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Health Law Research

Guide to basic health law research.

Centers, Institutes and Organizations

  • Center for Law and Public Health (Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University) Founded in 2000 with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a joint institutional center, the Center has recently been designated a World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights - the only academic center of its kind to receive this global status. The Web site contains reports of comprehensive research undertaken by the Center that examine the intersection of legal, social, and public health issues on selected public health law topics. The Center's newsletter "Center Insights", provides a public health law bibliography ( , as well as the full-text supplement to Public Health and Ethics: A Reader. (

  • Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC)this website links to many policy research reports published by HSC and other research centers on insurance coverage and costs, access to care, and local markets & managed care.

  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Health Analyses - Provides access to the Center's research and analyses with respect to proposed health policies (1991- ).

  • The Commonwealth Fund The Commonwealth Fund is "a private Foundation that supports independent research on health and social issues and makes grants to improve healthcare practice and policy." The website provides access to newsletters published by the Commonwealth Fund as well as issue briefs on various health law and policy issues.

  • Harvard School of Public Health Provides general information about the School and its different departments, divisions, and programs offered. It also links to research conducted by difference centers within the School.

  • Health Law and Policy Institute (University of Houston)Established in 1978, the Institute is regarded as one of the top health law programs in the country. The website provides general information about their health law program. It also contains hundreds of annotated health law related links 

  • Health Policy Institute (Georgetown University) is "a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and staff dedicated to conducting research on key issues in health policy and health services research." The site provides links to the Institute's research centers and projects, as well as papers by institute researchers. (

  • Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. The foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. The website includes full-text policy briefs, issue briefs, and reports by topic.

  • This website links to many health-related sites grouped under topics including: biological and physical sciences, clinical practice, consumer health, diseases and conditions, drugs, health care, institutions, mental health

  • RAND Health  not all RAND Health publications are available full-text on the web site, but you can search the RAND archive of over 17,000 titles dating back to 1948 at

  • The Health Policy Center (Urban Institute) this website includes many publications by the Health Policy Center in pdf and html formats.  

Grass Roots and Advocacy Groups

  • Families USA  is "a national non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans." The website provides updated information on issues such as Medicaid and children's health, Medicare, prescription drugs, the uninsured, private insurance, and minority health. It also provides access to the organization's publications.
  • Healthcare Leadership Council  is a coalition of chief executives from all disciplines within American healthcare system. It is the exclusive forum for the nation’s healthcare leaders to jointly develop policies, plans, and programs to achieve their vision of a 21st century system that makes affordable, high-quality care accessible to all Americans.
  • National Association of Community Health Centers  is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhamce and expand access to quality,community-responsive health care for America's medically underserved and uninsured. The website provides information on key issues affecting community-based health centers and delivery of health care.



    Associations and Organizations

    • ABA Health Law Section  publishes a bi-monthly newsletter called "Health Lawyer" which is available online only to members. The website also includes ABA submissions to the Government on various health law and policy issues.

    • American Health Lawyers Association  the website provides information about the Association and its publications.

    • American Hospital Association (AHA) represents and serves all types of hospitals, healthcare networks, and their patients and communities. Through its representation and advocacy activities, "AHA ensures that members' perspectives and needs are heard and addressed in national health policy development, legislative and regulatory debate, and judicial matters." The AHA Advocacy Resources page contains its advocacy agenda, pending legislation, its Comment Letters, and links to issue briefs and federal resources on various issues. The Resource Center page provides access to more statistics and studies conducted by AHA.

    • Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States  national non-profit organization representing the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the United States and its territories

    • Health Privacy Project is "dedicated to raising public awareness of the importance of ensuring health privacy in order to improve health care access and quality, both on an individual and a community level." The site provides access to publications on various federal and state health privacy law issues.

    • Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is "a not-for-profit organization driving the improvement of health by advancing the quality and value of health care." The site provides information about IHI's upcoming programs as well as access to its publications.

    • Institute of Medicine (IOM) "provides unbiased, evidence-based, and authoritative information and advice concerning health and science policy to policy-makers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large." The website provides access to its reports.

    • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations: JCAHO is an independent, not-for-profit organization. It evaluates and accredits more than 16,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. The site provides access to its newsletter and its other publications. 

    • The Leapfrog Group [] is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America’s health industry to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of healthcare for Americans. The website provides access to the Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey Results  which is one of its most well-known initiatives.

    • National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NASMD) is "a bipartisan, professional, nonprofit organization of representatives of state Medicaid agencies (including the District of Columbia and the territories)." "The primary purposes of NASMD are: to serve as a focal point of communication between the states and the federal government, and to provide an information network among the states on issues pertinent to the Medicaid program." Provides access to some publications by the Association. 

    • National Conference of State Legislatures:Health is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. The NCSL website provides research results on various public policy issues. Sometimes, NCSL provides 50-state analyses. 

    • World Health Organization- is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

    Policy and Think Tank Reports

    • Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Among its many duties, CBO performs analytical studies at the request of a Congressional Committee or Subcommittee; the Congressional leadership; or as time permits, individual members. The analyses, which address a broad range of topics, are published as studies and papers; as a letter; or they are delivered in testimony. Health-related reports (1978- ) are available at 

    • General Accountability Office (GAO) Report (1994- ) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the investigative arm of Congress. "Its mission is to support Congress in meeting its Constitutional responsibilities (e.g. oversight, policy, and funding decision) and to help improve the performance and accountability of the Federal Government for the American People." Most GAO reports are done at the request of members of Congress.

      • Congressional Research Service Reports on Health Care (CRS Reports)These are non-partisan and in-depth reports produced by the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of the Library of Congress, on a variety of topics for Congress. They are not widely available, but a few libraries have been collecting and making them accessible:
      • Open CRS: Congressional Research Reports for the People  is a project of the Center for Democracy & Technology that serves as a centralized location to learn about the Congressional Research Service and search for CRS reports that have been released to the public by members of Congress. Provides report abstracts as well as full text.

    Available online from:

    Thurgood Marshall Library, University of Maryland

    University of North Texas Library 

     Policy think tanks and research institutes– Many of these organizations produce and publish policy reports. Below are links to some websites:

    PolicyFile  (1990-Present) 
    Indexes and abstracts public policy research and analyses originating from think tanks, university research programs, research organizations, and publishers. Where available, access to home pages and full- text may be included within individual abstracts.

    PAIS International (Public Affairs Information Service International) (1972- )
    Indexes public policy and public affairs and social science literature. Some of the journals indexed are available through a variety of subscriptions maintained by the university library. Look for information indicating the level of access to the article(s) citation, abstract or full-text.

    CQ Researcher  Weekly publication covers the most current and controversial issues of the day with complete summaries, insight into all sides of the issues, bibliographies and more. There is an issue tracker section that summarizes reports on certain topics. Some of the recent health law related publications include:

    • Genetically Modified Food (August 31, 2012- Voume. 22, Issue 30)
    • Prolonging Life (September 30, 2011 - Volume 21, Issue 34)
    • Preventing Disease (January 6, 2012 -Vol. 22, Issue 1)
    • Organ Donations (April. 15, 2011- Vol. 21- Issue 15 )

    News Links


    AP Health News (Associated Press- Health News)

    CNN Health News

    Research Guides