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government 10 articles

New Program Documents Doctors Receiving Payment from Drug Companies

A new aspect of the Affordable Care Act has been released, allowing the public to see records of payment between drug companies and doctors. This program, called Open Payments, is aimed at bringing more transparency to our nation’s health care system. The government’s data shows that drug and device companies made 4.4 million payments totaling $3.5 billion in a five-month period at the end of 2013. This money paid for speeches, research grants, travel, and other things that involved 546,000 health care professionals and 1,360 teaching hospitals. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collects information from manufacturers of drugs and devices about ... Read More

Warren, Mich., mayor sued by whistleblower, settlement talks reported

WARREN, Mich. – A former city administrator has been participating in settlement talks with Warren Mayor James Fouts and other city officials in an effort to resolve whistleblower claims alleging the mayor and city retaliated against him for secretly recording potentially incriminating telephone conversations. James Hartley, a former mayoral appointee who worked as government efficiency analyst for Warren, Michigan’s third-largest city, filed his lawsuit against the city and Mayor Fouts in U.S. District Court in July. Mr. Hartley accuses the defendants of retaliating against him in violation of Michigan’s Whistleblower Protection Act, which provides protections to potential whistleblowers who would ... Read More

Government shutdown becoming a health and safety risk for all Americans

The investigation of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 270 people in 18 states has been severely hampered by the federal government shutdown, the latest example of how the safety and health of Americans are being threatened by partisan squabbling on Capitol Hill. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) limited staff is already monitoring more than 30 other outbreaks, but with much of its staff furloughed, the agency has had to cease monitoring for some foodborne pathogens, such as shigella and campylobacter, while slowing the pace on active investigations. Dr. Christopher Braden, director of the ... Read More

White House unveils ambitious plans to advance understanding of the human brain

The White House unveiled a brain-mapping initiative this week that could help “revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.” Called the BRAIN initiative (short for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), the plan seeks to accelerate the invention of new technologies and open areas of study that could spawn other related industries, fueling job creation and domestic output. In describing the scope and purpose of the BRAIN initiative, President Barack Obama said that the advancement of brain science and technology ... Read More

New bill restores and expands whistleblower protections to federal workers

President Obama signed a whistleblower bill into law Tuesday that makes sweeping changes to current laws by closing loopholes and offering greater protection to federal employees who blow the whistle on fraud, waste, and abuse in government operations. Passage of the far-reaching Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act marks the final stage of a 13-year effort by whistleblower advocates who fought court rulings that weakened whistleblower protections and made reporting fraudulent activity extremely risky. Supporters of the bill said that from October 1994 to May 2012 the court consistently undermined whistleblower protections and ruled in favor of whistleblowers only three times in ... Read More

Toyota probe turns from sudden acceleration to sudden stalling

Just as the nation’s fixation on Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem started to fade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would intensify its investigations of another safety concern: sudden stalling. Drivers of Toyota Corolla and Matrix cars have filed more than a thousand complaints with NHTSA and Toyota alleging their vehicles suddenly lost power while in motion. The problem has been reported in 2005, 2006, and 2007 model year Corollas and Matrixes. In March, amidst the controversy surrounding Toyota’s widespread sudden acceleration defect, NHTSA received a letter from Toyota’s regulator manager Chris Santucci requesting a meeting with regulators to ... Read More

Government bills BP $100 million for oil spill response costs

The federal government has sent BP and other parties responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill a fourth bill, this one for $99.7 million, to cover cleanup and containment costs the government has accrued. As a responsible party, BP is financially responsible for all costs associated with the spill response, including efforts to stop the leak at its source, reduce the spread of oil, protect the shoreline and mitigate damages, as well as long-term recovery efforts to ensure that all individuals and communities impacted by the spill are made whole, the government said in a news release Tuesday. The ... Read More

Safety is key in preparing for CSA 2010 changes

Between now and the full implementation of its Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 safety rating system, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct outreach efforts to inform carriers and drivers of the upcoming changes, and to encourage everyone to become actively involved. In February 2008, FMCSA launched a field test of the CSA 2010 operational model in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey encompassing about 50 percent of the carriers and government resources in each of the states. In the spring of 2009, the agency added Montana and Minnesota to the test group. Gradual expansions of the new model ... Read More

Government ‘raises the bar’ on trucking safety with CSA 2010

Rose McMurray, Chief Safety Officer for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, addressed the National Association of Small Trucking Companies this month in an effort to clarify the federal government’s intentions and goals set forth by its Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 program. CSA 2010 is the FMCSA’s “revamped and retooled” commercial motor carrier safety program that introduced a new safety ranking system aimed at keeping unsafe drivers and motor carrier companies off of the nation’s roads. The program has been widely criticized throughout the trucking industry as being too strict and possibly damaging to carrier companies and individual drivers. ... Read More

OSHA investigates construction company after CT bridge collapse

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Bridgeport, Conn., office are investigating the scene of a bridge collapse that seriously injured a 59-year-old construction employee. Anthony Mariano, a member of a construction crew employed by Brunali Construction Co. of Southington, was operating an excavation machine Tuesday morning beneath a bridge in the city of Naugatuck. Sensing the bridge had become unstable, Mariano cleared his coworkers from under the bridge and was about to remove the excavating machine when a 100-foot section dislodged and fell. Paramedics rushed Mariano to Waterbury Hospital and then airlifted him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, ... Read More