Network Report


Current Issues in Public Health Law

HIPAA Privacy Questions Answered

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information and sets national standards to ensure the security of electronic health data. For public health agencies and health care providers, ensuring compliance with HIPAA rules can be daunting. In this Q&A, Network Attorney Jennifer Bernstein addresses a number of grey areas in HIPAA privacy.


Restaurant Inspections: Disclosures and Grading Systems

Inspecting restaurants to ensure food safety is a well-known practice and responsibility of public health agencies. Many health departments and local governments have implemented grading systems for restaurant inspections, and have made these grades available to the public – but do the grading systems help increase food safety?

More on restaurant inspections and grading systems.


Two new resources from the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium outline how the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act affect insurance coverage for tobacco cessation treatment. The fact sheets include information on scope of coverage, requirements for co-pays and other costs, and types of insurance plans affected.

How the Affordable Care Act Affects Tobacco Use and Control

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act: Implications for Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Benefits

Upcoming Webinars

Today: Regulating Non-Medical Marijuana — Lessons Learned and Paths Forward

Policy-makers in Colorado and Washington state are grappling with how to regulate non-medical marijuana in an industry that is still largely illegal in the national and international arenas. This webinar will provide an overview of issues related to non-medical marijuana regulation through lessons learned from decades of alcohol and tobacco regulation, along with insights from Washington State’s recent implementation of a marijuana law. The webinar is free to attend and takes place today, April 17 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Learn more and register for the non-medical marijuana webinar.

May 15: Expanding Medial Marijuana Laws — Regulation and Public Health

Twenty one states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana and eight other states are considering legislation in 2014. As medical marijuana laws expand, state governments and health departments have the daunting task of developing and implementing rules and regulations. This webinar provides an overview of the current public health and legal landscape of medical marijuana; addresses adolescent use, drugged driving and other health concerns; and explores the evaluation of current laws and possible evidence-based strategies to protect public health.

Learn more about medical marijuana webinar.

Ask the Experts:

Appointment Process for Boards of Health

A requestor recently asked the Network for information about Ohio law and the nomination and appointment process of general health district boards of health. Boards of health are an important link between public health services and a healthy community, and laws governing board structure vary from state to state.  Ohio law states that the general health district advisory council (DAC) and the district licensing council (DLC) appoint the board of health of a general health district.

Read more and view resources provided by the Network.

Public Health Law Research (PHLR)

Public health laboratories face considerable challenges to ensuring performance of critically important testing services. The Policy Guide is a resource that public health laboratory directors and their colleagues can use as they explore legal and other policy questions related to state public health laboratories' sharing test services with each other.

More about the Policy Guide.


Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

The Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University is accepting applications for its Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. The paid, two-year fellowship will provide academic and practical training in tobacco regulation science.

Learn more about this fellowship opportunity.

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