Health Policy and Law Blog

The Brain Trust

Changes in cognitive functioning often raise thorny legal issues, which are the subject of both study and service at the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium.


The Brain Trust: The Consortium's Winston Chiong (left) and Sarah Hooper

The Brain Trust: The Consortium’s Winston Chiong (left) and Sarah Hooper

Recent discoveries in neuroscience and advances in technology for monitoring the brain’s activity are having an immense impact on fields like education, psychology and medicine. Even in the law, insights from new brain studies are reshaping how we address mental capacity in the process of aging, the rights of neuro-diverse individuals and translating scientific findings in courtrooms. At the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy, research and clinical practice related to brain health has become a core focus.

“There’s a recognition that we don’t know as much as we should about arguably the most important organ in our body, so there is a concerted push for research in this area that you can see in the Obama administration’s BRAIN Initiative and other programs,” said Consortium Executive Director Sarah Hooper. “Our work in this field asks: How do we translate these findings into law, clinical care and policy? How do we ensure that healthcare and social systems meet the needs of cognitively impaired individuals? What is the right balance between autonomy and protection for these groups?”

… continue reading The Brain Trust

Getting to the Source

A one-of-a-kind website demystifies the shadowy realm of healthcare pricing and competition.


The Source's executive editor Jaime S. King (left) and managing editor Anne Marie Helm

The Source’s executive editor Jaime S. King (left) and managing editor Anne Marie Helm

In 2015, healthcare expenditures in the United States exceeded $3 trillion, a whopping 17 percent of gross domestic product and the highest price tag in the world by 50 percent or more, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund report. There’s no easy fix. But UC Hastings’ Jaime S. King and Anne Marie Helm aim to make a difference by documenting the complex forces driving healthcare costs on the independent, nonprofit website The Source on Healthcare Price & Competition.

“We want The Source to be a catalyst for change—a one-stop shop for information that can help people see the bigger picture, whether they’re doing research, drafting policy, working on litigation, or are just curious about our incredibly complicated and dysfunctional healthcare system,” said King, co-director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy and the site’s executive editor.

… continue reading Getting to the Source

Health, Science and the Law—Transforming Healthcare

In its efforts to demystify the space created by the intersection of health and law, UC Hastings has established itself as a thought leader in the field.

Jaime King smiles at the camera

Editor’s note: This post is penned by our very own Professor Jaime S. King, who is co-director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Science, Law and Health Policy; the executive editor of “The Source for Competitive Healthcare” blog; and the co-director of the Concentration on Law and Health Sciences.

During the course of our lives, we all need the healthcare system. Most of us were born in a hospital, and most of us will die under medical supervision. Accidents happen, children get sick and our parents grow older. Yet providing quality healthcare at affordable prices has become one of the most elusive political, economic and legal issues of our time. … continue reading Health, Science and the Law—Transforming Healthcare

HPL Mixer Hosts First Cohort of Students

In late July, recently admitted HPL students joined faculty and staff, as well as practicing attorneys from sponsoring firm Nossaman, LLP (San Francisco). The first cohort in the new HPL degree mixed and mingled—some swapping information to create study groups! Faculty members Dan Dohan, professor of Health Policy and Social Medicine at UCSF, Jaime King (professor and co-director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Science, Law and Health Policy) and Gregg Cochran—associate director of the degree and Of Counsel at Nossaman—led the festivities, answering the incoming class’ questions and sharing in the overall buzz and excitement about the new opportunities this degree will afford.

Check out some great pics from the event! … continue reading HPL Mixer Hosts First Cohort of Students

Video: Q&A With Associate Director, Professor Gregg Cochran


In this recent Q&A with Greggory Cochran, he breaks down the numerous job opportunities available after graduation, the state of the healthcare in the U.S. and much more. Having served as an E.R. physician and now a lawyer at Nossaman LLP, Cochran brings valuable cross-disciplinary insights and real-world examples to the classroom. He’s fully entrenched in the legal aspects of healthcare policy, and can see changes to healthcare through the lens as a clinician. Have a look to find out where this degree can take you:

Read an in-depth interview with Cochran.

Watch More Videos

Video: Why the Health Policy and Law Master’s Degree?


Learn about the UCSF and UC Hastings College of the Law new online degree, Masters of Science in Health Policy and Law. This new degree connects medical practitioners with legal professionals to create a dynamic learning environment. Learn to critically assess legal, policy and social challenges affecting the U.S. health care system. Have a look:

Learn more about this innovative program.

Watch More Videos

Video: Sneak Peak Into U.S. Health Care System and the Law Online Course


Here’s a sneak-peak into one of the many online formats used in the HPL. In this video, Professor Gregg Cochran gives an overview of the nation’s healthcare system and the laws that underly how healthcare is provided. This 10-minute video is just one of many learning segments as you progress through your course. And because the videos are short yet chock-full of knowledge, you can squeeze these assignments into your busy working schedule. Have a look:

Learn more about the online learning experience.

Watch More Videos

HPL Offers Endless Career Opportunities


Photo of Dean Faigman

David Faigman: “We’re still in a very dynamic area in terms of health policy in the U.S.”

Advances in health policy and law do not happen in a vacuum. Professionals from the medical and legal fields must interact with each other, but more often than not, they don’t speak each other’s languages. To understand the complexities of health law and policy, you must have this “multilingual” skillset.

David Faigman knows the importance of speaking the language of health, health policy and health law. Originally working toward a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Virginia, Faigman took his M.A. in Psychology and switched gears to earn a J.D. “I decided to be “primarily a lawyer-psychologist rather than a psychologist-lawyer,” Faigman says, “but I learned the language of science and of statistics.” Understanding the language of health and the language of law is a crucial skill that Faigman believes is necessary for tomorrow’s professional.… continue reading HPL Offers Endless Career Opportunities

Meet Associate Director R. Gregory “Gregg” Cochran


Professor R. Gregory “Gregg” Cochran

Professor R. Gregory “Gregg” Cochran

I decided this is the thing I want to do next in my career in health care and health care law: Teaching about the issues that I am interested in and know quite a bit about, having worked in both the provider and legal sides of the health care industry.”

That’s putting it quite mildly. Professor R. Gregory “Gregg” Cochran, originally of Atlanta, brings his extensive experience as an E.R. doctor and law-firm partner to the classroom, providing valuable cross-disciplinary insights and real-world examples to illuminate the curriculum. … continue reading Meet Associate Director R. Gregory “Gregg” Cochran

9 Tips to Succeed in Online Learning

We know that balancing a full time job while pursuing a Master’s degree can be hard work. Yet rather than taking time away from your job, online degrees provide a unique opportunity to continue your career path, apply classroom learning directly to your job and earn an income—all from anywhere in the world. It’ll take some effort, so to help you along we’ve put together a list to help you navigate the program and succeed in online learning.… continue reading 9 Tips to Succeed in Online Learning

Developing Your Capstone Project

As part of your application, you will need to identify a topic for your capstone project. The courses you take will inform and help you refine your project so you’re ready to present it as part of your final examination. If you already have a topic in mind, great! If you’re not sure where to start, rely on your professional experiences and career aspirations to guide you.

Here are some tips to kick-start your thought process:… continue reading Developing Your Capstone Project


Find Out More

Get Started