Health law is a field of law that encompasses federal, state, and local law, rules, regulations and other jurisprudence among providers, payers and vendors to the health care industry and its patients, and delivery of health care services, with an emphasis on operations, regulatory and transactional issues.
The Florida Bar defines "heath law" as "legal issues involving federal, state, or local law, rules or regulations and health care provider issues, regulation of providers, legal issues regarding relationships between and among providers, legal issues regarding relationships between providers and payors, and legal issues regarding the delivery of health care services." American University's college of law, in health law and policy, divides health law into 4 areas: health care law (focused on treatment), public and population health law (focused on prevention), bioethics, and global health law.
The terms "legislation" and "law" are used to refer generically to statutes, regulation and other legal instruments (e.g. ministerial decrees) that may be the forms of law used in a particular country.
In general, there are a wide range of regulatory strategies that may be used to ensure people's health and safety. Increasingly, regulators are taking an approach of "responsive regulation". This involves using mechanisms that are responsive to the context, conduct, and culture of those being regulated, providing for a range of regulatory mechanisms to achieve the behavior desired. Where appropriate, the aim is to use incentives before sanctions. However, when those being regulated do not respond accordingly, escalating sanctions can be invoked. These strategies may be broadly classified into five groups: