Text: H.R.2271 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/10/2019)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2271


To amend the Public Health Service Act to improve the health of children and help better understand and enhance awareness about unexpected sudden death in early life.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 10, 2019

Ms. Moore (for herself, Mr. Cole, Ms. Herrera Beutler, Mr. Gottheimer, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mrs. Rodgers of Washington, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Khanna, Ms. Norton, Mr. King of New York, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Cartwright, and Ms. DelBene) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


A BILL

To amend the Public Health Service Act to improve the health of children and help better understand and enhance awareness about unexpected sudden death in early life.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act”.

SEC. 2. Amendment to the Public Health Service Act.

Title III of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 241 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“PART WSudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood

“SEC. 399OO. Definitions.

“In this part:

“(1) ADMINISTRATOR.—The term ‘Administrator’ means the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“(2) DEATH SCENE INVESTIGATOR.—The term ‘death scene investigator’ means an individual certified or trained as a death scene investigator by an accredited professional certification board.

“(3) DIRECTOR.—The term ‘Director’ means the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“(4) STATE.—The term ‘State’ has the meaning given to such term in section 2, except that such term includes Indian tribes and tribal organizations (as such terms are defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act).

“(5) SUDDEN UNEXPECTED INFANT DEATH; SUID.—The terms ‘sudden unexpected infant death’ and ‘SUID’ mean the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that when first discovered did not have an obvious cause. Such terms include those deaths that are later determined to be from explained as well as unexplained causes.

“(6) SUDDEN UNEXPECTED DEATH IN CHILDHOOD; SUDC.—The terms ‘sudden unexpected death in childhood’ and ‘SUDC’ mean the sudden death of a child who is 1 year of age or older that, when first discovered, did not have an obvious cause. Such terms include those deaths that are later determined to be from an explained cause, and those deaths that remain unexplained after a thorough case investigation that includes a review of the clinical history and circumstances of death and performance of a comprehensive, standardized autopsy with appropriate ancillary testing (which are known as ‘sudden unexplained death in childhood’).

“SEC. 399OO–1. Death scene investigation and autopsy.

“(a) Investigations.—

“(1) REPORTING.—The Secretary, acting through the Director, in consultation with experts that include board-certified forensic pathologists, medical examiners, coroners, pediatric pathologists, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric neuropathologists and geneticists, and other individuals and groups as the Director determines appropriate, shall revise the Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to include doll re-enactments and scene investigation information on sleep-related deaths of children younger than 5, and work to align such form with the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System.

“(2) GRANTS.—The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall award grants to States to enable such States to improve the completion of comprehensive death scene investigations, and reviews of such investigations, for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexpected death in childhood.

“(3) APPLICATION.—To be eligible to receive a grant under paragraph (2), a State shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

“(4) USE OF FUNDS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—A State shall use amounts received under a grant under paragraph (2) to improve the completion of comprehensive death scene investigations for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexpected death in childhood, including through the awarding of subgrants to local jurisdictions (which may include subgrants to medical examiners, coroners, and other local entities responsible for conducting autopsies) to be used to implement standard death scene investigation protocols for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexpected death in childhood and conduct comprehensive, standardized autopsies.

“(B) PROTOCOLS.—A standard death scene protocol implemented under subparagraph (A) shall include the obtaining of information on—

“(i) current and past medical history of the infant or child and, as relevant, the infant's or child’s family;

“(ii) the circumstances surrounding the death, including any suspicious circumstances, whether there were any accidental or environmental factors associated with the death; and

“(iii) in the case of a sleep-related death, the sleep position and sleep environment of the infant or child.

“(b) Autopsies.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall award grants to States and local governmental entities to enable such States and entities to increase the rate at which comprehensive, standardized autopsies are performed for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexpected death in childhood.

“(2) INFORMED CONSENT.—Grants awarded under this subsection may be used for studies and demonstration projects to increase the rate of consent among families of deceased children for the inclusion of genetic or tissue samples collected during autopsy in registries established for the purposes of conducting research into SUID and SUDC.

“(3) APPLICATION.—To be eligible to receive a grant under paragraph (1), an eligible entity described in such paragraph shall submit to the Secretary an application that includes—

“(A) a description of the methods to be studied or tested to increase the rate of consent among families of deceased children for the inclusion of genetic or tissue samples collected during autopsy;

“(B) information about the governmental and nongovernmental entities with whom the eligible entity will partner; and

“(C) any additional information as the Secretary may require.

“(4) COMPREHENSIVE AUTOPSY.—For purposes of this subsection, a comprehensive, standardized autopsy includes, as appropriate, a full external and internal examination, including microscopic examination, of all major organs and tissues including the brain, complete radiographs, vitreous fluid analysis, photo documentation, metabolic testing, toxicology screening, and, when indicated, selected genetic and microbiology analyses of the infant or child involved.

“(c) Genetic analysis.—The Director, in consultation with medical examiners, coroners, forensic pathologists, geneticists, researchers, public health officials, and other individuals and groups as the Director determines appropriate, shall develop recommendations for a standard protocol for use in determining when to utilize genetic analysis, and standard protocols for the collection and storage of specimens suitable for genetic analysis.

“(d) Authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $8,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

“SEC. 399OO–2. Training.

“(a) Grants.—The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall award grants to eligible entities for the provision of training on death scene investigation specific for SUID and SUDC.

“(b) Eligible entities.—To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), an entity shall—

“(1) be—

“(A) a State or local government entity; or

“(B) a nonprofit private entity;

“(2) submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require; and

“(3) make publishing training materials developed using a grant awarded under subsection (a) available on an internet website and at no charge to attendees of training under subsection (c)(1).

“(c) Use of funds.—An eligible entity shall use amounts received under a grant under this section to—

“(1) provide training to medical examiners, coroners, death scene investigators, law enforcement personnel, justices of the peace, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, or emergency department personnel concerning death scene investigations for SUID and SUDC, including the use of standard death scene investigation protocols that include information on—

“(A) current and past medical history of the infant or child and, as relevant, the infant's or child’s family;

“(B) the circumstances surrounding the death, including any suspicious circumstances;

“(C) whether there were any accidental or environmental factors associated with the death; and

“(D) in the case of a sleep-related death, the sleep position and sleep environment of the infant or child;

“(2) provide training directly to individuals who are responsible for conducting and reviewing death scene investigations for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexpected death in childhood;

“(3) provide training to multidisciplinary teams, including teams that have a medical examiner or coroner, death scene investigator, law enforcement representative, and an emergency medical technician or paramedic;

“(4) in the case of national and State-based grantees that are comprised of medical examiners, coroners, death scene investigators, law enforcement personnel, or emergency medical technicians and paramedics, integrate training under the grant on death scene investigation of SUID and SUDC into professional accreditation and training programs; or

“(5) in the case of State and local government entity grantees, obtain equipment, including scene investigation kits, to aid in the completion of standard death scene investigation.

“(d) Authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

“SEC. 399OO–3. Infant and child death review.

“(a) Prevention.—

“(1) CORE CAPACITY GRANTS.—The Secretary, acting through the Administrator and in consultation with the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, shall award grants to States to build and strengthen State capacity, and enable States to support local governments’ capacity, so as to review 100 percent of all infant and child deaths, and to develop and implement prevention strategies, as appropriate.

“(2) PLANNING GRANTS.—The Secretary, acting through the Administrator, shall award planning grants to States in which the only infant and child death review programs are statewide, for the development of local infant and child death review programs and prevention strategies.

“(3) APPLICATION.—To be eligible to receive a grant under paragraph (1) or (2), a State shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

“(4) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.—The Secretary, acting through the Administrator, shall provide technical assistance to assist States—

“(A) in developing the capacity for comprehensive infant and child death review programs, including the development of best practices for the implementation of such programs; and

“(B) in maintaining the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System.

“(b) Authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

“SEC. 399OO–4. Enhancing the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System.

“(a) In general.—The Secretary, acting through the Director and in consultation with the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System, national health organizations, and professional societies with experience and expertise relating to reducing SUID and SUDC, shall maintain current efforts of the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System so as to provide population-based data on unexpected deaths occurring for infants or children under age 18, in order to facilitate the understanding of the root causes, rates, trends, and geographic variations of SUID and SUDC.

“(b) Compilation and availability of data.—The Secretary shall—

“(1) compile the data submitted under this section;

“(2) make summary data available to the public in a timely manner on an appropriate internet website in a format that is useful to the public; and

“(3) make data submitted under this section available, in a manner that protects the privacy of individuals involved, to individuals or entities conducting research into the causes of, or prevention methods for, SUID and SUDC.

“(c) Authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

“SEC. 399OO–5. Grants to support infant safe sleep.

“(a) In general.—The Secretary, acting through the Administrator, shall award grants to national organizations, community-based organizations, municipal public safety departments, and nonprofit organizations for the provision of evidence-based approaches for educational programs, and outreach activities focused on decreasing the risk factors that contribute to sleep-related SUID.

“(b) Application.—To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), an entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

“(c) Use of funds.—Amounts received under a grant awarded under subsection (a) may be used to—

“(1) provide outreach and education services directly to parents and families, which—

“(A) may include home visits, 24-hour hotlines, internet-based educational materials, mobile health technologies, and social marketing campaigns;

“(B) shall apply current safe sleep guidelines published by a professional pediatric organization; and

“(C) may provide safe sleep-related products to families at no cost or at reduced cost that have published, peer-reviewed evidence to support safer sleep environments for infants through age one; or

“(2) build capacity in professionals working with families to support safe sleep.

“(d) Safe-Sleep products.—Any product related to safe sleep for an infant that is provided under subsection (c)(1)(C) shall—

“(1) be in compliance with current safe sleep guidelines published by a professional pediatric organization;

“(2) be intended for use by the infant through age one; and

“(3) be covered by, and be in compliance with, a regulation or mandatory standard promulgated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“(e) Preference.—In awarding grants under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give preference to applicants that have a proven history of developing or delivering interventions for infants and families to support safe sleep, include plans to report evidence of program outcomes, and can demonstrate experience through collaborations and partnerships for delivering services throughout a State or region.

“(f) Set-Aside.—Not more than 5 percent of the amount of funds appropriated to carry out this section may be used to conduct research into the behavioral risks that lead to unsafe sleep practices and ways to mitigate those risks.

“(g) Authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2019 and $7,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2023.

“SEC. 399OO–6. Grants for support services.

“(a) In general.—The Secretary, acting through the Administrator, shall award grants to national organizations, State and local health departments, community-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations for the provision of support services to families who have had a child die of sudden unexpected infant death or sudden unexplained death in childhood.

“(b) Application.—To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), an entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

“(c) Use of funds.—Amounts received under a grant awarded under subsection (a) may be used—

“(1) to provide grief counseling, education, home visits, 24-hour hotlines, or information, resources, and referrals;

“(2) to ensure access to grief and bereavement services;

“(3) to build capacity in professionals working with families who experience a sudden death; or

“(4) to support groups for families who have lost a child to sudden unexpected infant death or sudden unexplained death in childhood.

“(d) Preference.—In awarding grants under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give preference to applicants that—

“(1) have a proven history of effective direct support services and interventions for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexplained death in childhood; and

“(2) demonstrate experience through collaborations and partnerships for delivering services described in subsection (c).

“(e) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.”.

SEC. 3. Sense of Congress.

It is the sense of Congress that additional research is needed to improve the understanding of the epidemiology of sudden unexpected infant and childhood deaths that remain unexplained following a comprehensive, standardized autopsy and appropriate ancillary testing.

SEC. 4. Report to Congress.

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and biennially thereafter, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in consultation with the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, shall submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report that contains, with respect to the preceding reporting period—

(1) information regarding the absolute number and incidence of sudden unexpected infant death, the absolute number and incidence of sudden unexpected death in childhood, information about the number of such infant and child deaths that remain unexplained, information about such conditions by racial and ethnic groups, information about such conditions by State, aggregate information obtained from death scene investigations and autopsies, and recommendations for reducing the incidence of sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexpected death in childhood;

(2) an assessment of the extent to which various approaches of preventing sudden unexpected infant death have been effective;

(3) a description of the activities carried out under part W of title III of the Public Health Service Act (as added by section 2); and

(4) any recommendations of the Secretary regarding such part W.