act, or the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, was enacted in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The act’s purpose is to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. There are three components to this Act:
1. Expanded HIPAA Rules;
2. Stricter Enforcement; and
3. Broader Application.

Chain of Custody

Chain of Custody, or CCF/CoC, doesn’t refer to an act, but rather a form. A “CCF” or “CoC” documents the control and transfer of healthcare samples to be used as physical and electronic evidence. The use and proper execution of this form are important for a variety of reasons. Notably, a chain of custody forms are considered legal documents and can be used in court. The form is intended to ensure the integrity of the sample as reliable evidence.


MACRA, or the Medicare Access & CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act, focuses on doctors’ payments and controlling Medicare costs. MACRA was signed into law in 2015 MACRA created the two-track Quality Payment Program that emphasized value-based payment models over the volume of cases for doctors.

Stark Law

The Stark Law deals with referrals. It is a set of federal healthcare fraud and abuse laws. This set of laws also prevents doctors from referring patients’ health services paid for by Medicare to another place where a financial relationship exists. The goal is to prevent financial abuse in the system. The Stark Law is often paired with the Anti-Kickback Statute and was introduced in 1988.

In the healthcare industry, there are a myriad of compliance laws that must be followed. Failure to do so may result in significant criminal and civil penalties. Ensuring an entity is complying with all applicable laws is an important job!

Apply to Seattle University School of Law Today

Seattle University School of Law has an MLS program in risk and compliance. If you are looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the law intersects with and applies to the field, this program is for you. The degree will provide you with a working knowledge of not only the laws mentioned above but also the regulations essential to ensure compliance in the healthcare industry. The program can be completed in 2 years part-time and fully online. In the end, you will graduate with a valuable degree that will help to advance in your career. Contact our admissions office today to get started.

For more information, contact us at or 206-398-4268.

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