Author: By Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response This was first posted on the PHE.org webiste (Published Date: 6/25/2019)
we’re excited about the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and
Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (PAHPAIA), which the president signed
last night (6-24-2019). The new law strengthens public health and healthcare
readiness, bolsters response and recovery programs, and increases
transparency. What do the changes mean for our non-federal partners? We
see some key provisions that can significantly improve preparedness and
response for our partners.
authorized a funding increase for the Hospital Preparedness Program from
$374.4 million to $385 million which would continue to pass through
state and territory health departments to healthcare coalitions.
Congress must appropriate specific funding levels as part of the annual
appropriations process, including any increase.
Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Homeland
Security are directed to coordinate regularly on threat assessments,
including potential emergency health security threats. By coordinating
more closely, ASPR will have the critical information to guide decisions
about which medical countermeasures should take priority in development
and acquisition for the Strategic National Stockpile and the National
Pre-Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Stockpile.
reauthorizes the authority giving states and territories the ability to
reassign federally funded personnel temporarily in public health
emergencies to support the response. When the HHS Secretary declares a
public health emergency, states may request temporarily deployment of
state personnel whose salaries are funded by HHS in whole or in part
under Public Health Service Act programs. Under PAHPAIA, the National
Disaster Medical System (NDMS) received direct hire authority which
streamlines the federal hiring process for NDMS, making it easier and
faster to hire new personnel. The law also authorizes benefits under the
Public Safety Officers Benefit program for NDMS personnel which
addresses a concern of NDMS personnel. NDMS personnel have jobs in the
private sector and are called into federal service during disasters, and
these provisions are expected to improve NDMS recruitment, which in
turn increases the number of NDMS personnel available to support state
and local healthcare emergency operations.
Preparedness Program received enhanced authority under the reauthorized
law. Coalitions funded under this program now can use the funding for
response activities, and work with state health departments and other
healthcare coalition members on greater accountability; with the new
authorization, ASPR has two years to work with grantees and sub-grantees
on coalition success rates; ASPR now could withhold a percentage of
program funds from awardees that fail to meet required benchmarks.
also authorizes ASPR to establish guidelines for the Regional Disaster
Health Response System. Under the provisions, ASPR is authorized to use
HPP funds to support demonstration projects related to the development
and implementation of these guidelines. The Government Accountability
Office is required to assess the program within three years and provide
Congress with specific findings on success, limitations, and challenges.
Project BioShield received an increase in its authorized funding levels
with appropriations authorized for 10-years. This longer timeframe
means Congress can provide funding for a decade rather than on an annual
basis. Given that a single medical product can take 10 years or longer
to develop, long-term funding like this gives biotech and pharmaceutical
companies an incentive to work with our Biomedical Advanced Research
and Development Authority (BARDA) on advanced development, manufacturing
and acquisition of medical countermeasures.
Programs to develop
medical countermeasures for pandemic influenza and other emerging
infectious diseases now are authorized to receive annual funding from
Congress. In the past, funding to develop medical countermeasures for
pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases came largely from
supplemental appropriations after public health emergencies occurred,
such as the H5N1 pandemic in 2009 and the Ebola responses in 2014.
Having a standard budget line allows federal and private partners to
undertake research, development and manufacturing before a disease
spreads. Not waiting having to wait on supplemental budget funding is
important because developing medical products takes years and to save
lives in public health emergencies every moment counts.
exciting changes, and we look forward to working with our partners
under the new and reauthorized authorities to protect the American
people from modern health threats.