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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy

The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy

Date: February 9, 2015
Creator: Barry, Matthew B. & Cole, Jared P.
Description: This report presents basic information about measles, its history in the United States, available treatments to prevent individuals from contracting measles, and the federal role in combating measles--from funding, to research, to the authority of the federal government in requiring mandatory childhood vaccinations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention

Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention

Date: January 30, 2015
Creator: Bagalman, Erin
Description: This report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA's approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Regulation of Clinical Tests: In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Devices, Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs), and Genetic Tests

Regulation of Clinical Tests: In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Devices, Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs), and Genetic Tests

Date: December 17, 2014
Creator: Sarata, Amanda K. & Johnson, Judith A.
Description: In vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices are used in the analysis of human samples, such as blood or tissue, to provide information in making health care decisions. Examples of IVDs include pregnancy test kits or blood glucose tests for home use; laboratory tests for infectious disease, such as HIV or hepatitis, and routine blood tests, such as cholesterol and anemia; and tests for various genetic diseases or conditions. More recently, a specific type of diagnostic test--called a companion diagnostic--has been developed that may be used to select the best therapy, at the right dose, at the correct time for a particular patient; this is often referred to as personalized or precision medicine. This report provides an overview of federal regulation of IVDs by FDA, through the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA) and the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), and by CMS, through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hospital-Based Emergency Departments: Background and Policy Considerations

Hospital-Based Emergency Departments: Background and Policy Considerations

Date: December 8, 2014
Creator: Heisler, Elayne J. & Tyler, Nancy Leigh
Description: This report describes Emergency departments (EDs), the role they play in the health care delivery system, and current federal involvement in supporting EDs. It then discusses the causes and consequences of three commonly identified and interrelated challenges that EDs face: (1) crowding, (2) providing repeat care to a subset of patients who are frequent users, and (3) providing care to a large population who have behavioral health conditions when an ED lacks the appropriate resources to provide such treatment. The report concludes with policy options that Congress may consider to potentially improve ED functioning and reduce payer costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Ebola in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions

Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Ebola in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: December 5, 2014
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: This report answers common legal and policy questions about the potential introduction and spread of Ebola Virus Disease in the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans Affairs: Presumptive Service Connection and Disability Compensation

Veterans Affairs: Presumptive Service Connection and Disability Compensation

Date: November 18, 2014
Creator: Panangala, Sidath Viranga; Shedd, Daniel T. & Moulta-Ali, Umar
Description: This report discusses presumptive service connection, its legislative history, and current challenges in making evidence-based determinations of presumptions. It also discusses the Agent Orange Act (P.L. 102-4) and suggests implications of the process established by the act for future presumptive service-connected determinations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. and International Health Responses to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

U.S. and International Health Responses to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Date: October 29, 2014
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: In March 2014, an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak was reported in Guinea, West Africa. The outbreak is the first in West Africa and has caused an unprecedented number of cases and deaths. The outbreak is continuing to spread in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia (the "affected countries"); it has been contained in Nigeria and Senegal, and has been detected in Mali. As of October 22, 2014, more than 10,000 people have contracted EVD, more than half of whom have died. This report focuses on the health impacts of the outbreak and discusses U.S. and international responses to those health challenges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program

Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program

Date: September 3, 2014
Creator: Napili, Angela
Description: This report looks at several bills addressing the Family Planning Program (Title X of the Public Health Service Act) which have been introduced in the 112th Congress, including: funding for abortion-providing entities, elimination of the program, and prohibitions on government spending for the program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2014 Ebola Outbreak: International and U.S. Responses

The 2014 Ebola Outbreak: International and U.S. Responses

Date: August 26, 2014
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report discusses the Ebola virus disease (Ebola or EVD), which is a severe, often fatal disease that was first detected near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1976.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Date: August 13, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, specifically examining the health-related grounds for exclusion. It provides this information in the context of recent outbreaks of communicable diseases abroad such as Ebola in West Africa, avian influenza in China, polio in the middle east, and dengue fever in the Caribbean.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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