HHS awards $500,000 to Flint health centers
Health & Human Services has given $500,000 to help two Flint, Mich., area health centers increase and expand emergency response to the lead contamination of Flint’s water.

HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nicole Lurie. M.D., is leading the federal response and recovery effort in Flint. She announced that Hamilton Community Health Network and Genesee Health System each will receive $250,000 in emergency supplemental funding. The funding will go to hiring additional personnel and providing more lead testing, treatment, outreach and education in the Flint community.

“Primary care — which includes ongoing lead screening, follow-up, and continued attention to a child’s development — is important for children in Flint,” Lurie states. “The funding we’re announcing today is one of many ways we are supporting health recovery for the community, and we will continue to look across federal programs, including in health, nutrition and education, to assist the people of Flint.”

AHA urges CMS to protect access to care for hospital outpatients
The American Hospital Association (AHA) urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to protect patients’ access to care by revising Sec. 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The AHA says Sec. 603 when implemented will restrict patients’ care options by reducing payments for services furnished in outpatient departments.  

ASHE, Joint Commission release fire safety resources
As part of a joint project, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and the Joint Commission have released fire safety resources to help health care facilities comply with Joint Commission standard EC.02.03.05. The resources include examples of how to improve fire safety compliance and lays out the issues and risks associated with noncompliance.

OSHA seeks comments on guidance determining chemical health hazards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is accepting comments on its Guidance on Data Evaluation for Weight of Evidence Determination, which is intended to help employers consider all available information when classifying hazardous chemicals. The guidance is a companion document to OSHA’s Hazard Classification Guidance.

FDA encourages human factors testing for medical devices
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed guidance to assist the medical device industry in refining human factors and usability engineering processes and maximizing the safety of medical devices. The FDA recommends that manufacturers focus specifically on the user interface and all points of interaction between the product and the user, including displays, controls, packaging, product labels, instruction for use, etc.