Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Health Law Research Guide

This in-depth guide on health law research provides access to legal and public policy resources on various aspects of health law.

Other Resources

Select Resources for Reports and Policy-Oriented Materials

Various government offices produce nonpartisan reports, including:

  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
    Among its other duties, the "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 or as letters, or they are delivered in testimony." The CBO's website includes health-related reports from 1976 to present in addition to a special collection of health-related materials.
  • General Accountability Office (GAO) Reports
    The GAO "is known as 'the investigative arm of Congress' and 'the congressional watchdog.' GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people." Most GAO reports are prepared at the request of members of Congress. Reports are available on FDsys (1993 - 2008) and from the Government Accountability Office (1935 - ).
  • Congressional Research Service Reports (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.
    • CRS Reports are available:
      • ProQuest Congressional
        To search CRS Reports, select Advanced Search under "Congressional Publications" and select "CRS Reports." Search by keyword or subject. Click on "Index terms" to find a list of health-related subjects.
      • - "The Internet's largest free and public collection of Congressional Research Reports."
      • Major Studies and Issue Briefs of the Congressional Research Service JK1108 .M34 Micro (1916-2003)
        The library has a collection of CRS Reports on microfiche. Use the index to locate reports on health-related topics

Policy think tanks and research institutes also produce and publish many policy reports. To search for these, first try searching the following databases:

  • PolicyFile (1990 - )
    Indexes and abstracts public policy research and analyses originating from think tanks, university research programs, research organizations, and publishers. Where available, links to organization websites and full text.
  • Public Affairs Information Service International (PAIS) (1915 - )
    Indexes literature on public policy, social policy, and social sciences generally.
  • CQ Researcher (1991 - )
    Published 44 times per year, each report provides in-depth coverage of a particular political or social issue. Search by keyword, browse by topic ("Health"), or use the Issue Tracker to follow particular health-related topics (e.g., health insurance). Available through the CQ Electronic Library.

For additional health policy studies and reports, see the websites of the following organizations.

 Government Agencies, Institutes, and Think Tanks


  • Brookings Institution
    One of Washington's oldest think tanks. The Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform provides information on various health-related topics, publications, and upcoming events. 
  • Centers for Law and the Public's 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 website 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", a public health law bibliography, as well as the full-text supplement to Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader (KF3775 .P83 2002KF3775 .P83 2002 Electronic).
  • Center for Studying Health System Change
    This website links to many policy research reports published by the Center and other research centers on insurance coverage and costs, access to care, and local markets and managed care.
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Health
    The Center works on fiscal policy at both the federal and state levels with a focus on fiscal responsibility and the impact of policies on low income Americans. Reports on health available from 1996.
  • 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 Law Center)
    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
  • Health Policy Institute (Georgetown University)
    HPI 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 publications and articles 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. Browse reports and other documents by topic or search by keyword.
  • JHSPH OpenCourseWare Project
    The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health "provides access to content of the School's most popular courses." Course content includes syllabi, schedules, lecture materials, readings, and assignments.
  • RAND Health
    A research division with the RAND Corporation "advancing understanding of health and health behaviors, and examining how the organization and financing of care affect costs, quality, and access." Search titles and abstracts of publications as early as 1970. Full text also available for many documents, including Research Briefs (1995 - ), Congressional Newsletters (2002 - ), commentary published in news sources (2002 - ), and articles published in journals (dates vary).
  • Health Policy Center (Urban Institute)
    The HPC "analyzes trends and underlying causes of changes in health insurance coverage, access to care, and use of health care services by the entire US population." To access publications, first select a topic.
  • O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law (Georgetown Law & Nursing and Health Studies)
    The Institute was founded in 2007 and is a joint project of the Georgetown University Law Center and the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The Institutes has three core programs: National Health Law, Global Health Law, and Disease Prevention and Outcomes. The website includes a list of publications, video archive, public hearings, and more.
  • Families USA
    Families USA is "a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans." The website provides information on issues such as medicaid, children's health, medicare, prescription drugs, the uninsured, private insurance, minority health, and global health. Publications are available from 1992 (mostly full text, some available for a fee). To see all publications, view by date or topic.
  • Healthcare Leadership Council
    A coalition of chief executives from health care organizations.
  • National Association of Community Health Centers
    A "non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America's medically underserved and uninsured." Website provides access to the organizations research and data, including state-by-state information.

For additional organizations, associations, and institutes focused on health or conducting health-related research, see

  • Database on Health and Human Rights Actors (WHO & Harvard School of Public Health, Program on International Health and Human Rights)
    Information is gathered from a survey of organizations concerning their structures and programs. The database is searchable by country or health issue.