House Committee Approves 10 Health-Related Bills
The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved a number of health care-related bills, CQ Today reports. The committee approved:
* A bill (HR 758) that would prohibit insurance companies from limiting hospital stays to less than 48 hours for patients who have had a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery and less than 24 hours for patients who have had lymph node dissection for the treatment of cancer. The committee also approved an amendment that would prohibit insurers from discontinuing coverage if a plan member unintentionally failed to disclose information on an insurance application about an unrelated condition;
* A measure (HR 1014) that would require new drug applications submitted to FDA to include specific data on the drug's effect by gender, age and race. The measure also would create a campaign to educate women older than age 65 about cardiovascular health. An amendment to the bill would provide $204.4 million over five years to reauthorize a chronic disease risk factor screening program for uninsured and underinsured women ages 40 to 64;
* Legislation (HR 1532) that would create a nationwide initiative to eradicate tuberculosis through new medications and public health programs;
* A bill (HR 2583) that would provide $44.2 million from fiscal year 2010 to FY 2014 to establish a loan program for public and not-for-profit hospitals to create residency training programs for physicians. Under the bill, preference would be given to rural areas;
* Legislation (HR 2994) that would encourage physicians and hospitals to improve pain management;
* A measure (HR 5265) that would encourage research on muscular dystrophy treatment and increase data collection about the disease by government health agencies;
* A bill (HR 6469) that would authorize a $5 million increase for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to $7 million per year;
* A bill (HR 6353) that would prohibit online pharmacies from dispensing prescriptions in most cases to patients who have not been seen in person by the prescribing physician;
* Legislation (HR 5265) that would encourage research on muscular dystrophy treatment and increase data collection about the disease by government health agencies; and
* A bill (S 1760) that would provide $120 million annually between FY 2008 and FY 2013 to reauthorize the Healthy Start program, which provides grants to communities with higher infant mortality rates (Teitelbaum/Armstrong, CQ Today, 9/17).
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