In February, the New York Times reported on a young woman’s tragic drug overdose in Heroin’s Small-Town Toll, and a Mother’s Grief. The article’s focus on how the faces of heroin overdose “are getting younger and whiter” speaks directly to my concern: do we care now because the color of those dying from overdose is changing? Drug addiction and related deaths are needless and heartbreaking in any community, yet these issues have faced communities of color for decades, but one has to wonder if any of those deaths received as much front page coverage as we’ve seen in the past few months.
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.
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?
Historically, services for mental health and substance use disorder have not been covered by most insurance plans. Two significant pieces of legislation have worked to reduce this inequity.
A number of provisions in Affordable Care Act (ACA) promote investments in public health and transformative changes to the health insurance system. The law also prescribes modifications to the health care delivery system that have the potential to make significant and lasting impact on how our country supports new strategies to improve population health outcomes.
Smoking is banned in federal prisons and the majority of state-run facilities have enacted similar restrictions due to health and safety concerns, but some county jails are turning to e-cigarettes to supplement limited resources and purportedly calm inmates.
In this Q&A, James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M., Director of the Network’s Western Region Office and Planning Committee Chair for the 2014 Public Health Law Conference, discusses the role of law in prevention.
Gun violence is a public health problem that claims more than 30,000 lives and causes 70,000 to 80,000 serious non-fatal injuries in the United States each year. How did our nation do in meeting the challenge of gun violence through legal approaches in 2013? It’s a mixed report card.
Technological advances have made driverless cars seem like a possibility in the not so distant future. Several states already have laws that specifically allow and regulate autonomous vehicles. How will the technology change vehicle and traffic safety laws? And how will the cars impact efforts to increase healthier modes of transportation like walking, biking and public transportation?
In this Q&A, Mary Crossley, Professor of Law and former Dean at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law helps us understand the Affordable Care Act’s community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirement and how it might foster collaboration between local health departments and hospitals.