Lame Duck Congress Considers NIH Funding
Congress is scheduled to return to Washington for a “Lame Duck” session to complete work on items that were left unfi nished before the mid-term elections.
Key among these will be Fiscal Year 2015 funding. Although the fi scal year began October 1, Congress was unable to agree to passage of 2015 funding bills before the election. Instead, it passed a temporary stop-gap funding measure known as a continuing resolution (CR) to keep federal agencies funded until December 11. Th e CR extends spending at the current rate of operations. Consistent with the NIH’s practice during previous CRs, non-competing research grant awards will be issued at up to 90% of the previously committed level and upward adjustments to awarded levels will be considered after FY 2015 appropriations are enacted.
In November, Congress must either pass a regular funding bill or pass another CR to avoid a government shutdown after December 12. While it appears that Congress does not want to cause a shutdown, it is unclear if it will follow regular business and pass a spending bill or rely on another CR.
Th e Endocrine Society will urge Congress to pass an omnibus spending package that includes funding for the NIH through a Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) appropriations bill before the end of the year. We strongly encourage Society members interested in NIH research to join our eff orts by visiting our online advocacy center at www.endocrine.org/ advocacy and sending a message to their representative and senators.
Society Applauds USPSTF Type 2 Diabetes Screening Recommendations
On October 6, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a draft recommendation statement and evidence review on screening for abnormal glucose levels and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Th e task force recommended screening for abnormal glucose and type 2 diabetes in all adults over the age of 45. Th e Endocrine Society participated in the review of the recommendations and supports the recommendation statement.
Prior to the draft recommendation statement, the USPSTF recommended screening for type 2 diabetes only in asymptomatic adults with high systolic blood pressure. Th e draft statement takes into account recent scientifi c evidence that shows measuring blood glucose in adults at increased risk for diabetes and treating those who have impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance with intensive lifestyle interventions has a moderate benefi t in decreasing the risk for progression to diabetes.
Webinar to Highlight New Glycemic Control Technology
Healthy People 2020 will host a Spotlight on Health webinar highlighting “Emerging Technology to Improve Glycemic Control among Persons with Diabetes” Th ursday, November 13, 2014, from Noon to 1:30 pm ET. Th e webinar will include information about the Endocrine Society’s Accurate Insulin Decisions program. For more information about the webinar, visit www.healthypeople.gov.
Physician Financial Relationships Are Now Online
Th e Social Security Act requires CMS to collect information from applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in order to report information about their financial relationships with physicians and hospitals.
Open Payments is the federally run program that collects the information about financial relationships between physicians and hospitals with applicable manufacturers and GPOs and makes it available to the public. On September 30 this information was published on the open payments website. Physicians are encouraged to review the data. Visit www.cms.gov/openpayments to learn more.