Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

Posts in "Consumer Affairs"

October 2, 2014

Physician Disclosure Website Woes and Unique Origins

Researchers this week are plowing through the details of a new website database that documents the financial relationships between the health care industry and physicians. However, Pro-Publica on Wednesday found the website cumbersome and slow.

Complaints about the website recalls the failed Oct. 1, 2013, launch of the federal health insurance exchange site — healthcare.gov. Both websites have a common origin, the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but notably different original congressional supporters. CQ HealthBeat’s (@CQHealthTweet) Kerry Young reported that Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley inserted the requirement for a database for physician financial link disclosures into the health care overhaul law. Grassley started a campaign for the public disclosure database in 2007. It is a rare provision of the health law that was directly authored by a Republican.

 

 

 

 

August 12, 2014

Senator Targets a Fitness Monitoring Device

A bracelet monitoring device, FitBit, used to track individual fitness health information is the current privacy target of Senator Charles E. Schumer.  The device provides feedback on location and basic individual health statistics to assist a fitness regimen.

The New York Democrat insists the information is private health data and is seeking Federal Trade Commission action to force the manufacturer to offer an “opt-out” option on the sale of the health and fitness data to third parties. Schumer issued his call for regulatory action in a recent statement and New York television appearance.

The bracelet manufacturer’s privacy policy says that its data will not be sold to third parties.

Last year, an FTC staff report recommended privacy guidelines for mobile health application providers, which would allow for user selection of the types of information that can be shared.

July 31, 2014

Congress Presses FDA on Sunscreen; Surgeon General Warns on Skin Cancer

The House earlier this week quietly passed by voice vote a bill that would streamline the Food and Drug Administration application process for sunscreen ingredients. The measure sets a specific timetable to review applications.

Full story

July 24, 2014

Medical Credit Card Industry Sized Up by GAO

A group of congressional Democrats last year requested a Government Accountability Office report on companies offering “third party consumer financial products” through medical credit cards and installment loans to cover selected health procedures not normally covered by insurance.

Full story

July 23, 2014

Democrats Press for E-Cigarette Regulations

487318591 445x296 Democrats Press for E Cigarette Regulations

Kyle Stamm of New York smokes an e-cigarette at Henley Vaporium on April 29 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

A group of senators has ramped up concerns about the safety of electronic cigarettes.

CQ Roll Call’s Melissa Attias reports that the Democrats, who previously focused on the children’s health concerns related to e-cigarette flavorings, are now focusing on new legislation that seeks to target the packaging containing the liquid that fuels e-cigarettes.

Full story

By Paul Jenks Posted at 3:30 p.m.
Consumer Affairs

FDA Chief In India Departs

CQ HealthBeat’s Kerry Young reports on the departure of the Food and Drug Administration’s India office chief, Altaf Lal.

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July 14, 2014

Today’s Spotlight: House Health Bill Markup

The House Energy and Commerce Committee today begins a markup session on a batch of bills that would renew targeted health programs.

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