Improving Access to Preventive Care for Children Enrolled in Medicaid

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child HealthMedicaid

August 1, 2019

Forty-six percent of Medicaid spending goes to Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), which receive capitated payments—meaning they get a set dollar amount regardless of how much they spend on providing services. Recent reports suggest that MCOs in numerous states are providing below average or poor preventive care, possibly to millions of Medicaid recipients.

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Addressing Opioid Overdose through Statewide Standing Orders for Naloxone Distribution

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

July 30, 2019

In an effort to combat opioid overdose, the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old, states have attempted to make the overdose-reversing drug naloxone more available through the use of “standing orders” which permit naloxone to be dispensed to an individual with whom the prescriber (e.g. doctor, nurse practitioner) does not have a prescriber-patient relationship, a practice which is otherwise generally prohibited.

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Tick Tock: When Will We See Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs?

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

July 18, 2019
by Kathleen Hoke

Although the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act directed the FDA to propose graphic warnings to be required on cigarette packages and advertising by June 2011, cigarette packages and ads in the US still do not contain graphic warnings. In August 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with other public health organizations, filed suit against the FDA seeking to force the Agency to propose graphic warnings as mandated by Congress.

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How Public Health Departments and Medical-Legal Partnerships Can Collaborate to Strengthen Community Health Efforts

Law & Policy InsightsMedical-Legal Partnerships

July 12, 2019
by Colleen Healy Boufides

Medical-legal partnership (MLP) attorneys are ideally situated to identify and define the contours of specific legal issues affecting a community’s health. MLPs can also play an important role in informing, guiding, and effectuating strategic legal changes to improve health at the population level. In addition to working with MLPs on public health law and policy initiatives, there are many additional opportunities for public health departments and MLPs to collaborate on a day-to-day basis.

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Connecting Traditions to Wellness: Key Policy Takeaways from the 2019 Tribal Public Health Summit

Law & Policy InsightsOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionEnvironment, Climate and HealthTribal HealthOral HealthOral Health Project

July 11, 2019
by Leila Barraza

Tribes across the country are restoring ancient traditions to improve overall wellness of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The recent National Tribal Public Health Summit highlighted these stories and identified the need for law and policy solutions to address a number of critical issues including opioid harm prevention and treatment, access to oral health care, and climate change.

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With Natural Disasters on the Rise, Solar Batteries Could Become Essential to Public Health and Safety

Law & Policy InsightsEnvironment, Climate and Health

June 18, 2019
by Betsy Lawton

When natural disasters occur, entire electrical grid systems (including those powered by solar energy) can shut down. Solar energy stored in batteries, which operate independent of the grid, have become an increasingly important, reliable back-up system for maintaining the health and safety of communities in emergencies. Solar batteries also help reduce public health harms caused by climate change and the use of fossil fuels.

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Public Health Law News Round-Up – May 2019

Law & Policy Insights

June 5, 2019

Public health law and policy stories that made headlines recently include the impact of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on food insecurity in the U.S.; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ rule allowing health workers to opt out of procedures they object to for religious or personal reasons; a precedent-setting ruling mandating addiction treatment for a prison inmate; racial disparities in pregnancy-related deaths; warning labels on sugary drinks; and Washington state’s public insurance offering.

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Motor Vehicle Fatalities Involving Children and Impaired Drivers: Are Child Endangerment Laws Really Failing Us?

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child HealthInjury Prevention and Safety

May 23, 2019
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey

One in five child passenger fatalities in the U.S. involve an impaired driver, most commonly the child’s own driver. Forty-six states and D.C. have child endangerment statutes that impose special sanctions for driving under the influence while transporting a child. Despite the widespread use of such laws, studies of their effectiveness suggest they may not be effective in preventing alcohol-related child fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, primarily due to low public awareness and lax enforcement.

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