(1/156) Publication of Surgeon General's report on smoking and health.

The Surgeon General's report Reducing Tobacco Use (1) was released on August 9, 2000. This report is the first in the series to offer a composite review of the various methods used to reduce and prevent tobacco use.  (+info)

(2/156) Medicare's governance and structure: a proposal.

Medicare and Medicaid need new organizational structures. At the start of a new administration, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) should be replaced by separate agencies to administer Medicare (a Federal Health Programs Administration) and Medicaid plus other state grant programs (a State Health Programs Administration). A new Medicare management agency should have different centers for beneficiary services, provider payments, health plans, prescription drugs, and program development/special populations. The future Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should have an assistant secretary for prevention and health care quality, and a new Congress should establish a Joint Health Committee.  (+info)

(3/156) Health care programs: fraud and abuse; revised OIG civil money penalties resulting from public law 104-191. Office of Inspector General (OIG), HHS. Final rule.

This final rule revises the OIG's civil money penalty (CMP) authorities, in conjunction with new and revised provisions set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Among other provisions, this final rulemaking codifies new CMPs for excluded individuals retaining ownership or control interest in an entity; upcoding and claims for medically unnecessary services; offering inducements to beneficiaries; and false certification of eligibility for home health services. This rule also codifies a number of technical corrections to the regulations governing OIG's sanction authorities.  (+info)

(4/156) Privacy Act; implementation. Office of Inspector General (OIG), HHS. Final rule.

This final rule exempts the new system of records, the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB), from certain provisions of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). The establishment of the HIPDB is required by section 1128E of the Social Security Act (the Act), as added by section 221(a) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Section 1128E of the Act directed the Secretary to establish a national health care fraud and abuse data collection program for the reporting and disclosing of certain final adverse actions taken against health care providers, suppliers or practitioners, and to maintain a data base of final adverse actions taken against health care providers, suppliers and practitioners. Regulations implementing the new HIPDB were published in the Federal Register on October 26, 1999 (64 FR 57740). The exemption being set forth in this rule applies to investigative materials compiled for law enforcement purposes.  (+info)

(5/156) Reducing Tobacco Use. A report of the Surgeon General. Executive Summary.

This report of the Surgeon General on smoking and health, Reducing Tobacco Use, appears at a time of considerable upheaval in the arena of tobacco use control and prevention. Legal and legislative efforts to protect children from tobacco initiation and to diminish the prevalence of smoking among adults are in a state of flux, with some important gains and some sobering setbacks. Major changes in the public stance of the tobacco industry have evoked a reevaluation of strategies for controlling and preventing tobacco uptake. Enormous monetary settlements have provided the resources to fuel major new comprehensive antitobacco efforts, but the ultimate cost and benefit of these resources are still to be determined. Into this changing landscape, the report introduces an assessment of information about the value and efficacy of the major approaches that have been used--educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and comprehensive--to reduce tobacco use. The report evaluates the scientific evidence for each approach, attempts to place the approaches in the larger context of tobacco control, and provides a vision of the trajectory for tobacco use prevention and control based on these available tools. Thus, although our knowledge about tobacco control remains imperfect, we know more than enough to act now. Widespread dissemination of the approaches and methods shown to be effective in each modality and especially in combination would substantially reduce the number of young people who will become addicted to tobacco, increase the success rate of young people and adults trying to quit using tobacco, decrease the level of exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke, reduce the disparities related to tobacco use and its health effects among different population groups, and decrease the future health burden of tobacco-related disease and death in this country. These achievable improvements parallel the health objectives set forth in Healthy People 2010, the national action plan for improving the health of all people living in the United States for the first decade of the 21st century (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] 2000a). Twenty-one specific national health objectives related to tobacco use are listed in Healthy People 2010, including reducing the rates among young people and adults to less than half of the current rate of use. Attaining all of these tobacco-related objectives will almost certainly require significant national commitment to the various successful approaches described in this report. The major conclusions of this report are not formal policy recommendations. Rather, they offer a summary of the scientific literature about what works. In short, this report is intended to offer policymakers, public health professionals, professional and advocacy organizations, researchers, and, most importantly, the American people guidance on how to ensure that efforts to prevent and control tobacco use are commensurate with the harm it causes.  (+info)

(6/156) Sexual orientation data collection and progress toward Healthy People 2010.

Without scientifically obtained data and published reports, it is difficult to raise awareness and acquire adequate resources to address the health concerns of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services must recognize gaps in its information systems regarding sexual orientation data and take immediate steps to monitor and eliminate health disparities as delineated in Healthy People 2010. A paper supported by funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation explores these concerns and suggests that the department (1) create work groups to examine the collection of sexual orientation data; (2) create a set of guiding principles to govern the process of selecting standard definitions and measures; (3) recognize that racial/ethnic, immigrant-status, age, socioeconomic, and geographic differences must be taken into account when standard measures of sexual orientation are selected; (4) select a minimum set of standard sexual orientation measures; and (5) develop a long-range strategic plan for the collection of sexual orientation data.  (+info)

(7/156) Update: newborn screening for sickle cell disease--California, Illinois, and New York, 1998.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a common single-gene disorder that affects three of every 1000 black newborns and approximately 50,000 persons in the United States. Children affected with SCD are at increased risk for severe morbidity (e.g., severe hemolytic anemia, splenic dysfunction, pain crises, and bacterial infections) and mortality, especially during the first 3 years of life. In 1993, California, Illinois, and New York collectively accounted for approximately 20% of all births to blacks. All three states offer universal newborn screening for hemoglobinopathies. To assess the effectiveness of newborn screening programs for SCD and for receipt of and compliance with early medical interventions (e.g., penicillin prophylaxis and pneumococcal vaccination and other vaccination patterns), a 3-year collaborative follow-up study was conducted from 1995 through 1998 in California, Illinois, and New York. This report summarizes the results of this study, which demonstrate the difficulty in retrospectively finding children who were screened at birth so that data for evaluating program effectiveness can be assessed.  (+info)

(8/156) Protection of human research subjects. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Final rule.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is amending its human subjects protection regulations. These regulations provide additional protections for pregnant women and human fetuses involved in research and pertains to human in vitro fertilization. The rule continues the special protections for pregnant women and human fetuses that have existed since 1975. The rule enhances the opportunity for participation of pregnant women in research by promoting a policy of presumed inclusion, by permitting the pregnant woman to be the sole decision maker with regard to her participation in research, and by exempting from the regulations six categories of research. The rule also provides a mechanism for the Secretary of HHS to conduct or fund research not otherwise approvable after consultation with an expert panel and public review and comment.  (+info)