Student loan legislation passed: On July 31, 2013, the House of Representatives approved legislation amended in the Senate that establishes new interest rates for federal student loans. The “Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013,” (HR 1911) will be signed by the President on Friday August 9, 2013. The legislation establishes the following interest rates for federal student loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 and authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act:
Direct Stafford Subsidized/Undergraduate
10 year Treasury Bill rate + 2.05%
Direct Stafford Unsubsidized/Undergraduate
Direct Stafford Unsubsidized/Graduate and Professional
10 year Treasury Bill rate + 3.6%
10 year Treasury Bill rate + 4.6%
HHS seeking comment on human subject protections: In the June 26, 2013 edition of the Federal Register, the Department of Health and Human Services published a public meeting notice. The meeting will be held on August 28, 2013 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The format of the meeting will be a panel of HHS officials listening to public comment on “how the HHS human subjects protections requirements should be applied to research studying one or more interventions which are used as standard of care treatment in the non-research context. HHS specifically is requesting input regarding how an IRB should assess the risks of research involving randomization to one of more standard of care interventions, and what reasonably foreseeable risks of the research should be disclosed to research subjects in the informed consent process.”
“This meeting and the written comments are intended to assist HHS, through the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), in developing guidance regarding what constitutes reasonably foreseeable risk in research involving standard of care interventions such that the risk is required to be disclosed to research subjects.”
The June 26, 2013 edition includes the list of questions to which the HHS panel seeks public comment. Registration for the meeting is required if attending in person and must be completed by August 14, 2013. The deadline has passed for the submission of written comments to be considered at the meeting. and for registration of those desiring to deliver public comments at the meeting. The public may continue to provide comment after the meeting until September 9, 2013. The meeting may be viewed through the internet and information related to that option will be available on the Web site of the Office of Human Research Protection at a later date.
Resource for Round Two Innovators: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is making a “Model Impact Estimator” available. This resource is available to those that have submitted a letter of intent to submit a Health Care Innovation during round two. This resource is available to innovators until August 15, 2013.
Please let Will Lang at AACP know if you are submitting a proposal for round two!
Comment opportunity on Medicare PFS: In the July 19, 2013 edition of the Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed rules for the Physician Fee Schedule. Of interest to academic and professional pharmacy are Sections H and I of the proposed rules. Section H discusses proposed changes to the “incident to” billing of physician services. Section I discusses proposed changes to the “complex chronic care management services.” CMS seeks public comment to these proposed rules until 5:00 pm September 6, 2013. An “Online First” article published by JAMA on August 8, 2013 provides a good synopsis of Section I.
Comment opportunity on vaccination report: The US Department of Health and Human Services published a notice in the August 1, 2013 edition of the Federal Register announcing the release of the draft 2013 report of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. The notice seeks public comment on the draft report. This brief report includes a couple of supportive statements regarding the role of the pharmacist in improving adult vaccination rates. Your comment on the draft report would be beneficial as the report recommendations will serve to move our nation closer to the vaccination objectives included in HP2020. The deadline for comments is 5:00 pm August 16, 2013. The Federal Register notice also includes information about comment submission.
AACP Advocacy Committee opportunities: Are you an expert in the area of wellness and health promotion, community engagement or the scholarship of engagement? If so, would you like the opportunity to work with your colleagues in developing tools and resources to support the academy’s advocacy around these issues? The AACP Standing Committee will once again make use of expertise of our members through three workgroups each focused on one of the priority areas (wellness and health promotion, community engagement, scholarship of engagement) identified by President Peggy Piascik. Share your expertise by participating in a workgroup by sending an email to Will Lang at AACP that includes your area of interest, a brief description of your expertise, and your contact information. Make sure to get that information sent in before August 31, 2013!
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Founded in 1900, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is a national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education and educators. Comprising all accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy including more than 6,400 faculty, 57,000 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,700 individuals pursuing graduate study, AACP is committed to excellence in pharmacy education.