Network Report


 A Message from the Network’s National Director

The Network: Highlights from 2015 and a Preview of 2016

Donna Levin takes a look back at the Network’s accomplishments in 2015 and gives a preview of what’s planned for 2016 and beyond, including a new focus on the role of law in improving health equity.

2016 Public Health Law Conference

Strategies for Achieving Health Equity — Preliminary Agenda

The 2016 Public Health Law Conference, taking place September 15 – 17 in Washington, D.C. features 40 sessions examining topics such as climate change, safe housing, food policy, Medicaid managed care, health data sharing and privacy, and telehealth. The preliminary conference agenda is online now!

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Strategies to Increase Access to Dental Care

Proper dental care is critical to maintaining not only oral health, but also overall well-being. Yet access and affordability of dental care are barriers for some populations. There are three strategies that states, Medicaid agencies, and safety net providers (health centers, school-based health centers) can use to improve access to dental care for Medicaid enrollees and other low-income and vulnerable populations.

Public Health Legal Resources

Legal Toolkit for Newborn Screening DBS

Newborn screening is a vital public health program that detects serious medical conditions that can cause devastating effects if not treated promptly. Many states retain dried blood samples (DBS) collected from the screening process. These DBS have a broad range of potential use, including program evaluation, test development, public health and biomedical research, and surveillance. The Policy Toolkit for Newborn Screening DBS, developed by the Network and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, provides state legislators and other policymakers with a menu of options to consider as they develop policies related to the retention and uses of DBS.


Medicaid and the “Free Care” Rule

Historically, Medicaid payments were generally not allowed for services available without charge, also known as “free care.” One year ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance to allow Medicaid payment for covered services for Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries, effectively reversing a previous long-standing policy. Our January 21 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. There is no cost to attend and some attendees may qualify for CLEs.

Ask the Experts

Immigration laws and Infectious Disease Reporting

Individuals seeking to become permanent residents of the United States must submit a Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, or I-693 Form. The form must be completed by a federally designated civil surgeon based on the surgeon’s medical examination. The Network was recently asked if the results of an I-693 exam can be reported to local health departments.

Journal Article

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.

Public Health Research Funding Opportunities

RWJF Systems for Action – Call for Proposals

Systems for Action (S4A) is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that studies novel ways of aligning the delivery and financing systems that support a Culture of Health. Building on a foundation of scientific progress from both health services research and public health services and systems research, S4A aims to use rigorous methods to test strategies for improving the reach, quality, efficiency, and equity of services and supports that promote health and well-being on a population-wide basis. Proposals for this program are due January 12, 2016

RWJF Evidence for Action – Call for Proposals

This national program aims to provide individuals, organizations, communities, policymakers, and researchers with the empirical evidence needed to address the key determinants of health encompassed in the Culture of Health Action Framework. The program encourages and supports creative, rigorous research on the impact of innovative programs, policies and partnerships on health and well-being, and on novel approaches to measuring health determinants and outcomes. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

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