Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

A Change in Federal Policy Expands Access to Children’s Health Care Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) “free care rule” did not allow Medicaid payment for health services considered “free,” including childhood immunizations given by health departments and nurse services provided in schools. CMS withdrew this rule last year, allowing public entities to provide important preventive and primary health care services.

More on the free care rule and implications for children’s health.

Breast Milk in the Child Care Setting: Conflicting Recommendations  

In an effort to support mothers in providing breast milk for their infants in child care, several government agencies have established best practices or recommendations for the handling of breast milk. Unfortunately, some of these recommendations can conflict with those made by another agency, which creates confusion for mothers and child care providers.

More on how conflicting recommendations can be a barrier to breastfeeding.

Updated Network Resources

State Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Studies have shown that motorcycle helmets can help reduce the severity of head injuries and even the likelihood of death. Despite these findings, only 22 states require helmet use for everyone. These fact sheets provide an overview of motorcycle safety efforts in each of the Eastern Region states, and offer legal options for states to address motorcycle safety.

View Eastern Region state motorcycle fact sheets.

State Sales of Raw Milk

The milk pasteurization process removes harmful contaminants including bacteria, like E.coli and Listeria that are responsible for many foodborne illnesses. States are charged with regulating the sales of raw, or unpasteurized, milk and these laws vary. The Network has produced a series of resources that provides information on the hazards of consuming raw milk, as well as state laws regulating its sale.

View/download the Raw Milk: Risks of Consumption and State Regulation of Sales Fact Sheet and 50 State Compilation of Regulations and Statutes.

Webinar: Borrowing for College – Exploring the Connection between Student Loan Debt and Health

With emerging research showing an association between debt and health, the effects of the college borrowing may go beyond a student’s financial well-being. This webinar will explore issues surrounding student debt by reviewing the current trends in student borrowing and indebtedness, examining the effect of debt on student health, and considering proposed legal and policy reforms for financing higher education.

Learn more and register for webinar.

Ask the Experts

Unaccompanied Children in Emergency Situations

The Network was recently contacted by the director of a state emergency pediatrics project for guidance on the legal and health concerns related to unaccompanied children in emergency situations. With some exceptions, under normal circumstances health care workers must obtain consent from parents or legal guardians in order to provide treatment to minors. However, in an emergency situation, minors may become separated from their parents or legal guardians, or health facilities may become overwhelmed and lack the resources to obtain proper consent.

More on providing emergency health care to minors.

Public Health Law Research: Prescription Monitoring Programs

In a systematic review by PHLR grantees from UNC Chapel Hill of 47 prescription monitoring program (PMP) websites for overdose content, researchers find that most PMPs did not address overdose or related terms in available online materials and few state PMP websites provide overdose-specific messaging or tools for prevention.

More about this study.

Opportunities in Public Health Law

Program Manager, Tobacco Free Nebraska

This position is responsible for the management and oversight of Tobacco Free Nebraska, the state’s comprehensive tobacco prevention program. Duties include assuring the operations and activities required to support the program are completed; and coordination with other State and local agencies, DHHS Programs, and other health partners.

Learn more about position and how to apply.

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