Congress finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an essential role in defending against and combatting public health threats domestically and abroad and requires secure and modern facilities, and expanded and improved capabilities related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, sufficient to enable such Centers to conduct this important mission.
(A) In general
The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may design, construct, and equip new facilities, renovate existing facilities (including laboratories, laboratory support buildings, scientific communication facilities, transshipment complexes, secured and isolated parking structures, office buildings, and other facilities and infrastructure), and upgrade security of such facilities, in order to better conduct the capacities described in section
247d–1 of this title, and for supporting public health activities.
(B) Multiyear contracting authority
For any project of designing, constructing, equipping, or renovating any facility under subparagraph (A), the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may enter into a single contract or related contracts that collectively include the full scope of the project, and the solicitation and contract shall contain the clause “availability of funds” found at section
52.232–18 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations.
(3) Improving the capacities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Secretary shall expand, enhance, and improve the capabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relating to preparedness for and responding effectively to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. Activities that may be carried out under the preceding sentence include—
(A)expanding or enhancing the training of personnel;
(B)improving communications facilities and networks, including delivery of necessary information to rural areas;
(C)improving capabilities for public health surveillance and reporting activities, taking into account the integrated system or systems of public health alert communications and surveillance networks under subsection (b) of this section; and
(D)improving laboratory facilities related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, including increasing the security of such facilities.
(b) National communications and surveillance networks
(1) In general
The Secretary, directly or through awards of grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, shall provide for the establishment of an integrated system or systems of public health alert communications and surveillance networks between and among—
(A)Federal, State, and local public health officials;
(B)public and private health-related laboratories, hospitals, poison control centers, and other health care facilities; and
(C)any other entities determined appropriate by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall ensure that networks under paragraph (1) allow for the timely sharing and discussion, in a secure manner, of essential information concerning bioterrorism or another public health emergency, or recommended methods for responding to such an attack or emergency, allowing for coordination to maximize all-hazards medical and public health preparedness and response and to minimize duplication of effort.
Not later than one year after June 12, 2002, the Secretary, in cooperation with health care providers and State and local public health officials, shall establish any additional technical and reporting standards (including standards for interoperability) for networks under paragraph (1) and update such standards as necessary.
(c) Modernizing public health situational awareness and biosurveillance
(1) In general
Not later than 2 years after March 13, 2013, the Secretary, in collaboration with State, local, and tribal public health officials, shall establish a near real-time electronic nationwide public health situational awareness capability through an interoperable network of systems to share data and information to enhance early detection of rapid response to, and management of, potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks, novel emerging threats, and other public health emergencies that originate domestically or abroad. Such network shall be built on existing State situational awareness systems or enhanced systems that enable such connectivity.
(2) Strategy and implementation plan
Not later than 180 days after March 13, 2013, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a coordinated strategy and an accompanying implementation plan that identifies and demonstrates the measurable steps the Secretary will carry out to—
(A)develop, implement, and evaluate the network described in paragraph (1), utilizing the elements described in paragraph (3);
(B)modernize and enhance biosurveillance activities; and
(C)improve information sharing, coordination, and communication among disparate biosurveillance systems supported by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The network described in paragraph (1) shall include data and information transmitted in a standardized format from—
(A)State, local, and tribal public health entities, including public health laboratories;
(B)Federal health agencies;
(C)zoonotic disease monitoring systems;
(D)public and private sector health care entities, hospitals, pharmacies, poison control centers or professional organizations in the field of poison control, community health centers, health centers and clinical laboratories, to the extent practicable and provided that such data are voluntarily provided simultaneously to the Secretary and appropriate State, local, and tribal public health agencies; and
(E)such other sources as the Secretary may deem appropriate.
(4) Rule of construction
Paragraph (3) shall not be construed as requiring separate reporting of data and information from each source listed.
(5) Required activities
In establishing and operating the network described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
(A)utilize applicable interoperability standards as determined by the Secretary, and in consultation with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, through a joint public and private sector process;
(B)define minimal data elements for such network;
(C)in collaboration with State, local, and tribal public health officials, integrate and build upon existing State, local, and tribal capabilities, ensuring simultaneous sharing of data, information, and analyses from the network described in paragraph (1) with State, local, and tribal public health agencies; and
(D)in collaboration with State, local, and tribal public health officials, develop procedures and standards for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data that States, regions, or other entities collect and report to the network described in paragraph (1).
(6) Consultation with the National Biodefense Science Board
In carrying out this section and consistent with section
247d–7f of this title, the National Biodefense Science Board shall provide expert advice and guidance, including recommendations, regarding the measurable steps the Secretary should take to modernize and enhance biosurveillance activities pursuant to the efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure comprehensive, real-time, all-hazards biosurveillance capabilities. In complying with the preceding sentence, the National Biodefense Science Board shall—
(A)identify the steps necessary to achieve a national biosurveillance system for human health, with international connectivity, where appropriate, that is predicated on State, regional, and community level capabilities and creates a networked system to allow for two-way information flow between and among Federal, State, and local government public health authorities and clinical health care providers;
(B)identify any duplicative surveillance programs under the authority of the Secretary, or changes that are necessary to existing programs, in order to enhance and modernize such activities, minimize duplication, strengthen and streamline such activities under the authority of the Secretary, and achieve real-time and appropriate data that relate to disease activity, both human and zoonotic; and
(C)coordinate with applicable existing advisory committees of the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including such advisory committees consisting of representatives from State, local, and tribal public health authorities and appropriate public and private sector health care entities and academic institutions, in order to provide guidance on public health surveillance activities.
(d) State and regional systems to enhance situational awareness in public health emergencies
(1) In general
To implement the network described in subsection (c), the Secretary may award grants to States or consortia of States to enhance the ability of such States or consortia of States to establish or operate a coordinated public health situational awareness system for regional or Statewide early detection of, rapid response to, and management of potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies, in collaboration with appropriate public health agencies, sentinel hospitals, clinical laboratories, pharmacies, poison control centers, other health care organizations, and animal health organizations within such States.
To be eligible to receive a grant under paragraph (1), the State or consortium of States shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including an assurance that the State or consortium of States will submit to the Secretary—
(A)reports of such data, information, and metrics as the Secretary may require;
(B)a report on the effectiveness of the systems funded under the grant; and
(C)a description of the manner in which grant funds will be used to enhance the timelines and comprehensiveness of efforts to detect, respond to, and manage potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.
(3) Use of funds
A State or consortium of States that receives an award under this subsection—
(A)shall establish, enhance, or operate a coordinated public health situational awareness system for regional or Statewide early detection of, rapid response to, and management of potentially catastrophic infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies;
(B)may award grants or contracts to entities described in paragraph (1) within or serving such State to assist such entities in improving the operation of information technology systems, facilitating the secure exchange of data and information, and training personnel to enhance the operation of the system described in subparagraph (A); and
(C)may conduct a pilot program for the development of multi-State telehealth network test beds that build on, enhance, and securely link existing State and local telehealth programs to prepare for, monitor, respond to, and manage the events of public health emergencies, facilitate coordination and communication among medical, public health, and emergency response agencies, and provide medical services through telehealth initiatives within the States that are involved in such a multi-State telehealth network test bed.
Information technology systems acquired or implemented using grants awarded under this section must be compliant with—
(A)interoperability and other technological standards, as determined by the Secretary; and
(B)data collection and reporting requirements for the network described in subsection (c).
(5) Independent evaluation
Not later than 3 years after March 13, 2013, the Government Accountability Office shall conduct an independent evaluation, and submit to the Secretary and the appropriate committees of Congress a report concerning the activities conducted under this subsection and subsection (c).
(e) Telehealth enhancements for emergency response
The Secretary, in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission and other relevant Federal agencies, shall—
(A)conduct an inventory of telehealth initiatives in existence on December 19, 2006, including—
(i)the specific location of network components;
(ii)the medical, technological, and communications capabilities of such components;
(iii)the functionality of such components; and
(iv)the capacity and ability of such components to handle increased volume during the response to a public health emergency;
(B)identify methods to expand and interconnect the regional health information networks funded by the Secretary, the State and regional broadband networks funded through the rural health care support mechanism pilot program funded by the Federal Communications Commission, and other telehealth networks;
(C)evaluate ways to prepare for, monitor, respond rapidly to, or manage the events of, a public health emergency through the enhanced use of telehealth technologies, including mechanisms for payment or reimbursement for use of such technologies and personnel during public health emergencies;
(D)identify methods for reducing legal barriers that deter health care professionals from providing telemedicine services, such as by utilizing State emergency health care professional credentialing verification systems, encouraging States to establish and implement mechanisms to improve interstate medical licensure cooperation, facilitating the exchange of information among States regarding investigations and adverse actions, and encouraging States to waive the application of licensing requirements during a public health emergency;
(E)evaluate ways to integrate the practice of telemedicine within the National Disaster Medical System; and
(F)promote greater coordination among existing Federal interagency telemedicine and health information technology initiatives.
Not later than 12 months after December 19, 2006, the Secretary shall prepare and submit a report to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives regarding the findings and recommendations pursuant to subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (1).
(f) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $138,300,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018.
For purposes of this section the term “biosurveillance” means the process of gathering near real-time biological data that relates to human and zoonotic disease activity and threats to human or animal health, in order to achieve early warning and identification of such health threats, early detection and prompt ongoing tracking of health events, and overall situational awareness of disease activity.
2002—Pub. L. 107–188reenacted section catchline without change and amended text generally, substituting detailed provisions relating to facilities, capacities, and national communications and surveillance networks for provisions relating to findings of need for secure and modern facilities.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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