Network Report

8/6/15

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Reducing Discrimination against Job Applicants with Substance Use Disorders

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants with disabilities. These protections apply not only to physical disabilities, but also to mental disabilities, including drug addiction. However, the laws draw subtle distinctions that determine whether an individual’s substance use or abuse constitutes a disability.

Local Government Planners Can Improve Access to Healthy Food and Increase Physical Activity

Local government planners have historically played an important role in preventing and curbing dangerous health conditions such as cholera, yellow fever and diphtheria. Today, planners have the opportunity to address chronic health issues related to obesity, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Network Resources

Public Health Lawyer Directory

The Network has launched an online directory of public health attorneys to help those in the public health community connect with experts who can provide legal technical assistance and other services. Users can search on a health topic and get a list of attorneys who can help them with legal or policy questions. The Directory contains attorneys from the Network, the CDC Public Health Law Program, the Public Health Law Center, Public Health Law Research and ChangeLab Solutions.

Texas Overdose Legislation

Over 600 Texans died from opioid overdoses in 2013, but recent reports suggest that this is a vast undercount, with nearly 800 prescription-drug related deaths reported by medical examiners in just 17 of the state’s 254 counties. This year, the state enacted a law that expands access to naloxone, an overdose reversing drug. This fact sheet highlights the critical components of the law, including the prescribing and dispensing of naloxone, as well as who is allowed to administer the drug.

Webinars

Telehealth: A Game-Changer for Health Care – Are Laws Keeping Pace?

Telehealth services allow patients to consult with doctors through videoconferencing and other technologies. Many in public view telehealth services as an opportunity to improve access to health services for patients in rural areas, reduce health care costs and ensure disease control surveillance through video directly observed therapy (VDOT).  This webinar will examine the various ways telehealth can be used and the laws currently regulating telehealth practices in each state. This webinar takes place on Thursday, August 20 at 1 p.m. ET, and there is no cost to attend.

Ask the Experts

Isolation and Quarantine Procedures

The Network was recently contacted by the director of a local health department for information regarding isolation and quarantine procedures. The Network provided the requestor with a number of resources, including model laws which highlight public health best practices and provide some guidance for local quarantine and isolation policies.

Public Health Law Research

Implementing Legislation to Improve Hospital Support of Breastfeeding in New York State

All of New York's hospitals have now implemented breastfeeding policies that follow the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, according to a new study published today in Preventing Chronic Disease. The study, funded by PHLR to the NY State Department of Health, reviewed policies from all 129 NY hospitals providing maternity care services. In 2009, none were fully compliant with the WHO recommendations, but by 2013, 97, or 75 percent of the hospitals had compliant hospital breastfeeding policies. And as of April 2014, all 129 hospitals in New York had a fully compliant, approved, written breastfeeding policy in place.

Join the Network to receive the Network Report.