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H.R. 3119 (103rd): Women’s Health Information Act of 1993

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 22, 1993 (Introduced).

HR 3119 IH


1st Session

H. R. 3119

To establish a coordinated strategy of health promotion and disease prevention activities through the Public Health Service.


September 22, 1993

Mrs. LLOYD introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To establish a coordinated strategy of health promotion and disease prevention activities through the Public Health Service.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ‘Women’s Health Information Act of 1993’.


    The Congress finds as follows:

      (1) A report by the General Accounting Office indicates that the Department and Health and Human Services, which is responsible for providing health information to the public, lacks an overall strategy for providing such information to women.

      (2) Such Department has no overall strategy to ensure that the most needed and useful health information is distributed to the public.

      (3) Health information activities of the Department are left to the discretion of the agencies of the Public Health Service, each of which largely plans the production and dissemination of information independently of the other agencies of the Service.

      (4) Even when health information for the public is produced and disseminated by the Department, it is not always easily accessible to the public.

      (5) With respect to health information, the agencies of such Department cannot determine whether the efforts of the agencies are appropriately targeted to raise women’s awareness and increase their knowledge about conditions that confront them.


    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish an Interagency Committee on Health Communications (in this section referred to as the ‘Committee’).

    (b) DUTIES-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Committee shall provide advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on developing, overseeing, and coordinating Federal promotion and education activities, including such activities within the Public Health Service.

      (2) WOMEN’S HEALTH- In carrying out paragraph (1), the Committee shall give priority to carrying activities regarding women’s health.

    (c) CHAIR- The Committee shall be chaired by the Assistant Secretary for Health.


      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), the Committee shall be composed of one representative from each agency with authority to speak for the agency, in order to address activities and goal-setting with regard to communications specific to women’s health. Decisions shall be implemented either individually or collectively as required.

      (2) WOMEN’S HEALTH- The Director of the Office of Women’s Health at the Public Health Service shall serve as a member of the Committee to ensure that the efforts of the Committee and the Public Health Service reflect pertinent recommendations and objectives to improve women’s health.

    (e) MEETINGS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Committee shall, as appropriate, meet not fewer than 4 times a year in order to promote collaboration, enhance cooperation, and develop effective strategies in this effort.

      (2) ANNUAL FORUM- The Assistant Secretary for Health shall convene a forum once a year to hear testimony by interested public and private individuals and organizations regarding priorities for areas of women’s health, and shall respond to the testimony and make recommendations regarding the testimony.

    (f) REPORT- The Assistant Secretary of Health shall issue a yearly report on the progress of the Committee’s efforts to establish a coordinated strategy of health promotion and disease prevention activities at the Public Health Service.


    (a) CLEARINGHOUSE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH- The Assistant Secretary for Health shall establish the Clearinghouse on Women’s Health to compile, archive, and disseminate information concerning women’s health and to publish a yearly summary of such materials to be made available upon request.


      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Health and Human Services may make a grant, or enter into a contract with one or more organizations representing women--

        (A) to make available information concerning Federal programs, services, informational resources, and benefits related to women’s health;

        (B) establish a toll-free hotline; and

        (C) assess demand for publications and costs on an annual basis, and develop publications as needed.

      (2) FEES REGARDING TOLL-FREE HOTLINE- The Clearinghouse may, as necessary, charge an appropriate fee for information provided by the toll-free hotline. Exceptions shall be made for individuals or organizations that are financially unable to pay such fees.

    (c) ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN- The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall conduct an outreach and advertising campaign to women and health professionals regarding the existence of the clearinghouse and the toll-free number.

    (d) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- For the purpose of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 1994 through 1999.


    The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall convene a study of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research to evaluate the overall effectiveness of health communications, including the efficacy of existing policies and techniques utilized by the Public Health Service to develop and disseminate such information. The study shall involve evaluation of effort, mode, use of toll-free numbers, and assessment of organization and competency. The study shall also include an analysis of efforts regarding reaching underserved populations. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research shall make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Health on the most effective strategy for reaching the public and presenting health communications.