Network Report


Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Gun Control: Changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule for Disclosures to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

A change to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule permits certain covered entities to disclose the identities of individuals who are disqualified from owning a firearm for certain mental health reasons, as determined by federal and state law, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This HIPAA modification has implications for public health departments and mental health authorities.

State Laws Related to Disclosure of Public Water Supplies

Statutes and Penalties for Disclosure of Public Water Supply

To protect public safety, states have established prohibited disclosure laws for public water supplies. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) partnered with the Network to develop an online resource which tracks specific statutes for the laws in each state. These statures address the types of information exempt from disclosure, penalties for violation, and other important requirements.

Public Health Legal Resources

EpiPen 50 State Compilation

A growing number of children, nearly six million, have food allergies that can lead to severe reactions. Most states have laws and policies on food allergy management in schools that include guidelines for the administration of epinephrine, which is typically done with an auto-injector, commonly called an EpiPen. This 50-State Compilation provides a summary of the state laws addressing EpiPen use in schools.


Medicaid and the “Free Care” Rule

Historically, Medicaid payments were generally not allowed for services available without charge, also known as “free care” services. One year ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance that effectively reversed this previously long-standing policy. This webinar will further explain the “free care” rule and discuss the implications of this change for schools, local health departments, and Medicaid managed care plans. The webinar takes place today at 1pm ET. There is no cost to attend and some attendees may qualify for CLE credits.

Ask the Experts

Parental Consent and Notification Laws: Prenatal Care for Minors

The Network was recently contacted by an Indiana health care facility that provides services to pregnant women and girls. The facility has an ultrasound machine and wanted to know whether Indiana law prohibits providers from performing an ultrasound procedure on a minor without parental knowledge or consent.

Exploring the Role of Law in Advancing Health across Multiple Arenas

Legal Innovations to Advance a Culture of Health

In the current issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Network colleagues provide examples of how law can be used as a tool to help advance a culture of health across multiple arenas, including modern laws that promote healthy and safe low-income housing, telemedicine reimbursement, paid sick and safe time, healthy food and beverages, reduced smoking rates, child vaccinations, universal pre-k, adolescents' healthy sleep, overdose prevention, and medical-legal partnerships.

Training on Policy Surveillance and Legal Mapping

Policy Surveillance Summer Institute

The RWJF Policy Surveillance Program is hosting its inaugural Policy Surveillance Summer Institute, June 9-10, 2016 at Temple University in Philadelphia. The Summer Institute will teach policy surveillance and legal mapping techniques. It will provide hands-on lab training with software tools, some classroom instruction, and opportunities to network with other law/policy professionals and engage with Policy Surveillance Program staff during the Institute and for follow-up. By the conclusion of the experience, participants will have learned the entire process from conceptualizing a dataset through web-deployment tools for visualizing policy over jurisdictions and time.

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