Network Report


Current Issues in Public Health Law

The Crossroads of Tobacco Control

Smoking-caused disease was among “the greatest public health catastrophes” of the twentieth century, according to the recently released Surgeon General’s Report (SGR). The report also notes that while tobacco control is one of the public health community’s greatest successes, efforts have stalled.

More on the SGR and challenges in tobacco control.

The ACA: Beyond Theory and Toward Implementation

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has only begun and many aspects of the law remain confusing to consumers and providers. How the public health law community is navigating the ACA, and the resources available to help individuals and organizations.

Read about ACA resources.

Webinar: Blocked shots – Examining the Basis, Nature and Public Health Impact of Vaccine Exemption Laws

Most states in the U.S. currently allow non-medical exemptions for vaccinations based on philosophical, religious, or personal beliefs. This webinar examines the legal and ethical basis for vaccination requirements, reviews a recent assessment of how non-medical vaccination exemption laws impact the annual incidence rates of vaccine-targeted diseases, and explores how states are changing their vaccine exemption laws. Webinar takes place on February 19 at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

Learn more and register for the webinar.

Resource: State Laws for Elder Drivers

State laws vary with respect to elder drivers — in most states, an administrative agency (e.g. the state motor vehicle administration) has discretion in requiring testing (e.g. vision or road) upon driver’s license renewal. In addition to a general provision of this nature, several states impose specific requirements on elder drivers. We’ve updated our 50-state compilation which summarizes elder driver laws in each state.

View resource.

Ask the Experts:

The ACA’s Individual Mandate and Released Prisoners

The Network was recently contacted by a requestor who asked how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and specifically the individual mandate, affects people who are released from prison. About 700,000 prisoners are released annually in the U.S., and approximately half of them will gain health coverage under federal laws.

Read more and view resources on this issue.

2014 Public Health Law Conference

Session tracks and topics have been posted for the 2014 Public Health Law Conference! From health reform and data privacy, to chronic disease and injury prevention, public health and legal experts from across the country will examine and discuss today’s most critical challenges in 40 sessions.

View sessions and register today to get the early bird discount.

Public Health Law Research

Four new interactive maps have been published on The maps provide information on state laws aimed at improving the public’s health.

Insurance Billing Practices for Sensitive Health Services: Provider Immunity —provides information about the states where health care professionals who provide free services are immune from civil liability.

Insurance Billing for Sensitive Health Services: Limits on 3rd Party Billing — identifies whether a state has laws requiring access to free STD treatment services and whether the law prohibits a patient from being billed or whether a third party may be billed.

Communicable Disease Intervention Protocol — provides state laws and regulations that dictate how and to what extent a health department may intervene when communicable diseases appear in their jurisdiction.

Medical Marijuana Laws for Patients — explores U.S. laws related to patient use of medical marijuana.

Network People

The Network’s Western Region welcomes new staff attorney Kim Weidenaar to its team. Kim is a fellow with the Public Health Law and Policy Program at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where she earned her J.D., with a Certificate Health Law from the Center for Law, Science & Technology in 2013.

Read more about Kim.

Please join the Network!