• A Scan of CDC-Authored Articles on Legal Epidemiology, 2011-2015

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2016-11-01)
      Objective: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts research on legal epidemiology, the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and prevention of disease. This study describes a scan of articles written by CDC staff members to characterize the frequency and key features of legal epidemiology articles and their distribution across CDC departments and divisions. Methods: CDC librarians searched an internal repository for journal articles by CDC staff published from January 1, 2011, to May 31, 2015. Researchers reviewed and coded the abstracts to produce data on key features of the articles. Results: Researchers identified 158 CDC-authored legal epidemiology articles published in 83 journals, most frequently in Preventing Chronic Disease (14 publications), Journal of Public Health Management Practice (10 publications), and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (9 publications). Most articles concerned the use and impact of law as a deliberate tool of intervention. Thirteen articles addressed the legal infrastructure of public health, and 3 assessed the incidental or unintended effects of nonhealth laws. CDC-authored articles encompassed policy making, implementation, and impact. Literature reviews and studies mapping laws across multiple jurisdictions constituted one-quarter of all publications. Studies addressed laws at the international, national, state, local, and organizational levels. Conclusion: Results of the scan can be used to identify opportunities for the agency to better support research, professional development, networking, publication, and tracking of publication in this emerging field.
    • Advancing Legal Epidemiology: An Introduction

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2020-02-10)
    • Better Health Faster: The Five Essential Public Health Law Services

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2016-10-16)
    • Data Shop: Law as Data: Using Policy Surveillance to Advance Housing Studies

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2019-04-04)
      Within the large body of literature evaluating the role of various demographic, geographic, and economic factors in housing-related outcomes, law is often neglected as an influential variable. The growing field of legal epidemiology is popularizing the use of law as data in quantitative analysis. As with any other dataset, it is imperative that legal data are accurate and meet high quality control standards. To that end, a method known as policy surveillance was developed to ensure the reliability and reproducibility of legal data and can be used to evaluate the impact of law. Policy surveillance is a type of scientific legal research that produces robust, scientific data for empirical research by mapping, or tracking, laws and policies and their characteristics across jurisdictions and over time.
    • Eliminate Dishonesties in the FDA Food Label

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2012-04-24)
      Stricter requirements for labeling regulations could eliminate dishonesties in FDA food labeling, according to Adam Finkel, ScD, University of Pennsylvania. Finkel proposes four key ways the FDA could amend its labeling regulations. These amendments would allow more information disclosure that enables the public to make more informed decisions about the food they are consuming.
    • Examining National Public Health Law to Realize the Global Health Security Agenda

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2017-03-31)
      Where the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) seeks to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from public health emergencies, the realization of GHSA ‘Action Packages’ will require national governments to establish necessary legal frameworks to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease. By analyzing the scope and content of existing national legislation in each of the GHSA Action Packages, this comparative cross-national research has developed a framework that disaggregates the legal domains necessary to meet each Action Package target. Based upon these legal domains, this study developed an assessment tool that can identify specific attributes of national legislation. This article applies this tool to assess the legal environment in twenty Sub-Saharan African countries, examining the content of laws across the GHSA Action Packages, analyzing the legal domains necessary to implement each Action Package, and highlighting specific national laws that reflect attributes of each legal domain.
    • Local Integrated Governance (LIG) and a New Role or Local Public Health

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2013-10-17)
      Local integrated government could improve public health by streamlining activities and creating a more efficient and effective local government, according to Scott Hays, PhD, in his Critical Opportunities presentation. Hays offers five keys to establishing local integrated government, and provides evidence to support the value of adopting this system.
    • Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies for Medication Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Young Children, United States, 2015

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2017-10-26)
      Objectives: In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to recommend that clinicians refer parents of preschoolers (aged 4-5) for training in behavior therapy and subsequently treat with medication if behavior therapy fails to sufficiently improve functioning. Data available from just before the release of the guidelines suggest that fewer than half of preschoolers with ADHD received behavior therapy and about half received medication. About half of those who received medication also received behavior therapy. Prior authorization policies for ADHD medication may guide physicians toward recommended behavior therapy. Characterizing existing prior authorization policies is an important step toward evaluating the impact of these policies on treatment patterns. We inventoried existing prior authorization policies and characterized policy components to inform future evaluation efforts. Methods: A 50-state legal assessment characterized ADHD prior authorization policies in state Medicaid programs. We designed a database to capture data on policy characteristics and authorization criteria, including data on age restrictions and fail-first behavior therapy requirements. Results: In 2015, 27 states had Medicaid policies that prevented approval of pediatric ADHD medication payment without additional provider involvement. Seven states required that prescribers indicate whether nonmedication treatments were considered before Medicaid payment for ADHD medication could be approved. Conclusion: Medicaid policies on ADHD medication treatment are diverse; some policies are tied to the diagnosis and treatment guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Evaluations are needed to determine if certain policy interventions guide families toward the use of behavior therapy as the first-line ADHD treatment for young children.
    • Mental Illness, Law, And A Public Health Law Research Agenda

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2010-12)
    • Policy Surveillance: A Vital Public Health Practice Comes of Age

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2016-12-01)
      Governments use statutes, regulations, and policies, often in innovative ways, to promote health and safety. Organizations outside government, from private schools to major corporations, create rules on matters as diverse as tobacco use and paid sick leave. Very little of this activity is systematically tracked. Even as the rest of the health system is working to build, share, and use a wide range of health and social data, legal information largely remains trapped in text files and pdfs, excluded from the universe of usable data. This article makes the case for the practice of policy surveillance to help end the anomalous treatment of law in public health research and practice. Policy surveillance is the systematic, scientific collection and analysis of laws of public health significance. It meets several important needs. Scientific collection and coding of important laws and policies creates data suitable for use in rigorous evaluation studies. Policy surveillance addresses the chronic lack of readily accessible, nonpartisan information about status and trends in health legislation and policy. It provides the opportunity to build policy capacity in the public health workforce. We trace its emergence over the past fifty years, show its value, and identify major challenges ahead.
    • Public Health Accreditation

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2014-03-25)
      Legally requiring all public health departments to be accredited would improve their performance and accountability while promoting community collaboration, according to this Critical Opportunities presentation by Georgia Heise, DrPH, Public Health Director of the Three Rivers District Health Department. The Critical Opportunities initiative of the Public Health Law Research (PHLR) program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation presents evidence and ideas for proposed legal and policy changes that can positively impact public health challenges.
    • Resources for Policy Surveillance

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2015-02-18)
      This report summarizes the research and results undertaken in the first year of the project (2014). It includes a scan of legal recommendations in federal guidance documents, a scan of existing 50 state survey and policy surveillance resources, criteria for selecting policies for surveillance, and technical standards for policy surveillance and legal datasets gathered from a Delphi process.
    • Strengthening Injury Prevention in State Health Departments

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2014-03-25)
      Adoption of a model statute could help strengthen injury prevention explains Mel Kohn MD MPH, Public Health Director, Oregon Health Authority, in his Critical Opportunities presentation. This presentation was delivered at the 2012 APHA Annual Meeting.
    • Taking Opportunity Costs Seriously in Public Health Law

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2018-03-07)
    • Taxation of Alcoholic Beverages

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2013-10-17)
      Because alcohol taxes have not been adjusted for inflation, spirits only cost one-fifth of what they used to cost in the 1950’s, leading to a host of alcohol-related injury and disease. In the United States, 80,000 deaths per year and 1.6 million hospitalizations per year are attributable to alcohol consumption. Alexander Wagenaar, PhD, professor at University of Florida, suggests in his Critical Opportunities presentation that doubling the rate of alcohol taxes and building in automatic annual adjustments for inflation could help solve some of these alcohol-related public health issues.
    • The Model Aquatic Health Code

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2013-10-17)
      People in the United States make more than 300 million trips to pools each year, but there is no federal regulatory authority governing the health and safety of swimmers, and the current patchwork of state and local laws are often not science-based. Jasen Kunz, JD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests in his Critical Opportunities presentation that the Model Aquatic Health Code provides sample evidence-based guidelines that can be adopted to help reduce rates of pool-related injuries and illness.
    • The Potential for State Attorneys General to Promote the Public's Health: Theory, Evidence, and Practice

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2010-10)
      The Attorneys General of the 50 states have considerable legal authority to protect the public’s health, yet their role in the development of health policy is often under-appreciated or misunderstood. This article analyses state Attorneys’ General current powers and provides a logic model that illustrates how the use of these powers can lead to the protection and promotion of the public’s health. The article then provides four brief case studies, to demonstrate how state Attorneys General have used their varied powers to influence policy-making and benefit the public’s health. In addition, this article offers a roadmap for research that could be conducted to better understand the association between state Attorneys’ General actions and the protection of the public’s health. The article concludes with a series of recommendations intended to enhance state Attorneys’ General ability to protect the public’s health, along with suggestions for future research in this area.
    • Using Legal Efforts to Increase Childhood Vaccination Rates

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2012-04-24)
      Half of all U.S. states have increasing childhood vaccination exemption rates, according to Tanya Karwaki, JD and Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD, from the University of Washington School of Law. Karwaki and Kuszler propose that enacting laws to make exemptions more difficult to obtain could improve public health outcomes.
    • Using the Law to Improve Access to Primary Care

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2013-10-17)
      Americans today have difficulty accessing primary care. Nurse practitioners could supplement the care provided by general practitioner physicians, and remove a barrier to care that would improve health outcomes and save money, explains Jamie Ware, JD, MSW, in her Critical Opportunities presentation.