Contact Your Senators by March 26 to Support FY 2013 NIH FundingSupporters of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Senate have launched an effort to protect NIH funding from budget cuts. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are asking senators to sign a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee supporting funding for NIH in fiscal year (FY) 2013. The letter requests that the Senate Appropriations Committee maintain a strong commitment to biomedical research and NIH in the FY 2013 Labor-Health and Human Service-Education Appropriations bill. This is a crucial opportunity to gain support for the NIH early in the budget process.
As pressure increases by the Republican leadership in Congress to cut federal spending, so does the risk that funding for NIH will be jeopardized. It is critical that as many Senators as possible show their support for the NIH by signing this letter. The deadline for Senators to sign the letter is March 26, 2012.
Please visit the ASH Advocacy Center as soon as possible to send a letter to your Senators asking them to support the NIH by signing the Casey-Burr letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Health Reform Still in Headlines Nearly Two Years after Law's PassageMarch 24 marks the two year anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Although Republican members of Congress continue to seek to repeal parts of the law and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments later this month in a lawsuit challenging the health reform law's constitutionality, the past two years have seen a lot of changes to the health system and the Obama Administration continues to push forward in drafting regulations to implement the remaining provisions of the law. Read more.
ASH Submits Comments to CMS Re: Proposed Rule on Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment InterestsASH submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging modifications to a proposed rule, concerning transparency reports and reporting of physician ownership or investment interests. The proposed rule would implement the Physician Payments Sunshine Act ("Sunshine Act"). The Sunshine Act was incorporated into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and mandates disclosure of physicians' financial relationships with drug and device manufacturers. Though ASH supports the proposed rule's goal of discouraging inappropriate influence on clinical decision-making by increasing transparency, ASH recommendations focus on reducing the scope of the rule and reducing regulatory burdens on physicians. Specific recommendations included: stating that attending an industry supported educational session is not reportable; excluding from reporting certified CME; stating reprints of peer-reviewed articles intended for physician education meet the educational materials reporting exemption; and delaying reporting until a final rule has been issued. In addition, ASH has signed-on to a letter sent to CMS by a coalition of medical societies concerned that the proposed rule exceeds CMS' statutory authority and places an unreasonable burden on physicians.
ASH Submits Comments on Proposed National Priorities for Patient Outcomes ResearchThe health-care overhaul legislation passed two years ago included the creation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent organization focused on comparative effectiveness research. The goal of PCORI is to commission research that is guided by patients, caregivers and the broader health-care community and will produce high integrity, evidence-based information. ASH submitted comments on PCORI's proposed National Priorities for Research and its initial research agenda. ASH's comments supported the five proposed priority areas which include 1) Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options, 2) Improving Healthcare Systems 3) Communication and Dissemination Research, 4) Addressing Disparities, and 5) Accelerating Patient Centered Outcomes Research and Methodological Research. ASH's comments offered considerations for how to include research on hematologic diseases and conditions.
NCATS Seeks Public Comments for Enhancing the CTSA ProgramOn March 6, the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on ways to strengthen or enhance the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, a consortium of clinical research centers based at 60 institutions that includes many academic medical centers. ASH members who have specific suggestions on how ASH should respond to this RFI should submit their comments on this issue to Tracy Roades at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ulyana Desiderio at email@example.com by March 22, 2012.
DVT Awareness Month: ASH Initiatives Aim to Raise Awareness of DVT, Improve Quality of Life for Patients with ClotsMarch is Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month. As part of ASH's mission to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of blood disorders, the Society supports research, clinical, and policy programs that seek to improve quality of life for Americans suffering from these clots. Read more.
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