Text: S.1657 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (05/23/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[S. 1657 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1657

 To provide assistance to combat the escalating burden of Lyme disease 
        and other tick and vector-borne diseases and disorders.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                 May 23 (legislative day, May 22), 2019

   Ms. Collins (for herself, Ms. Smith, and Mr. King) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                 Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To provide assistance to combat the escalating burden of Lyme disease 
        and other tick and vector-borne diseases and disorders.

    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 ``Ticks: Identify, Control, and 
Knockout Act'' or the ``TICK Act''.

SEC. 2. OFFICE OF OVERSIGHT AND COORDINATION FOR VECTOR-BORNE DISEASE.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services 
(referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') shall establish in the 
Office of the Secretary an Office of Oversight and Coordination for 
Vector-Borne Diseases (referred to in this Act as the ``Office''), to 
be headed by a director to be appointed by the Secretary.
    (b) Duties of the Office.--
            (1) In general.--The Director of the Office shall--
                    (A) oversee the creation and maintenance of a 
                national strategy to address Lyme disease, and other 
                tick and vector-borne diseases as provided for in 
                paragraph (2); and
                    (B) oversee and coordinate Lyme disease and other 
                tick and vector-borne disease and disorder programs and 
                activities across the agencies and offices of the 
                Department of Health and Human Services and other 
                Federal agencies outside of the Department of Health 
                and Human Services, as appropriate.
            (2) National strategy.--
                    (A) In general.--The Director of the Office shall 
                provide for the conduct of an annual assessment of the 
                progress of the United States in preparing for the 
                escalating burden of Lyme disease and other tick and 
                vector-borne diseases and disorders, including an 
                assessment of all Federally funded programs and 
                activities related to surveillance, diagnosis, 
                treatment, education, or prevention, as well as 
                implementation steps, and recommendations for priority 
                actions, with appropriate benchmarks to measure 
                progress, based on the assessment.
                    (B) Non-federal perspectives.--In developing the 
                strategy under subparagraph (A), and maintaining it, 
                the Director shall consult with non-Federal individuals 
                with appropriate expertise, which may include--
                            (i) epidemiologists with experience in 
                        surveillance, treatment, education, or 
                        prevention of vector-borne diseases;
                            (ii) representatives of national patient 
                        advocacy and research organizations that focus 
                        on vector-borne diseases, and those that focus 
                        specifically on tick-borne disease and have 
                        demonstrated experience in research, data 
                        collection, or patient access to care;
                            (iii) health information technology experts 
                        or other information management specialists;
                            (iv) clinicians, entomologists, vector-
                        management professionals, integrated pest 
                        management professionals, public health 
                        professionals, and others with expertise in 
                        vector-borne disease, including Lyme disease or 
                        other tick-borne diseases or disorders; and
                            (v) research scientists with experience 
                        conducting translational research or utilizing 
                        surveillance systems for scientific research 
                        purposes.
    (c) Objective of the Office.--In carrying out subsection (b), the 
Director of the Office shall facilitate and work to ensure the 
accomplishment of the following activities:
            (1) Expansion and enhancement of epidemiological research 
        and basic, translational, and clinical biological and 
        biomedical research.
            (2) Expansion and improvement of tick surveillance, linking 
        tick surveillance to surveillance of Lyme disease, and 
        reporting of Lyme disease and other tick- and vector-borne 
        diseases, including coinfections with agents of more than one 
        tick or vector-borne diseases.
            (3) Development of effective diagnostic tests to accurately 
        and timely diagnose Lyme disease and other tick- and vector-
        borne diseases, including direct detention tests.
            (4) Development of treatments to cure or improve the lives 
        of those who are infected with Lyme disease or other tick-and 
        vector-borne diseases or who suffer from a tick-induced 
        disorder (such as tick PIM programs).
            (5) Address the quality of patient care, treatment 
        affordability, and public awareness of Lyme disease and other 
        tick or vector-borne diseases.
            (6) Design and conduct clinical trials of sufficient size 
        and duration to support clinical recommendations.
            (7) Systematic documentation of the experiences of health 
        care professionals in diagnosing and treating tick- and vector-
        borne disease, including diagnostic and treatment outcomes.
            (8) Development and maintenance of one or more registries 
        of patients and their experiences relating to exposure to, 
        diagnosis for, and treatment of tick- and vector-borne disease, 
        including outcomes, such that the confidentiality and safety of 
        patient data is protected.
            (9) Access to data and enable emerging technologies to 
        improve patient care, sharing data with researchers and care 
        providers.
            (10) Coordination with other Federal departments to address 
        tick- and other vector-borne diseases including the Department 
        of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental 
        Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, and the 
        Department of Homeland Security.
            (11) Coordination with the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group 
        established under section 2062 of the 21st Century Cures Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 284s) to develop and implement recommendations.
            (12) Coordination with international bodies to integrate 
        and inform the fight against Lyme disease, and other tick- and 
        vector-borne diseases globally.

SEC. 3. REGIONAL CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE IN TICK AND VECTOR-BORNE 
              DISEASES.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary, in coordination with the Director 
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the heads of 
other agencies as appropriate, shall award grants, contracts, or 
cooperative agreements to eligible entities (such as institutions of 
higher education, State, tribal, and local health departments, 
associations, or other appropriate entities) for the establishment or 
support of Regional Centers of Excellence in Tick and Vector-Borne 
Diseases. Such Regional Centers shall be designed to address Lyme 
disease and other tick and vector-borne diseases by--
            (1) building collaboration between academia and public 
        health agencies for surveillance, prevention and response to 
        Lyme disease and other tick and vector-borne diseases;
            (2) providing training for public health entomologists to 
        deal with Lyme disease and other tick and vector-borne 
        diseases; and
            (3) conducting applied research to develop and validate 
        prevention and control tools and methods, and to anticipate and 
        respond to outbreaks of Lyme disease and other tick and vector-
        borne diseases.
    (b) Eligibility.--To be eligible to receive a grant, contract, or 
cooperative agreement under this section, an entity shall prepare and 
submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, 
and containing such agreements and information as the Secretary may 
require, including a description of how the entity will--
            (1) coordinate, as applicable, with existing Federal, 
        State, and tribal programs related to Lyme disease and other 
        vector-borne diseases;
            (2) examine, evaluate, and promote evidence-based 
        interventions for individuals with Lyme disease and other tick- 
        and vector-borne diseases, including those in rural and 
        underserved populations, and those who provide care for such 
        individuals; and
            (3) prioritize activities relating to--
                    (A) expanding efforts, as appropriate, to implement 
                evidence-based practices to address Lyme disease and 
                other tick- and vector-borne diseases, including 
                through the training of State, local, and tribal public 
                health officials and other health professionals on such 
                practices;
                    (B) supporting surveillance of vectors, and early 
                detection and diagnosis of Lyme and other tick- and 
                vector-borne diseases, including improving the quality 
                and reliability of diagnostic tools at all stages of 
                disease progression, and developing a Lyme disease test 
                capable of distinguishing between past and active 
                infections;
                    (C) improving the safety and efficacy of any new, 
                renewed, or modified human vaccine for Lyme disease, 
                other tick- and vector-borne diseases, or a combination 
                of such diseases;
                    (D) developing a standardized screening protocol 
                for Lyme disease and other tick- and vector-borne 
                diseases;
                    (E) enhancing studies and activities on tick 
                biology, disease ecology, and surveillance, and tick 
                management; and
                    (F) supporting other relevant activities identified 
                by the Secretary or the Director of the Centers for 
                Disease Control and Prevention, as appropriate.
    (c) Considerations.--In awarding grants, contracts, and cooperative 
agreements under this section, the Secretary shall consider, among 
other factors, whether the entity--
            (1) provides services to rural areas or other underserved 
        populations;
            (2) is able to build on an existing infrastructure of 
        services and public health research;
            (3) is located in an area with a high prevalence, or in any 
        area predicted to have a high prevalence, of Lyme disease or 
        other tick- and vector-borne diseases; and
            (4) has experience with conducting research related to Lyme 
        disease and other tick- and vector-borne diseases.
    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--For the purpose of carrying 
out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 
for each of fiscal years from 2021 through 2026. Amounts appropriated 
shall be allocated under this section to diseases in a manner that 
proportionately matches the disease burden of those diseases in the 
United States, which shall be reassessed and adjusted annually.

SEC. 4. COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND 
              PREVENTION.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary, in coordination with the Director 
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the heads of 
other agencies, as appropriate, shall enter into cooperative agreements 
between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health 
departments of States, political subdivisions of States, and Indian 
tribes and tribal organizations, to address Lyme Disease and other 
tick- and vector-borne diseases, and to support the development and 
implementation of evidence-based research, interventions, and treatment 
with respect to--
            (1) educating and informing the public, based on evidence-
        based public health research and data, about Lyme Disease and 
        other vector-borne diseases;
            (2) supporting early detection and diagnosis;
            (3) supporting prevention;
            (4) improving treatment;
            (5) supporting care planning and management for individuals 
        with Lyme disease and other tick- and vector-borne diseases; 
        and
            (6) supporting other relevant activities identified by the 
        Secretary or the Director of the Centers for Disease Control 
        and Prevention, as appropriate.
    (b) Eligibility.--To be eligible to enter into a cooperative 
agreement under this section, an entity described in subsection (a) 
shall prepare and submit to the Secretary an application at such time, 
in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may 
require, including a plan that describes--
            (1) how the applicant proposes to develop or expand 
        programs to educate individuals through partnership engagement, 
        workforce development, guidance and support for programmatic 
        efforts, and evaluation with respect to Lyme disease and other 
        tick- or vector-borne diseases, and how the applicant proposes 
        to support other relevant activities identified by the 
        Secretary or the Director of the Centers for Disease Control 
        and Prevention, as appropriate;
            (2) the manner in which the applicant will coordinate with 
        Federal, tribal, and State programs related to Lyme Disease and 
        other vector-borne diseases, and appropriate State, tribal, and 
        local agencies, as well as other relevant public and private 
        organizations or agencies; and
            (3) the manner in which the applicant will evaluate the 
        effectiveness of any program carried out under the cooperative 
        agreement.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--For the purpose of carrying 
out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 
for each of fiscal years from (2021 through 2026). Amounts appropriated 
shall be allocated under this section to diseases in a manner that 
proportionately matches the disease burden of those diseases in the 
United States, which shall be reassessed and adjusted annually.
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