Search Results Archives: September 2013

September 29, 2013

FCC Releases Prison Phone Call Rules, Company Vows To File Lawsuit

From: HuffPost Politics

Matt Sledge

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday released its rules for a recently approved reduction in prison phone call rates.

Advocates had been holding their breath awaiting the official FCC order since the agency voted on Aug. 9 to create rate caps on the eye-popping fees third-party phone companies charge inmates to call families and friends.

The rules will now head to the White House Office of Management and Budget and will go into effect 90 days after OMB publishes them in the Federal Register — but only if the prison phone companies are unable to stop them first.

September 27, 2013

Hold the Phone: FDA to Regulate Smartphone Health Apps?

From: RegBlog

Silki Patel

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set its eyes on the fast-growing mobile health app market, estimated to reach $26 billion by 2017.

A recent FDA action has reignited uncertainty over the agency’s treatment of mobile health apps.  Earlier this year, the FDA sent a letter to a firm called Biosense, questioning the company’s lack of federal regulatory clearance for uChek Urine analyzer, a kit that allows consumers to use their cell phone cameras to read color differences on test strips designed to detect unhealthy levels of protein and other substances in urine.

September 25, 2013

Government shutdown would likely roil FDA’s drug-approval process

Editor’s Note: FireceBiotech reports that “an NIH-sponsored study of Gilead’s sofosbuvir combined with ribavirin demonstrated that the experimental therapy provided a ‘safe and effective’ interferon-free approach for even some of the toughest hepatitis C cases.”

From: FierceBiotech

By John Carroll

So what happens at the FDA in the event of a government shutdown next Tuesday? For now, the agency isn’t saying, referring reporters to an OMB statement guiding government agencies to prepare to execute “an orderly shutdown.”

Business group cries foul over EPA water rule

From: RegWatch — The Hill’s Regulation Blog

By Ben Goad

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) neglected to take small businesses into consideration during the development of regulations with major implications for land development, a powerful industry group charged Tuesday.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is sending a letter Tuesday to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), demanding that the draft regulations be returned to the EPA for additional analysis.

“EPA plainly has not met its obligations to understand how this rule will affect small businesses,” the letter contends.

September 22, 2013

TSCA and the Proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act

From: RegBlog

Jenna Shweitzer

The majority of chemicals in use today have not been screened for safety or regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), making the Act considered to be largely ineffective. The proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) would revamp and modernize TSCA by requiring all existing and new chemicals to be screened for safety and then regulated if necessary.

Introduced by the late Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator Vitter (R-LA), the CSIA appears to have considerable bipartisan support, having won praise from both industry and environmental advocates. Although the CSIA is viewed by many as an improvement over TSCA, some argue that the bill does not go far enough to protect human health and the environment.

September 19, 2013

EPA, Corps Send Proposed Rule to OMB To Clarify Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

From: Bloomberg/BNA

By Amena H. Saiyid

A proposed rule sent to the White House for interagency review Sept. 17 aims to clarify which waters and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act.

The rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers would provide greater clarity about which waters are subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction and greater certainty about which activities require Clean Water Act permits, senior EPA officials wrote in a blog post.

For instance, the rulemaking would indicate when dredge-and-fill activities as well as discharges of pollutants would be subject to Clean Water Act protections.

September 17, 2013

Lawmakers, hospitals press OMB on unique identifier rule

From: FierceHealthIT

By Susan D. Hall

What’s taking so long? That’s what four members of the U.S. House asked in a recent letter to the Office of Management and Budget about releasing the Unique Device Identifier (UDI) final rule.

In response to slow progress, Congress last year set a June 19 deadline for  the Food and Drug Administration to develop regulations for a medical device tracking system. The FDA’s proposed rule has been under review with the OMB–the  final step–for nearly a full year.

September 13, 2013

“OMB is the reviewer that keeps us honest,”

From: Benefits Pro

DOL fiduciary revamp won’t be ready in October

By Melanie Waddell

The U.S. Department of Labor’s revamped fiduciary standard will include transactions involving IRA accounts but won’t be ready by October, as had been anticipated.

Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, said Tuesday that while EBSA has been “making progress” on its reproposal to amend the definition of fiduciary under ERISA, release of the revised plan won’t come in October “because we are not finished.”

EBSA’s semiannual regulatory agenda had said a reproposal to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act would come in October.

September 12, 2013

EPA Plan to Curb New Coal-Fired Power Plants

Wall  Street  Journal

 Keith Johnson and Tennille Tracy

Agency Ready to Require Costly, Novel Equipment to Capture Greenhouse Emissions

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration plans to block the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they are built with novel and expensive technology to capture greenhouse-gas emissions, according to people familiar with a draft proposal.

The administration’s rule on emissions from new power plants, a long-awaited measure that is one of the capstones of the administration’s climate-change agenda, is set to be formally proposed by the end of next week. While the new rule isn’t final yet and is likely to face a legal challenge, it would be another blow to a coal industry already buffeted by a bonanza of cheap natural gas and increasing regulation.

September 11, 2013

HHS Sends Plan To Amend HIPAA To Bolster Gun Database to OMB

From: iHealthBeat

HHS’ Office for Civil Rights has sent a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget that would ease legal barriers under HIPAA that prevent some states from reporting certain medical data to a federal gun-purchase background check database, Health Data Management reports.

OMB review is one of the last steps before a rule is published in the Federal Register (Goedert, Health Data Management, 9/9).

Background on Database

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is used by gun dealers to ensure they are not selling weapons to individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms, such as people with substance use disorders and those with severe mental health issues.