ASSEMBLY, No. 2342
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 19, 1996
By Assemblymen COTTRELL and MALONE
An Act establishing an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program, supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes and making an appropriation.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. This act shall be cited and may be known as the "Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Act."
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease, is a major health care problem that poses a threat to the health of as many as 25 million Americans who may be unaware of their condition until their first fracture, often of the hip, wrist or spine;
b. One in two women and one in five men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime and the 1.5 million fractures which result each year cause pain, disability, immobility and social isolation, threatening an individual's ability to live independently and affecting the quality of life of those who suffer from the disease;
c. A woman's risk of a hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer and the annual health care costs, both direct and indirect, of treating osteoporosis, are estimated to rise between $60 to $80 billion by the year 2020;
d. Since osteoporosis progresses silently and currently has no cure, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment are the only keys in controlling this devastating disease. Although a large quantity of information currently exists about osteoporosis, most people, including physicians, health-care professionals and governmental agencies, lack knowledge in the detection, treatment and prevention of the disease. Furthermore, experts in the field of osteoporosis believe that with greater awareness of the value of prevention among physicians, health-care professionals and the public, the disease will be treatable and preventable in the future; and
e. Therefore, it is in the State's interest to establish an osteoporosis prevention and treatment education program to promote public awareness about the causes of osteoporosis and to educate healthcare professionals, physicians and policy-makers on the value of prevention, early detection and the treatment options available to the sufferers of the disease.
3. As used in this act:
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.
"Council" means the Interagency Council on Osteoporosis.
"Department" means the Department of Health and Senior Services.
"Program" means the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Program established under this act.
4. a. The commissioner shall establish an Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Program. The purpose of the program is to
promote public awareness Statewide on the causes of osteoporosis and to educate governmental officials, physicians and healthcare professionals on the value of prevention, early detection and the options available for treatment.
b. The program shall be designed to allow the department to:
(1) Review, coordinate, and when necessary, expand successful osteoporosis-related programs provided by public, private and State-run entities and to supply technical assistance to agencies and healthcare professionals, upon request, on the development of programs and services relating to the disease;
(2) Provide educational materials, results of research performed in the field of osteoporosis, information on available services and treatment methods for individuals afflicted with the disease and information on strategies for the establishment of prevention services, to patients, healthcare professionals, physicians and the public;
(3) Evaluate existing community-based services for sufferers of osteoporosis and make recommendations on ways in which to improve the quality and accessibility of those services;
(4) Establish a osteoporosis services information clearinghouse to provide governmental agencies, healthcare professionals, physicians and patients with information on available programs, services, resources for individuals suffering with the disease and the names of physicians who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of osteoporosis;
(5) Promote the development of support groups for osteoporosis patients, their families and caregivers;
(6) Evaluate the State's funding mechanisms available for osteoporosis services and make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature about any changes which may be necessary to adequately fund new and existing programs; and
(7) Create a public awareness and outreach campaign highlighting
the causes of osteoporosis and the value of prevention and early detection when dealing with the disease.
5. The commissioner shall establish the Interagency Council on Osteoporosis in the Department of Health and Senior Services. The council shall consist of 15 members as follows: The Commissioners of Education, Health and Senior Services, and Human Services, the Assistant Commissioner for Senior Affairs in the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Director of the Division on Women in the Department of Community Affairs, or their designees, who shall serve ex officio; four members of the Legislature, two of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and two of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; and six public members appointed by the Governor who shall include: a representative of a women's health-care organization, a public health educator, an expert in the field of osteoporosis, a healthcare provider who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and two individuals who have osteoporosis. The public members shall serve for a term of three years, except that of the public members first appointed, two shall serve for a term of one year, two shall be appointed for a term of two years and two shall be appointed for a term of three years. The Legislative members shall serve while members of their respective houses for the term for which they have been elected. The commissioner shall appoint a chairperson from among the public members of the council.
Vacancies in the membership shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments were made. Members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for the reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
6. The council shall:
a. Assist the department in developing osteoporosis-related policies and programs, including the "Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Program" established pursuant to this act;
b. Analyze research on the most promising areas of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and establish mechanisms to use the results of this research in the development of Statewide policies and programs relating to the disease;
c. Act as a focal point for sharing information on osteoporosis among governmental officials, health-care professionals, physicians and the public;
d. Hold public hearings and conduct studies on issues relating to osteoporosis for the purpose of developing recommendations for legislative, regulatory and programmatic changes; and
e. Prepare a report of its findings and recommendations for legislative, programmatic and regulatory changes as the council deems appropriate to further the State's, the public's and the healthcare community's understanding of the causes of osteoporosis and the value of early diagnosis, proper treatment and prevention. The commissioner shall present this report to the Legislature and the Governor no later than 18 months following the establishment of the council.
7. The commissioner shall apply for and accept any grant of money from the federal government, private foundations, medical schools or other sources which may be available for the program and the council.
8. Pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), the commissioner may adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
9. There is appropriated $300,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Health and Senior Services to effectuate the purposes of this act.
10. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill establishes the "Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Program" in the Department of Health and Senior Services. The program would be designed to allow the department to:
1. Review, coordinate, and when necessary, expand successful osteoporosis-related programs provided by public, private and State-run entities;
2. Provide to patients, health care professionals and physicians, educational materials, research results, and information on services and treatment options available to individuals afflicted with the disease;
3. Evaluate community-based services for sufferers of osteoporosis and to make recommendations on ways to improve the quality and accessibility of those services;
4. Establish an osteoporosis services information clearinghouse;
5. Promote the establishment of support groups for osteoporosis sufferers, their families and care givers;
6. Evaluate the State's funding mechanisms available for osteoporosis-related services; and
7. Create a public awareness and outreach program highlighting the value of prevention and early detection of osteoporosis.
The bill also requires the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to establish a 15-member Interagency Council on Osteoporosis. Among the council's responsibilities would be to help the department in developing osteoporosis-related programs including the "Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Program" and to hold public hearings and conduct studies on issues relating to osteoporosis. The council would also prepare a report of its findings and recommendations for legislative and programmatic changes and present the report to the Governor and the Legislature no later than 18 months following its establishment.
Finally, the bill appropriates $300,000 to effectuate the purposes of the bill.
Establishes the "Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Education Act;" appropriates $300,000.