Sept. 30: The Federal Communications Commission closes the books for reply comments on a proposed telehealth pilot aimed at expanding access for medically underserved populations, including low-income communities and veterans. Provider groups have been mostly positive about the $100 million Connected Care Pilot program, although they’ve urged the FCC to develop more detailed measures for success and to ease data collection and reporting requirements.
Oct. 2: U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton holds a hearing on the Trump administration’s so-called public charge rule. The rule, slated to take effect Oct. 15, expands the definition of public charge to immigrants who receive such government assistance as food stamps and Medicaid. Immigration advocates argue that the rule will make it more difficult for legal immigrants to get a green card and become a citizen. Opponents of the rule hope that Hamilton, chief judge of the Northern District of California, will impose a preliminary injunction preventing it from taking effect.
Oct. 3: With all of the attention on e-cigarettes, it’s sometimes easy to forget that before “Tropical punch” and “Juicy pear” vape flavors, there was Joe Camel. The Food and Drug Administration is seeking comments on its next survey to assess how effective the tobacco industry has been at preventing minors from taking up smoking. The ongoing survey is required by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Roughly 9 out of 10 smokers first tried a cigarette by the time they were 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.