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Physician Payments Sunshine Act implementation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 06 April 2012 08:55

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

 

Grassley, Kohl Continue Oversight of Sunshine Act Implementation

 

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Herb Kohl, authors of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, today outlined substantive points to guide federal implementation of the act.  The senators commented to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the timeliness of implementation, the accuracy of the data, the categories of providers to include in the disclosure, and useful context for the data.

 

“It’s disappointing that CMS missed the statutory deadline for the sunshine regulations, but at least the agency is on the right track,” Grassley said.  “Now, it’s important for the guidance to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t.’  The more thorough the guidance, the more drug makers and medical device makers will know their exact obligations, and the more helpful the transparency will be for building confidence in this part of medicine.”

 

Kohl said, “Sunshine laws are only effective when accurate information is in the hands of consumers.  We’ll continue to monitor the progress of building a useful database so that consumers are fully served with knowledge about financial relationships that could affect their health care.”

 

Grassley and Kohl wrote to the acting CMS administrator with their points and also asked questions about when CMS will begin data collection.

The senators developed the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which was signed into law in 2010, after revelations of significant under-reporting of the amount of payments received by certain doctors from drug and device companies.  The new law requires public disclosure of the financial relationships between physicians and the pharmaceutical, medical device and biologics industries. The law required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish reporting procedures for applicable manufacturers to submit information, as well as procedures for making that information available to the public, by October 1, 2011. CMS issued the guidance in December after more than a year of pushing for a timely release from Grassley and Kohl.

The text of the latest Grassley-Kohl letter is available here.

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Region 6 Homeland Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership Announce Week 8 of “20 Weeks to Preparedness Program” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ross E. Bergen   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 15:10
Welcome to Week 8 of the 20 Weeks to Preparedness Program brought to you by the Region 6 Homeland
Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership. This program will help to better prepare you and your family,
a little at a time, over a 20 week period. Each week new preparedness information will be shared including a
list of items to gather or purchase for your disaster supply kit. Sign up at www.safeguardiowa.org/subscribe-to-
be-prepared to receive weekly reminders and announcements related to the 20 Weeks to Preparedness program.

Use this program to gather items for your kit in small steps over a five month period. Remember to change
and replace perishable items by the expiration date. Purchasing the food suggested by this program would last
approximately 3-5 days.

Place in storage bin:

Extra batteries for flashlight and radio
Pan to use on camp-style stove
Bleach
Pain reliever e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen
Canned fruit (one can for every two people)

Personalized Item (if applicable):

Pet food

To do:

Make a record of your personal property for insurance purposes. Take photos or video of the
interior and exterior of your home. Include personal belongings in your inventory. You may
want to download the free Household and Personal Property Inventory Book from the University
of Illinois (http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/houseinv.pdf) to help you record your
possessions. Store your photos or video contents of your home on your e-mail or in an alternate
location.

Additional assistance is available by contacting your local Emergency Management Coordinator at
563-484-3050 or visiting their website at www.iascema.com. Visit Safeguard Iowa Partnership at
www.safeguardiowa.org, on twitter @safeguardiowa or Facebook at www.facebook.com/safeguardiowa.

The Region 6 Homeland Security Board is comprised of fourteen counties in eastern Iowa that coordinate homeland security planning,
training, exercise, response, and recovery. The counties included are Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Cedar, Clayton, Clinton,
Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Scott.

The Safeguard Iowa Partnership is a voluntary coalition of the state's business and government leaders, who share a commitment to
working together to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters in Iowa.

 
Loebsack Public Schedule for Wednesday, April 4 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:18

Tour and Meeting at Vera French Mental Health Center

 

WHO Congressman Dave Loebsack

 

WHAT Dave will tour the facility and meet with staff for an informal roundtable about mental health issues in Scott County

 

WHERE 1441 West Central Park Avenue, Davenport

 

TIME 1:30pm

 

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Lt. Governor Simon to speak at Civil Union Symposium PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 08:05

CARBONDALE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will kick off the Southern Illinois University School of Law Civil Union Symposium on Tuesday. The event will explore the first year of civil unions in Illinois, and what steps might be taken in the future to bring full marriage equality to Illinois.

 

DATE: Tuesday, April 3

TIME: 5:30 p.m.

PLACE: Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium, 1150 Douglas Drive, Carbondale

 

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Smoking-materials fire deaths drop to 30 year low PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Lorraine Carli   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 07:45
Fire-safe cigarette laws show early signs of success

 

April 2, 2012- According to a recent report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 610 civilian deaths in the United States were attributed to smoking material fires in 2010, a number at or near the all-time-low and well down from the 1980 levels. During 2010 there were an estimated 90,800 smoking material fires resulting in $663 million in direct property damage.

 

Several factors, including a decline in smoking and stricter fire resistant standards on mattresses and upholstered furniture have been credited with the decrease in smoking material fire deaths over the last 30 years. The most recent drops in fatalities and injuries, though, owe much to the “fire-safe” cigarette legislation.

 

In 2003, U.S. states began requiring that all cigarettes sold must be “fire-safe,” that is, have sharply reduced ignition strength (ability to start fires), as determined by ASTM Standards. By 2010, fire-safe cigarette legislation was in effect in 47 states. From 2003 to 2010, the number of civilian deaths in smoking-material fires fell by an average of 21 percent.

 

2012 is the first year all 50 state laws are effective, and all inventories of pre-standard cigarettes should have sold out. A projection linking the percentage decline in fire deaths to the percentage of smokers covered suggests that when smoking material fire death numbers are analyzed for the year 2012, the reduction in civilian deaths will reach roughly 30 percent.

 

According to Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Communications, “The adoption of fire-safe cigarette legislation is proving to be a giant step forward in reducing the leading cause of home fire deaths.”

 

“NFPA is very encouraged by these numbers, which show the requirements are having the intended consequences,” said Carli. “It is clear that our efforts have already made an impact on public safety and will continue to provide further progress in the years to come.”

 

Other key findings in this report show:

  • Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from home smoking-material fires, even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.
  • One fatal victim in four (24 percent) of home smoking-material fires was not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
  • Sleeping is the primary human factor contributing to ignition cited for one-third (32 percent) of home smoking-material fire deaths.

 

As with virtually all types of fires, there are many steps that people can take to prevent smoking-material fires. NFPA has developed the following safety tips focusing on safe storage and disposal of cigarettes:

 

  • Whenever you smoke, use deep, wide, sturdy ashtrays.
  • Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like an end table.
  • Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dowsing them in water or sand is the best way to do this.
  • Check under furniture cushions and other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.

 

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.

 
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