Federal Agency Updates

NCD Coding Policy Manual and Change Report for July 2008
Change Manual

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates the National Coverage Determinations (NCD) code list quarterly as necessary to incorporate new codes, correct errors, incorporate the results of Coding Analysis, and incorporate reconsideration of the NCDs that alter covered indications. CMS recently issued a Coding Policy Manual and Change Report for July 2008 which incorporates all changes from October 2007 to the present.

FDA Announces New Fellowship Program
Press Release

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)is launching a two year fellowship program aimed at attracting scientists, engineers and health professionals to the agency. The FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program will provide participants with advanced training in the scientific analysis involved in the safety and regulatory decisions unique to the agency’s mission.

HHS Announces New International Programs to Enhance Drug and Food Safety

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two initiatives regarding drug and food safety. The first initiative is a pilot project that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting with its counterparts in the European Union and Australia. The partners will jointly plan, allocate for, and conduct inspections of drug manufacturing facilities that produce active pharmaceutical ingredients. The collaboration will allow the FDA to more fully take advantage of information gathered by trusted inspection and regulatory systems in other countries.

The second initiative is a third party certification pilot program involving aquacultured shrimp. The FDA is seeking the participation of certification bodies that currently certify foreign processors of aquacultured shrimp for compliance with the FDA's seafood regulations. The project is designed to help FDA learn how to evaluate third party certification programs and implement them in the field which will help FDA leverage additional resources of the private sector and other regulators.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – Articles of Interest