The Way

GB's Weekly Governmental Briefing

Through our Governmental Affairs practice, GB is helping to shape the laws and regulations that will define the times ahead. Acting on behalf of the best interests of our clients and our industry.
Each week, we bring it all into focus.

Welcome Back Sports Fans

Sep. 02, 2016
1st DOWN

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the first concussion-specific medical device for measuring cognitive function following a possible concussion for both adults and children. ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and ImPACT Pediatric aid in the medical evaluation of patients experiencing concussion symptoms and test cognitive skills such as word memory, reaction time, and word recognition, all of which could be affected by a head injury.

ROUGHING THE PASSER

A recent study showed that high school athletes who continue to play despite a concussion doubles the recovery time and leads to worse short-term mental function than those immediately removed from the field. Concussions are considered a mild traumatic brain injury. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with a traumatic brain injury in 2010. For children 19 years or younger, the CDC saw sports and recreational related injuries with a traumatic brain injury rise 57%.

MOVING THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD

A smart helmet that can help diagnose concussions in football players is being developed by medical students at Texas Tech. The helmet's sensors would measure a combination of data, such as rotational acceleration, duration of impact and location of impact, which will help doctors make a more accurate diagnosis. Some high schools are already using smart helmets that currently alert coaches to hard hits, which would assist getting kids off the field. One school district in California recently implemented a concussion program that includes insurance coverage for all student athletes as well as certified athletic trainers at all the high schools to monitor concussions and other injuries. We'll keep watching how school districts are dealing with concussion management to keep you informed.

EUROPE’S DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE

$800 BILLION NEEDED

European Union Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said Europe needs to invest close to $800 billion in its digital infrastructure to catch up with the United States and China. Commissioner Oettinger is traveling European countries to talk about the need for digital standards and states in less than two years there will be a European-wide data regulation. With current standards in place, self-driving cars won't be able to function in Europe since models being developed will rely on connectivity to other cars, traffic controls, and emergency services.

BREACH STANDARDS

Before the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which will require companies in Europe to report cyber breaches beginning in 2018, there was no mandate for reporting such incidents. In the U.S., there are 47 states that mandate public disclosure of a cyberattack. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Cybersecurity Task Force released a revised draft Insurance Data Security Model Law, which aims to alleviate the patchwork of state standards for data security, investigation, and notification of a data security incident. Comments to the revised draft are due by Sept. 16th to Sara Robben, srobben@naic.org.

Making Our Way Around the Country

FEDERAL

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a new regulation that would equip heavy-duty vehicles with devices that would limit their speeds on U.S. roadways and require those devices to be set to a maximum speed. The agencies state that the proposal will save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year. However, the NHTSA said retrofitting vehicles could cost anywhere between $100 to $2,000 per vehicle, depending on when the vehicle was made. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted to www.regulations.gov.

MISSISSIPPI

A public hearing will take place at the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission on Sept. 8th to hear comments on the proposed 2016 Medical Fee Schedule. The schedule was last updated in 2013. The proposed medical fee schedule would have an effective date of November 1, 2016.

PREVENTION

September is Suicide Prevention Month. A new Veterans Affairs' study found that veteran suicides increased by 32% and that an estimated 20 veterans a day die from suicide. Learn how you can be there for veterans and service members here.

 

 

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