If you tuned into C-SPAN for the debate of S. 252, you may have also heard that the bill includes language reauthorizing chimpanzee care. The language, as amended, also includes a provision to provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with flexibility within its budget to retire government-owned chimpanzees from laboratories to sanctuaries, and continue to support those already in sanctuary.
Several other changes were made to the bill language. Below is a summary of key provisions.
Summary of Key Provisions (As Amended)
Title I: PREEMIE Act Reauthorization
- Names the short title of the bill, the "Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early Reauthorization Act'' or the "PREEMIE Reauthorization Act."
- Authorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct epidemiology studies on various factors related to prematurity; improve national data to track preterm births; and continue efforts to prevent preterm birth.
- Requires Health and Human Services to submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees outlining the progress and results of the studies every two years.
- Authorizes $1.88 million for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018 to carry-out CDC activities.
- Requires the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to give preference to entities that propose the use of grant funds to establish telehealth networks that provide prenatal care for high-risk pregnancies.
- Allows for the continuation of HHS demonstration projects to: improve information on prematurity to health professionals, other health care providers, and the public; and improve the treatment and outcomes for babies born preterm. Projects may include development of information on the core risk factors for preterm labor and delivery; medically indicated deliveries before full-term; and the importance of preconception and prenatal care, including: smoking cessation, weight maintenance and good nutrition (including folic acid); and stress management, among other things.
- Authorizes $1.9 million for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018 to carry-out demonstration projects.
- Allows the HHS Secretary to create an Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. The Committee would provide recommendations concerning: (1) HHS programs to reduce infant mortality and improve the health status of pregnant women and infants; (2) strategies to coordinate various federal programs with State, local, and private programs that address factors regarding infant mortality; (3) the Healthy Start Program and the Healthy People 2020 infant mortality objectives; and (4) efforts to reduce preterm births through research, programs, and education.
- Requires the Advisory Committee to develop a plan to conduct and support research, education, and programs on preterm birth through HHS. The plan will include input from scientists, patients and advocacy groups, as appropriate.
- Requires the HHS Secretary to identify an agency within HHS to coordinate existing studies on hospital readmissions of preterm infants. With one year, the agency will submit a report to Congress and the HHS Secretary containing its findings and recommendations to reduce rates of preventable hospital readmissions for preterm babies.
- Allows the NIH to establish a National Pediatric Research Network. The Network would consist of research institutions that would operate as a consortium in order to pool resources and coordinate activities related to pediatric rare diseases or birth defects. NIH may award funding to entities providing support for pediatric research consortia.
- Reauthorizes language to provide care, maintenance, and transportation of chimpanzees currently or formerly used by the NIH for research through FY2018.
- Authorizes funding for chimpanzee care FY 2014-2018 (starting with $12.4 million in FY 2014, which is consistent with the amount currently used for these activities -- and reducing the amount to $9.4 million in FY 2018).
- Requires the General Accountability Office to conduct a study on the chimpanzees owned by the NIH and explore options for saving money.
- Requires NIH to publish a biennial report on the care of chimpanzees under NIH control and the costs and research status associated with such care.