Omnibus Spending Bill Promises Increased Funding for Ebola Response in FY 2015

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, an omnibus spending bill that provides funding for many areas of federal government in the remainder of FY 2015, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2014. Among the allocations that the bill provides is $5.4 billion to several regulatory agencies tasked with responding to the Ebola epidemic, both within the United States and internationally. “FY 2015 Ebola Federal Funding: Congressional Increases and Program Support,” a post on Reed Smith’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog written by attorneys Lorraine Campos, Christopher Rissetto and Robert Helland, breaks down the Ebola-related funding by detailing the amount each regulatory agency will receive and specifically how the bill has designated that the money be used. The federal agencies that will be receiving funding for Ebola response in 2015 include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and Department of State.

To read the full post, click here.

Proposed HELP Committee Bill Aims to Incentivize Development of Ebola Treatments and Vaccines

In light of the recent Ebola outbreak and concerns over health safety, members of the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee have introduced a bill that would add Ebola to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) priority review voucher program, which is designed as an incentive for developers of treatments and vaccines for neglected tropical diseases. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the HELP Committee, and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee, both expressed hope that passing this bill would encourage developers to devote knowledge and effort towards treating and preventing Ebola.

The HELP Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill on November 19th. To read the HELP Committee’s press release discussing the bill, click here.

Reed Smith Hosts Multifaceted Conference on Post-Acute Care

As highlighted on our Health Industry Washington Watch blog, Reed Smith hosted a dynamic conference on post-acute care in Washington, D.C. in early April. Entitled "Reed Smith 2014 Washington Health Care Conference: Focus on Post-Acute Care," the conference brought together a panel of experts discussing episodic care, proposed bundling models, and alternative payment and delivery systems; a specialist in health care investment banking addressing the current climate and future outlook for post-acute investments and transactions; and a legal policy analyst providing a thorough overview of recent legislative action related to post-acute care. The conference concluded with a thought-provoking keynote speech from Dr. Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, about the politically polarizing nature of health care policy in the United States today. To read the entire post, click here.

Reed Smith Gearing Up For "Big Data Monetization" Conference

Next week, Reed Smith will host a conference on “Big Data Monetization” at the Quadrus Conference Center in Silicon Valley (8:30-11:30 a.m. PDT). Big Data is a term used to characterize the accumulation of data. Virtually every company, in every industry, is now an information and technology company. Companies run on Big Data, whether it be customer information, employee information, or competitive intelligence. Companies store, share, and use that information in increasingly complex ways, taking advantage of cloud-based solutions and revolutions in analytics, and finding ways to turn these massive databases into revenue. There is no doubt a plethora of opportunities in Big Data, however, using it comes with its own set of risks. The key with monetizing Big Data is striking the balance between risk and reward.

View a preview of the types of issues we’ll be tackling at the conference over on our Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog.