The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today held the first of two planned hearings on reauthorizing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, currently set to expire Oct. 1. Among other provisions, PAHPA authorizes funding for the Hospital Preparedness Program, the only federal funding source that supports efforts by regional health care systems to improve preparedness and response. Testifying at the hearing, Robert Kadlec, M.D., assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, said his priorities include “better leveraging and enhancing” existing federal programs, such as the HPP and National Disaster Medical System, to “create a more coherent, comprehensive and capable regional system integrated into daily care delivery.” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) last week introduced the Hospital Preparedness Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4776), AHA-supported legislation that would authorize $515 million annually for the program through fiscal year 2023, double the current appropriation level.

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