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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
Ebola: 2014 Outbreak in West Africa

Ebola: 2014 Outbreak in West Africa

Date: August 8, 2014
Creator: Cook, Nicolas & Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report gives a overview of the West African Ebola outbreak that began in March, 2014. The report discusses the nature of the disease as well as local and international responses to it. The report also briefly examines U.S policy and congressional actions in the wake of the outbreak.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Safe at Home? Letting Ebola-Stricken Americans Return

Safe at Home? Letting Ebola-Stricken Americans Return

Date: August 5, 2014
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: This report examines the U.S. practice of isolation and quarantine for citizens arriving in the country who have been infected with or exposed to a dangerous communicable disease. The report frames this information in the context of the two American healthcare workers who were brought back into the U.S. for treatment after contracting the Ebola virus in West Africa in the Summer of 2014.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Number of Veterans That Use VA Health Care Services: A Fact Sheet

The Number of Veterans That Use VA Health Care Services: A Fact Sheet

Date: June 3, 2014
Creator: Bagalman, Erin
Description: This report provides data on the number of veterans and VA health care users, and discusses the allegations of long delays in treatments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mandatory Vaccinations: Precedent and Current Laws

Mandatory Vaccinations: Precedent and Current Laws

Date: May 21, 2014
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Swendiman, Kathleen S.
Description: This report provides an overview of the legal precedent for mandatory vaccination laws, and of state laws that require certain individuals or populations, including school-aged children and health care workers, to be vaccinated against various communicable diseases. Also discussed are state laws providing for mandatory vaccinations during a public health emergency or outbreak of a communicable disease.
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: April 28, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. It describes this issue in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address related issues on a legislative front.
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: March 27, 2014
Creator: Sarata, Amanda K.
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
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Date: March 24, 2014
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.; Bagalman, Erin & Sacco, Lisa N.
Description: This report looks at ways that prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), which maintain statewide electronic databases of prescriptions dispensed for controlled substances, can help to deter prescription drug misuse.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: January 17, 2014
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Security

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Security

Date: October 31, 2013
Creator: Thaul, Susan
Description: This report serves as a primer on pharmaceutical supply chain issues. It (1) describes the chain from manufacturer to patient, including where it is vulnerable; (2) summarizes current federal law, regulation, and FDA policies that Congress and the agency designed to protect the integrity of the final drug product, and indicates where those protections may falter; (3) notes state-level and professional association activities; and (4) discusses areas that Congress, FDA, and industry, health care, and patient stakeholders have suggested might be changed to increase the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: July 24, 2013
Creator: Jansen, Don J. & Blakeley, Katherine
Description: This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: June 19, 2013
Creator: Jansen, Don J. & Blakeley, Katherine
Description: Report that answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Prevalence of Mental Illness in the United States: Data Sources and Estimates

Prevalence of Mental Illness in the United States: Data Sources and Estimates

Date: April 24, 2013
Creator: Bagalman, Erin & Napili, Angela
Description: This report briefly describes the methodology and selected findings of three large federally funded surveys that provide national prevalence estimates of diagnosable mental illness: the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This report presents prevalence estimates of any mental illness and serious mental illness based on each survey and ends with a brief discussion of how these prevalence estimates might inform policy discussions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Authority to Regulate the Compounding of Human Drugs

Federal Authority to Regulate the Compounding of Human Drugs

Date: April 12, 2013
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Description: This report will examine the FDA's regulation of drug compounding and will discuss relevant legal authorities. The report will conclude by discussing potential limits to the FDA's authority to regulate human drug compounding.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Family Planning Programs: Issues for Congress

International Family Planning Programs: Issues for Congress

Date: February 21, 2013
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report looks at how the debate over family planning within the U.S. is spilling over to U.S.-funded family planning programs abroad.
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: January 23, 2013
Creator: Napili, Angela
Description: This report discusses the Family Planning Program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §§300 to 300a-6), which is the only domestic federal program devoted solely to family planning and related preventive health services. The report discusses various services related to Title X and also considers current legislation related to the program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: January 22, 2013
Creator: Jansen, Don J. & Blakeley, Katherine
Description: This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Progress in Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): U.S. and Global Efforts from FY2006 to FY2013

Progress in Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): U.S. and Global Efforts from FY2006 to FY2013

Date: January 22, 2013
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report discusses the prevalence of "neglected tropical diseases" (NTDs), U.S. and global actions to address them, and options the 113th Congress might consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department