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Health Care Regulation in AmericaComplexity, Confrontation, and Compromise$
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Robert I. Field

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159684.001.0001

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Regulation of Public Health

Regulation of Public Health

(p.141) 6 Regulation of Public Health
Health Care Regulation in America

Robert I. Field

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers regulatory programs that protect public health. As the earliest form of health care regulation, it has evolved in several significant regards. Nineteenth century programs based at the state and local levels focused on infectious threats through such efforts as improved sanitation, safe drinking water, quarantine, and vaccination. The federal role grew in the early and mid-20th century through programs such as public health service hospitals, food safety enforcement, and epidemiological monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Late 20th century programs shifted the regulatory focus to chronic conditions with programs that addressed environmental protection, occupational safety and health, and mental health. A host of major policy issues remain, including how to achieve the best balance between federal and state authority, between population and individual health, between acute and chronic diseases, and between reliance on the public and private sectors.

Keywords:   public health, infectious disease, chronic disease, environmental health, occupational health, mental health, health manpower, vaccines, biodefense, population health

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